Nathan, Rada, Anya & Aleksa's move to Munich...

Tag: Kingdom of God

Munich parkrun Birthday!

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated one year of parkrun* in Munich! I attended the first run on 19th January 2019 and have been involved as a participant, volunteer or organiser ever since.

Westpark parkrun – one year old!

Personally it helps me keep fit, brings some routine to my weekend and gives me a grounded and regular sense of purpose to be in Munich. I have made some great friends over the last year and there is a real sense of community and mutual support. Along with a few of the other guys we went for a daytrip to Ingoldstadt to visit another event and as one of the Run Directors I have really enjoyed our planning meetings – always in a Bierkeller or Biergarten!

At my local Westpark Event we usually gather between 40-80 runners and our early success meant another group was able to begin in Munich in July at Riemerpark on the other side of the city. Although the parkrun phenomenon has very much come out of the UK we are very pleased that there are more and more Germans joining us every week! We also have tourists come from all over the world for parkrun in Munich – most weeks there are visitors from at least Australia, South Africa, Russia and the UK.

I also find that being part of parkrun really complements our church ministry here in Munich. Our family’s ethos is that all aspects of life should serve God and love other people – we use the phrase ‘building the Kingdom of God’ to describe this. Being part of parkrun is certainly a way to do this by helping to organise this healthy and social initiative for the community as well as build personal friendships that can encourage others – they certainly encourage me!

I’d thoroughly recommend getting involved with your local parkrun – it can change and transform lives for sure… And if you live in Munich it would be wonderful to see you at the start line in Westpark one Saturday morning! (see the links below)

When mum and dad came to visit

*parkrun is a free, timed, weekly 5km run each Saturday at 9am for anybody and everybody to participate in with at least 200,000 runners each week.

Munich in October – Guest Post

Guest Post – Vicky Mennear: In October 2005 we visited a church in Solihull that were advertising for a new youth worker.  On the interview panel were Steve & Vicky Mennear. 13 years later and they are unique amongst our dearest friends, and we were very happy to welcome them to visit us early this month and Vicky has kindly given us some reflections to post….

Octoberfest – timing could not have been better!  We were visiting Rada, Nathan, Anya and Aleksa while Müncheners and tourists were enjoying the annual festival – Beer tents, dirndl and lederhosen, brass bands, family fun and of course beer!

Putting down roots and establishing a corner of the Kingdom of God in another nation other than your birth country is a challenging enterprise. This is what our very dear friends are about. I am enormously proud of them. Proud of their courage because I know I wouldn’t do it and of their dependence on their Father in Heaven.

Two years after moving to Germany, routines of normal family life are growing and stories of God’s provision are abundant. The apartment, schooling, paid employment, developing friendships.  Of course Steve and I saw the challenges they face. Living out a gospel of grace and planting a church in the national language, this is, as noted in, ‘Global Humility’ by Andy McCullough:

An expression of humility, of incarnation, of service, of honouring our hosts. 

Munich is a beautiful and captivating city, full of wide vistas and grand public buildings lying on the edge of an ancient forest. It has a dark past. 

Steve and I enjoyed getting to know it, finding our way around, trying to understand what makes this place tick. Müncheners love their children. Much of the suburban space is child friendly and there are places to play scattered between apartment blocks. Cycling for adults and children is the most popular way of getting around.  Worshipping in German, visiting a German Church quickly made me aware of the difficulties of crossing cultures. Then thinking how we overcome this in our home setting?

God is at work here. God comes where he is wanted (Philip Yancey).  A seed is planted in the ground and what appears in due time does not resemble the seed but is something completely different. Something completely different will grow here in due time and it will produce many seeds. 

If I had my way Nathan and Rada would be living next door to me and my family but God has a bigger purpose. As much as we miss them, I think I might be the one who has to adjust my thinking and get on board with a bigger purpose!

Vicky Mennear, 17.10.18

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