Monday, July 30, 2012

Walking the ancient paths of Greece

 God allowed me the privilege of walking down some ancient paths this summer... Here I am in Corinth, right after a company conference in Greece.
 Athens was outstanding... i could roam around here for weeks, and pick up REAL Greek (I studied 2 years of koine Greek to read the New Testament, in my Masters)... if the sun and heat were not so unbearable...
 Back to Corinth... yes i took this photo! it looks like a postcard, huh?

 creativity in useful objects -- a rain spout
 wall murals... less expensive apparently than a mosaic
 This "draw bridge" is ... well, NOT one... instead, it lets the boat pass by lowering the bridge versus raising it!
 Athens... an urban sprawl... white- cream colored buildlings... people experiencing life on their terraces...  traffic... exciting.
 Mars Hill... Paul the Apostle's famous encounter with philosophers Athens' city- shapers... love that speech!

 very special friends, Steven and Susan, also on the tour-- they welcomed me to their hearts and city, my first year in Germany... teaching me culture & setting up my apartment and language school!
replica of the Parthenon's east pediment found in the new Acropolis Museum

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spring/ summer semester comes to an end

This summer a friend, Karen (middle), was here for a month. She helped lead a group of college students to come during several Januarys for 10 days to Braunschweig. Karen came to support our Connexxion team with various projects. She is a great model to me of faith, being stretched to do something that actually many people could do with their vacation time and "overtime", to make a big difference in another country!
For the first time ever in Connexxion-- this year we had a Bible discussion group in a college residence hall. It was great to be able to enjoy a picnic. We regularly made meals together or brought simple foods to share, & then had our chat about a passage from the Bible. (Kris, on staff, is sitting in the front above).
 Sometimes we shared a meal on the 1st floor, or 3rd floor, or even 9th floor kitchen!
 Beck is wearing a hat here in front of the dorms, where Mike (left) and Anna lived (middle)-- he and Shawn are from River Church in Norman, Oklahoma, and visited after they helped with a special exchange week with the Connexxion group in Hamburg.
 At Connexxion we love theme parties... this was a Mexican night for girls, at Anja's apartment! Here she is with Hülya and Rima.

 Jacky made this amazing cheese cake!
 Before the semester ended, we were invited to participate as a student club in a university "open house"... where we sponsored a poster display of the "10 Myths of Christianity"...
 ... and had 3 guest speakers from our church share in a panel discussion about science and faith.
 This year it seems like God brought a lot of friends to visit... including Barry, who works for a surfing company called Futures Fins-- he is from a partner church in Huntington Beach, Seabreeze. My friend Christoph (left) invited Kris, Sören, Barry and myself over for a visit.
 Lisa (in blue) also donated time this summer to help with Connexxion! She's a nursing student from Michigan, studying in Tennessee.We
We ended the semester with a fun party at Kris'. Pictured here are Warren, from Massachusetts; Janina, from Germany; Thanh, from Vietnam; and Kris, from the land of Texas!
 This is the inside of a music / practice room in the dorms, where we met each Tuesday for our Bible discussion group (one of 5 such groups meeting regularly in Braunschweig!).
Janina was drawing an illustration to show the group, called "the Bridge."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

hamburg-- live!

 God blessed in so many ways, as River Church and Jennifer came to engage college students in Hamburg with Good News! Do you recognize this gal? Yasmin on the right used to be my roomie in Sevilla-- and worked with Connexxion -- and got to visit there again the week after these events!
 Here is Vera, who leads Connexxion there, doing Soularium surveys with students during a summer festival.
 A student Marei handed out cake and tea...
 spring was in the air...
 I am with our intern Karen (middle top), intern Joanna (far left) and the 6 -member group from River Church in Oklahoma.

 The city is gorgeous and the Rathaus (town hall) quite impressive
 Vera having a fun moment at the park...
 a beach party indoors? why not!

 handing out flyers on campus for our "W.O.W" week (week of welcome)
 more campus time...
 pasta parties in 2 apartments one night...
 Hooman, Beck and Mario hanging out near the port

 Kim and her husband serve on staff with the BSU in Norman. Jennifer was the team leader and is staying to join Vera for a few weeks this summer and to learn about Connexxion.
Christopher with his Germany T-shirt on (it was European Championship in soccer), beside Beck and Chris' roommate Julian! A cool this-- Beck came 5 years ago to help with a group in Braunschweig, my first summer getting the Connexxion group off the ground here!

one exciting day

 Well, it's one of those things you long for and pray for... a baptism service with friends!
 Two of our good friends with Connexxion got baptised in our church in Braunschweig. After the worship, we celebrated with a large barbecue with friends.
 Here is Thanh, who comes originally from Asia and is studying engineering. Beside him is Lydia and her folks-- she was a student in Jena, who moved to Braunschweig to get her Masters (then her doctorate), and helping us get the Connexxion group "off the ground" when we were really new in 2007!
 Karen T. was our 1-month intern from Union Univ. where she serves on staff and is a super talented young woman! (Birthe and Anja with her)
 Sören also got baptised that day (lifted up here by friends from his chemistry and physics studies, who came just to support him that day).
His mom and family members also came to support him!