30 December 2008

home safe. more later.

10 December 2008

hope house hard spot

i already touched on the subject in "living hosea" that we are currently caught up in the middle of a rather intense drama.. now it is all out in the open, and we are free to talk about it. one of the house mates, matze, started an affair with a married woman a few weeks ago. the couple are also members of the church and the wife is in the 'street group' that i lead. the situation has escalated, including the husband almost killing himself and a violent outburst from matze at the house.

tonight we met with matze as a house and told him our decision that he should be out of the house by the end of the year. he hasn't been staying here, anyway, but we need an official end. the affair was only one issue, his violent outburst another.. but also, he is several months rent behind. the relationship with him is very strained, so that we do not expect to see the owed rent money.... it comes to about 1000 euro. (1300$) plus we can't look for a new house mate until january, since we are all gone for the holidays... so we will also have at least a months rent loss on top of that.

i am looking forward to being GONE for a few weeks!! see you guys in dallas soon.

ps: anyone want to buy my powerbook??

09 December 2008

all clear for take-off

i just got back from the foreign service office. all the prayers helped... after a bit of run around and confusion as to whether or not i have an appointment, they finally found my name on the list, at a time that hadn't passed yet, in the right office... and i waited less than an hour to be admitted. (in that time i read in job.. chapter 19 came up where he says people think he is a foreigner, and i had to laugh..) once i got in to the office, it was easy going.. the lady helping me was cool and it only took a matter of minutes.


06 December 2008

st nick's day

i just got in from our st. nikolaus day's street evangelism. i am completely worn out, but also really want to share.. it went really well! usually we do this on christmas eve, but since i will be in dallas then (and i am in charge of it) we bumped it up. today is the day when german kids get candy and oranges in their boots.. and i figured also a good day to bless the needy.

the work started a bit ahead though, all fall i have been collecting donations, and this week was spent shopping for the cheapest quality socks, scarves, gloves, hats.... as well as wrapping them and the other items (jackets, sweaters) that people brought by. julian and i packed about 70 gifts one night. (and more came after)

friday we bought the coffee thermoses (to hold 3 liters each- yet we still ran out!) and then sat around cutting and peeling everything we would need this morning to make the traditional winter meal of bremen- kohl und pinkel. it's a green kraut and two types of sausage with potatoes. at 10am this morning we started the actual cooking.
it isn't always safe in the kitchen with a few freaks.. but we were able to make sure there was enough meat to go around ;-)

the time in the city was cool. i think it went smoother than usual. i was again struck by the combination of sincere thanks and increadible nerve of the people we were serving. many of them tried conning us into giving them a second present, or flat out begged. we were able to make some people especially happy, though.. like a man who desperatly wanted a hat, and was so thankful he kissed me. or another man who needed an extra-large coat, and we were able to give him a very nice one. we also saw a few of my special people, bugs, mani, and petra to list a few names that i have mentioned often already. we spent about 4 hours going all through town... and ended in the blocked-off street that is bremen's red-light district (and generally off-limits to tourists, social workers and women).. i could tell more, but i will just show photos instead:

01 December 2008

minor prophets: hosea

by-line: and his visit.

yesterday (has it only been one night?) i spoke on hosea.. the prophet who married an unfaithful woman and mourned over her as a symbol of how God mourned for Israel to come back to Him. interested?....comment.

i was feeling relieved to have the sermon behind me. some of you were part of helping me decide to go ahead and preach as planed, despite the similar drama playing out in my very small church. i also talked to our "hosea" who agreed that it should still be the topic, and even read and discussed the book with me prior. and the sermon went well. a few people cryed, but not the ones involved. it's a moving story though, and if you don't know it i would encourage you to read it.

around 12:30am the doorbell rang. "hosea" was slumped up against the door, sobbing and too weak to walk on his own. he had finally found and talked to his wife, who had been avoiding him. he stayed until the sun went up, moerssl left for work, and the construction crew got here to work on our leaky upstairs windows. i am exhausted. "hosea" is clinically depressed and had started cutting himself again since this affair, and was thinking about suicide a lot. i had told him two nights before that if he cannot be trusted alone with himself, that he should let me know and either come here or tell me so that we can go stay at his place (we being me and any uninvolved man, so as to not be alone in the house). it wasn't a bad night.. just long. the counseling part was maybe the first two hours at most, stretched by him crying and me just letting him. the rest was mostly just talking about anything not directly related to his wife, interspersed by brief counseling and crying.

wait....why am i writing when i could be making coffee???

minor prophets: amos

i just realized that i never wrote about preaching on amos. there was alot going on at that time, and i just never got to it. it was nov 9.. the day of birgit's daughter and right in the beginning of the passport issues. so i spoke on amos and the down-and-out. if the notes interest anyone.. as always.. comment