26 December 2007

urgent prayer need

i just got a call that the ship on which my close friend, karina, has been interning for the past few months is lost in the eastern sea. that's pretty much all i know. please pray for her safety!!

25 December 2007

german christmas

in germany, christmas is celebrated primarily on the 24th. unfortunately, i wasn't able to upload photos until today. so here is a look at my christmas.

the freaks started out at the main train station, with muck dressed as santa. the message was "santa would not of died for your sins, but Jesus did." we passed out sandwhiches, kaffee, and gifts to the homeless and drug addicted.

some of the gifts were better than others, i'll admit.. they are things we collect over the fall. this guy turned into a ball of sunshine when he was able to take off a pair of saoked through tennis shoes and replace them with a pair of new leather boots.

the one thing i had asked God for this holiday, was to find hans again. i've written about him alot. he has been missing for a few months, and all i have heard about him in that time has been rather depressing. when we rolled up the dom, he was there.. and doing fairly well, all things considered.

after several hours walking the streets, i was glad to be able to work in the warmth of cafe chance. we set all the tables together and ate family style with the ten or so guests who came. it was a small group, but it was good. there were a few new faces, even. matthias and his wife, who also volunteer there, brought there three (young adunlt) kids to help out as well. we ended up staying open twice as long as usual.

afterwards i barely made it in time for the midnight service at the dom (cathedral) in town. i had the last seat on the last row, but it was still impressive.

on the 25th, moerssl and i made indian curry (enough for a feast), but unfortunately no one else made it. it was good, though.

23 December 2007

somehow christmas

Can anyone hide out in a corner where I can't see him?" GOD's Decree. "Am I not present everywhere, whether seen or unseen?" GOD's Decree.(Jeremiah 23:24 MSG)

thanks to my friend tom, whose a missionary in wales, and a phone conversation at 11:23.. this Bible verse is the message i feel given for this christmas. somehow, it seems strangely fitting in a way that probably only makes sense in my own head. but during the holidays we see a lot of deco that tries to get a point across. at times the message is rather skewed (ho,ho,ho? i mean really..) and other times it borders on the truth (manger scenes). and there are different levels of enthusiasm, and different ways of dealing with the season (some love it and go all out, others hate it and overlook as much as they can). and so into this christmas, the verse pops up, reminding me that it is about God, and that He is there, whether we try to hide from the holiday and it's meaning or not, whether we see Him or just a bunch of lights and trees.

so merry christmas. a holiday i don't particularly like, a meaning that i do.

19 December 2007

chasing shadows

in case no one noticed, i was gone awhile. i went to hamburg to see the fiji team, and found more than i expected. it was a great four days. it was a miserable four days. i am glad to be home, and i am sorry to have left hamburg.

saturday uwe (a guy from the offen:bar) took me on the train as his plus one (he has ms and gets free accompanyment). we hung out with a group of crazy punks on their way to a demonstration against the big brother state. then i made my way to the church the fiji team was staying at- which turned out to be harder than expected. we joined a team from that church on a bus that they park in st. georg, the area near the main train station where alot of prostitution and drugs is. there they pass out soup and coffee and talk with people once a week. it was pretty cool.

sunday there was a childrens musical and then we went to a club off of the reeperbahn, hamburg's most famous night life street. there are more sex clubs on that street than in most cities. the owner of one club had recently give his llife to christ, and now lets an international group of christians hold church there on sunday nights. the fijis performed, and i translated and danced too. the next day i even ran into one of the homeless guys that had been there and was able to have a cool conversation.

anyway, thats all of the official ministry stuff that went on. the rest was meeting with friends, old, older and new. i guess most of it isn't the kind of thing that can be shared in a blog in a way that would interest people. the main thing i took out of this weekend though, was the title of this post. i decided that it is time to stop chasing shadows, and came back to bremen sooner than i had planned. i want to catch a few solid forms.

11 December 2007

"but officer!"

today a sad thing has happened. "my" figian team left. it was inevitable, but i secretly hoped something would happen and they would miraculously decide to stay longer in bremen. i am so full of impressions and memories of this week that it is hard to process it into a blog post. i guess the main underlying feeling about this week is that God was opening up something new. and it wil be good. we had a great time of praer yesturday, where the team really blessed me.

07 December 2007

amazing grace

this will be a long story, but "wow" sums it up nicely. i mentioned already that there is a ywam team from figi here and that i have been going around with them all week and filming them. tonight two of the team members came with me to cafe chance.

emosi (i am guessing at spelling here) and kali and i led the devotional. emosi is a very gifted worshipper, and he played guitarre and sang, and we joined in where we could. he played for almost ten minutes, but the guests were patient and seemed to be enjoying it. he even sang one song in figian (i'd requested that). then kali preached.

i had told them it's very low key, and that they didn't need to prepare anything, it would only be a very short devotion. usually it is about five minutes long, and the guest are rather disruptive, they make jokes, talk, argue, know everything better, leave, telephone, or go to the bathroom. it is hard to keep their attention. (yes, there are some exceptions and some people who are attentive, but generally this is how it is).

so kali started talking and says, "so i won't be long. there are just a few points i want to make. and first, i want to ask you two questions. the first is, do you know that there is a heaven? and the second, if you die tonight, do you know where your spirit will go?" dead silence. cartoon-style pop out eyes. a heavyness filled the room. and he began to preach. he basically shared the whole package. he said we are born in sin, and that each of us sins everyday. that we are like dry leaved that are hanging from a tree. that sin seperates us from God. it is like a wind that blows the leaves off the brach. and that we are like little children in a big sea, who are drowning. but that God loves us. and God is just. and that is why He sent His son jesus to earth, as prophesied, to be fully man and fully God. to take our sins and die on the cross and to rise up again to heaven. that we too can be saved if we accept this. that it is like a gift, and all we have to do is take it. he said alot of times we have the knowledge in our heads, but do not do anything about it, do not let it into our hearts and accept it. but that that is what we need to do, we need to accept christ. and he asked us to take three minutes and ask ourselves that question. his challenge: do you want to accept jesus to come into your life and take your sins?

there were three long, spirit-filled minutes of total silence. and then we prayed.

he spoke for 35 minutes without any interuptions. i am pretty sure that's a first in cafe chance. and he said even more than i just related, i gave the basics. it was awesome. the guests and volunteers alike were captivated, hanging on his words. the spirit of God was present in the room, and i believe that lives were changed tonight. i am so thankfull that they were able to come with me.

03 December 2007

bye kai

our housemate kai moved out this past weekend. it's sad to see him go before he ever really moved in, but at least he won't be far away. he is marrying uli and moving around the corner.

no joke

an old joke suggests that the platapus is evidence the God has a sense of humor. but yesturday i walked right into a new punchline.

there's been some stressful stuff going on lately, so i decided to visit a different church sunday to get away from it all. i was at the international bible church, and this group of young black people my age walk in late, accompanied by an older german couple. odd, i thought. i just couldnt shake the feeling that i know the germans.. they were introduced as being from figi, and i tried to think of how i could possably know anyone from figi. no luck. but as the service progressed i became sure i had met this guy before- there was a presence about him that couldn't be mistaken, it's too rare. and then it hit me- he had been to my house a year ago! i was almost certain, and as i walked up to him after the service, i wasn't sure what to say- they had only been at the house for five minutes to pick lilly up. so i asked "this might sound really odd, but is it possible you know katrin nemitz?" and he looked at me a little confused, his eyes lit up, and he snapped his fingures "yes! and we came to your house last year, right? you lived with her?"

they introduced me to their team and asked if i would join them for dinner at the christmas market and afterwards to lead a youth group. it was fun to be back with a group of crazy ywamers and to also be able to talk to the german couple. today i spent all day with the team, showing them bremen in the cold and rain. i think the part they liked best was cafe chance (i took them into the clothes closet and suited them up with long underwear and winter coats).

so then we were back at my place drinking tea, and they asked what is causing me stress right now. i told them about the documentary and how there is no one left for me to film and time is running out. one of them asked, "is it not anything we can do?" and i said yeah, sure, but they don't have the time. then several offered at once that they would make time, i should just film their activities and they would use their next day off to give me interviews and film more scenes around town. how cool is that? i was able to bless them with warmth, and they are able to bless me with a film!


so i have another addition to the family to anounce: enrico gave his life to Christ last wednesday at street group. he has been comming to street group and the jesus freaks on and off again for a few years now, and been really seeking God. he's one on the guys from the street scene in bremen, and i origionally met him under about three different names. he's always walking around from one group to the next, always searching. now, he has found God.