Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Published in Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine,

this is the inspiring story of a family that remained committed to living out their Christian faith under totalitarian regimes and would not let life’s circumstances keep them down.

Synopsis

From the Nazi regime of Hitler’s Germany to the end of World War II and the rise of Communism, from the erection of the Berlin Wall to its celebrated fall, three generations of Michael’s family stayed true to their faith in God under dictatorial regimes. Enduring hardships and sacrifices, they witnessed God’s faithfulness, provision and sustaining power.  Their dramatic journey through turbulent times of European history ultimately took them from trials to triumph.

A SCHOOL TEACHER IN NAZI GERMANY
Hitler

Source: www.wiesenthaltheplay.com

Michael’s grandfather was the only public school teacher in his city who refused to join the Nazi Party under Hitler. In 1939, the Nazis marched into his house. They demanded that he take down the painting of Jesus Christ hanging above his desk, join their party and conform to their beliefs. He took courage and declared “This painting remains!” Because he refused to join their party, he experienced persecution, lost his teaching position and was sent to the war. After overcoming many odds, and being pulled from execution at the last minute, he returned home alive, proclaiming as he did before: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”

A PASTOR UNDER COMMUNISM

Michael’s father lost his career in banking for refusing to join the Communist Party. The communists believed they had silenced another Christian voice, yet his voice only became stronger. He became a pastor proclaiming the Gospel in Communist East Germany. When Secret Police agents infiltrated congregations, he told them to do what the government had sent them to do – and listen. Then he shared the Good News.

A STUDENT BEHIND THE BERLIN WALL
EPSON scanner image

Foto: Diane Oesterreich

Growing up in a pastor’s family behind the Berlin Wall, Michael learned at a young age to defend his faith in an atheist society and socialist education system. He and his siblings were among 2 percent of East German students who refused to join the Communist youth organizations and conform to their beliefs. Michael had to choose between his faith and such rights and privileges as receiving a driver’s license, participating in his high school graduation ceremony and attending college. When his classmates went on their senior trip, Michael was put on a construction site to carry stones and clean up the trash for this one week instead.

A LEGACY OF FAITH

In difficult moments of life, Michael did what he had seen his parents and grandparents do before him: He remembered what Jesus Christ had gone through for him. After being mocked, ridiculed, beaten and spit at, Jesus was nailed to the cross to die for our Salvation. Yet, Michael knew that Christ had risen and that he would provide the strength to follow Him. Michael learned that his self-worth did not derive from the acceptance of his classmates and the world around him but by knowing who he was in the eyes of God, that he was loved and uniquely created and that God had a plan and purpose for his life.

FREEDOM AT LAST

berlin wall fall

As a teenager Michael took part in the Peaceful Revolution that started within the East German churches and brought down the Berlin Wall. When his family stepped over the rubble of the Berlin Wall into freedom and were reunited with their grandparents and relatives on the other side, they looked back and realized:

“Nazi Germany had ended in ruins and ashes. Communist East Germany had collapsed. The Berlin Wall had come down. Our faith had remained and outlasted totalitarian regimes and man-made empires. It taught us to put our trust in a kingdom that could not be shattered nor destroyed. It allowed us to experience the truth of God’s promise — that we can be More Than Conquerors.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STORY

Take a QUICK TOUR by clicking the arrows:

Quote 1 - More Than Conquerors:

PaintingOfChrist-1“My grandfather took courage, stood up to them and declared: “This painting remains!” He refused to take it down, join the Nazi Party or to conform to their beliefs. It was a bold choice that would have dramatic consequences…”

Quote 2 - More Than Conquerors:

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA:  KOREAN WAR/DEATH & DESTRUCTION“After six years of war my grandfather returned home alive proclaiming as he did before: “I know that my redeemer lives.” When Nazi Germany lay in ruins, ashes and rubble, my grandparents still stood on the firm foundation they had built their lives on; – their faith in Jesus Christ and in a kingdom that could not be shattered nor destroyed.”

Quote 3 - More Than Conquerors:

“Our Bible did not speak about easy and comfortable Christianity. It spoke about denying yourself, picking up your cross and following your Lord and Savior in good and in difficult times, even when it costs you.”  

Quote 4 - More Than Conquerors:

BerlinWallBike“My father was told that his ‘hostile philosophies’ were poisoning the work atmosphere and was forced to resign. Having lost his career for his Christian faith he found himself on the street. The Communists believed that they had silenced another Christian voice. Yet, his voice was just about to be heard…”

Quote 5 - More Than Conquerors:

Young Mike“Growing up in a pastor’s family I learned at a young age to defend my faith in an atheist society and socialist education system that taught that God did not exist. At home I learned that God had sent his son to die for my Salvation. I had to make a choice. And I had to make that choice at seven years old…”

Quote 6 - More Than Conquerors:

PioniereDDR“During flag raising ceremony all classes had to line up in front of the school in almost military order. I was the only boy in school not wearing the uniform of the Young Communist Pioneers. There were two girls who didn’t wear it, either. They were my sisters. We were the only three students at school refusing to join the Communist youth organizations. Now there was no place for us to hide…”

Quote 7 - More Than Conquerors:

Jugendweihe“The ceremony of Passage into Adulthood required of every student to pledge allegiance to Communism. How adult would I be if I didn’t have courage to take stand for my faith? Wasn’t it more important to be an adult in God’s kingdom and to gain His approval rather than the approval of man? But how much more fun would my classmates make of me if I would be the only one remaining a child in their eyes..?”

Quote 8 - More Than Conquerors:

“If I wanted to make real with my faith I could not follow God and the world at the same time. I could not walk the fence. I had to make a choice…”

Quote 9 - More Than Conquerors:

“God was not a God of compromise! When Jesus gave his life on the cross he gave it fully, totally and completely, – not just a little.  When we return our love and faithfulness to him, we are called to do so fully, totally, and completely, as well, not just a little. If we don’t make Jesus Christ Lord OF ALL, we don’t make him Lord AT ALL.”

Quote 10 - More Than Conquerors:

“I had to chose between my faith and receiving my driver’s licence. For the rest of Communist history behind the Berlin Wall I rode my rattling bike, listening to the laughter and ridicule of my classmates who passed me with their motorbikes and called me a fool for the decision I had made. Deep in my heart I knew that I had more than they had…”

Quote 11 - More Than Conquerors:

“I knew that my self-worth did not derive from the respect and acceptance of my peers. It came from knowing who I was in the eyes of God; – that he loved me, that I was created unique with a plan and purpose for my life…”

Quote 12 - More Than Conquerors:

“In difficult moments of life I wanted to look up to Jesus Christ and remember what he had gone through for me; how he was beaten and spit at, how they pierced thorns into his head and nailed him to the cross to die for my Salvation. He had remained strong. He didn’t compromise. He wasn’t lukewarm or wishy-washy. He gave his very life so I could live…”

Quote 13 - More Than Conquerors:

“I knew that Jesus had risen. He was not just a good teacher, philosopher or role model who changed his society at his time and then remained dead in the grave like other teachers and philosophers before and after him. Jesus had risen! He was alive! He would give us the strength to follow him in good and in difficult times, even if we had to go against the odds…”

Quote 14 - More Than Conquerors:

Tausch“Out of the churches we marched into the streets with burning candles in our hands, with songs of praise and freedom on our lips, approaching the soldiers that were lined up in the streets and around the churches, armed and waiting for orders to shoot…”

Quote 15 - More Than Conquerors:

Abzug der ersten Kubaner aus Angola“One lady kneeling on the street praying surrounded by armed soldiers, military and STASI secret police rose up and put a flower into the muzzle of a gun. She watched a tear run down the soldier’s cheek who deep inside his heart might have been longing for freedom and liberty, as well…”

Quote 16 - More Than Conquerors:

Skype4“Nazi Germany had ended in ruin and rubble. The Communist regime had collapsed. The Berlin Wall had come down and was now sold in little pieces in souvenir stores. Our faith had remained and outlasted totalitarian regimes and man-made empires. It had allowed us to overcome and triumph. It had taught us to build our lives on a foundation that will last and to put our trust and faith into a kingdom that cannot be shattered nor destroyed…”

Quote 17 - More Than Conquerors:

ConquerorsIntro3“When the Berlin Wall came down we were reunited with family on the other side. Grandpa asked what we wanted to inherit and I pointed to the painting of Christ over his study desk. He looked at me with a gentle smile; “I have never taken down this painting; not when the Nazis demanded so, not when the Communists did. I always wanted to follow God first. I want this painting to remain over my study desk for the rest of my life. But once the Lord has called me home it shall be passed on to you as my legacy… “

Quote 18 - More Than Conquerors:

ConquerorsIntro3“The painting of Jesus Christ now hangs over my study desk. I have promise to God that I shall never take it down. And I pray that when tough times should come again, or one day reach the shores of this great nation that I can know once more that it’s not by my own strength I have to stand. Good times or bad times, freedom, dictatorship or persecution, HE will give us the strength to follow him…”

Quote 19 - More Than Conquerors:

man_silhouette_in_doorway_sjpg12118“Under Communism there was a black and white. I had to make a choice! I could not walk the fence! Under freedom this line is blurred. There is a huge grey area and it has become easy to follow God and the world at the same time.”

Quote 20 - More Than Conquerors:

man_silhouette_in_doorway_sjpg12118“In this country we have to make the very same choices that I had to make behind the Berlin Wall. Do I want to follow God or the world? Do I want to take a stand for my faith or give in to complacency, indifference and compromise? Do I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ or be luke-warm and wishy-washy..?”

Quote 21 - More Than Conquerors:

WallsComeDown1“The painting of Jesus Christ over my study desk is a daily reminder of the choices we have to make in life. It is also daily encouragement to remember that God’s promise is true and that in all things we can be more than conquerors!”

Media and Audio Previews

More Than Conquerors

at First Baptist Church of Camarillo, California. March 2015
What People Say

“We strongly believe that God has given Michael Furchert a timely message for America, and it’s wrapped in a multi-generational story with the historical drama of a blockbuster. What Michael and his family have to offer is not only a dramatic story of faith. It’s also a timely message to American Christians who are living in a country where God’s word is increasingly compromised.”

Julie Holmquist
Julie HolmquistAward-winning Journalist & Author

“Michael’s story is historically fascinating, personally gripping, and faith-challenging. It is a message, told in vivid detail, that holds much value for American Christians. Rarely does an outsider to American Christianity have as much insight for the many believers of our country.”

Mike Yoder PhD
Mike Yoder PhDLead Pastor, Grace Polaris Church, OH

Dear Mr. Furchert, Thank you so much for sharing your incredible testimony and wonderful gift of music. We are so grateful to God for your strong faith as you have boldly taken a stand for Christ behind the Berlin Wall. Thank you for your faithful ministry! God bless you.

Ruth Graham
Ruth GrahamLate Wife of Evangelist Billy Graham
Message Information

TAKE AWAY VALUE

CHALLENGING AUDIENCES

  • not to take their freedoms for granted nor their faith too lightly
  • to use freedom to follow Christ with a deeper commitment
  • to take a stand for their faith and values
  • to resist peer pressure and make right choices
  • to be a bolder witness to their faith

INSPIRING AUDIENCES

  • to trust in God’s promise to overcome
  • to believe that they are “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37)
  • to remember that God will give them the strength to defend their faith and freedom
  • to trust in God’s favor in the midst of adversity
  • to set examples, make a difference and leave a legacy

TEACHING AUDIENCES

  • about life and faith in Nazi Germany and behind the Berlin Wall
  • to build strong families of faith
  • to apply biblical principles to their lives

TARGET AUDIENCE

ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS
Most Suitable For:

  • Youth
  • Families
  • Church leaders

PRACTICAL INFO

MESSAGE LENGTH:

  • typically 45 to 60 minutes
  • 15, 30 and 90-minute presentations are also available.

MUSIC:

  • 1 to 3 piano compositions are usually part of the presentation

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Microphone
  • Water
  • Tuned piano
  • Tables for sales of resources