by Alex Reimer
GERMANY – Let me tell you about the time that I didn’t see a fox. It was a Saturday after a long, hot week of German language school. I was really looking forward to it because Ted, Freddy and I had planned to get together and go over our plans to film our latest film project, The Josephine Project. Normally we don’t work on Saturdays, but between language school and travel plans this was the best day. So I hopped on my bicycle and biked to the office.
A quick word about the bike ride through the vineyards, small towns and woods of the German Black Forest: Beautiful. Also, I didn’t see any foxes, but I wasn’t really looking for them yet.
I arrived at the office and we began our meeting. After a few hours, we had our plan. My personal plan of biking back home, however, was hindered by the rainstorm that was happening outside. I stared at the rain for a while, but it didn’t seem to notice it was in my way. So instead I decided to have tea with my new, Middle-Eastern co-worker Freddy at his house while I waited out the rain.
Sometimes God sends rain so that we get to meet cool friends from the Middle East. Let me tell you what I learned about Freddy over a chocolate chai latte while the rain came down.
Freddy grew up in a Christian family in a decidedly Muslim country. Despite being from a religious minority, he worked hard and became one of the top video editors for the premier television station in his country. People knew his name. He was making good money and had a stable job in a very competitive industry. And then he gave it all up.
I asked him why. First, he wasn’t comfortable with the censorship going on. And second, he was tired of working for himself and building his own career. He wanted to make a difference and help build God’s kingdom. So even though most of his friends and family thought he was crazy, he quit his job.
That decision put him on a path to Germany, where he’s joining us for two months to teach a media course to the refugees here. Freddy’s passionate about building bridges. Many of the refugees have been turned off by some of the Christian outreach they’ve seen along their journeys, but they are still willing to come to see Arabic movies and learn practical skills. Hopefully, we can help heal some of the wounds from their pasts.
After the rain let up, I was biking home, and I was already writing this story in my head. “What it needs,” I thought, “is some sort of magical little moment to just finish it off nicely.” A wild fox jumping across my path into the golden, sparkling fields around me would have done the trick, so I started looking for foxes.
I didn’t see a fox. Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan.
Alex Reimer (Prairie Grove) is an EMC Associate Missionary and a filmmaker who serves with Greater Europe Mission in Kandern, Germany.