Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Landed, Readjusting and Working Already!!!

Hello My Faithful Blog Readers!
As most of you know I am back in Canada. I had a beautiful goodbye with lots of love and memories and then I was warmly welcomed home by my friends and family. As soon as I got to Canada my mom was there to greet me and then a couple of my girlfriends brought over a bunch of balloons and we had fun catching up. My sis also dropped by for a bit. The following day I got to see more people and finally give my dad that long awaited hug!
At anyrate, you get the idea. At the request of a couple friends in Germany I will be continuing with my blog now that I am back home. Feel free to drop by anytime and see what kinda crazy things I'm up to.
I have been so blessed to find work and start working all during my first week back! I am working a temporary position at HP Enterprise Services. I get along really well with my boss and the people in the office have been so nice. It's great hours and pay, I am very thankful and I feel so blessed!
What's new and coming up for me?
On June 26th I'm planning on going to a dance audition for the Corps Bara: Project Company. I'll let you know how it goes.
If any of you would like to meet with me one on one to catch up or to hear more about my time in Germany, I would really love that! Just let me know and we'll make it happen :)
See You Around

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Busy Bee

Hi Friends!

The countdown continues...only 8 days till I'm back in Cow Town :)

I've been up to lot's since we last spoke. I got to be patriotic and paint my face with the Canadian maple leaf as we watched the hockey game of Canada vs. Switzerland in the SAP arena. I'm sad to say we lost and deserved to. It was a crazy atmosphere. I was surrounded by hard core Swiss fans and they had drums and chants for the whole game...made me realize just how lame our cheers are. Anyways, on to other things.

As I mentioned I was off to Berlin to dance at the Berlin International Church. I was warmly welcomed and that evening I attended one of their cell groups. They were very kind and spoke in English for my sake. Two young ladies let me stay at their place. I had one day to tour the city and unfortunately it was cold and rainy. My computer is not letting me load many pictures so here's just one from Berlin.

Here is the Berliner Dom. We were fortunate to have Andrew with his major in history as our guide. We were very well informed :)

On the way to Berlin we stopped at Erfurt. This is Wartburg where Luther was hidden away for a year. I saw his room where he worked on translating the New Testament.

Next you will see a treat from the bakery, special for Father's Day!

We also happened upon this when we were walking about. We first heard some music with a small parade. Here you see the gathering of the carpenters and different tradesmen on the reunion/graduation which happens annually. They still wear the traditional clothes and it is an respected profession where men train for three years under a skilled tradesman.

Then we made our way to Wittenberg and here I am in front of the door where Luther nailed his 95 thesis. This was great to see all the places I've learned about.

The following weekend I went to Bavaria with the German Ladies Housegroup. This is where we stayed and this is at the Cheimsee Lake (which I think is the biggest lake in Germany). We went for a walk in the Alps and the next day were singing at the Lake - so fun!

Coming Up...this weekend I am going to the Haus des Herrn retreat. I will speak there on Thursday evening. Saturday I will attend and dance at a German wedding :) She's obviously got great taste since she's marrying a Canadian! Then I come home and have two days to pack.

So it's been a great ending to a year full of new opportunities and friends!
Thank you to all of you who read this blog, write me letters and support me prayerfully and financially. I am so blessed and I think I've changed a lot. I'm coming home with more passion and direction! Please pray for me as I say a difficult goodbye to a place, people and church I've fallen in love with.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dreams DO Come True!

Hi Friends!

It's so cool to see a lot of my little wishes, dreams, hopes and desires (whatever you wanna call them) coming true. Let me tell you of one of them that was realized last night. I got to see Samuel Harfst in concert. It's so cool cause my roomy has all of his CD's so I was really enjoying them and I was hoping that I would be able to see them in concert while I was here. Lucky for me they came all the way to Mannheim. So here's a sample of their music.

On a side note. Many people have asked when I am coming home but I've been lying all along. I just looked at my ticket last week to find that I've earned myself an extra day in Mannheim. So I will be home on June 09, 2010 and NOT on June 08th. Sorry for any confusion but I am grateful for the extra day to pack and say goodbye.

I'll update you soon on the remainder of my time here. Lots going on!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Glorious Day, Yesterday!

Hi Friends. You're probably thinking, "wow glorious is quite the descriptive word for a day" but it truly was. Please let me explain.

My sunny Sunday began as I walked to the train station when I noticed a car quickly pull onto the side walk. I looked, thinking that was rather strange, only to see someone sticking their head out the window yelling something at me. As I took a few more steps I realized it was the couple whose kids I tutor in English and they asked if I wanted a ride. I squished in the back with the kids and got an unexpected lift to church! A great start to any day.

Now this is no ordinary Sunday. We quickly passed the Trafolhaus where we usually meet and we made our way to the beautiful city center. This day we were trying out one of the potential new locations for our growing church. This was really exciting for us because the location is amazing in the sense that it is central and easy to access, as well as the building itself is positioned very well and is very visible to the community which is people who are out shopping.

The new potential space for our church was very welcoming and the transition into this space seemed rather smooth. There are pro's and con's in any situation but I believe this place offers more pro's than con's. One of the big differences is that there is a raised stage. There is also a balcony at the back which looks onto the paradaplatz where there is a beautiful fountain in the center and many people linger and meet at this point. Anyways, I enjoyed the new building and the different dynamics.

After church I went to a friends house for a BBQ. There were many new people to meet, the weather was nice and sunny and they had a yard where we were able to squish our toes in the grass. To all the Canadians reading this, you're probably thinking 'big deal' BUT most people my age don't have yards, so it's something I really enjoyed. At any rate, I guess it kinda marked the beginning of spring for me.

I had to leave early so I could prepare for dancing at Coffee Fellows. The fun part was that my roomy let me drive her car back to Mannheim and I had my first driving experience in Germany. She has a standard and it's been a long time since I drove one, so I was a little hesitant but was so glad that I faced my fears and made my dream come true - driving on the autobahn.

In the evening I enjoyed a mango frap and conversation with friends. The Fellow Meets God team put on a wonderful evening and I concluded it by dancing. I felt comfortable dancing in a Coffee Shop full of strangers and I think it was well received. The most awkward part for me is after the dance is finished and people start clapping. This is when I become uncomfortable.

The theme of the evening and my dance was "living water", and exploring life before and after being filled with living water. Someone made a cute clip displaying this with a flower and the sun and eventually some water, then on the way out people were given water bottles with a verse on it about how this water will not satisfy but there is another water that comes from Jesus and it always satisfies.

I think there is so much creativity and excellence employed at this event, it makes me proud to be part of it as well as just enjoying my time there. So that my friends is what makes a Glorious Day for me.

I hope you're having some of your own. Please feel free to share your story with me.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dave & Seb - Was brauch ich [Official Video]

Hi Friends.

This is just a little video to bring understanding to all the bragging I've been doing of the talented musicians that play at Coffee Fellows. These two guys play twice a month after church at the coffee shop. It's meant to be a time to meet new people within the church. I hope you enjoy!

If you want you can check out their website (even though it's in German) it's
and FYI David's younger brother made this video. Talented family!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Up and Coming

First let me begin by filling you in on the weekend. It was GREAT! For those of you who don't know what Encounter is, it's the name of a weekend program that helps people deal with issues in their life by letting God encounter them. There are about 7 teaching sessions on key issues and after each session there is a time for people to come and deal with their issues by praying through them with someone else. This weekend shows and equips people how to deal with issues that continue to come up when they are on their own and not in the nice atmosphere of such a retreat. This is the third one I've been to and I have found them to be helpful in my life.

The topic that I was covering as I mentioned in my last blog was sin. This is a rather heavy topic with which we all too easily identify but it's necessary to confront it and take responsibility for it. So that's the short version for you!

Alright on to this week. Baaaaahh, where is time going these days? On Sunday evening I will be dancing at a coffee shop called Coffee Fellows. Our church meets here 4 times a year with something they've coined "Fellow Meets God". I believe I've mentioned it before but let me explain in a bit more detail.

This venue is perfect for people to invite friends who may be interested in God but do not feel comfortable going to a church. Each event has a topic that explores a bit of who God is. The fun part is there's always lots of creativity here. There are often musicians playing while people enjoy conversation and coffee. Then for the more formal program there is some sort of drama, story, dance, discussion panel etc...

I think this is an amazing opportunity to be in the community and in a place people feel comfortable. God moved in amazing ways not only for us but now Coffee Fellows is opening opportunities to other churches to use their facilities and stay open later in other parts of Germany. Recently, there was one done in Frankfurt. They are also willing to have us in there more often but we just can't do that much at the moment. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm glad I get to be a part of it. I wish y'all could come out and join us.

Well folks that's all for now!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm Back and Off Again

Hi Friends!

I just returned from a lovely holiday with part of my family. We were able to see a bit of Europe and enjoy Easter together. It was a fun packed time and upon returning home I've hit the road running. I've been catching up on some things and been preparing for the Encounter weekend in Waren. We leave tomorrow morning at 7:45am and we have an 8 hour drive ahead of us. Once we get there I will be on the leadership team, so that means I will be there to pray with people after each session as well as teaching a session on sin. I figure I've got lots of experience in this department.

I've still gotta pack but here's a few quick pics from our trip. These are the girls who danced wonderfully on Sunday.

Walking around Mannheim with lotsa rain which typified our trip.

In Heidelberg

One of the many castles dotting the Romantic Rhine

Nemo: named after the architect and inside it's a hands on Science museum for kids.

This is the most difficult part of the Rhine to navigate, this is where the legends says the sailors would be distracted by the Sirens.


This one's for Rish!

A few tulips were up but most were still just shoots due to the long winter.

Lovely Lillies

We're in Holland

Wind blown tulips.

Corrie Ten Boom's house that you can read about in "The Hiding Place"

This one's for my neighbors back home.

Alkmaar Cheesemarket (Kaasmarkt)

Beautiful skies!

Cool building in Denmark.

That's a glimpse of our trip.
Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Before I Go

I thought before I disappear for 10 days I should let you know how last Saturday's flag workshop went. We were glad to have several people from the Baptist church come and join us and we had a lot of fun together. I asked Mareika (the other girl on the dance team at HDH) to teach this since she is stronger with the flags than I am, as well I wanted to give her the opportunity to lead since I'm not going to be here for much longer.

I've noticed an increased interest from people in the church who are wanting to learn the flags, so I think we will continue in this direction for the remaining workshops.

Tomorrow I have the last rehearsal for the young girls dance and then they will perform it on Sunday. It's a song about rejoicing, so it's a happy dance :) Perhaps I will be able to load a video of it when I return from my trip.

Go in His Grace!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Convinced of Community

Hi Friends,

I want to share what I experienced this past Monday. Every Monday evening we have a ladies only house group that is in German. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's just a time during the week that a few people from the church get together to grow further in their walk with God by discussing things from the sermon and serving one another in this community.

I have so enjoyed all of our meetings and always leave encouraged. Despite all my wonderful feelings toward my group I didn't want to go on Monday because I knew it would be difficult to hold myself together. It's not that things are bad in my life or that I was just feeling emotional but it just happened that I received lots of difficult news from various people I care deeply about and the situations they are facing over the past two weeks. At first I thought I was not so phased by it but the longer it had to settle in me and with no one to tell except God, I was feeling burdened. It's hard to describe because I have a peace about each situation but I still had to grieve what people are facing.

In our meetings we always begin with worship, so this usually involves singing or some other creative type of worship. We began singing and it wasn't long before the tears started rolling. They came down quietly, first a few and then some more but I was somewhat in control. Then the lady next to me put her arm around me and I lost it. It's amazing how wonderful a touch can be. Anyways, the group allowed me to grieve and be real in their midst without all of the attention turning to me and the evening becoming about me. I am so thankful that the focus stayed where it was supposed to but yet I new people were still there supporting me. I think community is wonderful.

When you want to run from it, that's perhaps when you need it the most. It's humbling to "fall apart" and be real in front of many people but at the same time I'm so glad I have a place to do this. As I was leaving and reflecting I was more convinced than ever that we need community.

So that's a little of what I've been learning and experiencing this week. I know this is more personal than previous blogs but I hope that's ok.

Due to technical difficulties I will not be posting a video. Here's my exciting news. Disclaimer: exciting for me does not necessarily mean exciting to you. Five guys have expressed interest in learning a dance to be performed at one of our services. I think this is a great response since there have not been any guys dancing since I've come here. I'll keep you posted as things develop with this.

In other VERY EXCITING news my sister, her hubby and his dad will be joining me for spring break. I'm looking forward to my vacation which I have combined with my ELE (extended learning experience) which is my chance to debrief about my time here. I won't be back until April 6th, so I'm not planning on updating you during my vacation so I will give you the highlights once I return. I wish you all a wonderful Easter!

Y'all have a great week now!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Assembling Ikea Furniture

You know you've officially arrived at a level of new independence once you successfully assemble some Ikea furniture. Our project was to get the pull out couch together and functioning. It was actually quite easy and fun but I thought I'd post some pics of our hard work and then enjoying the fruit of our labor. This is Barbara's new couch and that means I get the comfy chair moved to my room. Score!

A personal hello:

So here's the world's greatest mentors.

Here's the whole gang.

This dress was screaming Karen Sudds when I walked by....can you hear it calling you?

This is for Rish and anyone else wanting to see shorter hairs styled curly.

And finally a few sights from Strasbourg.



random street

artistic license used: I think it's better upside down :)

That's all for now folks


Monday, March 1, 2010

Extra Extra Read All About It!!

This update is all about good news. I know it's the same day and I'm posting again. What madness is this? Well when you're excited about stuff you just gotta tell whoever you can and since you're my captive audience I thought I'd share with you first (seeing as it's 11:45pm).

1. You may have noticed that the thermometer has more than doubled it's first amount and it accounts for just over half of what I need! I must say I had some tears in my eyes to see how much you all have supported me. It really is overwhelming, so thank you for all of your love in this way.

2. I am taking part in a Mannheim Marathon on May 15th. I'm not crazy though, it's a relay with 4 people, so I will be running with others from our church. This is great motivation to keep active and help in preparation for the 10k I'm planning on running with my friend when I return home. I also think this will be a fun event. I forget the name for it but it's going to be a run into the dusk, which I think is a good idea when it's May! So, I'll keep you posted on some of my training but mostly on the big day.

3. I feel like any good Alliance sermon I need a third point. So here it is. I am growing so much here and I'm so often encouraged. That makes sense now that I read this - positive words bring life and that's something I'm experiencing here. I've also had a lot of opportunities to just try new things, so it's been a confidence builder. Lastly, I have amazing friends here and back home! I am truly blessed.

4. I get to dance everyday in my room because there's lots of room. In fact there's more room in here than in the kitchen so we're gunna try moving our table and chairs into my room so we can fit all our guests comfortably around the table for Sunday lunch. I think this will be funny, functional and memorable!

5. Ok I could go on and on but for your sake I'll end it here.

6. If you wanna comment I'd like to hear one thing that is great in your life today :)

K Bye!

As Promised a Dance Update

This is take number three because I only have 60 seconds on my camera at a time for recording something. I figure this is useful to you the viewer because I can't ramble on and I must stick to the important stuff. So here's my update from the weekend. Thanks for stopping by and tuning in.

BTW tonight I'll be leading communion at our house group which is another first for me!

I was struck yet again on Sunday by how different Mannheim is to Calgary. On Sundays everything is closed with the exception of gas stations and a few restaurants. I believe Calgary used to be more like that when I was a kid but not these days. While at times it's inconvenient, I enjoy this aspect of life here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So Encouraged I'm Ready to Burst!

This was our place for the weekend and 13 of us fit comfortably in here! The interior had a wonderful lay out maximizing on the space available :)

Here's a few nature shots from our walk.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Call to Prayer

Hi Friends,

I'm sure most of you have heard from the regular news that this weekend Haiti has called for prayer and fasting. I have a friend who some of you know, Sarah Gilman, who has been in Haiti since the beginning of October. She has been regularly updating us with personal stories and I just wanted to share this report with you.

Two things.
First I'm just writing to call you and everyone you know to join Haiti for a national weekend of prayer! Yep, Haiti it's self has called a weekend of fasting and prayer on behalf of it's nation. They have been broadcasting and speaking on national radio calling all witch doctors and everything to come and repent these next three days. As foreign staff we will be staying on the base to fast and pray for our Haitian brothers and sister, while our Haitian staff join their cities to pray. I ask that you would pray for the nation at this time. This is a huge deal, cause Haitians themselves are calling for this weekend of prayer, not foreigners, which is much more common!

We are praying that the hearts of this nation would repent for putting their trust in Voodoo, and would turn their hearts towards Jesus Christ. We are praying that the hearts of this nation would trust in Jesus as their Lord and savior. We are praying that the Lord would continue to have mercy on the people of this nation and in turn the people would dedicate this Country to Him! And, we are praying for what ever else comes to mind!

The second is this.
I just had to tell you about the event I was part of this evening. We've just been given an ambulance! Ya, there are none in this city! This ambulance came from Pennsylvania by ship. After dinner we all left our dirty dishes at our tables and trouped on out the the ambulance! We have a mega phone right now, and our director's wife spoke into it. (Our director is in the states for a few days) She spoke about the vision she has carried for twenty years that there would be a clinic. Even as we speak there is a building being built in the 5th section that will hold a clinic! We also have a piece of property that has been sort of dropped into our laps since the earthquake that we are using as a hospital right now. The ambulance is going to be used for earthquake victims for now. But once that is all finished we are going to use the ambulance to bring people from the 5th section into the city for good care! We stood around the ambulance and sang, “Give thanks with a great full heart!” then we laid hands on the ambulance and prayed for all that will happen with it.

I really felt that I'd just witnessed a historic event! The man that brought it on the ship actually flew special from England to make sure it got here.

So there you have it....
I'll try to keep you posted on prayer and praise reports.
Thanks, Sarah

I hope you're encouraged and will join Haiti in their prayers. Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Typical Week for Me.

People often ask what I'm up to or what I do in a day so here's a look at my schedule for February as far as I know:

Mondays - Learn more German with my tutor Yvonne. Then we attend a German Bible Study.
Tuesdays - I tutor some children in English.
Wednesday - I am attending the six week training session for worship leaders. I am hoping I can squeeze in time here for teaching some young girls a dance.
Thursday - Meet with Ruth for mentoring and then head off to the English cell group.
Friday - Free Day!!!
Saturday - Dance team training or leading a workshop.
Sundays - Dance during the service.

These are my regular scheduled activities. Outside of these I spend my time in devotions, studying dance, preparing a sermon, leading worship, reading books, studying German, recording finances, updating blogs, keeping in touch with people back home, having people over for a coffee or dinner, shopping for groceries, cleaning, going to the gym, and hanging out with my roommates.

I hope this helps you get a feel for my life here. Please pray for inspiration for leading the dance team training times, the workshops and choreographing for the girls. Also, I am studying German on my own (with the help of computer programs) but I am finding it a challenge - so please pray that I will know what to study and that my mind would be made quick to the German language. I don't want to give up now even though I'll be home in just 4 more months. Pray for perseverance! Thanks :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ich Wunsche Ihnen ein frohes neues Jahr!

Hi Friends - I'd like you to meet a few of my friends here. I go to bible study on Monday nights with these ladies and several others. Each one is dear to me and I am so blessed to know them. Just thought you might like to see who I hang out with.

**In other exciting news, the girl in the purple is Yvonne and she will be tutoring me :)

So here's a recap of my holidays:

This is our tree. My roommates and I opened gifts on the 23rd. We stayed up late and had lots of fun together.

On Christmas eve (which is the main day of celebration), I went with the Shareski's to the Christuskirche (Christ Church) for one of their services. It was packed so we ended up standing in the back. Christuskirche is a beautiful old church building with a large dome roof and intricate details in stain glass, frescoes, statues, organ and so on. There was an orchestra and choir which made it so enjoyable to listen to. Afterwards we went to Stephen and Uli's place. This is their lovely tree.

Hop on the funny train - we're about to get started!

Krista and Uncle Larry were able to fly here from Canada for the holidays :)

Ruth and Ralph enjoying opening gifts.

This is Uncle Larry playing the piano- he can't read music but he was playing songs that we had heard for the first time at the service - AMAZING!!!

If you've ever met Larry, you'll know why I'm laughing so hard. He just has a way of phrasing things :)

I also got a trip here with the Shareski's as one of my Christmas gifts!!

I had a blast - Thanks Ruth and Ralph!

Moving right along to Christmas day. I spent the day in..

...with my roomate Judith and her family. We enjoyed Raklet together. Each person has a tray to fill with whatever you like and then you put cheese on top and place it in the middle which is like an oven. The top is used to grill toast, meat and vegetables. It's a great meal for the holidays because it takes a long time, you get to talk lots and of course it's delicious.

They also served Ostrich meat. I really liked it. It pretty much reminded me of steak.

Then Judith showed me around her town.

Here's the castle.

Alzey is a place with a rich and preserved heritage thanks to this tower. Alzey is known for this tower because during WWII, bombers would always aim for the church since it was usually the center of the town. They built this tower in the middle of their fields and turned all the lights in their town off. So when the bombers came, they destroyed this tower mistaking it for the church and the town was left untouched. They rebuilt it as a monument. Pretty smart I'd say!

Here's a little sign that made me think of my Dad. This one's for you.

Here's something German.

You light incense and leave it in the middle of this guy and the smoke comes out from his pipe.

New Years I spent with a bunch of my girlfriends. We made crepes - mmm mmm mmm.
This is Louise and I. She used to lead the dance team. It has been a pleasure to learn from her experience and to dance with her while she is in town. (Someone said something that shocked me, hence the crazy face.)

This is my closet full of cards and love from all my friends back home and abroad. Thank you. I find it all very encouraging.

It has been snowing a lot this past week. I felt like I was experiencing snow for the first time because as you might see from this blurry picture that their snowflakes are actual shapes. They are so clear and huge and intricate. It also falls so perfectly. I feel like I've been living in a magical snow globe. Apparently all this snow is unusual for Mannheim but I am fully embracing it!

Lastly, I am the proud owner of this orchid. I've wanted one since I came here and I finally bought one. I really hope I can take good care of it and that it will last. I'm scared of killing it because it's just so beautiful. It has brought me great joy and it's just what my room was missing.

I know I am anticipating this new decade and the great things that the Lord has in store; I hope you are too. Be blessed!

Oh ya, I am now officially a temporary resident of Germany!!! Yay for getting my visa ;)