ahhhh... the Christmas party. Every group does one, but Connexxion for SURE always knows how to "do it up right!" Kris, Stan and Lars are great actors...
Every so often during a party, you gotta grab a moment to catch up with a friend (Andre and Kris)
Anja and Joanna... also in the Christmas spirit
Tobi just started coming around the group this year, as a freshman... with Birthe helping in the kitchen
we played a game (we've done this before! but it still "works"!)... dressing a student up, in teams, with plenty of toilet paper... and whatever they can find in the apartment. another team goes around and judges the "works of art" according to 4-5 categories... YES-- we take this game seriously! :-)... Lena, Christoph, Peter and Wiebke are looking on, to put on the final touches.
Lars and Dodo are engaged to be married in September-- I just love these two!
we met Hulya this semester and she is a real sweetie!
in my apartment-- the gang all listening, as the jury shares the game "rules"-- ready, set... GO!
Anja Koch has the gift of teaching and just glowed as she and husband Thomas shared principles about a healthy marriage relationship. We are privileged to have them lead the work in Jena, Germany!
We opened the first of the conference in Berlin, this November, with Michelle and Bethany, working in Hungary, giving an illustration of how even before a baby is born, he has a heart that is developing... and about how we want to get in sync with God's heart!
Here I am with 2 new friends, from the USA (living in Hungary) and from Hungary, in front of the Reichstag (seat of government)
God blessed as 75 of us came together, from 9 nations!
Translation was available in German (or English, depending on the speaker), as well as Spanish, for all main sessions and some seminars (see the 2 persons standing beside the room dividers at the back). Here you see Abraham Rios, staff in Sevilla, Spain, beside Thomas Koch, from Jena, Germany.
Friends of ours from Braunschweig did an amazing job leading in worship, Esther, Tommy and Inga... and Kris, on staff, joined them (guitar).
HEART BEAT: A life in sync with God's heart beat! Our 3rd Connexxion Conference will be held this November 2012!! Check out THIS BLOG for more infos, in German & English... and also for Info. about how you can register. Join us in Berlin, with special guest speakers Erwin Schwindt (Kirche für Bonn), Neil Walker & Jeremy Walker (USC Christian Challenge, Los Angeles), Deanna Davis (speaker, Atlanta, Georgia), and Matt and Jessica Sturdevant (Hope Church, Ft. Worth, Texas).
Semester start in Braunschweig happened the same day that classes began, last Monday! Here they are-- Janina, Anja, Nikola and Kris (joined by others from Connexxion, too) -- friendly smiles and invites with gummy bears to welcome the freshmen class --of about 2500 students!
We handed out over 600 invites; and also did a few "Soularium" surveys with students which uses 5 questions about their student life and their view of God and they choose a photo to represent their ideas.
The night before we had a stapling session after worship
Anja had a birthday in September and her roommate Judith moved in also that same month-- so they just had a (belated) party to celebrate both events-- with a Turkish theme.
Kris (middle) with Stan and Peter-- two good friends at the party, who have invited him to start playing a strange intramural sport called "Jugger."
Judith and Anja, along with Hulya (rt) who prepared most of the delicious, classic Turkish food & desserts!
Our Connexxion Info- table, with Maria, Kati, Antje & Thomas.
I had the privilege of jumping in a car, less than 48 hours after returning from Sevilla, and helping out the Connexxion group there on campus with "Markt der Moeglichkeiten" (Possibilities Fair) for freshmen students.
every imaginable student organization was there... student government, sports' groups, choirs, political societies, interest clubs...
That night we went to an indoor go- cart track...
The next day we went to see the Zwiebelmarkt (onion market) in nearby Weimar (with Anja K. & Antje B).
Here's my friend Michelle, who just graduated from USC in Los Angeles, enjoying one of the best tastes of the state of Thuringia-- bratwurst und senf (sausage & mustard)
At Parque Maria Luisa... hanging out & playing frisbee in Sevilla. Rebekah (in green & red) just moved here from the States to work with Connexxion.
Drinking arabic tea... at the Feria de las Naciones (international festival) with Johnny (Inma's boyfriend), Inma's uncle and her mom, Paloma
Sunday at the Comunidad Aljarafe church worship
late nite cafe and sharing "tapas"-- God blessed me by having special friends visit during the same time-- Lea, from Germany (left), and Sierra (red & white shirt) from Oregon. Both were here during my 2nd year in Sevilla. Inma is a treasure and it's always super to get to see her.
planning meeting with key students for the new semester...
beside the cathedral-- Inma's dad (far rt), Paco, showing Kris, Rebekah and myself around the old city neighborhood ("casco antiguo") which is where the family lives, in Barrio Santa Cruz
Kris soaking up the night affects at the Plaza de Espana
in front of the Rectorado, where they have an English Club followed by a discussion group each Wednesday
special soup I enjoyed with friends...
Sylvia and her little girl and father in law ... she is a singer & used to work with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship in Spain. She & their family are such a joy to be with; they're now doing an organic church start.
Our local Braunschweig staff had the joy of doing a little "scout trip" to Leipzig in September, and ending the day with a fabulous concert by Coldplay. It was a very generous gift given to me by 2 of the staff for my birthday. This is a campus cafeteria.
This, too, is part of the university, restored from a former church.
Another church, the Nikolai Kirche, is famous for being the location where the Monday quiet protests were held, which were part of what God used to "tear down the Wall" in 1989.
We viewed a museum showing how the Stasi police were watching everyone. This is an outfit worn by the Young Pioneers.
My newer friends Marta and Martin-- musicians and creative teachers, who love Jesus! I got to stay in their apartment.
This city is just over an hour from Jena... so people working in this city could also have good fellowship with our other Connexxion groups-- I would love for God to send us workers here!
As Connexxion staff we had our annual staff retreat in Vienna this year, which gave us the chance also to meet up with some of our IMB colleagues and hear them teach from the Word. Here we are at the YMCA building we used over 2 days.
Kris, Stefan and Thomas... eating Käsekrainer, which is like a sausage (bratwurst) with cheese inside, wrapped inside a bun ...and full of fat! (yuk!)
A free afternoon -- Kris, Stefan and Hendrik in front of the Schönbrunn Castle (Schloss)
This made me get an idea for our upcoming Heart Beat Conference in Berlin... it reads: "Folge Deinem Herzen - Follow your heart" -- which you know could get you into lots of trouble... but I loved the idea that this Cola had an extra slogan on it, for a cause. I'd like to change it to: Follow HIS heart! We're emphasizing the "7 heart attitudes" at our conference this November.
Stefan interpreting (and doing a splendid job!) for Neil.
On the back side of our retreat, we attended a Greenhouse Conference with speaker Neil Cole from Long Beach, California. We took home lots of ideas which we now incorporating and sifting through--about organic church, discipleship, & small groups that multiply faster.
Kris H., Abraham R., me, Hendrik & Maggie von N., Anja & Thomas K., Anja G., Birthe M.
I'm with a very cool family, Mike and Carrie, who have been able to connect with a group of college students in Vienna. He was kind enough to do a lot of our legwork and local organization before we arrived!