#9 – My good friend Eddy picked me up from Alex and Linda’s with his car full of kids… really fun to see how much they’ve grown, & also to meet their new addition: the adorable & precocious Kira. When we arrived at their home, Laura, Eddy’s wife was preparing a round of gluten-free pizzas to go along with the Dueck’s weekly/Friday “Pizza & A Movie Night.” The pizzas including pepperoni, peppers & mushrooms, hawaiian, & regular cheese. Laura can cook.
While the kids watched “Ice Age,” (which I haven’t seen. Any of them. Not because I hate movies. Or animation. Just because, man. Just because,) Eddy, Laura & I caught up on the happenings of the last couple of years since Eddy left as pastor of TPLF. Most of it I’d already heard, as Eddy & I Skype & pray with each other, but it was great to hear from Laura as well. The Dueck’s are doing great, & it makes my heart happy to see that even in a very trying, difficult situation, they are coming through it with grace & their genuine smiles intact. Also got to meet Reinhard at dinner, a Spanish/German musician from Colombia. We got lost in the labyrinth of musical inspiration & favorite guitarists (started with Jimi & Jimmy, headed to Roland Orzabal, & Clapton, then meandered around through the maze that is modern music. A really fun time that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Too quickly it ended & Eddy dropped me off to meet Alex & Linda – though I’ve been staying at the house, we haven’t had a ton of time together, so Friday night on the town with the Kriegers it was. They wanted to take me to a favorite place of theirs. From the outside, it looks like any of the entrances to the myriad flats lining the Main River. A knock on the door (along with the appropriate password/reservation) revealed a 20’s style speakeasy. No pictures are allowed of the inside, but suffice it to say, it was a memorable & tasty experience.
We walked from there to a local pub to hang out & talk – the time flew by as we wrestled through all sorts of meaning of life (& also totally fun) questions, thoughts, & musings. They are musers, like me. Which makes for good talks. Called an Uber private taxi around 1:30 a.m. & went straight to bed & crashed hard.
#10 – Woke up early-ish for breakfast, then packed up a borrowed backpack (so I didn’t have to take the monster bag on my travels) & headed to the train station for my hour long trip to Mainz, the city where Jan, the Foursquare Deutschland national leader & pastor of EnChristo Gemeinde (In Christ Fellowship) is based. Got to see my first “pro-Palestine, death to Israel,” demonstration outside the train station. I will come back to that in a later blog.
Jan picked me up, & we walked to a Lebanese restaurant for Schawarma, & then to a local cafe for espresso. We spent several hours in the afternoon sitting in an open square next to a huge church (St. Martin’s I think) talking about life, & family, & the like. It’s one of many things I appreciate about Jan – when we talk, he starts with the important stuff, (his phrase is “let’s talk like men!”) which to him seems to be focus on the things that are eternal, personal, & precious. Church talk happens too, but it isn’t at the forefront & it surely doesn’t define us.
Spent the last part of the evening outside on the veranda with Jan & Susanna (Jan’s wife) talking more about family, husband/wife relationships & parenting. Sat in the dark with a beautiful lamp throwing the only light. Finally, around 11, everyone was tired, so I headed to my room & crashed hard.
Thank you for your prayers – blessings to you.