“Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:24
This past week flew by, and it’s not even finished. Thank God!
We prayer walked the University in Dresden this week. We think we found the building where they teach English, and we wanted to get some information. However, the office for International Students was closed. I hope to go back out there when it is open, and see if I can talk to someone. My team and I feel like we can really do some work on that campus. We want to start an English club or something like that.
The campus is pretty cool. There are a lot of old buildings. It seemed pretty friendly, too. Despite the cold, there were people walking around and looking happy (for the most part). Sarah made an astute observation that unlike schools in the States, most of the students ate in the cafeteria not in the restaurants sprinkled throughout the campus.
It snowed every day this week. It was pretty cool, but it was also pretty cold. (Haha… Look at me being all witty with words.) Today, it snowed pretty hard this morning, but it warmed up a little, and it turned into rain. When I say warmed up, I mean like a half degree above freezing. It turned from snow and ice to rain and slush. It’s pretty icky outside.
The main thing that happened this week was a huge breakthrough with our team. These first three weeks in Dresden were difficult. We’ve been allowing the enemy a foothold on us and what we’ve been trying to do. It finally got to a point where we realized that we couldn’t allow this to happen. God really did a huge work in us, and we’ve declared that the next four months are going to be the greatest four months of our lives. Thank you for praying.
I’ve also discovered that there is a shop here that sells purple ink for fountain pens. It’s the little things, you know! What other discoveries have I made? There is a shop called Der Euro Shop which is pretty much a dollar store. No matter what the culture, children are loud. Germans make really good pizza. The different states in Germany have school breaks scheduled for different weeks. That way the country won’t shut down because everyone’s on break. Smart, eh?
I also wonder why we don’t do this– take off our shoes when we enter a house? It makes sense especially in Georgia with our signature red clay… that comes out of nothing. Around meal times, there are carts everywhere selling various food stuffs. Germans like to eat outside and standing up no matter what the weather. They’re kind of like postal workers in that sense. 🙂 There are several shopping centers all very close to one another. It’s like a mega mall. I think my sister would like it very much.
Last Friday (13/Feb), the anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, we went to the Frauenkirche for a memorial service. It lasted about an hour. There was a great choir and a couple of speakers one of whom was a former POW. He was very anti Neo-Nazi. I had no idea what they were saying, but Jason and Amy translated. Well, I caught some things like numbers… and numbers. Yeah. Anyway, it was still cool. Before the service, they rang the bells for the duration of the attack. There’s no way to describe it, really. It is hard to believe that in that short amount of time, 2-3 min I think, that the city was up in flames.
I keep going back and forth in my week, but a lot actually did happen. On Tuesday (17/Feb), we had our first German lesson with a sweet old lady from church. She’s 86. Eighty-six. She’s lived in Germany most of her life. She took a brief break from it in the 80’s when she went to live with one of her daughters in Australia. She drew maps during the war (WWII). I wonder if she was in Dresden at the time of the bombings. She is so full of life and interesting stories! What else? Oh! She’s learning how to play the piano. She’s 86 and learning to play the piano. So, no excuses for anyone saying you’re too old to start something new.
This week we also helped celebrate a new believer’s birthday (18/Feb). From what I understand, it is the first birthday in a long time that she’s celebrated sober. She felt that she didn’t matter enough to have her birthday celebrated, but we hope that we helped her understand otherwise. She got a study Bible for her birthday, and she is so proud of it. I’ve never seen anyone protect or handle a Bible like she did. It makes me wonder why I don’t do the same. It is, after all, God’s love letter to humanity.
We also had the chance to share the Gospel with a girl from the Journeygirl’s language class (17/Feb). We watched a Jesus film with her (not The Jesus Film. It was from the Gospel of Luke) and hopefully clearly explained it to her. Her heart language is Japanese. She knows a some English and some German. Crazy, right? She was completely amazed at the miracles Jesus performed again making me wonder why I don’t gasp every time I read The Bible. I believe she understood. She was touched and excited that the Journeygirl is working on getting her a Japanese Bible. It is on the way, so please pray that it gets here before she leaves Germany later this coming week. Also pray that her heart is open to what is doing in her. She’s 21 years old, and this is the first time she’s even heard the Gospel. Can you imagine that?
We grew up in a culture where even if you don’t believe the Gospel, you’ve at least heard it more than once (quite possible hundreds and hundreds of times). Now, I live in a culture where they’re taught the Gospel is outdated. They’re tired of hearing about it; they don’t believe that it’s of any use to them. It’s heartbreaking.
However, this verse gives me hope:
The Sovereign Lord will show you His justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise Him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, filled with young plants springing up from everywhere. Jeremiah 61:11
I’ve already been a witness to this. C’s ministry is like the fertile soil with the young plants springing up from everyone. It’s a sight to behold.
Last night (Friday 20/Feb), we went out to Neustadt. This witnessing thing is still brand new to me. I’m still learning about the many facets of street witnessing. I’m sure some of you who know me pretty well will be shocked at what you are about to read. There were 11 of us- 5 girls, 6 guys. 7 Americans, 5 Germans. We gathered in a circle and read from the 1 John. We took turns reading a chapter each in German and English. I read chapter 4. I was scared out of my mind when we went down there because I had no idea what was going on or why we were doing this. Once it started, there were some amazing things that happened.
Whenever we got to a part about Jesus being the Savior of man or about Him being the Son of God, something would happen. It was usually a loud distracting noise like a big delivery truck or some group of drunk teenagers screaming. Once, a dog ran through our circle and a man in a wheelchair came through us. The enemy was doing everything in his power trying to get us to stop proclaiming the truth in his territory. We weren’t screaming at anyone or throwing The Bible down their throats. I feel that we were claiming that area for God. Rather, He was using us to claim that area for Himself.
After the first chapter, a drunk young man came into our circle. He listened for a second and pointed to the guy reading in German and said, “Der Bibel!” (That’s German drunkard for The Bible. It’s actually die Bibel.) I am not sure exactly what was said between this young man and the guy who took him aside to chat. All I know is that he listened to almost the entire letter, and he was very excited when I started reading in English.
It started sprinkling while we were reading. 1 John is now crinkly, and it serves as a reminder for that night. I don’t know what came over me after that experience, but I literally ran up several flights of stairs feeling only the burn in my legs at the last set.
Unfortunately, we did not see our friends from two Fridays ago. We’re still praying for them, though.
After all of that, a group of us went to this really cool place. The Germans kept calling it a non-alcoholic bar. I guess that was pretty accurate. They served all kinds of mixed drinks sans alcohol along with coffees and a little bit of food. It was VERY inexpensive. I got a good mug of Mandelkaffee (almond coffee) for 80 Euro cents. It was a great time of fellowship. We talked (somewhat loudly, of course. Americans aren’t the only ones who are loud, by the way!), laughed a lot, and even had some German and English lessons sprinkled throughout the evening. What it comes down to is that God answered a prayer I prayed before I came. He answered it in a huge way.
All my love!