Germany Day 12

Well, today most of our group spent time connecting with their host homes. Nyke, Andy, Janelle, Jillian, Mike, Terrance and I (Ryan), along with our host parents, went to an AMAZING museum called the House of German History. We walked through Germany history from the fall of Nazi Germany through the fall of the Berlin wall.

Tomorrow morning we board our plane back to the states! We can’t wait to see all of you! Well, its super late and Andy didn’t get me a post so I am going to crash! 🙂

-Ry

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Germany Day 11

Germany Day 10

Germany Day 9

Worship::

It was an amazing day at Trefftpunkt Leben church!  Hundreds of people filled the room as the beautiful sound of German singing resounded praises to God. Pastor Martin (Lead Pastor of Trefftpunkt Leben) recapped the message of hope that we have been striving to share with the community of Erkrath this last week.

During the service we were invited to come up to the stage and represent the American team, moms you would be so proud of us! We were humbled by the love that the congregation shared with us as they honored our commitment to serve in their community. Their cheer was louder than what they normally do for the world cup!

Ryan led worship in a kilt (accompanied by Steve and some of our friends from Chicago aka The Village People) during service. Turns out that our German friends are huge Hillsong fans, good choice Ryan but next time feel free to kill the kilt! (This  is Ryan…no kilt was present during the service…though maybe some Lederhosen.)

YAY God::

I ran into a family, that we helped during a service project, they decided to come and visit the church for the first time. I can’t wait to hear continued stories of how these seeds will continue to grow!

Adios Schlemmer Grill::

Following the service we began to clean up and break down the soccer cage, tower of terrors and the famous Schlemmer Grill!  We will miss the currywurst and pomes!

The loudest cheer broke out from our team as we closed the gate to the truck. We celebrated not only what God had done throughout the week but the beginning of HOPE for Erkrath!

Thank you again for your continued prayers, they mean a lot to us and our German friends! Happy Father’s Day!

-Andy

Germany Day 8

Knit Close Together::

Relationships keep getting knit closer together. We were kind of sad today just thinking of how our time with our dear friends and new families is getting shorter and shorter. We are excited to share the stories and love that we have received from our host homes with you soon!

God Story::

Terrance had the opportunity to share his testimony today. He did an amazing job at sharing how God has changed his life because someone took the time to invest in him. Towards the beginning of our trip the Turkish guys kept saying they were considered outcasts because they were immigrants here in Germany.  Terrance has found a special place in these guys hearts to the point that they have opened up to hear of Christ. Our message to them today was that they weren’t outcasts but loved by an amazing God who saves!

Let the Games Begin::

German Olympics:: We set up multiple obstacle courses and started the competitions pretty early. I was smart and teamed up with the Germans, proud to say our team kicked butt at soccer! So, I got a huge request. Nyke asked me to let everyone know that I lost to him in a wrestling match during one of the challenges. He said, “Andus tell everyone in your blog that you lost to a guy that uses a flat iron” which only confirms that he uses one! The truth is I kicked his butt in the cage but I’ll let him have this one.

We are excited to attend a German church service tomorrow and recharge for the next week!

-Andy

Germany Day 7

Picture is coming together:: Today is the day we have been waiting for! Throughout the week we began our mornings with worship and a commissioning for the days events then teams break up and tackle the various projects throughout the city.  Today was different in that we got to work together on our very own base camp! We set up a wild park with tons of stuff to do right here on Trefftpunkt-Leben grounds.  Amped for the day especially when we saw our new friends join us and stay the entire night! Pastor Mark (outreach pastor here at Trefftpunkt-Leben) said that he has been talking to these guys for a while, he was pretty stoked to see them set foot at a church for the first time! Beyond all of this we knew that God did his best work as tears began to pour down our faces, truly an overwhelming moment when we won our first soccer game!!!

Tuna Pizza:: hold the anchovies please and bring on the tuna! Yep, that’s the German way! Don’t knock it until you try it. Some people on my team have tried it and actually look forward to putting it together when we get back home.

Testimony:: Remy and Kenisa got to share their awesome testimonies from the stage. The seed has been planted my friends, we are stoked to see what God has through it. It’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone and share vulnerable stories of how God’s love has saved us. I recommend you try stepping out of your shell and start sharing your testimony with others, especially over tuna pizza!

Culture:: We saw some pretty sweet haircuts including the classic mullet and the European style of course. Nyke would relate if he had a place to plug in his flat iron. Yea that’s right Nyke I got footage of that back home…all the German girls around here are jealous of your new CHI! We also learned that we American’s have been doing this whole wedding ring wrong as Germans wear their rings on the right hand. They shared with us that it is proper to wear a ring on the left hand only while you are engaged then you place it on the right during the wedding ceremony.

A huge hit:: Our goalie Terrance “Terry” is turning into quite the celebrity around here. People are starting to call him Tyson only because he has taken multiple hits to the face, and other regions, for the last three days in the soccer cage. Priceless! You have to see it to appreciate him shake it off only to take another hit 5 seconds after each recovery! You helped us win Terrance we’ll get you some ice back home since our German friends don’t use ice!

-Andy

Germany Day 6

Sprouts::

Not even a week later and we are beginning to see results of our prayers. We were recharged this morning to hear that some of the youth that we have been interacting with, at the town square, has opened up and asked that we pick them up for the youth outreach tomorrow! It was very uplifting to know that God would not have us labor in vain. The question only grows stronger from the Erkrath community as they want to know why we would give them a helping hand with no strings attached, God’s love is definitely flowing!

The work has just begun::

Over two stories of pure steel is going up creating the tallest rock wall I have ever seen! There is a lot of work going into the preparation of a youth outreach happening this Friday and Saturday. Stephen, the youth leader here at Trefftpunkt Leben, was sharing how they have been preparing for this harvest for quite some time, can’t wait to get these young people plugged in!

Invest::

Positive relationships play a vital role in our lives! It’s important to have true friends and not just neighbors, a life companion and not just a spouse, a close brother and not just a friend. As we serve in Erkrath I am reminded that, HOPE begins in real relationships, most importantly a relationship with Christ then with those around us. I love the analogy of a sponge,  “One must be like a sponge that soaks enough water to keep from drying but also rings it out so that it won’t remain stale” in the same way we must allow ourselves to receive so that we can pour out to others from our overflow.  I invite you to join me as I challenge myself in asking God to place ties of friendship in our lives. Seek two friends, one that can pour into you and another in which you can pour into, even if that person is someone that you have lived with forever.

I Corinthians 13: 1

-Andy