Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feelin' Fall

A lot has happened since my last blog! First I went off to Cologne with around thirty other individuals from Haus des Herrn. I rode up in the English car which had people from Africa, India, New Zealand and Canada. So what were we up to? We went to an Encounter Weekend which is about finding freedom in Christ and the power of forgiveness. It was an intense time so I really didn't take pictures but here's a few of us during a dinner break.

We were back for church on Sunday and in the evening there was an event at Coffee Fellows. The church rents out this coffee shop so people can bring friends who want to learn more about God but may not want to go to church. The theme was "The Way, The Truth and The Life". The atmosphere is relaxed with live music, coffee and conversation. There were three interviews throughout the evening, with each person describing what it looks like in their life to have one aspect of Jesus as the way, the truth or the life.

Then early Monday morning we (Ruth, Ralph, Valerie, Inge and I) were off to Field Forum in Ratzeburg.

Ratzeburg is an absolutely stunning place - it is a peninsula so there is plenty of water surrounding this quaint area.

Field Forun is a yearly event for missionaries within the Alliance to connect, recharge and be cared for. Here are the caregivers:

Jody and Caryn from Moses Lake.
They know a girl I went to Belhaven with - what a crazy small world!

Bob and Judy Ether from Savanna.
We love you guys - thanks for coming and serving!

Ralph around town - fits right in :)

This is the room we used for the dance workshop. We had to do a bit of rearranging - first thing to go lamps and tables. These are really cool lamps though - they can be attached anywhere along theses rods. Thanks to our handy man Ralph they were not in the way.

Ralph and Ruth had fun dancing in all the free space.

These are all the brave souls who signed up for the dance workshop.
A special mention to Ralph and Jerry as they were the only men and I did not tailor it to them - so thanks for being good sports!

This is me and my good friend Val. In case you're wondering I'm being the vine ;)

Here's one of the cuties that was running around at Field Forum - this is Hannah.
Field Forum was a very encouraging time where I made some great friends and connections.

We got home on Friday and on Saturday we took a day trip to Heidelberg (about 25 minutes from Mannheim).
This is the main palace there.

Each of these statues depicts someone from the bible.

I am extremely excited because this is the first time I've found the equivalent of a Tea Misto or London Fog - different lingo depending where you buy coffee.

Walking back to the car we saw this...count em... 39 letter word!

So without cheating, I challenge you to leave your best guess as to what it means.
Hint: There is one very similar in Calgary and several people from Ambrose have done an internship or worked here.

I do have a video of Ralph saying this word but I am having issues uploading a video this time around - sorry.

Also on the way back I found some of the best graffiti ever!
This is just a portion of this piece of art.

Thursday October 29th is my sister's birthday but it also marks the end of my first month here! Thank you for your prayers and support. I will now be in Mannheim for the rest of my stay. The blogs will be more details and stories as I get to know people, get more involved with the church and keep you posted on new developments.

I will be starting language classes at the University of Mannheim on November 16! I am looking forward to this time of instruction to really start grasping the German language. I am able to read it quite well and my pronunciation is good. Please pray that I will begin to understand what I am hearing and remember what I am learning. This program is 5 hours of study for 5 days a week. This intensive time will be very helpful to the rest of my time here as I communicate with others.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hillsong Conference 2009

So here are my wonderful roomies Barbara and Judith

The Hillsong Conference for Europe just happened to be in London...so here are some pics of my whirlwind tour!

Here I am-just arrived in rainy rainy London and if you look closely you will see the yogurt spattered on the front of my jacket and scarf.

Unfortunately this was only the first of many incidents. Later in the day at the museum I was waiting outside sipping my tea, when a lady fell into me. Lucky for her I broke her fall and I assured her I was fine as tea dripped off of my face BUT the good news is it wasn't scalding hot :) For anyone who knows me well this next story will not surprise you. At dinner I spilled my full cup of tea around everyone's dinner :( I have decided I will never live in London.

There was a demonstration at Parliament - people scaled the walls and had signs and flags reading "Change Politics Save the Climate". It definitely got people's attention.

Did you know there is always an emergency in London - between helicopters, police cars, fire trucks and ambulances there always seems to be a siren going.

Here I am at Trafalgar Square. I got to see some originals of Pierre August Renior - my favorite impressionist!

Had to get the classic pic

I got to know the tube and DLR system quite well. In the background is the base of Big Ben.

We walked through St. James Park to Buckingham Palace

Here I experienced a first - I saw a black swan and its baby. There were so many birds: ducks, white and black swans and pelicans!

The Queen was home :)

Me with Bob the Bobby...so tempting to run inside and visit the Queen Mother but I restrained myself!

A Palace guard - I saw the changing of the guards, it's rather funny.
Artistic shot from the keyhole of a gate.

I just had to visit Harrods and when we went inside we ran into Brian Houston and Gary Clarke. For those of you who aren't Hillsong fanatics they were the "head honchos" of the conference.

Here at the Tower Gateway Bridge - by a cool door.

Here's the gang I spent many hours with each day;)

Here is the Hillsong Church in London. They rent the Dominion Theatre each Sunday!
We arrived 20 min early for church and it took over a minute to walk to the back of the line. I've never have to line up for church before!

This is inside the ExCeL Center where the conference was. We started at 9:30am till 9:30pm! It was an intense and wonderful experience on many levels.
1) Worshiping with that many people at once (over 42 countries present)
2) Hillsong and Hillsong United music with Israel Houghton as a special guest
3) Several renowned and inspirational speakers:
- Brian & Bobbie Houston
-Gary Clarke
-Graig Roeschel
-Flip Flippen
-Joseph Prince
-Donna Crouch
-Nicky Gumbel
-Christine Caine
4) I got to know some of the leadership and church members of HDH better!
5) I am filled, renewed, and have notes to refer to during my internship (especially the session on creative arts in the church)

Finally the Brit's just have a way of saying things...like "mind the gap". Well here is one of many funny signs I saw:

On that note please pray for me as I prepare to lead a workshop at an upcoming conference.