Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Days in Germany (again...)

Random highlights of some of my first days in Germany (again), which have been full of work, some fun, too, and moving in. Above are some of the Connexxion group at a good-bye party for Marc (front, rt., in his new university T-shirt) ...a night riding bikes around town, with Inga, Anja, Sabrina & Stefi-- enjoying an public exhibition of art in the form of "light", on various ponds and the River Oker...
a small example of the mess (still about 15 boxes to go here... plus need for hanging pictures, curtains, etc.)
Lydia lovingly making sense out of my kitchen boxes... We knew each other when she studied in Jena!
My friend Miri, with whom I made this same photo in 2007, my first Sunday at church (along with a couple other students) ... here we are again!
Some of the crew from Connexxion group who came to pitch in during moving day... (me, David, Birthe, Anja, Stefi, and Marc)Inma and I paddled a paddleboat along the River Oker, beside lovely houses and parks, when she came from Sevilla for a visit! (you notice how cold August is)...My move-in day - early arrivals to help were Bernd, from my church, along with Anja bringing a coffee maker for the movers and staying the whole day (& coming most days afterwards to help out)!, and engineering student Marc (even though he needed to study for exams), to give counsel about where to put different cabinets & appliances in my kitchen.

Inma in Germany

Inma was just with me for 10 days... here we are in Jena, to celebrate Vera W. and her having served with Connexxion on staff for 2 years there! She moves to Hamburg tomorrow, to start a new group. (in foto- Vera, Anja G., Christiane, Inma and me)We got to hang out with my special friend Miriam, who helped in the first beginning days of Connexxion in Braunschweig and is now teaching. From the Italian restaurant, you can see the "schloss" (now shopping mall, made to look like former royal residence/ palace).
When the rain stopped (not often!) we took a stroll in my favorite park....
Good friend Inga L. used to work with Connexxion in Sevilla and was my roomie, too! She was so thoughtful in giving us a city tour and we attended a concert evening in town!

The last good-bye morning, before Inma flew off from Berlin, we visited the Brandenburger Gate.This is the beginning stages of 2 wonderful "tortillas de patatas" (potato omelets), Spanish style, which Inma made for a group of 13 students in my new apartment.Here she is flipping the tortilla so it will cook on the other side! I have on my "I heart EspaƱa!" shirt!
You have to drain the oil (she used a bunch of olive oil!!). Stefi and Marc are looking on.
My living room dining table enjoying it's first "party"! Inma is ladeling out the gazpacho (cold tomato soup).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ZOOM: Connexxion Konferenz

It won't be that long... We are having our BIG Connexxion conference this October 28th- to 30th, in Braunschweig, Germany!

It's called ZOOM!

All the infos. you can find HERE on our official website, in English and Deutsch. It will be similar to 2 conferences that we have hosted before... full of workshops, practical training, plus teaching from those on the "cutting edge" of campus ministry in 2 countries where Connexxion is, Spain and Germany! In addition, we'll have some groovy surprise elements (stay tuned!) of campus life, plus our...

10- year anniversary PARTY the final evening, Saturday the 30th! Yes, that's right-- Connexxion was founded in Jena, in 2000.

Plus we'll have special guests coming from the US and around Europe. Chances to hear from them in seminars as well as plenty of LONG coffee breaks to network & trade ideas! (SIGN UP by the end of August, for a discount rate!) If you wanna stay around after the conference, our church is really pretty cool-- the largest Baptist church in Germany, with 3 worship times on Sunday. AND... we'll be out & about on campus for a special training day, Monday, November 1st! More infos. about all the above are at: www.konferenz.goconnexxion.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Team Retreat in Spain

Thomas and Anja are all smiles... why? Well, this August we had a most refreshing team retreat week on the coast of Spain, full of planning, workshops led by each other, vision-sharing, and Bible study. We also prayed over Vera, who will be moving to Hamburg this September in north Germany, to start a new Connexxion ministry.
The sense of community was a blessing-- cooking meals together, sharing a morning coffee, singing in worship and playing with Thomas and Anja's boys. A total of 9 adults & 2 small kids.
It was quite intense, actually, with days of seminars and meetings--
and then we worked in a few breaks to take advantage of the beach.
We were blessed with a chance to reflect on the year, trade ideas with one another on reaching the campuses, think about plans for expansion, bring favorite books to share, as well as to review our personality traits (through 2 personality tests we'd done). It was cool for our staff to get to know Hendrik and Maggie, too, who will be leading the work in Sevilla now that I've moved (they'd already flown out when we took the photo below). We also had a friend join us, who works in Madrid with university students.
A major project that we're working on is our upcoming Connexxion Konferenz (German spelling!), October 28-30th in Braunschweig, Germany. Wanna join us??!! We'll enjoy 2 & 1/2 days of practical workshops, main sessions, networking & coffee.... all around our main principles & methods learned over the past 10 years of working with post-modern university students in 2 nations in Europe.