European Churches Updates:
The Long Run to Find a Chapel
Heidelberg House of Prayer
In the early 80s some TJC believers came to Heidelberg, Germany and began to keep the Sabbat, first in their own student dormitory, later in some family’s apartment. After 12 years, in December1992, the members had the chance to buy an own property. We were very thankful that now the church had its own place to keep the Sabbath and to store all the things belonging to the church. However, it was not possible to register this place for official church use and because it was only a 80 m² flat it became soon too small. Therefore, not long after, we began to search for a bigger and more official place. We began to save money. For another 12 years, we either didn’t find a suitable place or didn’t get the official permission for church use or we were lacking money.
In the meantime, the other two Prayer Houses in Germany, Rhineland and Hamburg, turned out to have even more urgent need to buy a church building. Therefore, we decided to stop our search and be ready to help if necessary. And indeed, we could support them with our church building fund. After both had their dedication ceremony in 2012 and 2015 we continued our search. It is remarkable that during all these years gathering so many people in that small flat the neighbors didn’t complain.
Thank God, after having visited several properties we finally found a suitable one in June 2016. It meets most of the conditions we set. After we asked for God’s guidance and His will, we decided in a General Meeting to buy that property – but only if we get the permission from the authorities to use it as a chapel. Before, this was always the most difficult step. So, we started a prayer session on a regular basis only for this purpose on Saturday morning. In December 2016, we applied with the respective building authorities and – amazingly and with God’s grace – after 8 months we finally got the permission we applied for. This was out of our expectation because there are enough reasons for the authorities to reject our application. Although it took so long to get the permission, the property wasn’t sold to someone else. After the congregation discussed in harmony about the contract conditions, we currently wait whether we may draft a contract which is acceptable for both parties because, of course, the seller wants to make as much profit as possible. This is where we are now after 20 years of searching, waiting and experiencing God’s guidance.
Meanwhile the purchase price is about 533,000 €, the renovation costs are estimated with 200,000 €. Through God’s help and His wonderful guidance, He already moved many members to help. Still lacking some, we believe that He will provide according to His will. We give everything into the hands of God. May His will be done and His name be glorified.
If you want to know more about the project please feel free to contact us: email@example.com.