30 May 2006

unexpected death

i got the news today that zara died friday night. he suffocated.

zara was a musician and vagabond who i knew from the town square. although he had a wife and daughter, he chose to live on the streets- being one of the few "homeless" people i work with who really does sleep outside all year round. i often talked with him about faith.. he was very influenced by eastern religion. he wasn't on drugs and drank only seldomly. the past few weeks, though he had really been drinking alot- up to three bottles of korn a day!! (thats a really nasty tasting very hard liquer thats cheap). the theory is he was passed out, threw up, and lay in such a manner as to not be able to breathe because of it.

this was the kinda guy you could (and did) easily loose half a day in conversation to. since the town square is one of my main stops along my daily route, i saw and talked to zara almost daily. its a whole different atmosphere since he is gone, he is missed. it is especially hard, knowing that the last time we talked he was very anti-Jesus. i thought he would outlast all the others, and that we would have many more conversations about God.

we werent even able to find out when or where his funeral is.

28 May 2006

willow freak

willow freak is the leadership weekend of the jesus freaks.

i learned alot and had a great time. yeah, i know thats not much.. i will "edit" this post when i have some time and say more about it all.. i am just really tired now and trying to "back-post" for the past two weeks where i didnt have internet!

14 May 2006

dreams and reality

a few nights ago i had a crazy dream that i was talking to axel (another volunteer in the offenbar) about love. i told him in the dream, that love is a choice, and that you can choose to love someone whether you feel it in your heart or not, and the decision will change the way you feel about the person for real. that the main thing is that you are truly open to loving them. axel disagreed and said we should test the theory. he would decide to love me and i should agree to decide the same thing. (note: there are two ways to say love in german, one is "liebe", which is like our word for love, and the other is "lieb haben" which is a non-romantic form. this agreement in the dream used the second form)

last night i dreamt that someone i don't know came up to lilly and i and said "didnt you dream something krass specific recently?" and i said yes, and lilly added that i had told her the dream (i really had, too). then the person said "i should tell you that your dreams are from God."

ok, so i know some of you dont believe that God still speaks to us, or that prophetic words still occur. i do. and i think it is amazing how God prepares us for situations sometimes.

yesturday was a really hard day.. i was supposed to meet axel to get the paint for my room, but he suddenly decided he couldnt help me, although it had been his idea (he is a master painter). then he even yelled at me about it, and not just a little. several times throughout the day... i dont really want to go into the whole story now, because it was quite unpleasant and i am still trying to get over it.... but throughout the day i kept remembering my dream and reminding myself that although it is hard right now, i need to decide to love axel. i am still hurt, and the wounds might take some time to heal, but i notice that this decision really has worked its way into my heart, and i am mad at the situation, but not at axel. i still think he is one terribly cool guy and am glad that we are friends.

09 May 2006

visa year denied

the news i have today is unexpected. we always say well, if its Gods' will, i will get the visa for another year. we all pray for it. we believe it will happen. and even though i don't meet all the requierments that the foreign service office set (ie my financial status isn't up to paar) we have faith... yesturday i was even able to register at the haus of hope- despite a long-going strike in the government offices, and the fact that my contract starts in june not may- and thought "hey this must be a sign." unfortunately, this morning, they denied me the one year visa extension.

however, they gave me a two yeear visa!! praise the Lord.

08 May 2006

death again

this is the third post in a matter of weeks that deals with the death of someone here from the streets. his name was thomas, and i had spoken about him at 63.. he was an old alchoholic and the most disgusting smelling person i had ever met. he used to pray at church in front of us all the God would let him die and end his misery... (no, i do not think his death was an answered prayer, i am just trying to discribe him) he had hard a few hard knocks in life. a very intellegent man (university degree in psychology) who was left by his wife (or she died, we arent quite sure) and whose life went downhill from there. the last time i saw him was at church (he came every week, at first for dinner and then early enough to hear the service) awhile back. we were all wondering where he has been, and corken went this week to his social worker to ask. there he was told thomas drowned a few weeks ago. the social worker hadnt known of any social contacts, so we werent notified. i didnt counsel thomas myself (i did for about two weeks, then gave it up on corken) but Hans had started to counsel thomas a bit and was really concerned for him. it isnt easy for hans either, to hear how thomas died.

05 May 2006


today we were able to sign our rent contract and were given the keys- even though we dont pay until june! we have a few weeks to go in and do all the work (paint, lay carpet, build my loft bed, move stuff...)

03 May 2006

cafe stress

last night at cafe chance (the christian cafe for drug addicts) there was a problem in the staff. i dont want to go into details, but just say to please pray. i felt rather attcked by the things another volunteer said to me, and this was the third occasion. (over the weekend he had declared one of the people i counsel as "the next to die"- that hurts!) after he was asked to leave the topic for another, more private time (there was already a guest in the cafe) he kept going, and then durring prayer time even brought his points across as a prayer! i decided it was better to leave before i said or did something inappropriate, since guests were starting to arrive. but i dont want this to be a stress point causeing me (or him) not to be able to work there anymore.

02 May 2006

haus and garden

no, i don't mean grams favorite magazine. i mean my new living arangement. sunday evening i moved again- this time into a garden house on the outskirts of bremen. it's just until i can move into the hope house. the girls i was staying with had already arranged a new tennent, so i had to go, so martin offered me his garden house. you arent allowed to live in them, but for a few weeks its ok. it has a small kitchen without flowing water, a wood-burning stove, and a bio-toilet. it'll be ok for a few weeks (it kinda always was something i wanted to experience) but i will be really glad to finally move into the hope house.

01 May 2006

ACL Forum

i just got back from an amazing weekend. i was at the Arbeitsgemeinsschaft Christlicher Lebenshilfe Forum (working-together-community of christian life-helpers literally translated).. basically, a meeting of people doing what i do throughout germany and austria. we had four days of sermons, seminars, testimonies and togetherness. the title was "discover anew" and there was a great focus on a return to the center, to a focus on christ- in our ministry as well as in our lives. i was not too thrilled when i heard who the main speaker was supposed to be because i have a rather negative association with his church; however, it turned out to be really good to hear him speak. i think all of the input i heard was valuable, and the testimonies uplifting... but the thing that was most important to me, was to really realize, hey, i am not alone. there are soo many others out there doing the same or similar things. just being able to talk to them and not have to explain all the background info, to be able to learn from the old fighters that have been out there 40 years and the big-league guys with therepy centers, and to be caught up in the fire of those just starting out.. they invited me to apply for membership in the ACL community with my Hope House. there was alot to learn, but also alot of time to just talk, so i feel refreshed and ready for whatever the week has in store for me (and it started out krass already).