01 Feb A Holy Setup- My Life with Germany
By Rev. Stephen McPeek
My friends came to the airport to bid me farewell as I ventured out into the world as a 17 year old adventurer. These pictures represent two defining things in my life that impact me up until today:
TOUCHED BY GOD
A CONNECTION WITH AND A CALL TO GERMANY
Shortly before I left, I received a cassette recording from Clark Johnson, State Future Farmer’s of America president from Montana (I was state president of FFA in Hawaiʻi). It started with a hymn „I am weak but Thou art strong,“ followed by a modern day sermon on the prodigal son. It puzzled and stirred me. When Clark found out I was heading to Germany, he invited me to stop in Montana on my way. On the day I left Hawaiʻi, I wrote in my journal, “This year I want to find God and I want to find myself.“
In Montana Clark took me to church and God touched me to deeply. And then he took me to a youth camp and the touch went deeper. That touch set me on a path of faith and love that carries me still.
I arrived in Germany and was placed in a German family in Altenstadt (I went to Gymnasium in Büdingen) where my Mom, “Mutti”, and the brother my age were devout Christians. They helped to shape me over that year that would eventually lead to a call to serve God in Germany. I did not choose Germany, I was sent here. In fact, I didn’t get my country papers until 2 weeks before departure.
There is no denying that the encounter with Clark was a divine appointment and that the path to Germany was a divine calling. I ended up majoring in German Language and Literature and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction. Today I speak German very fluently and feel so at home here. I have had the privilege of living here for 19 1/2 years thus far.
I loved Mutti and I really hope she would hold on until we got here in the summer of 2019. She did and we got to have a number of very deep and meaningful times of prayer and fellowship before she transitioned to the greater life. I miss her dearly. She played such a huge role in my spiritual life and my life in Germany.
I am so thankful that God has brought me back to Germany and that I have the privilege of serving as priest in charge at the Anglican/Episcopal Church of Christ the King in Frankfurt, just a stone’s throw from where I lived as an exchange student. It is truly coming full circle.
I give thanks for my dear family and friends who gave me a worthy send off into a life that has been so rich and rewarding.