A year and a half ago, I was invited by Dr. Gene Merrill to Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) to speak about our dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir. One of his graduate students was Juergen, who moved his wife and son from Germany to Dallas to prepare for ministry. After one of my talks, he and I sat for and discussed ministry. We even talked about how archaeology could impact his ministry to both the Christian and secular communities. I was impressed by this earnest young man of faith.
When I arrived Sunday evening at our Khirbet el-Maqatir dig headquarters, I found out that this same young man was my roommate for the first week. Juergen graduated from DTS last spring and went back to his hometown to do ministry. He has become the first fulltime pastor at his home church, which his family was instrumental in starting two generations ago.
After talking with him, I found out that German church people are just like American church people – I would describe them all as “dirty rotten stinkin’ sinners” of whom I am chief! This 27-year old husband and father, who felt the call of God on his life to make a difference in the lives of his own hometown as well as home church, also feels the strain of trying to help people face own issues and grow together under God.
But what I found so refreshing about Juergen was his willingness to treat each of these situations as an opportunity from God for him to grow in his own spiritual walk. It is exciting for me to meet young men and women who not only want to do something of eternal value and good, but are also willing to let the process make an eternal impact on their own souls.
God bless Juergen, his family, his church and his ministry – and all those other young men and women out there who are practicing the same.
One roommate at a time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director