22 April 2007

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)


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