Learning a new language is difficult enough; but arriving on the first day of school just to find out we’ve been kicked out is another story! Let us tell you the story.
We had been patiently waiting for intensive language school to start for a few months now. Because of the refugee crisis in Germany and Europe, there is a dire need for language classes and language teachers. In Germany, if you want to work, you have to be proficient enough to speak the language. There is even a test to show what you have learned at the end of the course!
Because of the mass immigration of refugees into Germany, we are considered “non-critical” learners in most institutions. In otherwords, we may very well have a spot reserved in a class but are easily replaced by those who need it more. The school we had been planning to attend started Monday. We packed our bags, ate a good breakfast and arrived early. Normally the instructors limit the class to 20 students, but 36 people were present. The director split the group into two different classes and off we went. We began our first lesson and things seemed to be going well. But when the classroom door opened next, the director pointed to us and said there was no longer space for us in the class. We had to leave.
We didn’t know what to think. There were two new students waiting to take our places — who had been ordered by the government to learn German — so we didn’t really have a choice. Once we stepped outside, the director explained German law to us and said there is always the chance people will drop out of the class and we could then have a spot. We tried to explain our limited knowledge of German and how important language learning is for us as missionaries.
The Holy Spirit must have been working. The director’s tone changed and looked at us compassionately, saying I can “bend the rules.” (This is something Germans RARELY, if EVER, do). There was another intensive class reserved strictly for refugees. The class is an amazing fit in many ways. First, the timing allows both of us to study intensively as it overlaps with the girls’ morning school schedule and the class is much closer than the original location — a 5 minute walk from our home.
What’s more? We have been praying about ways to build relationships with refugees here in Germany. And here we are, studying and integrating into the country alongside these men and women. We cannot wait to see what friendships and mutual learning will develop from this experience. Would you please pray for us? For our spots in the course to remain secure, for strong connections with our teachers and classmates, and for us to see how God is working, no matter the outcome.