Permission to Build

By Summer Hartzler, serving in Germany

The author serves with Ben and Sarah Carey, who recently wrote “In Community,”  the story of God’s answer to prayer for open doors into Waren, Germany, a city steeped in spiritual darkness after decades under Communist rule.

We couldn’t be happier about the first English day camp in Waren, and it could not have happened without your prayers. It is without a doubt that God heard and acted upon them. What an amazing group of intercessors we have in you!

kids at campThe 55 children who attended the camp worked hard, were super creative, and enjoyed singing and dancing to American songs like “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” and “Happy Birthday.” The children did a great job learning English, and it was evident they loved being there.

During the week, some of us heard about their home lives. No matter the culture, kids want the same thing—love from their parents. I could see it on their faces on the last day as they waited for their parents to attend the final program—a presentation of the English songs the children had learned. They were so proud of themselves, and they wanted their parents to be, too.

Creating Community

The program revealed the importance of this outreach. The camp was meant to be a building block into the Waren community—to create a bridge of trust between us and those who live here. It was an opportunity to love people, in hopes that the aroma of Christ in us would draw them in.

We were brought to tears when the room filled with more than 100 parents and grandparents who came to support their children and affirm what we were doing—offering ourselves to the community.

Many parents expressed a desire to enroll their children in the other activities that we provide during the week. Some inquired about meeting with us so they could learn English.

Key to the City

The Waren mayor, a former teacher, surprised us by attending the program. He was impressed that children chose to attend the camp instead of spending their vacation week doing something else and expressed his appreciation of the event.

Not only was the camp a bridge into the school system but also into the city through the mayor. God uses what He’s given to us, like the English language, to do great things. We just need to be willing to take the risk and go where He leads.  My teammate Ben voiced a different perspective about “building bridges,” saying, “This camp gave us the permit to build the bridge.” Permits can be hard to obtain when working with construction projects; this event provided us with the approval we need to reach the community. The connections we made are vital to the ministry’s forward movement.

I am truly humbled by the power of God we saw this week. Thank you for your partnership through your prayers.

What You Can Do


Join the Alliance family in praying for our international workers in Germany and around the world. They serve in often challenging circumstances that require an extra measure of godly wisdom. Use the Alliance Weekly Prayer Requests to assist you.


  • Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance international workers who are pushing back the darkness as they introduce lost people to the light of Jesus and remind believers of His saving grace.
  • Give now

Learn More

Read about Freischwimmer and other outreaches in Germany.


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