Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2011

Ankunft in Deutschland

Nach einer sehr turbulenten Fahrt zum Flughafen (wir hatten unser gesamtes Gepäck auf der Ladefläche eines Trucks und nach einer 3 monatelangen Dürre fängt es 30 Minuten vor unsrer Ankunft aus Eimern an zu schütten- die Ironie Gottes) und einem sehr entspannten Flug wurden wir am Frankfurter Flughafen so, so nett empfangen. Ganz viele Freunde waren da (einige hatten sich extra freigenommen) und sogar meine Eltern sind extra zum Hallo sagen vorbeigekommen. Unser Haus war aufgeräumt, sauber gemacht, dekoriert und mit allem wichtigen ausgestattet. Chriss hat gleich gestern abend den Gottesdienst geleitet und anstatt einer Predigt gab es eine halbstündige Wein- orgie (also Tränen, nicht Alkohol.HA!, witziges Wortspiel). Es ist sooo schön, wieder zu Hause zu sein. So schön! Danke an alle! Ihr seid klasse!

the deer encounter

On our last morning in Texas i woke up at dawn and decided to go for a little walk to see everything for a last time. As i came to the lake behind our barn there were to deer in the distance, so far away i could hardly see them in the dim of the morning light. I tried to sneak closer without them noticing me. They became aware of me and stood still, ready to head off. But since i didn´t move fast and didn´t seem threatening, they started walking towards me. It was a 15 minutes game of walking towards each others and standing still, just staring at each others. One of them was so curious, he came so close, i could almost touch him. But than his friend called him back and they kept a safe distance until they finally lost interest and moved on.
I´ve never experienced something like that before. Normally I try to get as close as possible without them seeing me, but as soon as they do, they run away fast. I did not expect them to stay and approach me and it was an almost divine moment.

This little deer encounter made me realise two things:
In Psalm 46,10 it says: Be still and know that i am God. I gotta take the time to wait upon the Lord, to be not filled by all kinds of thoughts, and plans and goals to achieve. I have to stand still and wait for God to reach out to me. This is a tough one since i am so used to pack my short day with all kind of Todos to achieve. But in this case I was so glad that i had taken the time just to go out and walk around without anthing specific in mind, that i didn´t have the goal to run a certain amount of miles or go to a specific place.
I also noticed that i have certain expectations of how things will happen. I expected the deer to run away from me and was so surprised that they didn´t at the end. I wanted to hide from them to get a result but than got a much better result when i was exposed to them. My expectations are so often wrong and sometimes they hinder me from having great experiences.
For example: Most of us, when we think of difficulties in our life, we expect to experience pain and suffering and all kinds of bad feelings. So our goal is to try to get out of those circumstances as fast as possible. We try to solve the problem, we try to undo what has happened, we try to avoid or even repress it. But we don´t expect a divine encounter in the midst of it, even though God gave us so many promises that he will be nearest in our most difficult circumstances.

So..... let us wait a little more and let us try to not have our expectations set too much on how it´s ought to be!

Sonntag, 10. Juli 2011

Farewell lunch

Today was such an amazing last day in church. Woodsedge community church rocks! They were so so so very kind to us: prayed for us, laughed and ate with us, shared stories, hugged and kissed us goodbye.

I have no idea how i managed not to cry without ceasing. I did really well, but therefore i am bawling now, as i am writing this..... ;-)

God really did so many special things in those last 10 months. We got attached to some people so much, it feels like they´ve been best friends for a long time.

We enjoyed all those ministries we´ve been involved in and everything just seemed so right, such a perfect timing. All those ministries and relationships came so natural. Sometimes we even felt we didn´t do enough hard work. But now, to see in review all that has happened in those last 10 months and how many people got involved and got excited about caring for their community, just blows our mind. We acnowledge Gods fingerprints and signature in how everything came about.

All the Fosterkids from Bethel Ranch came to the lunch and it was so hard to say Good bye. One boy came running to the stage crying, telling me we have to wait for his birthday in 5 days until we can leave. I had a little private pre- party with him and as i was thinking about what present i could give him, i realised i had brought a toy to the church to somehow give it to someone who could use it. It was the perfect gift for a boy his age. I was so glad, i had "accidentally" brought that gift.

Thank you so much, Woodsedge community church, for all that you´ve been to us in these last 10 months. We are thankful that our pathes crossed and we hope and pray that there will be more crossing points in the future.

We now officially declare Woodsedge as our second church home (maybe our "church- beachhouse", being not to far from Galveston :-))

God bless y´all!

what we will miss

Kimmy and Jenna thought up their own song to present to the church today. Kimmy was so confident doing it, Jenna Mae was rather shy. That just confirms my theory that Kimmy is a stage girl, and Jenna is an animal lover. They sang about all the things they are going to miss:
the barn, the burgers and fries, their friends, the church and the sunday school, the animals (but not the snakes) .....

Here´s my list of things i am going to miss:

We will miss the good, yummie and plenty food, but hopefully we will also miss some pounds of body- weight in a few weeks time.

We will miss the texan sunshine, but will be glad to not have to wear coats and mittens while sitting in a house (or at least have the desire to do so).

We will miss the huge variety of wild creatures, especially the cute little hummingbirds.

We will not miss the Skunk Smell.

We will miss strangers walking by, saying “Excuse me, honey” without even touching us. (No one in Germany except my husband would ever call me Honey, Sugar or Darling.)

We will miss strangers asking us how we are doing.

We will miss the customer service.

We will miss having our food packed for us at the grocery store.

We will miss the Spanish moss hanging down from the trees.

We will miss Kids saying “Yes, ma`am” and “Yes, sir”.

We will miss good Country music.

We will miss Mexican Restaurants.

We will miss Buiscuit Pancake mix, Lay Chips Sour Crème and Onion, Blue Bell ice cream Chocolatechip Cookie dough , Smoothie King Smoothies and cokes in cans.

We will miss “free Refill”

We will miss our friends!

Samstag, 9. Juli 2011

Deutschland wir kommen!

Flug LH 441 von Houston (IAH)
Ankunft 8:45 in Frankfurt
Terminal 1

wir freuen uns drauf...

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2011

Our last days in the US

Only 16 days left for us here the in the US...
And how awesome is it that God is allowing us to make these last days here count!
Thx God

last week we arrived here in Alabama and I (chriss) have been out all week from 7:30am till about 6pm to help in the Tornado relief efforts here in Alabama Huntsville that was hit April 27th with an F5 Tornado. only 13 people died here, although up till now over 340 people died here in the US due to Tornados and their destruction.

It was intense, terrifying, shocking, awesome, painful, hard, tough, fun, blessed to be honored to be a part of this.
The first day I came to a place where a couple of neighbors had a B-B-Q Party and all stayed in the one house and about 20 yards/meters one of the most devastating Tornados touched down and picked up a house, throe it into a tree and took the rest to smash it into the owners lively hood - his store.
All with the owner watching this... the friend who had just gone across teh street to get something for the BBQ never came back...
And now we're in there, picking up the rubble and trying to save anything that might have a personal or emotional value for the owner and his family...

Jesse, the home owner was deeply moved that so many from all over came to help him clear his property! There are only 60 days after the Catastrophe to get all the junk to the side of the streets to be picked up.

The next day a roof needed to be fixed again with a blue tarp until the owner lady has enough money for the final fixes...
and the rest of that week we cut trees... all sizes and shapes in all sorts of crazy positions...
It was hard, dangerous work, as these trees were blown over in all sorts of directions and many of them under a lot of tension or pressure...
But it was fun too. Especially driving the skeet loader...

more pictures below...

But when you are out there, it's real intense as some of the homes are unharmed and th house right next to it it totally blown away...
People here say that they rather have a hurricane than a Tornado, because they are so much more destructive and at the same time so absolutely unpredictable...
Like these trees were blown over on both sides of a house, but the house literally untouched, only a few shingles needed replacement...

And then there are these powerful conversations with the others that work or the home owners about suffering and pain... why does God allow it? What is God's plan? What does the bible say about a year like 2011 that has already outnumbered the whole last century on major natural catastrophes?

So please pray for Nancy, a old colored lady that lost all she had and now lives in a tiny mobile home on her property and is the most thankful and loving person I have met in this last week.
Also pray for Jesse, that He might be moved to give up his self reliance to turn to Christ for His salvation and hope, not his own ability to just "deal with it."

here are a few more pictures to give you some more impressions:

Dienstag, 21. Juni 2011


Gestern morgen um 4 haben wir uns auf den Weg nach Alabama gemacht. Wir durchquerten enorme Weiten, wunderschöne Wälder und die Sümpfe Louisannas und kamen nach etwa 15 Stunden in Huntsville an. Die Rhynes, eine befreundete Familie, die wir aus Heidelberg kennen, sind vor einigen Wochen hierher gezogen und sie überschütten uns mit Gastfreundschaft und lassen uns bei ihnen wohnen. Wir sind hier, um für eine Woche mitzuhelfen, die vom Tornado zerstörten Häuser zu räumen. Chriss ist früh am morgen in die betroffenen Gebiete gefahren um sich mit einem Team von "hope church" zu treffen, die dort die Aufräumarbeiten organisieren. Die Kinder und ich haben einen ruhigen Tag im Rhyne- Haus und hatten besonderen Spass daran, mit dem sehr freundlichen Hund zu spielen. Wir sind gespannt, auf die Berichte, die Chriss nachher mit nach Hause bringen wird.