30 April 2007

the return of the conspiracy

ah yes, it was inevitable. after the increadible success of the first episode of "the cate conspiracy" a second version is being released. this time the full directors cut, longer and more dramatic! in their new adventure, "yo soy del peru," cate and kate will conquer the vast european west, scouting for 12 year olds and running from bulls.

ok.. now to tell it without the dramatic anouncer voice.. my friend kate arrived friday from new jersey. and there's a long and amazing story to why, but i'm not going to tell it. skipping ahead, we fly to venice, italy on may 9, and are taking a eurail trip from there. just to be mean, i'll list all the exciting places we are probably going (nothings set in stone, though): venice, milan, torino or genova, nice, toulon, marseille, sete, cerbere and portbou, barcelona, tarragona, valencia, the southern coast of spain, malaga, cadiz, sevilla, madrid, santiago de compostello and a town kates ancestors are from, porto, pamplona, bayonne, st malo and mt st michel, paris, brussels, amsterdam, groeningen, copenhagen, berlin. any tips?

for you, 40

hans birthday was this thursday, and he turned 40. i offered to throw him a party at the hope house, in exchange for him being sober enough to enjoy it. birthdays are hard for the people i work with..

24 April 2007

delayed death anouncement

tonight at cafe chance i was told of the death of one of our guests, christian. aparently, he died of an overdose while i was in the states. i don't have his picture, because he was a rather private kind of guy. he always wrote in his notebooks, strange and hard to follow prose and poetry. he played chess. and he like to discuss philosophy and religion. some of the others called him proffessor behind his back. he was tall, thin, and had long red hair. he was in his mid-thirties. christian had gone to detox, and was decided on a christian therepy. he never made it there. he's number 5 so far this year, last year 6 of my people died. i'm starting to have trouble remembering all the names.

christian, helmuth, michael, zara, thomas, horst...

23 April 2007

bookclub: the secret life of bees

i read alot recently, huh? well, this one i read entirely on the plane home. and, despite a few small issues i have with it, i can recommend this book. it's a fun read. the teenager in the story runs away with her nanny, right in the middle of the civil rights movement, to look for signs of her dead mother. and the rest of the cast is a hoot. this is the kind of book that will become a great movie, i'm sure.. the characters are diverse and colorful, and the story is basic yet capturing. the only issue i have with it is the way catholicism is mixed with african mysticism.

22 April 2007

ACL Conference II: the content

ok, so here is the overview of the seminar:
the first morning it was about "cause and effect of demonic force and how to deal with it" (wow- the title doesnt translate well at all). i thought it interesting to hear him talk about cult practices and satanic rituals, especially the first hand account he read of a girl who had been abused in a ritual. i want to read the book it is out of.
that afternoon the politician in charge of drug politics spoke to us in a rather dry yet informative lecture about the current stance taken by the european union on drugs.
in the evening i went to a workshop on "how to form an ACL house." basically, the ACL is an umbrella for organisations of all sizes working with these fringe groups. therefore, my hope house is a candidate for membership, and i am in the process of doing that. the benefit is admissions to two more seminars a year, and admission in the official list of organisations, which helps to get support and volunteers (i hope).
saturday the topic was "the way to proper relaxation- support and encouragement for volunteers." i can't say much about it, because i was laying on the floor and couldn't take notes... :-)
in the afternoon we visited the "help center" a therepy in buchenau (falkos home town). i thought the best thing about it is that they take people in without charge.
ok, that's it. the main focus of the seminar was connections, so thats what i spent the rest of my time making..

ACL Conference I: the people

people who have been paying attention will note that this time last year i also went to an ACL retreat. ACL means "arbeitsgemeinschaft christlicher lebenshilfe" meaning coop of christians life-helfers. i was at a conglomerate meeting this year of 120 streetworkers, cafe teams, half-way houses and therepie centers working with the down and out of our society. and it was awesome.
i guess first, since it's late and i am tired, i will tell a little about the people, and process and write about the subject matter tommorro. there were alot of new faces and some old as well. on the way to marburg (5 hour trip) i rode with marianne from cafe chance and maja from oldenburg (i didnt know her yet, but she turned out to be very cool). right after getting there enna from jesus freaks kassel snuck up on me- i wasnt expecting her! i'd lived with her a few years ago. and due to a few "unfortunate" circumstances, we were "forced" to share a room in the main building instead of the private rooms farther off campus. :-)
the mix of people was important, there were people who are young and just starting out on up to people who now run entire networks and centers after 50 years. and we were all on one level, able to talk and share. this kind of thing only really happens amongst christians.
so i grabbed a few of the old all-stars and asked them what advice they now wish they had been given a few decades ago.
frank, the head of life challenge said to be open for change and not get bogged down in the rules or in what has worked before, but to continually reevaluate the work and make the appropriate changes.
and elderly couple from frankfurt said to keep a healthy distance from the patients.
and martin the founder of aufwind in essen said so much we had to sit down- for three hours!

some of the poeple who made this weekend special were: the guy willing to steal bananas, michelle- my stalker, the laughing austrian, the girl who uebelst said na, mi hombre y bonita chica, all that gave me lattes, the guy in the che tshirt, prayerman, my streetwork connection sister, the beauty and the beast, the celtis high school philosopher, the architechts friend, those terrible aliens, my email alliance, and all those from way back then....

it was an unforgetable weekend. (i took notes)

18 April 2007

5:55 am

still awake

back again/ gone again

i arrived in bremen yesturday at 2:10pm after 21 hours of travel. it was good to finally get off the plane(s). it was a long trip, and i couldn't sleep. it's a good thing they provided alot of on board entertainment. i had a little private tv on the overseas flight, and a good book..

the airlines provided a wheelchair and electric carts at all the airports to help me deboard and get to the next flight. i didnt need the wheelchair so much, but with my back in the shape it was, i was glad to not have to walk- especially in the huge amsterdam airport where i only had a half hour to change! they even drove me out to the runway in a van. talk about red carpet treatment!

in bremen i was greeted by olli from cafe chance, who read about my arrival on my german blog, and decided to meet me! that was awesome, because i was very tired and my bags were rather cumbersome. i then decided to go to work, despite my tiredness. and i think it went well, its all sort of dream-like..
tommorro i leave again for the ACL Forum, a meeting of christians working with drug addicts.

15 April 2007

flightless bird

so this is the story of why i am not currently on an airplane home, and why thats a good thing.

i got to the airport to check in early for my already confirmed flight, and they told me it left several hours ago. what?! even better, there were no seats to be found on any routes of any airlines to any citiy within germany, france, holland, or denmark. they now have me on a flight home for tomorro afternoon arriving tuesday at 14:20 in bremen instead of monday 7:30 in hamburg.

now, i wasn't too hot about flying sunday anyway, or alone- the other germans all left saturday, but once at the airport with packed bags and ready to go, it is not fun to be turned away. i had two thoughts go through my head right away. one is that i really wanted to check out the jesus-freak like church in hurst, and the second was that maybe i could renew my drivers license after all before leaving.

we went straight to my parents church from there. three things struck me that i was glad for. one, a real toilet. two, an interesting person i don't know. and third, carla, a really cool person who i got to talk to.... and into going to the freaky church with me. (its deliverance bible, and its linked above) the sermon was about giants. metaphorically and literally.

we missed the worship because of lunch, but were right on for the sermon. it was all over the board- started with tithes, covered cane and abel, and landed in hebrews 11.. touching briefly on revelations 11 in between.. basically, he talked about being sold-out for the Lord. the kind of pep talk a rally for missionaries should have. and i am one missionary who really needed a pep rally. i really need to get the mp3. at the end there was prayer, too. and for the first time, i knew before he said it that if there was prayer i would jump up there. i hate going up for prayer, i usually pray at my seat or go up to the person later or something. i just dont like peoples eyes boring into my priate conversations with God. well, this was worth the stares. and anyway, i felt at home, and who is scared at home?

thats kinda it. that was the reason i missed my flight, i am sure of it. nothing else happened tonight. but i feel GOOD. happy.

isnt God AWESOME?!?!
he's a good God, a good God, a good God o- yeah...

12 April 2007

bookclub: divine secrets

my book for the trip home was "divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood" by rebecca wells.

i can't remember how i ended up with a copy of this book, especially since it is one that i never wanted to read. i didnt see the movie, either. i guess it's the title that scared me off. divine? sisterhood? uh-oh, where are they going with this.

however, i honestly enjoyed (most of) the book. it's basically the story of two generations of women, set primarilly in louisianna. most of the book is made up of memories and stories, jumping back and forth across time and letting the reader in on the relationships of sidda and her mother, to each other and those around.

i'm not sure that i would go so far as to recommend the book, but i enjoyed it none the less.

06 April 2007

gram update

grams surgury was today. it seems to have gone all right, she is in the hospital (baylor) recovering.

toxic texas

01 April 2007

Right on Ralf!

i just got some really great news! ralf, one of the guys who comes to our drug counseling cafe, gave his life to christ on friday! i am really excited. we have been talking several times a week for about six months now, and recently he has been showing alot of interest, asking questions, comming early to prayer and staying after the cafe closes to help clean up. so, i wasn't surprised to get the news.