Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
This is Laura. She grew up going to camp and she is now following Christ because of English camps! She came back this year as a staff person to teach English and be a counselor. Her parents are from Budapest, so she knows Hugarian. She grew up in Germany, so she knows German. In school she has learned (and is proficient) English. She has learned French and Italian. Yes, she knows 5 languages! Her English is flawless! Our first night together as staff we sat down to have a devotional time. I had my Bible and she said, "Oh and English Bible, I've always wanted one of those!" On Saturday before we left camp I gave her my Bible. I've had it for about 7 years and it has all kinds of notes and writings in it and post it notes stuck all through it with verses that mean a lot to me. I gave it to her as is. She was crying, I was crying. It was a wonderful moment!
This is the YELLOW TEAM! Being a teacher at summer camp I've never been able to be an activity team leader. Those are the people who get to have fun with the kids! I was so glad when I could at this camp. We had fun! We played baseball, capture the flag and all kinds of relay races. Fun times.
This is a calf. ;) One afternoon during activity time we went to a dairy farm that was close by. Not only was the walk fun, but the cows were so cute! The smell wasn't....but the cows were cute. Seeing the campers interact with the cows was fun. They were trying to feed them hay and some of them would eat and some would just turn their head. I have some great pictures! This little guy was born the week we came.
Easter camp was a success!
We reached German kids for Christ!
Now, less than 40 days before the staff arrive for this summer's camp!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
On the 4th day my neighbor and I went for a slow walk in the vineyard. While we were walking it started sprinkling. No big deal, right?! By the time we got back to the car we were SOAKED! Yes, my bandage was wet! I decided that I was going to take it off before I took a shower and warmed up! As I was taking it off it felt like I was peeling duct tape off my leg! The reason: my leg had broken out in an allergic reaction!
No wonder it felt like my skin was coming off my leg!
The good news.....my knee was better!!!
There were lots of prayers being said along with "the bandage"! God healed my knee and I've been great ever since!!!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
So, what they are doing is gathering around the table in a circle. As they are hitting it back and forth as one person misses, they are out. You keep going until there is only 1 person left! I just love to watch it!
For the most part a German wedding is the same as an American wedding. They have a bride, a groom and someone talking! LOL The major difference is they HAVE to go to "City Hall" and get married. (The civil ceremony.) It's an option if they want to have a church wedding.
Jenny and Pascal went on Wednesday and had their civil ceremony, but they didn't consider themselves married, so still lived at home until after the celebration on Saturday. What a testimony to their faith and beliefs.
After the ceremony there was a reception (that we didn't leave until 1am!). It included many different activities that their sister's had created. Games for everyone to be involved in, paintings to be painted, power point presentations to be watched (of Jenny and Pascal growing up!), cake to be cut and eaten, pictures to be taken..... MOSTLY....the people just enjoyed each others company. It was great to be able to just sit and talk to every one. To watch others enjoy other people's company.
It was such an honor to be at their wedding!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I had many opportunities to see a lot of people! (My appologies if I didn't get to see you. There were a few that, because of the weather, I couldn't reschedule with. :( ) It was an amazing time of seeing people. God has blessed me with friends who have BABIES!!!! I am "honorary Aunt" to some cuties!!! Here's a glimpse of those who blessed me while I was home!
Barbie and Gabriel!!! (13 months old!)
You know, he looks just like his dad, but I don't remember his dad being so darn cute!!! He's almost 2 and wouldn't let me go during church the next day. It was heart warming!
The teachers I taught with in Buffalo are amazing women! God placed them in my life for the season of my life I needed them most! It built bonds that are life-long. They all sacrificed an evening and drove from all over to have supper with me the last Monday I was in Texas! <3>
The question I got most before I left was: "So, what do you miss most?" My answer: "The sun! and (although I didn't go there much when I lived there) the beach!" I told people in December that when I went to Texas that I was going to go to the beach while I was home! They thought I was crazy! "But it'll be February!" I didn't say I was going swimming, I just said I was going to go to the beach. :) So, I put it on the list and the day before I left I finally made it to the beach! Notice....no jacket! and I took my FLIP FLOPS off to stand in the water! Yes, February in Texas! Amazing!
Now, I'm back on the other side of the "pond". I was glad to be home and see everyone. I got a lot accomplished while I was there. I saw a lot of people. I learned things about myself. It was a productive trip! BUT.....I knew it was time to come back. I knew it wasn't for long that I was going to be there. It's good to be back. I have a goal ahead of me. I'm working everyday to reach that goal....ENGLISH CAMP!!! Besides....where else in the world can you walk home from work and see a little old lady pushing her walker down the road??!!!
Ich liebe Deutschland!!!
Friday, January 14, 2011
For example, and this may seem simple and strange, but I was talking to a friend on the phone today and she was in a store. Sounds simple. She was having a conversation with the cashier. Again, simple. It's different from my current life situation....it seemed strange! Another one: I'm borrowing a family member's car when I come home. They called the insurance and I don't have to be on their insurance, I just have to have their permission to drive it. When she told me that I thought in the back of my mind, "if I get pulled over (which I don't plan to) how am I suppose to tell them that I have permission to drive it? ......thought process...... oh yeah.....ENGLISH!"
So, I know that if I'm already experiencing these things, I know that when I go "home" it will be intensified so much more.
So, friends, family and supporters.....please bear with me! During our conversations and if we go shopping our out to eat, it's going to take me some time to adjust. And, I may throw in a German word here and there......just give me a strange look!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I tried to see all the historical sights.
Brandenburger Tor: the major gate that separated East and West Berlin.
The East Side Gallery: part of the wall that is still standing. I read that after the wall “came down” the people from the East decorated it with murals. Some are political, artistic or just scenic.
Nordbahnhof: the North train station of the U-Bahn that has the history of how people escaped from the East to the West using the U-Bahn. It was difficult and risky, but oh so worth it if you made it. While I was in there I just kept thinking about how it must have been during that dark time of history. (which wasn’t that long ago) And after I contemplated what it must have been like for those people, I thanked God that it is not like that anymore.
The Holocaust Memorial: breathtaking….. to think about all the people that were persecuted and stood up for what they believed in.
The Juedishes Museum: what a tribute. I hope that if I had to make a choice for my beliefs I would make the one that would honor God, like the Jews did.
The zoo: well, that’s not that “historical” but I did get to Knut the Eisbaer! Well, that’s historical! Knut grew up in the public eye and has a great personality! He was very interested in the guy’s camera and was the only bear in the water when I visited.
Hamlet: I saw Hamlet auf Deutsch aber mit Shakespearen English subtitles. The acting was amazing!
Dresden: is a nearby city that Germany is still working on rebuilding. There are a lot of churches and the most famous opera house there!
People: I learned about a family of missionaries that live in Berlin and I got to go to Christmas Eve service with them. We had songs and verses in German and English. It was a very sweet time of worship. Then, they invited me over for Silvester (New Year’s Eve). We played some games and then told each other what were thankful for in 2010 and about 11:30 we went outside and joined in the craziness of shooting fireworks. There were fireworks everywhere! And the celebration started about dark….6:00 pm! Standing on the sidewalk watching fireworks from all over was surreal. It really sounded like a war zone (what I imagine a war zone would sound like). It made me think about what life must have been like during WWII. The constant sound. I wasn’t fearful for bombs, or my life, like they would have been back then, but it was definitely thought provoking. Then, at midnight we had the “Berlin tradition” of eating a Berliner! (a jelly filled doughnut with powdered sugar) I later heard that traditionally there would be at least one for everyone and one of the doughnuts would be filled with mustard! And the person who got that one was suppose to have extra good luck for the year! (I’m good with not having extra good luck!) I was glad mine was ohne senf! Thank you Kragt family for including me in your celebrations!
Then, one of the foreign exchange students that I met in Texas lives in Berlin! So, since I was in the city we met for an afternoon and had a great chat! She told me all about Berlin culture over kaffee und kekes! Thanks Becca for a great afternoon!
During the Christmas holiday I was able to go to Berlin and learn German. At: German Language School (GLS)…..creative name huh? It was a 2 week course and there were about 30 of us who came for the 2 week “Christmas Special”. We had 3 hours of class in the morning and then in the afternoon/ evening there was a suggested activity. We quickly became a gemeinschaft. On Christmas eve we all cooked a dish and then came together to eat…..it was a covered dish kind of thing! It was great! People were there from all over the world! I met people from Scotland, England, Netherlands, Spain, China, Columbia and even some Americans. I was in the lowest level class to learn German, but it was so much fun! My teachers had a great attitude about us and our klein Deutsch! I feel that I learned a lot, but there is a LOOONNNNGGGG way for me to go. My goal is to be able to talk and relate to my campers better. At least I can now ask them (and understand) where they are from, how old they are and what their address is!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I’ve lived in Germany for six months now. During this time I have been able to visit places near and far from where I live. 99% of my travels have been ministry related. The 1 holiday that wasn’t “ministry” turned into a great ministry opportunity and God put people in my path every where I turned to bless me during my time in London. Each and every place I go I look at the people there and even if they don’t look back, I pray for them. I think of the song “Give me your eyes” by Brandon Heath and pray for the people I meet on the street, in the store, or just driving by…..the train driver. Everyone has a story. Being a student of people……isn’t that what God would want us to do? Learn about the person and love them no matter the circumstances/ choices that they have chosen.
Walking along the streets of the cities is one of my favorite past times (when visiting a city). Walking in the woods is my favorite when I’m in the Schwarzwald.
Be blessed in 2011 and appreciate the small things in life.