Thankful Sunday: July 22nd

Last Thursday was an action-packed last day in Salzburg, and then Friday we were traveling all day, and then yesterday I pretty much slept and went to the grocery store. So, now it is Sunday, and I am finally getting around to posting my thankful list. Haha. Enjoy!

1. Sleep, and Melatonin. For those of you who know me well, you know my utter inability to sleep in past about 9am. Just can’t do it. My brain wakes up, and I just go until I fall asleep again that night. Well, all of that changed on Saturday, thanks to my good friend Melatonin (coupled with sheer exhaustion). I arrived home from Summer Project at 12:30am after traveling for more than 24 hours (body clock time) completely and utterly spent. I collapsed into my bed, and then true to form, woke up a mere three hours later at 4:00 in the morning, brain awake and ready to go, telling me that it was actually 10:00. I said no way, Jose’, took a melatonin, and slept 9 more hours until 1:30 PM. You know the saying “I feel like a new person”? I think the Lord literally revived and rejuvenated me into a new person during those 12 glorious hours of sleep. So thankful that He created us to need rest, and gives us the time and space to take it.

2. Summer Project! In 4.5 weeks on campus, our team initiated 493 conversations, and shared the gospel 98 times! In addition to being on campus, we had a lot of fun getting to know the city, and each other. I love our group so much, and am thankful for each person the Lord brought to Berlin this summer!

3. Celebration. One of the main themes of my summer was learning to celebrate what God was doing – the big and little things. I love that the Gospel-centered life is not one of drudgery and performance, but joyful freedom to serve and follow Jesus. I love that even in the hard times, we can still celebrate God at work in our life and the lives of others. Praise Him!

4. Alone time. I knew I wouldn’t get much of that this summer, and I am thankful that the past few days have afforded me a bunch to catch up. ­čÖé

5. New friends! Our team developed some sweet community while on project, and I am thankful for the way the Lord is using each of them in my life. No matter where we go in the future, we will always have Berlin Summer Project 2012 to tie us together!

Finishing Strong

Our time in Berlin is coming to a close, and we have been talking a lot this week about finishing strong. The team has done a great job staying strong to the end of project and keeping focused on the mission we came here to do, and I am so proud of them!! Today we are heading to Salzburg for our debriefing. I am so thankful for our time here in this city, and am excited about all that the Lord has done in the past 5 weeks in and through our team! Pray that we will continue to finish well as we spend time celebrating what God has done and preparing to head back home. Hopefully there will be a few more stories from our time here that we will post throughout the week! Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry!!!

(PS. You can also check out our team blog at http://www.arkpages.com/berlin2012 for more from our summer!)

Thankful Thursday: July 5th

Week 3 in Berlin and thankful for these 5 things…

1. Our hostel. Thankful for mattresses (even though they are thin), and pillows (even when they are the size of a candy bar), and breakfast that is the same every morning, but with enough variety to change things up at times. Thankful for the delightful staff, and their willingness to accommodate our needs whenever they can. Also, for the groups, that keep things interesting. All the time.

2. Discipleship! Love getting to pour into two women on this project, learning from them and also teaching them. Seeing someone grow in their walk with the Lord is one of the best parts of my job.

3. Our team! They are so awesome!

Our team at the top of Teufelsberg, or Devil’s Mountain, in the Grunewald, with the panorama of Berlin behind us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Berlin, also tied to the picture above. We had a great view of the city from this mountain once the clouds cleared, and it was so beautiful to look all the way across the panorama. Love this city, and love what God is doing here. God is moving mightily in this city, and it is awesome to be a small part of it! Thankful for another 10 days here before heading home.

5. Sunshine after clouds! Sunday afternoon started out gray and dreary, but by the end of our Great Adventure we had the sky in the picture above!

Memories and Musings

I’ve been musing on something for the past few weeks as we have visited some of the various apartments that the STINTers live in. Much of the furniture and furnishings that we bought/found/acquired by some means/moved multiple times/etc, are still floating around the city. It is so funny to me to walk into an apartment and see my old comforter, or our dishes, or wardrobe, or table, or couches, or artwork, or bookshelves, or quote books, or things from former teammates apartments. I’ve never really felt attached to things, or at least I didn’t think I was, but seeing all of these things makes me feel super nostalgic. It is not just the things themselves, but the memories attached.

Take tonight, for example. I walked into the apartment where we were having dinner, and our awesomely rickety and sketchy table from 08-09 STINT team was sitting there! Still alive and kicking after all these years….it’s a miracle, for sure. There were so many times we thought that table was going to disintegrate into firewood, but it just keeps going! It made me think of team dinners, board games, Raclette S’mores, aaaannnddd skillet cookie. Mmmm so good.

Or last week, at another apartment, our old quote book was sitting on the bookshelf. Still funny after all these years, and I love that it is still around! I was reading through it and laughing until my stomach hurt at the things we said. Some of them don’t make much sense anymore, but that almost makes them funnier, without the context to go along with them.

The couches, futons and chairs are probably the most memory-evoking items though – so many conversations that spoke truth, grace, courage, love, kindness, and blessing on one another happened over the years on those seats. Conflict resolution was something I learned how to handle in a Christ-like manner sitting on those couches, and we laughed, oh how we all laughed together.

Anyway, I don’t have a pretty bow or analogy or anything to wrap this up. It has just been special to be reminded of the Lord’s goodness and blessings when we were on STINT through the furnishings He provided for us, and I have been praying at each apartment that the things that have been passed down will continue to be used by the Lord to draw the team and people in the city closer to Him and to one another.

Thankful Thursday: June 28th (a day late)

I was on my computer several times yesterday, and each time forgot to do my weekly post!

Thankful this week for these 5 things:

1. Summer arriving in Berlin. The past week has been rainy and cold, and just generally dreary. It affected my mood, and the moods of many people on the team – especially having to walk everywhere! But, we were thankful for the rain, and now we are thankful for the sunshine reappearing and making it feel like summer again.

2. Free time/Alone time. After living alone for the past two and a half years, it is quite an adjustment to have roommates and teammates around constantly! Super fun, and I love it, but I have also enjoyed having free time to be alone and recharge my soul.

3.  Conflict. It is so true that conflict deepens community when handled well, and I am thankful for the things going on that are drawing our group closer together as we work through them!

4. Football (Soccer, to most of you)! I love how much Europe loves soccer, and the enthusiasm and spirit surrounding the Euro Cup the past few weeks. It has been great fun being in town for another Cup, even though Germany lost last night. It amazes me how much pride and patriotism there is during the games – flags on cars and in windows, food and clothes in the colors of the flag, etc. Today though after Germany was out of the game, all of the outward trappings were gone, hidden away until the next tournament.

5. Skype/HeyTell/WhatsApp/Etc. Thankful that when I am here, my parents are in Budapest and on a river cruise, family and friends are back in the states, we can still stay connected! Hooray!