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Jess Connell's Going to Germany


During the summer before my senior year of college, a lot of my plans for my life really fell through. I vividly remember spending time in prayer one day, and the Lord very tangibly placed on my heart that if I surrendered my plan to Him, He would open a door I couldn’t fathom or imagine. I started intentionally praying about surrendering my life and plan to God, telling Him that no matter what He asked me to do or where He asked me to go, I would say “yes” to Him. At this point, I wouldn’t have expected or dreamed that God’s plan would have involved international missions.

It wasn’t long after that when my best friend showed me the Gocorp website. Gocorp is a recruiter that looks for college students to do two years of ministry overseas in their degree area. Through them, I learned about a team in Berlin, Germany, that was looking for people with a background in social work to tangibly serve hurting populations such as women in prostitution, immigrants and refugees, or youth at risk in Berlin with the goal of bringing them closer to Jesus. I fell instantly in love with the heart of the team to serve people’s needs as Jesus did in His ministry. Over time, I also fell in love with the city of Berlin and the work God is doing there.

Right now, Berlin is less than 2% evangelical Christian. Berlin is primarily atheist and agnostic, with at least 60% of their city identifying as being in “unbelief”. Berlin is incredibly diverse, representing 180 countries within the city alone, so being in Berlin is a huge opportunity to reflect the love of Jesus to people from so many backgrounds, nations and cultures. What drew me to this work and this team is that everything is centered on partnering with work that is started and led by the church in Berlin. As an American, my role is simply to recognize and partner with how God is already leading and moving the German church, and then to come alongside that work in every way possible. During my two years serving in Berlin, there will be three major components of my ministry. I will get the opportunity to learn German in a secular language school, where I’ll be able to begin a relational ministry with people I meet in school. I’ll also be partnering with a local church. Every member of my team focuses on supporting the growth of different local, German-led churches primarily in East Berlin, where the city is closer to 0% evangelical Christian. I will be able to find my own church and experience doing ministry alongside them. I’ll also be using my degree in social work to support a local gospel initiative. As a team, we resource and support 15 gospel initiatives in the city that serve different populations with the goal of discipling them to Jesus. Historically, some of these initiatives have served women in sex-trafficking, Middle Eastern refugees, hardcore atheists, youth at risk, broken families, ex-pats, and more. My heart right now is pulled towards an anti-trafficking ministry that provides resources for those trying to leave trafficking, but I am open to wherever God leads me to serve. I am thrilled and blessed to be able to come alongside the work God is doing in Berlin. Though it looks so different from what my plan for my life was, I am learning every day to trust the Lord in massive unknowns as He writes the story. I love praying for the Berlin church, and encouraging others to pray for the revival and renewal of Berlin. I can not wait to see all that God does in the coming years!


Interested in supporting Jess?


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To give by check: Payable to: EFCA Memo: “CONNELL 2362”

901 East 78th St Minneapolis , MN 55420-1300

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