Archive for September 12th, 2011

For Such A Time As This…

This morning (Saturday) I attended a Christian Women of Berlin brunch which occurs quarterly. A new friend of mine, the youth director of Crossway International church, was the main speaker and what she had to say struck a chord with me.  She spoke on making the most of the unique opportunities God has placed in my way in Berlin.  Not just coasting or trying to stay in a comfort zone.  I have already been open to venturing outside my comfort zone and it was no accident God has me here.  I am reminded to be flexible with whatever opportunities arise and not dictate to God what I will or will NOT do.

I have already had some good relationship-building conversations with people through Connections and tonight I had the privilege of meeting and accompanying the Crossway youth group on a (long) train ride to go bowling.  This is not any bowling alley, it is set up like an expensive lounge with couches and backlights on the lanes, and it is located at the top of a 4 story mall.  They have a vibrant youth group, english-speaking, made up of kids from all backgrounds and not from just Crossway.

Prayer Requests: Kristi, the youth director, pulled a muscle badly in her back and has endured excruciating pain (taking public transit, chaperoning the youth group and general movement).  Also, my grandma who is with my parents in Indiana has fallen and broken a rib and is back in the hospital with other complications too.  I know both lives are in the Lord’s hands and I don’t really know how to pray myself, but thank you for thinking of our family!

Things I am very thankful for: see food experience below.  The opportunity to be here!  I still pinch myself and can’t help feeling somewhat cool 🙂  Instant friends and support network because of the body of Christ.  A generous handful of people have offered or given their assistance already.  (The Dyes, the Goods, the Mallorys, the Lewis’s, Kristi, Christian, Matt).  I have not felt lonely or fearful yet!  Thank you for all your prayers!  The ability to be useful and in time, to fill some of the many needs I see.

Food experience: (warning, do not read this if you are hungry) roasted swedish meatballs, hot german potatoes, boiled bratwurst, roasted bratwurst (note- all “w”s are pronounced like “v”) smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh rolls, croissants, nutella, really great coffee, fruit pastries, cherry pudding, currywurst, schinken kasse (ham and cheese baked inside cheese covered croissant)

Tomorrow will be a unique experience to commemorate that tragic day for America, ten years ago, from here in Berlin. More on that later.  I will leave you with this verse from this morning’s brunch.  Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish.  And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this?” Make it count!

Today was an open house celebrating Connections 4th birthday! About 25 people came and the guest speaker was Dr. Bob Kuest. Against all odds Connections has remained open for this long and it will continue to thrive while Dale and Barbara retire for real, with its management being turned over to the Lewis family who arrived in Berlin from Florida, shortly before me.  Larry Lewis came from a worship pastor position and is transitioning to Director and his wife Teri will be increasing the children’s outreach side of Connections.  Their oldest daughter, Micah, will be attending college here and their youngest daughter Ericah is enrolled at the American school here.  I have found this family to be instant friends of mine and look forward very much to working together with them to unleash Connections variety of potential.

Prayer Request: The Lewis family needs to find a suitable apartment as it is taking longer than expected and is infringing on the activities they want to get started at Connections.  Also, Teri is still healing from 2 broken feet which also constrains their location.  I was informed the way apartment hunting works here is it is a sellers market no matter how many places are on the market.  There is a potential renters interview and references needed, because if the landlord has to take a renter to court later on for negligence or not paying, the landlord pays all legal costs plus a moving company to remove the renter.  All that to say, they are very picky.

Some other random trivia: when counting on the hand, thumb is 1 and index finger is 2.  Two kinds of flushes for 2 kinds of business.  On an elevator, floor 0 is street level and floor 1 is our second floor.

What Jet Lag!

Well I believe I am cured of jetlag after getting about 13 hours of sleep. Today I had other responsibilities besides staying awake as long as possible. I got myself to and from Connections without getting (too) lost. It involves getting bus 184 southeast 2 stops to the Lichterfelde train stop then heading north 4 stops to Sudkreuz then getting another train one stop to the west at Schoneberg then walking 2 blocks north and one block west. Thanks for humoring me, it helps me memorize it.

Food experience: Donerkebab (turkish pita sandwich of lamb or chicken, curry or garlic sauce, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, radish, pickles, and something pink)