During her year in Bicester on the GreenHouse Gap-Year programme, God certainly gave Julia Konzella some new desires.
The GreenHouse programme works young people through a process of self-discovery and vision-casting. They discover more about their personality and relating habits, they get to try lots of different kinds of ministry to see what they enjoy, and they take inspirational “vision trips” to see how God used other ordinary men and women to build his kingdom.
When Julia arrived for her Gap-Year from Hamburg, Germany she was really unclear about what she wanted to pursue for a career. Ministry wasn’t something she was actively considering, but she took the process of praying and learning seriously and spent a lot of time asking God what He wanted her to do with her life.
At the end of the 10-month process Julia emerged with a clear calling that she believes she has been given by God. She wanted to start a gap-year programme in her city of Hamburg to help others grow in their relationship with God, but also to help them experience youth ministry training.
“Through my years with Reign Ministries I have been able to experience good youth leading education. This is not available at all in Hamburg,” said Julia.
For three years, as she worked on her degree and gained vital youth ministry experience, Julia has spoken often of her desire to start a gap-year programme in Germany that would train youth leaders. She has not known how that might happen or even when -was this a calling for now or for many years from now?
First steps toward the desires of her heart
Julia is a student with us, so that means that she is serving a local church in Germany by leading it’s youth ministry. Every time Julia came for conference in the UK our team would talk with her about her desire to start a gap year programme to train youth leaders. There has always been more questions than answers. Where would she base out of? How would she be funded? How would the programme be paid for? Despite all the questions, Julia did not let the calling in her heart grow faint. At 21-years-old she continued to pray and trust.
In May of 2019 Julia took on an additional role as the leader of the Together for Hamburg youth division. Together for Hamburg is a network of 120 churches and Christian organisations who work together to create city-wide events.
“All youth events in Hamburg are presented to me and I am involved in the planning and decision on whether it makes sense to start them in Hamburg,” she explained. “This is a great responsibility and my heart behind doing it is to build relationships with the other youth leaders in Hamburg. Many youth leaders in Hamburg feel alone and hardly have any support. I believe that in order to have good quality youth work, training is needed. So this year I will start a youth leader community to support the other youth leaders. “
Answered Prayer and Big Changes ahead
Julia is nearing the end of her degree and together with her fiancée, Jonas, has been looking for a church where they can both serve. Jonas is a Pastor who is also just finishing his training. This past month Julia and Jonas were offered a job at Elim Church in Hamburg. The leadership at Elim listened to Julia’s vision to train youth leaders through a gap-year programme and have offered to pay her to work out her vision through their church.
We are so excited for Julia, for the young people at Elim Hamburg, and the youth volunteers across Hamburg who will benefit from Julia’s care and shepherding.
We really do serve a God who gives us the desires of our hearts.
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