This story is shared with us by Alliance Missionary Pastor Matthias Tepper. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) partners with the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany’s (SELK) mission arm to send Pastor Tepper to Belgium where he serves an English-speaking congregation called All Lutheran Church of Brussels (ALCB). Due to the many different languages and members in the church, ALCB is also incorporating more and more French into their services. Over the weekend of January 23-25, students from the SELK seminary in Oberursal, Germany joined Pastor Tepper and members of his church to help with their “Street Evangelism” activity. To speak with the people, the main languages they needed to know are French, Dutch and English! Here’s a timeline of how things went.
(Please note, a similar article also ran in The SELK’s Lutherische Kirchenmission (LKM) Missionsblatt, their magazine, in German.)
–By Rev. Matthias Tepper
Friday, January 23, 2015
6 p.m. – The team from Germany arrives at Pastor Tepper’s. Seven young men, all theology students of the SELK church and the South African Lutheran church join us for belgium2go in Brussels. Their participation is part of the mission course they are taking with director Roger Zieger from the Lutheran mission (LKM) in Germany. Together they want to lend a hand in the outreach efforts in Brussels. After a short break we go on our way again, now to the center of Brussels.
7 p.m. – At the rehearsal room we go to work. Purpose for tonight: rehearsing a dance and two dramas that we need for our street evangelism on the following day. The dance is so simple that we rehearse it only once. The dramas are more demanding and require our full concentration.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
7 a.m. – Upon awakening, the world is covered in white and it is still snowing. Will we be able to do the dance and the dramas – perhaps even in the slush?
9 a.m. – We set out slowly driving through the winter wonderland towards Brussels.
10 a.m. – We are finally at the meeting place close to the city center. A few people from Brussels join our team. We refresh the dramas and pray for God’s blessing for our outreach.
12 p.m. – We are leaving the base and heading to downtown Brussels, packed with props, speakers, distribution material and cameras. God is good: The snow is gone and the sun is shining from a blue sky!
(This pantomime depicts people enslaved to their different addictions and sins, and the healing power of the Gospel proclaimed to them).
12:30 p.m. – We arrive at our first location in the pedestrian zone Rue Neuve and quickly set up. All we need now is the music. One of us begins to dance to the “Cupid Shuffle” (well known to our American readers, but unheard-of in Europe), then comes one after another at random. Passers-by are pleased with the entertainment, stop, form a semi-circle and watch. Some can even be motivated to dance with us.
Following the dance comes one of the dramas. They are wordless and are played to the music from the PA. The pantomime is practical, because there are so many different languages in Brussels. Nonverbal communication is equally understandable to all. The dramas convey a Christian message. Afterwards we seek personal contact with the audience for conversation.
1:30 p.m. – After the lunch break we move to the second location at the opera on the Place de la Monnaie. Here the audience sometimes even forms a full circle around us!
(This pantomime near the opera depicts through pantomime how Christ heals others, His death, resurrection and how He reconciles the world to Himself).
4 p.m. – After four more cycles of dance, drama and conversation, the street evangelists are pretty exhausted and we pack up. We had a total of about 1,000 spectators this afternoon.
4:30 p.m. – Left on our program is now the tour over the Grand Place where in 1523 the first two Lutheran martyrs were burned to death. At the city’s landmark, the famous fountain with the small Manneken Pis and delicious Belgian waffles are waiting for us to enjoy.
Jesus commands us to go (hence belgium2go). In Mark 16:15 he says, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” And what we do in Brussels is: Go where the people are.
belgium2go seeks Christians who have a heart for the people and go on the streets and squares, to share Jesus’ life and love with everyone. We invite Christians from near and far who join in the merry proclamation through our street evangelism.
Whether alone or with a group – you’re invited to come to Belgium. There are monthly outreach days. With a group other dates can also be arranged.
When will you come? See you in Brussels!
- To learn more about the church and the initiative, click here.
- Contact Pastor Tepper at email@example.com.
- Connect on Facebook by joining the open group belgium2go.
- The church has continued this from of outreach on the weekends with a big event also on Valentine’s Day weekend. Please keep their efforts in your prayers!