29 July 2006

bye-bye blog

seeing as how i am leaving in a few hours, this will be my last post till sometime in september (probably). i will be at freakstock on crew, then on a missions-convoy. when i get back i will put up alot of photos and stories. i will have my cell phone with me, so if anyone wants to reach me, feel free to give me a call or send text messages. the number is +49-179-1732894.

28 July 2006

seeing blue

alot of changes going on in my place....finally! now i am hidden from the pussycat bar...
~... ~

26 July 2006

cafe chaos

last night was the most incread- ibly awefull cafe chance in the year since i have been working there. half an hour before we opened, there were already eleven guests waiting before the door. within five minutes of opening the plates were empty, and we were struggling to make more while dealing with the rest.... kahle came in, barely able to stand, sat, and promptly lost his lunch. immediately after, while still sitting in the mess, he bagan eating anew. the others in cafe arent as used to seeing the extreme cases, so i got to talk to kahle, try to establisch what he was on, and if he'd be okay.. (i guessed at H and alch, maybe pills.. it was confirmed later when a few others junkies got there) meanwhile, two new guests had gotten into a rather loud argument consisting of "shut the f^(% up" "oh, you! thats just what i needed, a @$$hole." and various other negative albeit not quite contextual comments. i went and sat down between them, and tryed to keep them from talking or looking to each other. this prooved difficult. the bigger and more agressive of the two, markus, kept yelling about how he cant get any coffee, and that the people working here are all __________. i was sitting next to him, asking if he needs a cup the whole time. oh brother. finally, i got an answer and went up to get some coffee, and he tried to grab my bum. i snapped around and read him his rights (which included being thrown out) if he didnt control himself. and made him repeat what he understood. (yes, he was so drunk that i wasnt sure). a few minutes later, a little old lady came in and said that a man was lying on the street. i went out, and took hans and thomas (guests) with me. markus was laying there, unaware of how he got outside.) the guys helped him up, and we got him to some stairs he could sit on. i went to get him some water, and the other aggressive drunk grabbed it from me and poured it over markus head. that started another fistfight, but i was standing in the middle! thomas and hans came to the rescue and held the others back and i calmed them down a bit. then we decided to have the guests leave in shifts to avoid further trouble. marcel (a guest who was clean and dry) took marcus with the help of the other aggressive guy, who was calmer by then. i helped clean up a bit, and get kahle woken up. he was still a bit disoriented and couldnt move very well, so hans and i helped him to the streetcar (this guy uses two canes, but wasnt really able, making it an interesting situation as we had to support him and place his canes for him). hans said he'd take kahle home from the streetcar, and marcel saw me pass by, and asked me to come back and help with markus, so after getting kahle and hans on their way, i doubled back to help coax markus forward. we got into the next streetcar, and i was very relieved to get out again. man, it was a long night!
oh, the picture is old, its a postcard we send out asking for support, but it is of guests at cafe chance. the only one still living is hille, the man on the right. he's a brazilian indian and a story in and of himself.

24 July 2006

missing mexico

well, actually, just mexican food. i actually managed to grow up in texas without ever making a run for the border. last night i made tacos and mexican rice, using the last of the seasonings i had brought with me (yes, i consider it "cooking" to brown meat and add a packet of taco-seasoning)... man is that good stuff. i love tex-mex.. i could eat it every day (to the annoyance of my parents, who suffer under my craving once a year). somehow eating the tacos (and listening to beuno vista social club) got me in a funky mood. i felt like dancing some latin style, wearing bright colors, and hanging a sombrero on the wall. instead i settled for going out with my housemate for (virgin) drinks at a pseudo-mexican resteraunt (well, at least guacamole was on the menu..) dressed in african skirts. thats the closest we could get. i think food is probably the thing i miss most about home. you can email or call friends and family, but having a good conversation with an enchillada is just not fulfilling. maybe tomorro i will take a siesta...

22 July 2006


i finally got a sofa for my room.. and not just any sofa, but the one i fell in love with at ikea a few weeks ago. i was disappointed, because it cost 600euro, and there was just no way i could afford it. then, just a few days later, i saw an ad for a used one on the internet, and made an appointment to see it. it isnt the right color.. at all.. its blue and white plaid (ick!!), but it is exactly the model i liked, and it was practically unused. the man was aasking 200e for it, but since it is so ugly (he agreed) he offered it for 150e. i still hesitated, because to get a new cover wont be that cheap, either, but i really did need a sofa- the kind you can come in to after a long hard day and just throw yourself down on. he asked me what i do for a liing, and as i was talking he decided that he'd offer to give me the sofa for even less! so i am now the proud new owner of the worlds ugliest but most comfortable sofa! the funny thing is, that when we picked it up, the man had to go at 6:30, and wolle, the guy helping me pick transport it, was still in hannover at that time. so hans and i carried it down to the street, and sat on it and waited for wolle to get there- at 9:00! to make this funnier, we were in the best part of town!
~... ~

21 July 2006

tv theology

ok, so i just watched an episode of this tv show kelly sent lilly and i called farscape. (for anyone who actually knows this show, its season one episode uhm.. 14 i think..) the basic plot of the story is this texas guy (guessing by the accent) is launched up by nasa and due to wierd sci-fi circumstances, ends up in some other part of the galaxy with alot of alien convicts. in this particular episode, he ends up stranded on a planet that looks suspiciously earthy with alsoo quite earthy residents while the rest of the crew searches for him. the interesting part (well, as far as this post is concerned) starts when they find him. john's (thats the good ole down home texas boy) hot-headed warrior and babelling diplomat friends land and cause quite a stir.. first the priestess and the ruler get into it as to who controls who (system of checks and balances in a bi-party state) and how to handle the "strangers." then rigel the 16th is found cowering away in a duffel bag, and is instantly celebrated as god. they even have a stone image of him... the people begin prepareing for a ceremony during which their "god" is supposed to "fulfill the ancient prophesy" as it is written in their holy book by leading the people to the light... hmmmm.... wonder what they are satiring there.. there is alot of talk in there about religion, and it isnt exactly flattering to christianity. the film basically calls religion slavery, by having the people be locked in ignorance by their "higher power" who has created a way to prevent them from using mechanical devises.

i guess this is normal in the film world today, which is why its bothering me (especially as a filmmaker).. why do we as a viewing public tolerate such blatent farce about our beliefs? why dont we as believers produce quality alternatives? (yeah, that ones at me.. but i did get a grant for almost 600euros to do just that with!!)

i was going to say alot more.. add some scripture and stuff and detail the biblical parodies a little closer... but its almost 2am and i am fighting off a migraine.. so maybe this one will just have to go on in the comments...

17 July 2006

the good life

in order to see how good i have it here, move your mouse below...
~ mwuhahahaha... ~

this is it! corken making us his increadible homemade pizza.

16 July 2006

no such thing as a free meal?

frido, one of the jesus freaks, called this afternoon to say he had several containers full of finely adorned bread pieces left over from a special musical event at the university. he asked if i would be willing to distribute them at the main station to some of the homeless. oh yeah! so i asked for volunteers at church and ended up with a very...colorful group. not the people i would expect, and definately not the usual suspects. a new member of the church with a slight physicle handicap, a regular guest with a slight mental handicap, and a first time guest joined me. none of them had ever "done this kind of thing" before... and just by the way they said it i was worried. so i stopped in a park on the way and gave them a few tips and answered some questions. things like to go in pairs to the people, not to give money, to be curtious, honest, friendly, and firm. oh i forgot, there was another boy with us up to then, a severly handicapped.. he decided that he wasnt going to come. despite the odd mix of a team, we had a good time and were able to have some good conversations. not bad for a first time out. mostly i told them who to approach and stayed nearby to jump in when it got past the "want some bread" to the questions and comments they werent prepared for. i knew maybe half of the people we approached. one good conversation i had was with a homeless guy who just got to bremen. he believes in Jesus, and i told him about our church.. maybe he'll come by. we also saw ralf (the one in a wheelchair) i hadnt seen him in awhile, so i was able to catch up with him and make plans to go out for a coffee this week. we still had food left over, so we took the train to viertel, the "cool" part of town.. also where the majority of the drug szene is.. there we were soon outta bread, but not before we shared with another (not homeless.. more of the professor type) man on the street. my team was a little overwhelmed when he started asking about the term freak and refering to plato. due to my liberal arts background, i was on the same page and was able to finish his sentence and then retort without batting an eye. he was baffeled and asked me to tell him more of what i believe. so, we had some fun.. i hope the guest, alexandra, wasnt scared off. she seemed pretty cool.

15 July 2006

my bed!!

saturday, finally, after two and a half months of waiting, we finally built my loft bed. well, i guess to be fair... martin built it. martin is one of the main guys that run the off:bar, the christian bar near the train station where i help out from time to time. he is the one who origionally thought about moving into the hope house with us, and also the one who employed hans last year. we got an early (for me) start at the german version of home depot.. i love hardware strores, they remind me of saturdays as a kid. my dad does alot of projects, so he took me with him alot. (hi dad! get skype and call me) i dunno why women think they are boring places... i always find something interesting.. ok, getting off subject. so then we brought all the wood and stuff home, woke up moerssl and got to work. well, actually, martin got to work, gave moerssl some instructions, and i (as much as i hate to admit this)made the lunch. but oh well. i did carry the four meter long beams around for awhile, so i did my part!! after lunch we got back to work, laid the rest of the flooring and sawed off the part that stood over. i laid the remains of my carpet up top, so that my knees won't get all scraped up. this way i have a nice little sitting area, or place where guest can sleep. i am quite happy with the result.. more than you can imagine. my room is starting to feel like my room, the house is starting to feel like my house... i sure missed this feeling! hopefully i will be able to get the rest of my room set up soon. i am sure i will bore you all with stories and pictures of each step.... the next is that i am hoping to replace the blanket hanging in front of my window with real curtains on a pole!!

14 July 2006

summer party

if there's one thing that really needs to be celebrated in bremen, its summer. germany tends to be a rather cold country, and bremen especially a grey city. so now that the few weeks we call summer are here, the parks and riverside are full of people, all unsure what to do with such good weather, and carrying a sweatshirt just in case... the jesus freaks are not to be left out. we went on a little excursion to the countryside friday night to have a garden party at jasmine and michas place. since there isnt really more to be said about that, here are the pictures.

11 July 2006

cafe chance

these are photos from cafe chance, the christian drug counselling center where i help out twice a week. its hard to get photos of the guests, so here are a few of olli and i getting ready for the evening. tuesdays and fridays the cafe is open from 7 to 9 for drug addicts to come, eat "sandwhiches" (they arent really sandwhiches, but i cant think of a better way to explain it- hard rolls with meat or chese) and pastries from the local bakery, drink coffee and tea, hear a short message, and talk to us about God, drugs, and ways out of it all. i wish i could say that we see high rates of sucess and that every day someone leaves for therepy or accepts Christ in their life.. in reality its hard to see where the battles are being won, because the guests dont share much of what is going on inside their hearts.

10 July 2006


thats the style i used for my sermon on sunday. i mixed elements of spontaneous sermon with those adventure books most of you know from childhood. i created a powerpoint presentation with a story. instead of the paper kind where you turn to the page of your choice, i added link-buttons. it turned oout being more trouble than it was worth, i think. but a few others who, like me, have trouble listening to a long sermon found it helpful to have the creative touch and the story breaking up the sermon. i think i need to figure out a way to make it flow better if i ever use this style again (and it was too much trouble, so thats unlikely). in the story we were looking out for attributes of God that appear in Psalm 103. i am learning that one by heart right now, and challenged the church to do the same. i feel like there is just so much included in that psalm. i linked the psalm to alot of other parallel verses, so that the deep thinkers could have some fun (but i spared the church my beloved greek and hebrew definitions). i do have those parallel verses in englisch, if anyone wants to look into psalm 103, i can email the document (not the whole powerpoint though, its in german- but will be available online soon).

after church we played soccer... and i was our teams most valuable player.. crazy, i hadnt played any sport in over two years due to my back. its holding up nicely, and i am enjoying movement!

06 July 2006

zara's funeral

at 9:30 this morning i joined a small clump of people at the cemetery. i recognized mani and eric from the town square, but not the others- zaras exwife, daughter, and two friends of the family. a man in a black suit moved to the center of the small room, and, without a word, picked up the urn and proceeded to the grave. we followed him across a field to a small hole in the ground, where he placed the urn and left. there were go gravemarkings, no flowers, but it suddenly became clear we had just walked across the graves of all those who went before. this field is the last resting place for those who die at the cost of the state. we took turns going to the hole and throwing dirt in. someone threw in a small guitarre... "at least no one will steal this one." "hopefully." he was the musician man, and his guitarres were always being stolen. people added korn and beer, a cigarette, and a ring. i thought how he cant take it with him, and that it is so meaningless. hans turned to me and said, "well this is it. it ends here." and i gave him a strange look. yeah, he knows about the life hereafter, but he didnt want to think about what it means for zara at that moment. zara didnt believe in jesus. after half an hour we were asked to please leave, the next group was there for a funeral.

it turns out his name isn't really zara.. its something really long and unspeakable. and his family name is brandt. very german- unlike zara. he was more of an eastern european freak.

05 July 2006

over the river and through the woods....

to the detox house he goes?

today the detox center in wehne called to say they have an opening for hans- if he can be there tommorro. i was going to drop everything and get him there, but then he told them he doesnt have a tranfer from his doctor. doh! i could of shot him when i heard that. we would have been able to go by the doctors and get one on the way. now he's been told to call again in a week. (we have been "calling again in a week" for almost two months..) to make things worse, i compared the number they called from to the "missed call" report i got sunday (i turn my cell off when i preach) and it was the same number. so now he has missed out twice. i pray God has a plan in this..

maybe its good that we arent rushing off tomorro, because then i found out tomorro is the funeral for zara [read post: unexpected death]. hans and zara were good friends, and maybe it will be good for him to go. it makes death a present theme, and often funerals are moments when people are open for a change in their own lives. i will also be going, of course, and am praying that the attending pastor/priest delivers a powerful message.

04 July 2006

summer tip..

instead of ice cream, try freezing yogurts (i recomend lemon, personally..) about ten minutes before you plan to eat it, take it out of the freezer (or longer, depending how mushy you like it). very cool and not as fatty as ice cream.

03 July 2006

joshua's panel

sunday in the middle of praise and worship time, corken came up to me and asked if i would be part of a discussion panel instead of the sermon. when i asked him the topic, he said, "you'll see." uhmm... ok..
the text we were given was this:
joshua 1:9 "have i not commanded you? be strong and corageous. do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
it was an interesting way to hold a service. corken gave us all a few minutes to think about the text, and to read the context if we wanted. then, doro, corken and i went up on stage and discussed it. complete with testimonies from our own lives and cross-referencing to other passages! it was fun.

i am enjoying trying out different styles of "sermon." next week i am preaching again, and am considering making upa "choose your own adventure" style theater piece centered on psalm 103... we'll see..

01 July 2006

renovating hope

this week i spent alot of time in the basement, renovating the guests apartment. man.. what a job! the bathroom looks alright now- but on the last wall i noticed that the wall was pretty wet and the paper is hanging limp.. i am avoiding tearing it all down to redo because its a lot of work and very expensive. i think the paint job i did turned out pretty good though. one of my junkies came over and helped me a bit while we had our counseling session. quite cool.

then i started in on the bedroom. i chose a great green color that should optically extend the room into the garden, making it look bigger. its also a very peacefull color. the only problem is when i started to paint, the old wallpaper came at me... as you can see in this picture.. it isnt pretty now. the walls are cement and kinda wet. it'll be a hard job to fix up!

i am kinda scared to start in on the other rooms down there because i dont want to find out they are in similar condition! if anyone has a tip for how to fix the bedroom, i'd apreciate it.