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How did we begin? 

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Klara Schlink was born in Braunschweig, Germany in 1904. In 1921 her father was offered a professorship at the technical university in Darmstadt and moved there with his family. At age eighteen Klara gave her life to Jesus. She continued her education in Kassel, Berlin, the Malche Bible College and in Hamburg.

In 1935 Klara Schlink returned to Darmstadt bringing Erika Madauss with her in obedience to God’s call. Twelve dark and doubt-filled years followed as all of their hopes were dashed. Although the Bible classes for girls they had been asked to lead continued to grow despite the political climate, the ministry they had planned failed to materialize. But the apparent hopelessness laid essential spiritual foundations in preparation for the Sisterhood of Mary. Mother Basilea shares personally … (joint BBC/ZDF documentary from 1963)

Mother Basilea reported about it(original sound, from a BBC/ZDF report from 1963):

Birth and early history

"New life from ruins"-– quite literally! The disastrous air raid over Darmstadt marked a turning point in the lives of the young people as that night they were confronted by eternity. Repentance and conversion led to revival and to a life of reconciliation with God and one another as well as to uncompromising discipleship of Jesus. Right from the start, the Lord taught us to live by faith, depending only on God. Poverty compelled the sisters to build the chapel and motherhouse themselves, re-using bricks from the Darmstadt’s ruins. They longed to erect a place where God would be worshipped - in stark contrast to the events of World War II.

Growth of our ministry

We built a small print shop and later a publishing house so that the message of Jesus’ love and salvation could be shared more effectively and we visited bookshops all over the country. Soon, a steady flow of guests from Germany and other countries visited Kanaan for retreats and festivals. Our busy life of service is always interspersed by prayer as this is our ministry to Jesus Himself. 

Click here and experience some of our story for yourself…

Into all the world

Jesus instructed His disciples to, “Go into all the world… (Mark 16:15). As requests for a Kanaan centre came from other countries we knew that we could not turn them down and gradually sisters moved out in all directions. 

continue to Kanaan centers →

Klara Schlink (later Mother Basilea)

Erika Madauss (later Mother Martyria)

Guidelines for service in the Kingdom of God

Short and concise, these guidelines for service in the kingdom of God were written early on, - here are just a few samples for your encouragement.

Excerpts from "Spiritual Rule of Service" by M. Basilea Schlink