life is a mission......

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Different looking.....

This has definately been a different looking few months of my life! It's been great! Listening and following God's will is definately a journey. It's not easy. It's fulfilling, but not easy.

In my personal life God has brought me so many new friends....all over the globe!!! Obviously I've made friends here in Germany that I work and live with. But back "home" I've reconnected with people......just because of where I am across the world! When I went to London I asked God to put people in my path that I could be a blessing to. On the train from the airport to the city a lady sat by me, Gloria, who was visiting family because of a funeral. She's from the Carribean! We exchanged emails. The next day, I was standing in front of Buckingham Palace and some people walked up and asked me what was going on and we started talking. Eric and Lynn are from California and they were fellow missionaries. We hung out the rest of the day and then went to see Stomp together on Sunday evening. On Saturday I took a tour bus to Windsor Castle, Stonehedge and Oxford. I made friends on the bus and while we were walking around seeing the sights. On the plane home, I sat next to a lady, Julie, who is the wife of the Ambassador to Norway. They live in Strasbourg, France and we exchanged emails.

It was refreshing to see that no matter where I am, God can use me.

In my ministry life, there are parts that are different from the ways I ministered back "home". One of my weekly highlights is hanging out at the guy's dorm "up the hill" and helping with homework and baking goodies for snack/ birthday/ lunch. I have a Bible study that I enjoy doing.....this is the first Bible study I've ever done. :) And I get to visit with campers!
There is a language barrier when I'm visiting with campers and I want to learn more of the German language so there isn't such a huge gap of their English and my non-German language! So, this Christmas is going to look different......I'm going to a German Language School in Berlin. It's 2 weeks of classes and exploring the city in the evenings. I feel that this is vital to learn the language. Just to be able to go to the store and buy groceries you need to know the language. When I'm talking to campers they will feel like I care more if I know some German. Sometimes I don't know what to say to them because I don't know if they will understand what I'm saying. By going to language school there will be less of a barrier. I will be able to communicate with the campers better. Afterall, I did come to Germany to minister to the campers. :)
Please keep me in your prayers. I am looking and contemplating what my next step will be in this journey of life. I have some very different paths infront of me and I need to know which one to go down.
Thank you for your prayers and support!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

EC Friozheim....

I had an opportunity to go to an English Camp that I was not involved in the planning phase of. I went to be a teacher. That's it, just a teacher. It was great! Some aspects were overwhelming, you know, 108 campers (teenagers) in one building, but nothing that a little sleep didn't help with. :)

There was quite a dynamic mix of people. Kari (the person who had my job a couple of years ago and I'm still trying to fill her shoes) and I were the "experienced" teachers. :) and then there were students from a local Bible school, the Bodenseehof. There were 24 and their RA. Most of them were just out of high school or college, a big difference from the way I felt around them. It was a sweet time of getting to hear their testimonies and know the students.

And then...there are the campers!!! 108 of them!!! Overwhelming because I didn't know who to talk to!!! There were so many opportunities to get to know them and ask them about their lives and where they lived and how they got there and what they were thinking about camp and what they would do when they got you can see, so many things to talk about! My only hesitation sometimes is the language barrier. MOST of them are profecient in English and so that in some ways is intimadating! Wow! How can they know so much about English and I can't seem to remember what two words mean in German! I had this one camper that I would write down words that I would see during chapel time and then I would ask him what they meant. He was a very good sport about it!

You know, when you expect to just do "one thing" and just when you think you are "sure" of what you are suppose to do....that's when God steps in and possibly opens another door. I went to camp thinking "I like camp, it's fun to get to know the campers. I like teaching. I want to see how this curriculum I've been working on is going to work." Harmless right?! Well, I left camp thinking, "is getting my Master's what God wants me to do? Bible school is that the college I need to go to? If I finish camp this summer here in Kandern and do "clean up", that will end in about the time that Bible school starts. It's a 6 month program and ends at the beginning of April....then I could come back to Kandern and do camp and pre camp things for the next summer. HMMMMM, OH and I want to take a more intensive German language course. Hmmmm, where could I go for that...."

So, I am soooo overwhelmed with possibilities and choices! I need some major direction. I'm glad that I have the next 3 days "off" to think about things and do some research.

The Klein Family....

I had an amazing family open their home and heart to me. It was
humbling to see a family in their setting. This family consists of
Dad, Mom, Tobi, Sebastian, Esther, Jonathan and Opa and Oma were
visiting for 4 weeks! Esther moved out of her room for Opa and Oma's
visit and Tobi moved out of his room for me to stay there. There was
still plenty of room in the house and MANY stairs. Lol. 4 floors and a
basement means a LOT of stairs. I know the teenagers from English
camp. Oma and Opa know very little English and I know ein bisschen of
German. So. We didn't talk much, but I smiled at them and tried to
understand what they were saying.

I arrived on Friday afternoon. We walked from the train station to
their house through their town of Lottstetten. We chatted and caught
up from the summer. It was a beautiful day so Tobi and Esther gave me
a waking tour of thier village, which you can see the alps from. We
got back to the house in time to help Oma with putting out supper.
This evening was the typical German meal of "cold supper". Sliced
fresh bread that Oma made and Esther sliced with a machine. A variety
of meat and cheeses and spreads. Some bell pepper and other veggies.
And your choosing of drink. It was a nice family time around the table.

After supper we cleaned up the dishes and then Tobi and Esther and I
sat down and talked about the "perfect camp" and they gave me some
really good ideas!!! After a couple of hours, or more, I lost track of
time we were ready for schlof. So, we all went to bed.

Saturday morning started with a family breakfast. Fresh bread again,
but this time from a local bakery, meats, cheeses, and a hot drink (I
chose tea). There were all kinds of marmalades to choose from, many of
them fresh homemade! Sehr gut!!

Dad, Mom, Jonathan and Oma went to the garden. It's not just out back
behind the house, it's across the village. Most of it has already been
harvested for the season but there were still some things they were
doing. Plowing is next on the to do list. I worked on some of my
German homework and then Esther and I walked to the local market and
bought eggs for Sunday breakfast. We had to get the white ones because
they were from a certain farm and when "they are from that farm it has
to be the white ones." Esther bought me some gummy hearts (per Mom's
instructions) and I found out they aren't just any kind of gummy.
These gummies are made with fresh juice from local farmer's berries.
How neat!!! We walked by the garden on our way back home with the
eggs. The family was working hard. Esther and I got back to the house
and she helped me with my homework, but she had already done her
English so she didn't need any help.

The family got back from the garden and it was time to BBQ. Dad fired
up the grill and Mom and Oma got things together in the kitchen. Oma
made this really neat meat thing. It was Romanian and for the life of
me I can't remember what it's called, or how to pronounce it!! But
it's different kinds of ground up meat and spices. Sehr gut!!! Then
there was chicken wings, pork chops, some beef, French fries (both
frozen and fresh made with potatoes from the garden) and salad (German
salad). It was all so good!!! I tried most of everything!!!

The sun peeked out from behind the clouds and so Esther and Mom and I
went to Rhinefall. It's a neat little village that is on the Rhine. We
walked for a while along the Rhine and then through the village and
over the fall then back down the other side of the Rhine to the car.
It was a beautiful autumn day and the water fall is very magestic!

We parked the car in the very detached garage. I find it neat that
here in Germany the garage is not always next to the house. Their
garage is actually a couple of blocks away and across the main street.
It's a big underground garage that holds probably 40 cars and you have
to have a key to get in. In America we would never think that we could
park our car so far away from our house! I love the minor differences
in culture.

We came back to the house and we enjoyed a cup of tea and sitting and
chatting oh and some homemade raspberry yogurt with fresh
raspberries!! Again..... Sehr gut!!! Then Tobi, Esther, Jonathan and I
played games the rest of the evening while Oma and Opa and Mom and Dad
visited and watched tv in the living room. We played Ligretto, which
is a very fast game but they had mercy on me and played slow so I
could catch on, not sure that really helped. My excuse was I'm from
Texas and we do everything slower. Lol. Then we played Phase 10 and 6

While I was sitting on the floor playing games with the family reality
hit me. "I am sitting in Germany with a German family, they have
welcomed me into their home. 5 years ago I would have said that this
scenerio would have been impossible. I have a totally different life
now than I did a few years ago, or ever thought I would have. I've
never known anyone personally who went to a different country for more
than a couple of weeks. I never thought I would ever go to another
country and live." Sometimes there are moments that we live through
that we know when they happen that we will never forget them. This is
one of those moments when the realization of where I was physcially
and who I am came about.

Throughout the time we were playing games, the family was taking turns
taking a bath. Earlier in the day Dad brought up bath water in
buckets. It's rain water that they have caught and they use mostly
that and add a little hot water for a bath. Everyone has to have a
bath, it's church tomorrow! And with that many people in the house,
not everyone can take one in the morning!!! The drying rack is set up
in the boy's room, where we are playing games, and so after they get
finished their towel goes on the rack to dry.

We are blessed because this weekend we turn the clocks back and get an
extra hour in the morning!!! (that still wouldn't have been enough
time for everyone to get a bath in the morning!).

Sunday is church day. The first hour is about communion and Esther
decided that we wouldn't go to that because I wouldn't understand it
and I would go to sleep, she says it's boring. But we did go to the
second hour of church. Everyone was very friendly and many of them
spoke English, but the sermon was auf deutsch. Lol. Esther translated
some for me, but I told her it was ok, I could just read the verse and
listen. It was a very good passage that I needed to be reminded of.
Isn't it neat how although I didn't understand what was being said He
still ministered to me. That just shows God's soveriegnity.

After church we walked in a very Schnell manner back to the house. We
passed the garage and so Dad got the car out and met us at the house.
I said tschuess and we were off to the train station.

Vilen danke Familie Klein! You are an amazing family.