We had the Maiers with us on October 17. Here are two of the videos they showed about their ministry, as promised in our sharing time notes.
Andy Maier 1-minute
From sharing notes:
We had Andy and Bethany Maier with us today, giving the sermon as well as a thorough update on their ministry in Germany and Asia (undisclosed country for safety reasons). Andy first came to our church shortly after we began in the 1970s, as his father Ernst, a seminary classmate of Lee’s, was one of our earliest missionaries. He and Bethany embarked on their own mission in 1994, and we’ve been supporting them ever since.
In Germany, Bethany has long worked with Black Forest Academy, an international school with much opportunity for discipling. She’s played many roles and currently is the librarian. If you follow the updates Darlene sends out, you’ll remember how remarkably God worked last fall to allow the school to open at the last minute in spite of rigid Covid regulations.
They both play helpful roles in some of the neighboring churches. Old-timers will remember that Andy’s parents, Ernst and Ilse, planted several churches as part of their ministry. They also established a Christian literature ministry that continues to this day, developing literature for the Asian country they serve as well.
Bethany and Andy both work with refugees too, both Christian and non-Christian. Andy described some of their efforts on behalf of Nigerian refugees, who are discriminated against in housing and other areas. They do children’s ministry among them and called that a huge opportunity.
Andy does a lot of work with outdoor ministry as well, just as our Lord did, leading many trips to the beautiful Black Forest mountains and elsewhere, such as the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain. This provides great opportunity to evangelize and disciple. “I don’t find any place better than nature to teach about God.”
In the Asian country they serve, few missionaries are allowed any longer, but Andy enters with a tourist visa that allows him to visit several months a year. He works with Sabin, a convert from Hinduism many years ago with a real heart for his people. With help from Andy’s team, Sabin established a training center to offer much-needed instruction for pastors around the country. FBF had a role in funding that project, and an expansion is currently underway.
Do pray for Sabin in Andy’s absence, as he is doing much teaching on his own, a role Andy had led in. Sabin has “stepped up to the plate,” Andy said. Al suggested that sounds like the relationship of Paul to Timothy, as Paul charged Timothy with the task of carrying on. Also remember Sabin as he grieves his mother’s recent death.
There is much opposition to Christianity in this area, though no widespread persecution at this point. Do pray for safety for all the Christians, however, as they carry on activities that technically are illegal and could invite prosecution.
In his sermon today, Andy talked about the attitudes embedded deep inside various cultures. We in the west tend to think of guilt and innocence, while folks in Asia think of honor and shame, and a third paradigm focuses on fear and power. But the gospel speaks to all of these attitudes in beautiful ways. Usually people come to faith in this part of Asia based on miracles, on evidence of power greater than that of the witch doctors, though missionaries are quick to stress that we bow to God out of need of forgiveness, not for what we can get.
The Maiers came to us from Vermont, where they were visiting Andy and Laura Race, a couple they met years ago here at FBF! The Races pass on their greetings to us.
I posted two of the videos Andy showed on our website (fbfellowship.org
), under the missions tab. They will be there only a short time.
During prayer, we asked for Andy and Bethany’s safety as they travel thousands of miles across the country. We prayed for their family—they have four children and Bethany’s parents live in Indiana (near Betty!). They in turn prayed for us and for our own efforts at helping the Afghan refugees who have settled in this area.