Ariel Germany is one of the oldest branches of Ariel Ministries. The work in the German speaking countries started in the 1980s when Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s book on eschatology, Footsteps of the Messiah, was translated into German. Many copies were sold, and Arnold became a regular and sought after speaker at the Lausanne Endtimes Conferences. It was also this book that helped reconnect Arnold with the daughter of a Lutheran pastor who was instrumental in his coming to faith. The pastor’s name was Theo Burgstahler. He and his daughter Hanna ministered to Jewish refugees who fled from Russian persecution and waited in Displaced Persons Camps in Germany for their papers to emigrate into different countries. The Fruchtenbaum family was on the way to the United States when Theo and Hanna met them. Just before they left the camp, Theo handed the front page of a magazine published by ABMJ (American Board of Missions to the Jews) with the address of a branch in New York City. Thinking that this was an organization that was eager to help Jewish immigrants to settle in the new country, Arnold’s mom kept the paper and eventually even managed to make her way to the ABMJ. Through the visit there, Arnold met Ruth Wardell who introduced him to his Lord and Savior.
Fast forward to the early 1990s and a little town in Germany. Hanna’s husband, Manfred, who was familiar with her father’s work in the Displaced Persons Camps, came across Footsteps of the Messiah, recognized the name, and bought it for his wife. She in turn wrote a letter to the United States in which she asked if this Arnold Fruchtenbaum might be able to tell her what became of little Arichek Fruchtenbaum whom she had met decades ago in Germany. To make a long story short, the letter led to a meeting with Arnold and the Kunstlers and to Manfred starting the Ariel work in Germany. In 2004, Manfred decided to turn the work which at this point consisted mostly of translation work over to Georg Hagedorn, a young man from Dusseldorf, who, in 2010, turned the work into a full-fledged branch.
From the onset, the vision for the work in Germany was to bring on several solid believers and develop a team that could carry the ministry into a fruitful future. So while Georg was instrumental in translating Arnold’s teaching during his extensive tours through Germany and distribute the newsletter as well as publish the books, he kept his eyes open for willing and capable brothers and sisters whom he could add to the team. There now is a growing team of people, who are devoting their efforts and energy to this important work. This team of devoted volunteers make up a branch that has proven to be a great blessing to the ever growing Messianic community and the evangelical believers in the German speaking countries.
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