11.11.2011 start of carnival

On the edge of the dance floor – “You cannot be serious!”

Matthias Rehder read sciences in Hamburg, a clever guy without a doubt. His upbringing and family could partly be to blame: his father is a chemistry professor at the university. Ideal prerequisites. You either inherit or learn intelligence. Matthias is not only clever, but also handsome, i.e. the ideal mix in order to be successful in Western European society. Two years later he passes his final degree in maths and chemistry with merit.

God has absolutely no say in his life: his parents did not baptise him, he was never confirmed and he looks down on those people around him who need “a higher power” in order to get their lives sorted. He feels he is happy with himself and the world around him. Fortunately he does not need the religious crutch. Young, healthy and interested in this and that. After watching a film about the 30 Years War Matthias starts reading a New Testament. He wants to know why people bashed their heads in 350 years ago because of it. He is surprised that the story about Jesus is narrated four times at the start of his reading. His Luther Bible is old and is a hard read, but he is not put off; he ploughs his way through the 400 pages and feels he has done a further thing for his general education.

11.11.2011 – the fifth season of the year starts. Late in the evening the 27 year old is sitting in a bar with friends. The residents of Hamburg do not celebrate carnival as intensely as those in Cologne, but an after-work-beer is always on the cards. Suddenly he meets an attractive young lady, called Jennifer Serec. As they get talking, she suddenly leads the conversation onto the topic of faith in a personal God. Wow, Matthias has never met any woman of this sort before. Not long afterwards the two of them continue their conversation, standing on the edge of the dance floor. Matthias notices that the student studying social education always shines when she speaks about her experiences with God. A woman from a different planet and a topic of conversation both of which he had never expected to find in this location. Two hours later and Matthias starts to realise that Jennifer really believes in what she speaks about in such glowing and warm colours. That night as he falls onto his pillow he can only shake his head in disbelief. Has not science explained the world sufficiently and there is no space left for a God in heaven?!

Matthias cannot stop thinking about their conversation. Jennifer is seriously special and Matthias always enjoys their intense philosophical discussions. They meet again and talk and strive to answer the question: Who was Jesus Christ? Did he really rise from the dead? Shortly afterwards Matthias starts reading Christian books, e.g. some by C.S. Lewis, the famous Oxford professor, or by Timothy Keller from the USA. Step by step the Hamburger resident dives into a totally different world and is soon invited to a church event hosted by born-again Christians. He sees that Jennifer is not the only one who actively lives her life with God.

After his traineeship both of them take a sabbatical and visit a Christian community in South India. Here the former agnostic and sceptic is baptised in the Indian Ocean on Christmas Day 2013. One year later Jennifer and Matthias are married.

Their lives develop in fascinating paths. In the autumn 2017 they started working as missionaries at a school in Nepal. They wanted to fill the gap until they found jobs where they could work long-term. They had just started their jobs when a volunteer working with them in Nepal told them about Diospi Suyana. In the middle of the Himalayas family Rehder watched the film about the “Hospital of Faith”. Incredible. The two of them simply cannot get this missionary hospital out of their heads. Jennifer gets hold of the first book “I have seen God” electronically, while she finds the second “God has seen us” on her mother’s bedside table on one of their visits home.

Since almost immediately three teachers are found for the school in Nepal Jennifer and Matthias see their Asian mission accomplished. The two of them have many plans for the Diospi-Suyana-School. Two people, who know that God is leading them. A journey that started on the edge of the dance floor when a woman suddenly said: “I trust in God!” /KDJ