20 July 2010

cornelius and a call to faith

today i led the salvation army's Bible conversation group again. it's a group for people who are just getting in to the Bible. the passage was Acts 10 (and half of 11) about cornelius.. a rather long passage for this group. its an awesome text, though, because so many key elements are involved. there were 6 of us, and usually this groups (despite it's name) isn't easy to get to talk... but today they fought through the long text, answered my questions, asked their own, and we even had a passionate discussion about baptism. not to mention i had a sheet full of stuffed animals with me..... (if you want to know why, read the passage)

but the real key came at the end. we were talking about faith and coming to God, and i asked flat out, if each of them had already made their personal decision. and they answered (it had been rhetorical, but they didn't get that.. and opened up. also cool.) two immediatly answed that they have- one surprised me a bit because he is known as our skeptic, but what he said shows his heart is on the right place. then one said she isn't sure and will think about the question this week. and one, who i thought was surely on board (he helps out alot, even leading stuff sometimes) admitted that he has not made that decision and is fighting with some thoughts. (the other two are the intern and i, and yeah, we're committed to Jesus)

so this week, be especially in prayer for those two in their decision. maybe the angels will get to party soon!

08 July 2010

Sponsors Needed

in case someone is wondering, if there is anything they can do to support me and my ministry, there is! first.. pray! then..

~ i still need 122e in monthly support from now until the end of the year.
~ for 2011 i still need 302e a month
this money helps to pay for my running costs, the things i need to be able to stay in full time ministry. no luxury cars, i promise (i ride a bike). this is the minimum set forth by the german welfare system.

~ i am looking for people who specifically want to support me as a student of theology. starting in september i will be enrolled, seeing as how this is the only way to get a visa. my tuition is 300e monthly plus books, of which 200e will (hopefully) be covered by the salvation army for the work i do there. studying will prepare me even better for my ongoing ministry.

~ the open living room is starting, and needs a few larger items (refrigerator, oven, furniture, maybe a dishwasher) any one time gifts towards these things would be appreciated. if you aren't familiar with my vision for this space, please take a look at the photos and texts below.

07 July 2010

remember that thing i planned to do here?

you know the one.. the open living room i kept ranting about. i think i posted my vision for it three times. well. i kinda started doubting. i mean, come on, i've been in karlsruhe a year already. that's way to long to not have everything i ever thought of in place and working at 200%... right? or maybe i am still learning patience and trust. (do we ever get past the learning stage?!)

so i was sitting in karlsruhe, thinking about whether or not i had made a huge mistake moving here, and if i had not, in fact, felt a calling to open this space for ministry.... and about a half hour later, i hear my name being yelled repeatedly. (i was at gospel tribe for street work and had just met with the head honcho) so i go into the hall, and am immediatly caught up in a whirlwind of people talking all at once, grabbing at calenders and making an appointment... still not quite understanding why.

and then they explained it: in that span of time, while i was busy doubting, they'd been offered and decided to most likely accept the store next door as a rental space for six months. they wanted to meet with me a week later to discuss, pray, and plan what exactly this project will be.

so we met, we prayed, and we discussed.... and i think we have a pretty cool plan for starters. it's a smaller start, of course, than my full vision... but this is a jumping off place. we will be seeing what works and doesn't, what we have and still need, etc. this is going to be fun (and by fun i mean a lot of work)!

here are some pictures to help you visualize it:

walking in.. the counter will be taken out leaving just a room.

the look to the left (and notice how awesomely wide the windowsills are: perfect seating. add some couches and comfy chairs..)

look to the right (and take in the beautiful floor)

the middle room/ walk-through room. i'm thinking a more serious space, tables and chairs.

the back room (we didn't even know was there!) which will be for counseling and occasional overnight guests from gospel tribe.

the small but nice kitchen (minus the oven and fridge: we need to buy those)

04 July 2010

roller coaster week

the week started with a great surprise- a tshirt from becca in ethiopia! unfortunatly, it fits A better than me.. so he took it.

tuesday i led Bible Study at the salvation army... and wow... i have NEVER had such a hard time! the text was acts 5.. which is difficult enough. but man.. respect to the regular leaders, tough crowd! my own bible study was cancelled that night, so i had a lazy evening with my guy and a pizza.

wednesday i had a meeting at gospel tribe that seemed rather disheartening... but half an hour later everything changed drastically. so... there might be some VERY good news comming later this week. we have another meeting tuesday to finalize it..

afterwards was our grill party for the needy and neihbors, which went over really well. i preached on hosea and God's love. people were nodding, so i think it was ok. there was a smallish crowd, bt it included some strangers that saw our sign our front and came in.. a first!

that night i heard some very very bad news.

thursday some more.. my visa was only extended till september. mainly because i am still lacking the necessary funds.

then i was at the salvation army for cafe treff, but my heart wasn't really in it. while we were cleaning up, though, an african group came and was doing worship. i joined in, singing with them in their native tongue and french. even though i didnt understand half of what i was singing, it raised my spirits. the year i spent in africa really affected me, and their authentic worship still clings to me somehow.

the intern didnt want to see me go home alone and upset about the visa, so he insisted on taking me to dinner. it was a wonderful meal (he even insisted i order seconds, because the portion was small and he assumed- rightly- that i had neglected to eat before going to the visa office). we ended up talking till 4am. in the middle of our theological discussion on some matter or other (not sure which of the MANY throughout the night) i had a "EUREKA" moment. it came when i heard myself, for the third time, sign and say "i wish i could study theology too." you can guess where this is going.....

the next day he took me to meet someone, and it might just be the missing piece of the puzzle of God's plan for me in karlsruhe. more on that when i know... a very very good day, though.

saturday, despite the german world cup victory, was a sad one, as we said good-bye to the bible students from gospel tribe. (and i had a bad migraine).

today was a good church service at the salvation army and time together after.
all in all a very up and down and through a loop week.

recent pics

my <3 and i at a free outdoor concert in ettlingen.

many thanks to becca for the tshirt from ethiopia.. it's awesome! the amharic writting is definatly cool... it tells a story about solomon.

these photos are from wednesday's grill party at gospel tribe, where we invited people from the neihborhood, the homeless, etc to join us. i preached on hosea.