Hello! My name is Manuel Franke, I am 23 years old, I live in Mannheim Germany and I am currently studying at the university of Heidelberg.
I grew up in a Christian family with three sisters. My father is one of the eldest in our church, FreieBaptistenGemeinde Mannheim. I am very thankful that I had the privilege to grow up in a Christian family, because otherwise I wouldn’t know where I would be today.
When I was still little I went to church with my family every Sunday. Not only in church, but also at home I enjoyed a Christian education. Before my sisters and I went to bed, we always read a story of the bible together.
I was still young, when I decided to confess my sins and accepted Christ as my savior.
On October 10th, 2004, when I was 13 years old, I got baptized. The whole time I was growing up, I never had any doubtsthat God exists and that he sent his son Jesus who was crucified for our sins. But a deep, intimate relationship with reading in the bible regularly and praying wasn’t always there. As I got older, in my teenage years, I continued to go to church and to the teengroup of our church but my interest in going there wasn’t that big. I still believed in God, but I was missing that relationship to him. In everyday life, I didn’t have much to do with God. My main interest was having fun, which was the reason I wasn’t that happy. It was more important to me, I had fun on a Saturday evening with my friends than being fit on Sundays to go to church at 10 o’clock. I wasn’t happy with the whole situation and felt empty, because I had many things but Jesus as the number one in my life. When I was 17, during 11th grade, I went to America, Dallas, Texas. I spent a year abroad and got the high school diploma. There I went to a Christian private school named Temple Christian Academy as well as Temple Baptist Church.
During that time I was practically only surrounded by Christian believers and my personal relationship to Jesus Christ grew a lot. I was able to experience him in many new ways andrealized again, that you’re only happy, when you put Jesus as the number one in your heart. When I got back to Germany the beginning wasn’t easy for me at all. I had to do two more years in school and at that point of time most of my friends weren’t believers. I feared I could fall back into the same habits I had before I went to America and I didn’t want that. There is a bible verse that was really important toduring time. It is written in Philippians 4,13: “I can do all things through Christ whostrenghteneth me.” It didn’t take a long time and I found myself surrounded by many new Christian friends in our church as well as in your church here. Today I am very glad how God has led me and I am thankful that I can call me one of Gods children. I don’t want to live one day without him. I can say that every Sunday I go to church with joy in my heart and I that I want to follow Gods plan for my life. This is exactly what I want for everybody, that they can find the peace in Jesus Christ. Thank you very much.