Andreas and Chris have been a gift to us, the exact spiritual parenthood the Lord chose. They are a showcase of loyalty and faithfulness to those who’ve truly known them and an example of the consistency required in following Christ. We’ve had the privilege of seeing them walk out, not only a professed faith but also an active one – for almost 20 years now.
Both of them are spiritually strong and quick to obey the Lord, certainly complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They have opened up their hearts and embraced their congregation as a true spiritual father and mother would, sharing not only in the victories of their family but also the pain oftentimes associated when you choose to be open, transparent and vulnerable towards those you serve.
Andreas is very frank, direct and forthright and wears his heart on his sleeve. As a spiritual Father and leader he provides good counsel. He is determined, long suffering, decisive and has ‘set his face as flint’ as he’s journeyed with the Lord – a combination of an Elijah, Jeremiah and Joshua. He has always encouraged one to mature in their faith and to hear God for themselves rather than become too dependent on man.
Chris is a faithful woman, a pillar in the church, easy to chat to and a ‘take no nonsense’ kind of mother figure. She is solid, defensive and protective and has been heavily involved in supporting Andreas, behind the scenes. A kind of Naomi and Ruth rolled into one.
In a practical sense Andreas has been there for us at some pivotal junctions in life – filling in some key areas that a natural father never did. He has provided us with wise counsel when we’ve needed direction, encouraged us in establishing our business, warned us not to be unequally yoked, cautioned us to be careful to who and what we listen to and advised us to stop renting and purchase a home. His availability during a particularly dark and challenging time will always be remembered. He has also said ‘no’ at the right times, giving us the advice we needed to hear rather than what we wanted to hear, just as the Lord would, having developed a balance of when to use the staff and when to use the rod.
It is an honour for Alana and I to serve under their ministry.