life is a mission......

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Random thoughts....

Only coming to Germany for 14 months is difficult in a lot of ways.

It takes time to make the transition into living in another culture, or just moving in general. To learn where to go shopping to buy food. To learn your way around. To feel confident in "your area". Just about the time you get to that place where you can say "this is my home", it's time to move again.

There are a lot of buzz words in the missionary world. One of them is "transition". I almost don't like using it myself, but it's a fact of life. The first transition I had moving here was a new job. I fit in well and so it wasn't that hard. Next, the language....I'm still working on that (and there's no end in sight). Next, making new friends and living life here while keeping connected back "home" in's hard. Next, just taking care of myself. Next, being an active part of the community. I think I'm good with this one. Next, I'm 4 months from going back to Texas and I have to start thinking about transitioning back!!! NO! I want to live in the present! Ok, OK. My next transition is moving back to Texas, going to college, and physically moving things, getting a job, not having a car....... BUT HAVING FAITH THAT IT'S ALL UNDER CONTROL.

I know that God has me in Germany to minister to teenagers who come to English Camp because it's fun, they get to practice their English in a way they don't get to in school, and they learn about God while doing it! It's an amazing time and unbelievable that God has entrusted ME to do this work. I'm honored that He chose me. I love my job. I love all the ministry opportunities that He has given me while I've been here.

Please keep me in your prayers that I may do what God wants me to do, and say what He wants me to say. A verse that I have leaned on in this season of my journey is Micah 6:8....act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I have just one picture to share with you this time. It makes me smile when I think about the awesome conversations that I've had with Danielle. :) She's from Australia and just and amazing Godly woman. The greatest lesson I've learned in the year preparing to come to Germany and my year here is: relationships with people are the most important thing. Everything else will perish, but your relationship with God and man should be our primary focus. Thank you Lord for letting me see this, now give me the strength to apply it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

English Camp...

I went to an English Camp near Stuttgart. I was teacher there. This is the second time this year that I have been privileged enough to go. It's always such a blessing and a great time!!! One of the favorite past times for the camper is to play Tisch Tennis (Ping Pong) in a tournament style round. I had never seen it played like this before. It's very interesting to watch! I don't think I would be able to keep up, so I just watch!

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!

A German wedding...

Last Saturday, March 19th, I got to go to a German wedding!!! I got to know the bride through camp. She was a camper a few years ago and then she came to Janz Team as an intern in 2009 and then this past summer (2010) I got to know her as a staff person. She's great!

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!
Thank you Jenny and Pascal for inviting me!
Best wishes! I hope you both have a wonderful life serving one another!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Visiting Texas....

It's been a while since I've sat down to blog. Thanks for hanging in there and continuing to read. :)

Well, February 1st I landed in Houston, Texas. It was the day the cold front blew through! When I left Eurpoe that morning it was about 32*F and when I walked out of the airport it was about 36*F!!! And....well, that's cold for Texas! I had a VERY full schedule! (I drove over 2000 miles and was in a 2 hour radius of Houston.) But, Mother Nature had other plans for me! Yes, I had to cancel my Thursday and Friday plans and totally rearrange my schedule. It was a test of my flexibility! I made it through! In all fairness, it was bitterly COLD! It doesn't matter where you are from, it was cold! This is one of my Dad's dogs sitting warming himself in front of the heater! I thought it was hilarious we had to fight the dogs away from the heater so we could warm up! They have a fur coat!

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!)

Shelly and Brooklynn!!! (17 months old!)
Aaryn and Rylan!!! (1 month old!)
Rylan was born 6 1/2 weeks early because she heard that I was coming home! And she was big enough and holding her own, so she got to go home during the time I was visiting! So, I got to see her!!
I had a marvelous time hanging out with the families of these little ones! Then I was continually blessed by all the people I got to see! Honestly, there are too many to list! It's amazing how many people I saw! One day I had breakfast with a family, lunch with a friend, shopping with another friend, supper with another family and then to my Mom's to crash for the night!
One Saturday I had a gathering at Mom's for the Cleveland folks! That was great! People from all over came to have some German snacks and visit! My little cuz Matthew insisted on helping clean up!

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! 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!!!