26 April 2006

bitter birthday

today was hans birthday.
today was the longest and hardest day since i moved to bremen.
lilly and i were supposed to bring brunch for hans at 10, but when we got there he wasnt there. his cell phone was, though, so we couldnt call him. we decided to pray, then to clean up and get ready for the birthday party. we cleaned the bathroom (for the first time since he moved in in december!) and did the dishes, carried out three bags of trash and a box full of newspaper, made the bed, organized his papers, and aired the place out. then we sat down to brunch without him. lilly had to go to university, and so i went to find hans. i met a junkie girl in the bus who said she is usually at the doctors at the same time he is, so i went with her. she was able to find out for me that he hadnt been there yet, so i waited for him.

the next five hours were spent with him in the worst state i have seen him in-ever. he hadnt taken drugs, and he wasnt really drunk, but he was in bad shape. the voices were threatening him, saying that they were going to torture him to death and that today is his last day to live. he wanted to go get drunk and lay down to die. he really said it like that it made me think of the way animals go off into the woods to die. i kept praying and said i wouldnt let him do that, wouldnt let him surrender, not today. there are just days when you have to fight for someone. (i know that the rest of this story is extreme, and it is definately not the way i normally help people and even goes against my own recomendation for what is apropriate. but i had a deep feeling that this time i needed to be there and unwavering.)

i wrote a text-message to lilly and to my mentor asking for prayer and advice. when he thought i was distracted, he tried to lunge past me to get at a package of wine. i stepped in front of him and kicked it over, spilling half of it. he yelled and fussed at me, but he finally started walking (we were still ooutside the dr's- almost an hour later!) to the bus. on the corner he tried to take a drink, and i instinctively hit it out of his hand. the box fell to the ground and he didnt pick it up. i had kinda hit his eye, and quickly dried his face. apologizing for the small cut and that i was being so extreme, i reconfirmed that it is because i want the best for him. he was mad, and sat down. i sat and prayed with him until i had no more words. he kept saying "leave me alone to die. let me have my peace." then i turned to singing to God. we were sitting at the bus stop in the muslim part of town... it isnt necessarily the safest thing to do..

after about another hour i was able to get him into a bus home. i just kept praying we wouldnt get kicked out of the bus.. he was muttering the whole time and occasionaly crying out for me to leave him alone, cursing God, or talking to/about the demons. we made it home, and i got him to eat some. but he decided to go out again, all my pleading couldnt get him to stay home, he was determined to get drunk. at one point he tried to say goodbye forever so that i "wont have to watch him dye in tortured agony." so i said he should at least wait for me to get a coat. surprisingly, he waited. he spent hours trying to get away from me, but where he had his chance, he waited. thats a good sign of the inner fight he was going through.

he went through town and tried to beg enough money to get drunk. and i walked along beside him and told everyone not to give him anything. hehe. i was pretty arrogant to do so, and he was quite mad, but it worked. he finaly gave up and went to borrow the money from a friend, yelling at me at every corner to "stay" like a dog, and to leave him in peace. i tried to tell the friend not to give him anything, but hans slammed the door in my face. he got five bucks and went to buy a bottle of korn. thats a really hard liquer that is so disgusting even most alcoholics cant drink it pure. i begged him not to drink, but he took a long gulp of it and said "if i live past these few days, i swear ii will stop drinking, but for now let me be!" we walked to the next tram stop, and sat there awhile, me praying silently. i knew the quests would come soon to his party, and i needed to take the next train. it came and i stood up, and extended my hand, "come on, lets go home." he did.

when we got back to his place, i fell on the couch, too exhausted to even think. and listened to him begin to pray. to pray in that mad yet honest way that i see in davids psalms. telling God of the torture in his head, and of the peace he longs for, and then turning to ask God if He even can forgive him, and listing the things he had done wrong.. the prayer full of heart felt desire to be close to God, and his questioning of the suffering in his life. it made me cry to hear him. then he turned to singing along to the worship cd i had started in the background, and i gave him a big hug and told him how much God really does love him, and that he really is forgiven. the same stuff i had been saying all day, the same stuff i always say. this time he was able to find a small, very small bit of comfort in it.

by the time the guests came, it wasnt obviose how the day had begun. he was overwhelmed that at least 15 people had come to his (first ever) birthday party. among the gifts were a really old PC, a used bike, a diskman, books, cds, posters, and chocolate. it was impressive. we spent a good portion of time as a group in prayer for him, and blessed him. then we sang happy birthday, and he blew out his candles. as were were cleaning up and getting ready to go, he pulled me over and gave me a huge bear hug and said "thank you. thank you.. without you, this wouldnt have been so nice, it was a beautiful birthday because of you. thank you."

19 April 2006

swim course

i just got in from my first night of "swimming for people with back problems." it was good, in the water i felt no pain and really enjoyed it... then i got out. oh man, i feel like a sack of cement was poured over me. i think its a good course, though.

17 April 2006

egg rolling and relaxing

easter weekend i spent at my good friend lillys parents house in the middle of nowhere.
it was really good to get away for a few days and be bored. no really, there was absolutely nothing to do, and that was good. oh, i whinned about it, but it was good.
i went there thursday without her knowing, it was her birthday and i had made plans with her family to surprise her. and then i stayed for easter weekend. they are really great people, and her mom really has the gift of hospitality. we ate alot of good food and watched alot of bad movies, played cards (sorry baptists) and well, that was about it. you cant even see the next house from thier place. i will put some photos on my flickr account this week.
easter morning there wasnt a church service nearby, so we just held our own. her mother and brother are christians, but her father isnt yet.
oh, i should explain the egg rolling- thats a german tradition (i had never heard of before) that you roll easter eggs down a hill, and the person whose egg goes the farthest without breaking wins. everyone else has to eat their egg. being a non-egg fan, i was happy to win and not have to eat mine.
yaaawwwnn well, i'm beat now, we just got in.. maybe thats why this is so confuse. so g'nite all.

07 April 2006

also dead

wow. the second sudden death in two weeks. horst isnt even barried yet (monday at 10 am) and we got word today, dass mario passed away. a friend went in to wake him up this morning at the homeless shelter and found him cold. he was another from cafe chance. i wasnt as close to him as to horst, but it still is sobering to hear. i know he was interested in God, but thats about it. horsts death is still fresh in my mind. his brother, jens, came today to the cafe. we sat and he said a bit, but mostly we just sat. there wasnt much to say. the death of his brother was a major shock.. he has fallen back to using heroin, says himself he knows it wont cure anything and that its stupid, but for the moment it works. life in the moment is the only thing most of the people i work with know. tommorrow is always an unclear concept.. in a way, thats biblical, you shouldnt put things off till tommorrow- they just have non-kindom things to do. and after such a loss, its easy to choose the wrong way- all his well meaning friends keep giving him a free hit. gee thanks. jens seemed like only a shadow of himself.. be it from the drugs or the sorrow.

new in christ

i have been hearing alot of sermons lately about the ways we changed when we came to God. i don't think i need to go into detail, most of you know the type of sermon. they are mainly written for and by people who had a life before God. i can't relate. i was really little when i came to Christ. it wasn't so much of a decision for him, but rather a realization that i have to say my commitment because there are people who dont live with Jesus. and i wanted to keep Jesus. sounds childish. it was. but i never fell away and had to "refind" him like some of my friends.. i spent all of my youth going to church and all the other christian stuff, listening to christian music, and telling my friends about God. it was a given. so now hearing these sermons the whole time, i find myself missing the other life. well, not the actions of the other life, but the moment of realization that that way of living is wrong. so i thought i would ask on here to see if some of you would share how you came to Christ, and what changed in your lives. its always encouraging to hear those kinds of stories.

05 April 2006

back and backsliding

monday i was standing in the bus when the driver almost hit a kid, and slammed on his breaks. i flew through about half the length of the bus, and well.. my back feels it.

one of my ex-junkies had a relapse this weekend. he had been clean for so long, and it is really hard to see how is life is on the verge of falling back apart. please pray that he will get over this hurdle and stay on track.

01 April 2006


so today was the pow-wow of all those crazy club members of the offen:bar christan cafe... topic was the dissent amongst coworkers and the rising conflicts it brings about. one of the main issues was the conversation i posted on already, where the head of the offen:bar really ran me down. there was no concenses, and in fact, he saw it all very loose and no-big-dealish, while claiming to hardly remember it. this was his general stand on all accusations. it was good to feel the support of the others behind me, and to realise i am not the only one who has been mistreated by his belief to must cure others of their "wrong belief." in the end, dispite the viscious comments and judgements he has made to individuals, he refused to take a stand in the meeting and say what he actually believes. the meeting ended in us disolving the current leadership team and arrangeing for a new vote for leadership in a few weeks. it was an eight hour discussion, full of emotion and alot of talk that just went around the issues. i feel like nothing was gained, and that alot of pain was revisited on all sides. i really pray that we will be able to get past this, to reach an appreciation of one another, and to move on-back-to missions work in the offen:bar. (and at some points today i really wished were were yanomamo indians and could just hit each other over the head a few times and decide it that way)