When Johannes started attending university, there were 600 other law students. Had it not been for God’s creative orchestration, Agata would have just been one more face in that sea of strangers. But on the first day, in one of the student orientation activities, they “just happened” to be put in the same small group. They were told to write down their names and birthdates. Johannes noticed Agata right away. She shared his birthday—month, day and year. That was the start of both a friendship and a lifetime together.
Johannes was born and raised in Germany. His family belonged to the state church, but he didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian. Everyone called themselves a Christian and Johannes just assumed he was one too. But as time went on, he struggled to come to grips with the true meaning of life.
Agata grew up in Poland. Everything she knew about God was only religion and tradition and she always felt an inner emptiness. Like Johannes, she just couldn’t find purpose or satisfaction.
While Agata was still in school, a friend gave her a copy of The Stranger in German. It sat untouched on her bookshelf for five years. When she finally took it down from the shelf, it was to give to Johannes. Agata and Johannes had become very good friends and their discussions had begun to include God and their questions about purpose and life.
Johannes read The Stranger and understood the gospel for the first time. He gave the book back to Agata and told her she should read it as well. She did. And she too recognized her need for Jesus’ salvation and put her faith in him. For both Johannes and Agata, their discovery of the incredible grace of God made them want to help others understand the gospel and be saved.
Johannes and Agata’s friendship deepened and in 2006, two years after they became believers, they were married. They have two sons, Julian (born 2010) and Liron (born 2012). God began to give them multiple opportunities to share the gospel, and in 2011 they started to lead Bible studies using The Stranger. In 2014, after visiting the Canadian and US GoodSeed offices and meeting with the staff, Johannes and Agata decided to join the ministry. They are now part of the European team, working from the office in Detmold, Germany.
Johannes works more on the administrative side in the GoodSeed office—setting up the European webstore, working with printers to print our resources, doing the bookkeeping, communicating with customers and figuring out the most cost-efficient ways to ship resources. Agata comes into the office two mornings a week. She records the stories of those who become believers and helps with translation work. She will also be the contact person for Christian bookstores and Bible schools.
And then there are the Bible studies. Between Johannes and the other GoodSeed staff, they lead four studies a week, with an average of eight people in each study. These take time, but are so rewarding as participants come to personal faith and are established in God’s Word. There is a lot of interest in these studies. Johannes says people just keep coming and asking for them. What’s even more exciting is that there are participants from these studies who are now leading their own.
It has been estimated that only 3% of Germany’s population actually knows what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Between that statistic and the influx of Muslim refugees fleeing the Syrian crisis, the needs and opportunities are almost endless for both evangelism and discipleship. Johannes and Agata know that the only solution to dead traditionalism, growing secularism and militant Islam is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please pray with us for the Marynioks.
1. Refugee crisis opportunity. Millions of refugees are pouring into Europe, with the majority wanting to settle in Germany. Almost every city has a camp for refugees. These refugees are predominantly Muslim, and many are disappointed in their religion because of ISIS. They have never known a God of love and are open to hearing about Jesus from the European Christians. Johannes and Agata say that the biggest prayer need right now is to reach the refugees with the gospel. Agata has been introducing All that the Prophets Have Spoken to ministries and churches who are actively working amongst the refugees. Pray that the Christians in Europe would not be frightened by the influx of Muslims, but instead reach out in love with the gospel. Pray that GoodSeed resources would get into the hands of the refugees and that the GoodSeed staff would know the best way to go about this exciting and yet mammoth task.
2. Equipping the church. Johannes and Agata and the rest of the GoodSeed Europe staff would love to see training done in every church in Germany. A lot of people want to make disciples but don’t know how to do it. Pray for the time, resources and staffing needed to be able to visit and equip the churches in both Germany and the rest of Europe.
3. Wisdom. Both Johannes and Agata sense a great hunger and openness in Germany and the rest of Europe. The opportunities can seem overwhelming at times. The German team needs a lot of wisdom to decide which projects to start, which invitations to accept, and which contacts to pursue. They are a very small team and can only do so much. Pray with them in the many decisions of what to do and where to go. Pray that Johannes and Agata would be encouraged and strengthened as they walk in obedience to God each day.
If you would like more information on how to come alongside Johannes and Agata in prayer and support, please visit oneinsixty.com »
If you are keen to explore being part of our European team, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.