Hi Everyone… just got back from two weeks in Budapest, Hungary, where we participated in a world-wide Student retreat. Set in a former communist pioneer camp on a hill overlooking Budapest, we welcomed several hundred students from as far away as Argentina to come and encounter God and one another. More details about this in our newsletter!
We had the privilege during this time to have a sort of mini family reunion, as all but one of the sibling-units was able to come and play a meaningful role in the camp. The boys were able to get to know their Aunties and Uncle a lot better as they worked on their food-begging skills during the various breakfast times. 😀
We’re back in Berlin now, and we realize more and more how much at home we are in this city. There’s a lot of work ahead of us… I personally have three websites I’m working on in this time, as well as all the prep needing to go into the coming semester.
It is a blazing hot 95 degrees here in Berlin… (no air conditioning)… and Johnny is out in the heat at the Technical University passing out free ice tea. This is a way to meet an immediate need of those hot and weary students walking by, but at the same time to touch a deeper thirst that lies within. Each week Johnny has been at the university handing out free coffee, ice tea, or Bibles, a way to show Christ’s love to the “thirsty” students. Pray for those who have received, who are thirsty, and who desperately need Jesus in their life.
John was just commenting to me the other day about how “interesting” — for lack of a better work — Berlin is.
May 1st rallied in about a 1000 Neo-Nazis for a march, which was opposed by many, leading to what looked “like a war-zone,” one of our friends said. He lives in the area where the march to place.
Riding the train system within Berlin you see a mix of people, ranging from business men and women, to street people selling newspapers for money; punks with spiked hair and piercings on most any part of their body, to Muslims dressed in traditional garb; mothers walking their children, to youth coming home from a late night party.
John caught a picture of 3 gypsy ladies getting into the give-away clothes bins. Many carry sleeping babies around asking tourists if they speak English, then hand them a piece of paper begging for money.
Students everywhere… Berlin is the residence of approximately 144,000 students. Many have goals and visions for their future. Many aren’t sure if they like what they are studying. Berlin has a lot to offer, with it’s bright lights and tantalizing splendor, but it won’t satisfy them.
Berlin truly is a cosmopolitan city.
Today is March 1st, 2010. Almost one year since our twins were born, and I am trying to figure out where the time has gone? How can it possibly be 2010?!
I have had quiet days and busy days. Full days and monotonous days. Bright and sunny days, and dark and gloomy days. They all seem to run together. I took some pictures (with writing this blog in mind), but that was in September. Whatever happened to September, October, November, December… and on and on. When did my boys get so big?
Even though my days are full of my sweet boys, I am also able to meet with students and help plan for SfC retreats.
I also have the daily laundry and diaper stuffing, which keep me busy. I am always reminded of how blessed I am when doing my baby laundry. Our diapers were partially a grant we received from Cotton Babies (thank you!) and the rest were purchased by money received from some of our supporting churches (thank you!).
Some days, when my boys are sleeping, it is hard to believe I have two little ones. But tucked around my house are little reminders of the two treasures we have been given. I look forward to seeing those smiles and kissing those warm rosy cheeks when they awake, and hearing their giggles as they play. I tuck these treasures in my heart, and store them there, because I know that these days, and these years will pass just as quickly as 2009. In fact, they will probably pass even quicker.
Last week our semester officially came to an end with our last large group gathering of SfC-Berlin. In fact even then many of our students were in the midst of exams and writing term papers. Fascinatingly enough, nearly every University and school seems to have their calendar, making it rather challenging to pinpoint an exact end. Exams started taking place a week or two ago and the exam period will go all the way till the week before the new semesters starts in the second week of April. The name for this in between time is “Vorlesungsfreiezeit,” which means “lecture free period.” For many profs this is an excellent time to give their students a nice long research paper to write, or prepare for a killer exam. I have lots of sympathy for our students!