Deutschland #11, #12, #13+

I’m writing my last couple of Germany posts from home, very jet-lagged, sleep-deprived & very fuzzy. So if/when you read this & it doesn’t make sense, that’s my excuse.


Like at home, I woke up early… it’s Sunday & I’m speaking… my brain was running a mile a minute, so it was pointless to attempt to catch an additional 20 minutes of sleep. Ate some oatmeal with Jan, then headed off to church. He delivered me to the espresso bar in the fellowship area, where I was able to caffeinate to my hearts content while he took care of business.

The EnChristo Church in Mainz feels a lot like home – informal, personal, & relational with a definite focus on Jesus. I really enjoyed worship & also connecting with Flo (big guy, about 6’6″) my translator for the service. I find that it always helps me to talk with the person translating me in advance of the actual message. Spoke on John 20:19-22 – simple message on Jesus sending us as His representatives into the world where we live, work, & play. Had several comments afterward on the simplicity of the message – & its applicability. That’s what I was aiming for. Had an interesting moment in the beginning of the message when a lady in the front row started yelling… she eventually stopped, got up & left. No one knew who she was. Good times.

After service, Jan & I grabbed a quick bite at one of his favorite Chinese restaurants – then headed to the train station.

Waves of fatigue hit me when I got on the train. Hard. I have been pushing myself for the last 3 weeks of travel (Mexico & then here) & have been running on fumes, knowing that at some point I would have to pay the price for it. And that was today. I fought off slumber because I knew if I crashed, I would miss my train stop & end up drooling & confused on the other side of Frankfurt. Somehow, I managed to stay awake until my stop – at which time the heaven’s opened & a thundershower of epic proportions kicked into full gear. It was only about a mile from the station to my host’s flat, & I was thoroughly soaked by the time I arrived. They weren’t home from their own weekend jaunt yet, so I dried myself off & threw myself on the bed. Don’t know how long I was out, but Alex woke me up just in time to head out to watch the World Cup Finale – Deutschland v. Argentina.

I can honestly say that the atmosphere in the pub was the most electric of any I’ve ever experienced – & the tension was tangible. And when Mario Goetze buried his shot in the upper right corner of the net during extra time, the celebration was beyond words… only to be surpassed when the final whistle blew. Unbelievable. Truly a life-highlight for me, as was the celebration afterwards. We drove around Frankfurt along with thousands of others, honking horns, waving flags, singing at the top of our lungs. It was AWESOME. The theme for the night was Pharrell’s “Happy.” Every time I hear it from now on, I will be transported back to that moment.

DAY 12 & 13

My last full day in Germany was packed – &, as hard as I tried, I was unable to connect with several people that I really wanted to see. Such is life. Had a great final evening of talks & dinner with Alex & Linda.

Then, on Tuesday, Levent & Ines picked me up & took me to the airport (thank you!) & I spent the whole trip home reading & trying to stay awake to make my acclimation to Pacific Standard Time easier.

Slept most of my Wednesday, & now I’m trying to stay awake so I don’t mess with my sleep cycle any more than I already have.

I’m grateful for the last 2 weeks – for the opportunity to see friends & for God to work in & through me in reaching a people/place that I love so much. And I’m so happy to be home with my theBean & my kids. And I can’t wait to reconnect with my church family – so thankful for them.

Now, back to real life. After a nap.

Thank you for your prayers while I traveled – it made a difference. Blessings to you.


Deutschland #5 & #6a – in brief

DAY 5 – Finished my Monday off with a dinner at a great Sicilian restaurant with Jochen & his wife Brigidda & Tim & Deborah – we dined, Italian style, over a several hour period, & the food was really great.

Except it came back up a few hours later… with interest. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I have done more than my time holding on to the toilet to keep from falling off the world. I think it was the gnocchi & its sauce that must have done it. Finally went to sleep about 4, & then woke up early Tuesday for a Skype & headed back to bed until 1.


DAY 6 Felt a lot better after waking up – good enough to grab some coffee & bread, & then get cleaned up in preparation for going bowling with the Kern family before the Deutschland/Brasil football game. Julia likes to bowl, & was feeling so confident that she decided to make a bet with me: WHEN she won, I would have to sing the German National anthem outside (which is never done, save during the World Cup.) And if by some miraculous chance I won, she would drink an espresso, with no milk or sugar. For her to propose that as her ‘punishment’ for losing gives you some insight to how much she detests the taste of coffee. The closest she comes to drinking a hot beverage close to coffee is 4 fingers of warm milk & 1 finger of hot coffee.

So, of course, I won – both games. I posted a video of her drinking her coffee on Facebook if you’re interested.

After bowling, we grabbed a doner, burrito style, & headed to Heiko & Linda’s to watch the game, which started at 10 p.m. local time. I even stood & sang the national anthem with the family. Instead of ‘game’  I should say, the rout.. None of us had ever seen anything like it in such a high level of soccer. After the 3rd goal, we were almost speechless… not quite, as my hosts made sure to yell their lungs out. I have to say, every time the TV showed Brazil’s fans weeping in the stands, I laughed really hard. Evidently, it is NOT just a game to them, but something more. And it was funny to watch.

Can’t wait for the final on Sunday – I’m pulling for an all European final – Deutschland/Netherlands.

This is a short blog – I didn’t do much since last night except barf & bowl, & it is now 1:20 a.m. So, I hope to write a bit more tomorrow before I head back into Frankfurt.

Many blessings to you – & thank you for the prayers.