Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

In the Corona Era - Ministry


This Easter weekend was also the annual young people’s retreat. My first one was in 1986 and have been to probably 25 since then. This year it was all on Zoom. The planning committee asked Katy and I if we would have a talk/lecture/sermon on “Driving Hope.” The whole weekend`s theme was “Hope Rope.” There were three talks and we were the second one on Saturday eve but we attended the other two nights and also the closing brunch today, Monday. We knew most of the people on Zoom so it was fun to see so many from all over Germany. We used pictures of my uncle Ralph’s wreck and then refurbished vehicles from the 1930’s as a visual of need for hope as a motor but also how to fuel tank, what the goal is and giving it gas. Several of the young guys loved the car and the analogy.


The other night I kept waking up with one person on my mind. The first time it was a disturbing dream with him in it. The other times it was just normal weird stuff. Anyway… Samuel was in my dream and on my mind so I started praying for him every time I woke up. When I got up, I wrote him a text message that I had dreamed of him and prayed for him. He answered me to thank me for “the warm words.” Please pray for him. A couple of years ago I was teaching him how to preach and he had helped me with the youth group for a couple of years. But now he has a girlfriend and told his family that he no longer believes in God. I have a feeling it is he knows that his present lifestyle does not jive with a God-desired one. He is from a nearby sister congregation.

January 2021

Fireside chats…We have had almost everyone in the church and several non-church people over for “Cake and Coffee” outside on the terrace with a fire blazing. No one has stayed for less than 2 hours. With prep time we are outside over 3 hours and are very thankful for a warm house to come back into. With Lockdown Tight we are now allowed only one person for a visit. So we have had to cancel two dates with couples. We will see about having one person over.


We can not sing in the church services so we play music and have the text projected on the wall. We as a church want to do everything legal so for years we have had a license for playing CDs and singing music. We also have a license to copy the text and project them on the wall. All this means that we have to report what songs we have played or projected. Since Corona we have been using a lot of new songs to report and whereas before we seldom played songs, we are now doing it every week.
One project for July is to gather and list all the information about all the music and text that we have used in the first 6 months so that we can report it and stay legal.