Tiews (Germany) Update – October 2022

News from the Tiews Family

Sharing the Gospel in Germany

Latest posts from on 10/26/2022

Meet Your German or Iranian Neighbor

By Rev. Tiews on 18/10/22


This picture was taken at a “Meet Your German or Iranian Neighbor” workshop recently held at Redeemer Lutheran (SELK), Düsseldorf. Notice anything? Almost everyone is facing the camera, including the Iranians. Before taking the picture, the cameraman pointed out that anyone not wishing to be recognized (for fear of their image winding up in the hands of Iranian security) was free to turn away. Almost no one did. In fact, someone even blurted out, “Why turn around? The mullahs are on their way out!” Everyone cheered at that statement. Organized by Rev. Gerhard Triebe, pastor of Redeemer Düsseldorf, and Rev. Walter Hein, pastor emeritus of the Church of the Cross, Witten, this workshop provided an excellent venue for the two groups to get to know one another better—both in private conversations and also through the testimony of many Iranian church members regarding their refugee / immigration experience. Once again, we heard the stunning statistic that less than 20 percent of Iranians are interested in Islam. In fact, many observers feel that were the mullahs to disappear tomorrow, a large percentage of the population would become or reveal themselves as already being Christian. This flies in the face of the Iran we all thought we knew, where for decades we’ve seen pictures of angry mobs supporting the Ayatollah. Please continue to stand alongside your LCMS missionaries, and our brothers and sisters in the SELK, as we share the Gospel with these brave Iranian women and men. We pray that the cruel Iranian regime would soon be swept into the dustbin of history—not only so that the oppressed would be liberated, but especially so that Christianity would once again be able to flourish in one of the first regions to embrace our faith. After all, one of the oldest churches in the world (built in 66 A.D.—during St. Paul’s lifetime) is in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran!


Painful Adjustments

By Rev. Tiews on 11/10/22


My left shoulder has been bothering me for weeks and I recently went to an osteopath. As I lay down on the bench, he soon started to pull and stretch my arm and knead my shoulder. We chit-chatted and I mentioned that I am a missionary. Last Friday I went back for another session. Working on my shoulder again, he asked, “You’re a missionary, aren’t you?” “That’s right.” “Are you a pastor, too?” “Yes, I am.” “Are pastors also Seelsorger?” using the German term for those who “care for the soul.” “Certainly,” I replied. “In addition to preaching and teaching, pastoral counseling is one of our main tasks.” “Do you have parishioners who are fearful these days— what with all the craziness going on—not knowing if we’ll have enough heat this winter…that crazy man in Russia threatening us all with nuclear weapons…?” “Yes, a lot of people are frightened and it’s no wonder. We are living in very strange times.” “Are you fearful too? “Not really…there are already so many things in life we can’t control—just take your heartbeat for example—now we just have a few more things that we have no power over. But 2 Corinthians 12:9 offers a wonderful solution…aaah…” He had just moved my arm into a painful position. “Jesus Christ tells us, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” What He means is that in our weaknesses we Christians should draw not from ourselves but from Christ’s own strength. Think of it this way: our health, personal relationships, finances, security—all of them very good things—are like water in a drinking glass. But sometimes God allows that water to be poured out—and that is painful!—to make more room in our drinking glass…for His wine. Like John the Baptist says, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). “Hmmm… that makes me feel better. Drawing from Christ’s strength because we are often running on empty…Thank you for that… How is your shoulder?” “Still hurts,” I grinned.


Remembering God in Times of Trouble

By Rev. Tiews on 05/10/22


Last Sunday I was privileged to baptize my first Iranian person (see baptismal certificate). After the Persian-language Divine Service there was a reception—also to celebrate the belated birthday of Zion Hamburg’s pastor, Rev. Bernhard Schütze. The fellowship hall was packed. To my amazement, several people pressed up to me to request a brand-new baptismal instruction class—namely, for a young woman (together with her a 5-month-old baby) and an unrelated man. Thank you, dear Holy Spirit, for working in the hearts of people around the globe! On a different note, what struck me was that church attendance that morning had almost doubled. Certainly, this could have been due to the Baptism. But the young man who was baptized does not have any family here in Hamburg. I am more inclined to think that the jump in attendance was due to a totally different matter. Our parishioners continue to be mesmerized by the developments in their homeland. For over two weeks now, Iranians back home and around the world—in Hamburg as well—have been organizing demonstrations to protest the brutal regime strangling their homeland since 1979. People are agitated, fearful, and perplexed—yet also hopeful. Where do you receive comfort when consumed by mixed emotions? From your psychologist? Barber or hairdresser? Candy Crush? In times of joy, times of thanksgiving—in all times in between—but especially in times of crisis, believers gravitate toward the house of God. Remember how churches across America were packed right after 9/11? Praise God that even thousands of miles away from their homeland, in faithful churches the world over, Iranian Christians can receive the gifts of Word and Sacrament, which alone impart our triune God’s forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God!” (Ps 84:1-2).

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12


Mahsa Amini and Iran

By Rev. Tiews on 28/09/22

Ten days ago, a young woman, Mahsa Amini, was arrested in Tehran for not wearing her hijab (head covering) in accordance with Islamic law. Tragically, she died in prison that same night—under very mysterious circumstances. News of her death soon got out, sparking Iran-wide protests. Only God knows how these demonstrations might impact the current political situation, but they seem to be gaining traction day by day. In the meantime, the government has shut down the Internet to stymy the coordination of anti-regime protests and to try to prevent news of unrest from spreading. As I write this, over forty demonstrators have been killed in clashes with government forces. Last week many of our Iranian church members here in Hamburg asked whether we might organize a special prayer service to pray for the explosive situation in their homeland—and also for their relatives who cannot leave the country. We had more people attend that service than we typically get on a Sunday morning. Some of the women even set up a little memorial in honor of Mahsa outside the walls of the church (see picture) and gathered in front of it, weeping. In my homily, I sought to provide comfort by pointing out that, while the death of one person may impact the history of Iran, we know for a fact that the death—and resurrection—of another person, also God Himself, impacted the history of the entire planet. As Caiaphas himself said—ironically, not aware of the depth of his words: “…it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” John the Evangelist explains: “…he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:50-52). Please join us as we pray for the people and country of Iran, that the death of Mahsa Amini would not be in vain and that the Lord would work great miracles out of this extremely volatile situation.


A Joyful and Authentic Christian

By Rev. Tiews on 27/09/22


Summoned before the Roman governor to defend his Christian faith, Paul confessed Jesus Christ—cheerfully (Acts 24:10). *** Several years ago, an Iranian couple fled to Hamburg and applied for asylum. They testified that, if sent back, they would be incarcerated because they had had difficulties with the Iranian government. Sadly, their request for asylum was denied. But the couple appealed. Someone suggested that joining a church might improve their chances of being approved. They heard about Trinity Lutheran Church, pastored by Rev. Andreas Rehr, and took baptismal preparation classes. But whatever their motivation for seeking out a church may have been initially, at a certain point the Holy Spirit took over. Big time. Yesterday the Iranian couple was back in court, defending their appeal. The situation had changed drastically because they had since become Christians. If deported to Iran now, they would be executed. To assess the veracity of their claims, the judge asked them to defend their faith in Christ. And they did—like Paul, cheerfully—explaining that they had come to realize that they are sinners—as we all are—but that Jesus Christ had paid the price for their sins. They attend the Divine Service every week and rejoice over everything they have learned. Both were baptized on Easter 2021. I leaned forward as the judge asked Rev. Rehr to comment. Taking the stand, he replied, “I cannot look into anyone’s heart. But from everything I have witnessed about this couple’s lifestyle, they are joyful and authentic Christians. They impress me greatly.” The judge responded: “All your statements corroborate. Please stand.” Everyone rose from their chairs. “I hereby grant your request for asylum.” Tears were rolling down many cheeks. “From my point of view, you are indeed authentic Christians.” If *you* were summoned before a court, would a judge be able to assess your lifestyle and conclude that you are an authentic Christian—even a cheerful one?

Rev. Andreas Rehr


Recent Articles:

The Good Samaritan in Hamburg
What does Jesus Christ *mean*?
Finally! Congregations Get Together Again
Lutherans in Dispersion
For those who love God

Thank you to all who have already supported the wonderful mission work that is being done by our many LCMS missionaries in Eurasia and around the world. Thank you also for partnering directly with us—the Tiews family. If you are not yet partnering with us, below are various ways in which you can do so.
Praise the LORD that
Jesus took a sinful agnostic guy, forgave him, and is now using him to bring the Gospel to a land in which so many people do not know Jesus Christ.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Giving by Check: Please make your check payable to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and write “Rev. Tiews-Germany Support” on the memo line.  Mail to: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod P.O. Box 66861 St. Louis, MO 63166-6861
(Or call 888-930-4438 to speak with a Contributor Care specialist.)

You can also send your gift to:

Mission Central
40718 Highway E16
Mapleton, IA  51034-7105
Include “Rev. Tiews-Germany Support” on the memo line or give online at Mission Central.




Tiews Family · Eichendorffstr. 6 · Telgte 48291 · Germany