Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Stell dir vor..."

Our newest look & year's theme for Connexxion Braunschweig came from a German song that touched Birthe's heart, called "Stell dir vor" ("just imagine..."). Thus, the bright stripes of ideas streaming into the little cloud of imagination & thought. On the back is a bit more detailed information about our campus group. (if you give to missions with our organization, a giant THANK YOU for budget monies that provided this advertising product- 2,500 of them!)

The song talks about imagining a world that is really different, where there is hope and forgiveness and changed relationships, etc. Yep-- that's what I'm imagining and believing for students in Europe, because we have a really BIG God who can do just that! What BIG stuff are you imagining now for your life, your city, your church, your family....?

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! (Ephesians 3:20, The Message)

Welcome Packets!

Our fall semester begins next week & it's official-- in Braunschweig at the TU there will be 33% more incoming freshmen college students this year. That means a total of 3,000 freshmen. Why? Because of 2 factors: 1) Germany's obligatory military service for young men (or civil service, for conscientious objectors) is being done away with; & 2) in states where there used to be 13 grades for high school, it's changing to just 12 years; therefore, 2 high school classes graduated this summer simultaneously. (above are Sören, Henning & Nikola, our 1-month intern who is graduating & from our group)
One of my long- time dreams became true. We had friends donate various practical items to create student "welcome packets" -- including a mixture of things such as post-it notes, highlighters, erasers, pens, gummy bears. We also put in a new Connexxion postcard that advertises our group, with a new theme: "Stell dir vor" in a cloud of thoughts... (below I'm with Lars, Dodo & Steffi). This means, roughly, "just imagine..." Last Friday 10 of us stuffed 1,000 welcome bags-- they will be
handed out this Monday on campus! THANKS & danke for your prayers & to all those folks who contributed-- truly a HUGE help!

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's all gonna work out

Don't you hate it when people give an easy answer to your big-time heartaches or difficult questions? I saw this T-shirt in a shop a couple of weeks ago. There's a German saying that means, in essence: "all will be good."

"Alles wird gut!" = Everything will turn out ok.

While this could be just one of those trite expressions, in real life, this "goodness" actually can take place because we know the Creator & Master Builder, God, who turns rough places into smooth paths. Who makes the big "ouch's" in life have a new significance, far from simply a mediocre happenstance, or a meaningless catastrophe. Existence and circumstances on earth now aren't always fair. But in the end, Life does make sense. And some day, even if we have to wait until heaven, God will bring on the (truly) good stuff. Isn't that a relief?

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,8 for those who are called according to his purpose. " - Romans 8:28
"...and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things1
that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed." - Joshua 23:14
What is one Good Thing that you've seen God do this week so far?... even if it started with something that didn't look that way...

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Moin, moin

This past week we had our annual summer (staff) retreat. This time it was in a village on the North Sea, about 4 hours from where I live ... with 11 of us living & worshipping in a 3 apartments together (sigh- we were missing 3 staffers this time).
Anja gives me SOOO Much support and wise counsel. And is a great friend. When we were all exhausted from the meetings, and had waved good-bye to the other 3 cars, I still wanted to enjoy the surroundings (without the pressure of getting back to a meeting). She & Kris agreed so we walked into the village, strolled into shops & had ice cream.
No, this is not Holland, but has a similar landscape in north- western Germany.
The small pillars are to break up the waves if there is a storm, so the dike will hold up. Where you see the water is NOT beach... it's a concrete shoulder.
More photos to come as soon as I can get them from our staff friends... my camera battery got left in our living room in Tampa re-charging when I flew out-- whoops!

gwendolyn takes the cake!

Here are a few shots of the summer related to my precious niece, Gwendolyn! Her birthday was spent at Disneyworld nearby.
Bruce's birthday treat was a family time & lobster dinner, a la Maine-style (but in Tampa)!
with her little princess wand which I got her in Sevilla!
reading a Bible story book to her- in SPANISH! "The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes" was a favorite of my mom's which she read to us.
having fun playing dress up, here with Mommy Heather!