So Germany was not in the original planning as a country to visit, but due to visa reasons we had to go there, the irony was that after our flights was booked Hanna, that is in J-bay but was going to visit a friend in Germany, saw that we would be landing a day after her and flying out a day after her. And since her friend that she would be visiting is involved with the Hillsong church in Germany asked if it would be possible to serve them. The friend came back to say that it would be and if we could paint the church and so it was set up.
We arrived early (we had a 4am flight, how silly is that, who flies at 4am?) in Stuttgart and had to make our way to Konstanz right on the Switzerland border, we took a train it was so cool, not taking a train was one of the bummers of last year. We were picked up at the train station and was taken to a camp site where we spent the next 4 days. We got to Konstanz on a Thursday and could not start painting since they did not want a half painted church on the Sunday, so we did a few things with the church, we joined their creative evening, the girls went a big sisterhood night and we helped with the setup of that. We went out with their street teams to go help clean a few homes and play with children, and did a bbq for some homeless people. The Sunday we went to church and chilled next to the lake.
The Monday early we packed and went to church where we stayed for a few days while working there. We started with some filling and replacing drywalls and filling that and sanding spots. When we were shown what we need to do the first time I was wondering how we would be able to finish it, but they were equipped and we had all the right tools, a paint gun for the roof and scaffolding and everything we could possible need and that made it a lot easier and faster. The next few days were spent painting with help of 2 connect groups the Tuesday evening. There were a few in between moment that we could not work and joined the activities that stopped us and gave us a few opportunities to share. The Friday morning we were finished by 9am. In the time there we were blessed out of our socks by the people, the church set a budget and bought us a lot of food, every afternoon we got a fully cooked meal and was so blessed by it, we even had beef fillet. I think I had more red meat (if we count pork as red meat) in that one week than the whole of last year.
The Friday we were taking to Mainau Island also known as the flower Island, we got invited to go by one of the girls of the church that works at the kindergarden there, she also organised that we could go in for free and that was a blessing since it cost like a lot to go in. it was so beautiful in there and they have these funny flower stuff (see piqtures) and there is also a butterfly garden and it was so cool. The Saturday we went into Switzerland and went to the something waterfall that is suppose to be the biggest waterfall in Europe, it was cool and the walk there was so nice. The afternoon we went walking round the town of Schaffenhousen and went to a castle there. It was really cool and I got a picture with Rodger Federer. Sunday it was back at church and being spoiled more by the people, the evening we had dinner on the roof with some leftovers and some German alcohol free beer and was joined by Janiene, Anna and Simon. It was so funny and we laughed a lot and took a lot of pictures. The next morning we were sent of on the bus by the same 3 with more local foods and beer.
Personally my time in Germany was very difficult, the team was not happy and I took a lot of flak for a lot of things. I reached a point where I just wanted to give up, but that was good since it took me to a point of brokenness, a place a brokenness that can be worked with. I had to sit down and see that I done so much out of my own strength, knowledge and wisdom and it failed epicly. I was left in a place where I knew what was wrong, but just had no answers any more, nothing to fall back on. It was good bought me to a place of brokenness that God can start working, but even then I was left with so much pride that I was resistant to it. But it took me to place of looking at things and admitting some things that I did not want to face. And that was the start of things changing, looking back I was not broken enough and there was still to much pride left for change to take place, but it was a place where I faced some stuff and admitted to myself and team that I am in broken place. I started to write and send out how I feel to some close friends, but still there was resistance in me. This is how I got onto the plane, not happy (actually very angry) and wondering what I was going to have to do.
On a more positive note I have 2 testimonies I want to share. The fist is the Castle testimony. So I like castles and old stuff, those that know me know I read a lot of fantasy and epics and there were times that I felt I was born a 1000 years to late. So this year so far everywhere we went we have been inside castles, or old places. Old city Jerusalem, and in Bethlehem old churches and places, in Jordan we were inside a Crusader castle, in Turkey so many, ruins of Effes and Loadicia, Johns something or another castle, and in Goreme in the cave churces, castles in Germany and Switzerland. The second is the warm water testimony. So when I knew that I need to do another journey I had one complaint and it was “please don't make me do another year of cold showers please please” and so far God has been so faithful, we have always had warm water where we have been, we have not always had access to water or showers, but when we did it was warm (except for the 3 days next to the see of Galilee).