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Sunday, 31 December 2006

New Year...

One of the highlights of my time in Portland before the new year was hanging with my Leafy girls. Bekah was back from Prague, Annie was in town from Chicago, Jamie had a break from classes...but not from work. :-(, Kristin is getting ready to go overseas... it was a huge blessing to my heart... here we are enjoying a place that was new to me!

Then for new years....
I was on a plane all day. Heading to Florida to go through New Staff Training (NST) with Campus Crusade for Christ.

I have been here for a week now. The best thing is being with other like minded believers who understand this organization and who are also preparing to enter into a long term position working with CCC. It is a blessing. :-)

We are split into life groups and this is the great group that I get to facilitate. :-) We had a scavenger hunt to get to know Daytona... Steve.. the older gentleman in the middle was the local we found to take a photo with... he has been running his business in Daytona Beach for 40 years.

Oh... we girls... performed a song on the Daytona Beach Bandshell.... as per the rules of the game and then a man came to take our photo saying... "one more... I am a girls gone wild photographer." Sorry... we are not those kind of girls.

I have a roommate who is from New Hampshire... the lake area where the filmed What about Bob? She is great.

I have been able to re-connect with many of the STINTers that I had the privilege of knowing and investing in last year. So great to see them committing to full time service reaching out to University Students!

The weather has been nice... 80 degrees in January... I can't really complain. :-) It rained today though...

oh... here was the sun rise this morning...

Monday, 25 December 2006

This Season

Merry Christmas everyone!
Frohe Weihnachten!
Feliz Navidad!
Linksmu Kaledu !
Joyeux Noël!
Vrolijke Kerstmis!

I write in many languages because one thing I miss right now is many languages surrounding me. I am in Portland, Oregon, USA this Christmas and in a 1 week I travel to Florida to begin New Staff Training with Campus Crusade for Christ.

Last night (Christmas Eve) I was blessed to join my mother and the family of her former neighbors for games, good food and gifts. I was not expecting any gifts and was overwhelmed from my heart to receive some very thoughtful ones. My mom's former neighbors... Jim and Carrie have two delightful daughters and the youngest one prays regularly for me. THAT is humbling and beautiful!

My brothers arrive soon for us to do our family Christmas time. I have made a pumpkin pie and an apple pie... they smell delicious! :-)

I am thankful for all of you! Hey... if you never comment on here but you read it even semi-regularly... could you let me know? I am continually amazed at the number of people who read and never comment. :-) I don't think badly of you... promise. :-)

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Who has control?

It seems that no matter where I go, what I read, who I meet... I run into something or someone who asks the question: "who has control?" And I keep going back to the things God has taught me this past year. He has control! And I want to never forget that when He has control... things are better; life is smoother... cause I do not stress or worry if I do not feel like I have to be in control.

You know? When we are so concerned about controlling a situation or a person... we can't see the bigger picture. Why not let God (who has the widest perspective and the biggest picture) be the one in control?

I talked with someone today... old enough to be my parent who said to me: "you seem to be a person who has given control to the Lord. You seem to be willing to do whatever He gives you to do. I want to do that... I think I am closer to doing that now than I was a few years ago." Wow. How many of us are in that space. I was glad I could tell this person that I am indeed in process. I know that I need to let God lead at all times and sometimes it is harder than others to live that out. But I was also thrilled to be able to give personal testimony of the peace I have when I let God be in control.

It was a good reminder to me.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

the way I see it

So... I am back in the land of quick turnounds at restaurants, the customer is always right and stay in your car while I pump your gas. I like the customer service.... I miss the ability to sit for hours and talk at a restaurant.

On the way to Portland from Germany I sat between a Belgium man who told me we were going to have fun on the flight and a woman born in Namibia with French citizenship and 1/2 year residence in Corsica... The flight attendant liked the Belgium and I so much she arranged for 1st class glasses with champagne to be delivered to us. That was nice.

After 2 days in Ptown I went with my family to Whistler in BC Canada. It is gorgeous up here!

Friday, 1 December 2006

Things I can do without

Well. there are things that we choose to do without and things we are forced to do without. I chose to do without a car all year and a TV for that matter. Now I am forced to do without a cell phone...silly Germans... they are just too efficient... then on the other hand... cancelling my land line and my internet is going so smoothly.

So, I am in Germany until Wednesday. Staying with some wonderful people, living without a cell phone, realizing that I will not have my own place to live again for many months, saying some see you laters and some goodbyes... of course, it is really all "see you laters" in this family. :-)

And the weather here... it feels like spring... 7-15 degrees C. I hear Portland is at 2-3 degrees C... crazy. I am going to Christmas Markets here and not even wearing a jacket... something is wrong with this picture.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Changes, changes, changes

I wonder how many of my postings the last year have had something to do with changes. A question I will let go unanswered.

I went to Spain for some meetings. I love the team I work with! Paul Duncan (UK), John O'Neal (Spain), Urs Wolf (Switzerland), Kalle Vaismaa (Finland) and of course Deb. :-)

here a is a photo of the Pryanees... amazing

When I got back from Spain, I spent one night in my flat and the next morning I re-packed and headed to Lithuania... here was the travel itinerary... car ride to the Basel, Switzerland train station. 3 hour train ride to Frankfurt am Main airport. 2.5 hour waiting for my flight. 2 hour plane ride to Vilnius, Lithuania. Car ride with my friend Renata from the airport to the bus station. 1.5 hour bus ride to Kaunas, Lithuania. Trolley bus ride with Kellie and Jason. walking. arrival!

It was soooo good to see my friends. We had Thanksgiving dinner at about 10p.m. they waited for me!!!! There are few things better than sitting with dear friends over a good meal. I looked around at Sharon and Matt and Jen and Peter and Tiana and Kellie and Jason. Tiana and Jason arrived two days before I came to visit. I just kept drinking in the joy of being with friends.

I had a delightful time with them and then on Friday the Vilnius team came over and I was again in awe of the grace of God to give me so many friends! Renata and Jolanta and Jeff and Alvyta and Jolita and Baylis.

It was a good time. And then on Sunday I reversed all the travel itinerary... got back to Kandern, Deb helped me finish packing my apt and Monday morning I had the help of many to move my belongings to my friend Brad's cellar and me to the Miller's house. And this photo is of me... skyping with Adrienne in my empty flat.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Time with the Lord

I should be packing right now... but I came across this photo and it reminded me of how much I LOVE sitting beside water and reading my Bible. This day I had gone to the Alps with Deb and Riitta and we went up to some glaciers... the farther up we went... the fewer people there were. And we split off to spend some time with the Lord. I was so engrossed in what I was reading that I did not realize Riitta had taken my picture, but I am glad she did because that was a lovely moment for me and to have it captured is priceless.

Monday, 13 November 2006


I began packing boxes yesterday. I intended to begin last week but life got in the way. Funny how that happens. So, I began by taking everything off the walls and collecting all my photo frames and artwork and candle holders. Now it does not feel so much like home and I will feel more compelled to pack things up.

Sigh... someday I will live in one place for more than 1 year. Seems like ages since I did that.

On another note. I saw demonstrated in my life this past weekend what happens when I do not have enough "alone" time. No doubt about it... I am an extrovert! But... I do need significant amounts of "alone" time. Alone is in quotes because it really means a small amount of alone time and a significant amount of time with one or two really good friends. :-) So... what happens when I do not have enough "alone" time? I become very withdrawn and avoid people. I become inable to carry on conversations....just can't think of interesting things to ask people. People who don't know this about me become alarmed at what they see.

You might wonder what I need when this occurs... well... I need time with a good friend or two doing nothing or talking. OR...I need a few hours by myself. between large social gatherings that demanded my attendance this weekend, (I did want to be in attendance!) I watched a movie with a good friend, I drove by myself to a nearby town and did some window shopping, and I talked with another good friend. I am closer to normal now. :-)

And today I said goodbye to a good friend... the goodbyes continue.... wrenches my heart strings. I do love, however, that I can entrust my friends to the Lord's keeping. It is always amazing how He keeps me!

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Ben Harper

Some photos from the concert. :-)
It was much fun. :-)

Monday, 6 November 2006


I am going to a Ben Harper concert tomorrow night and I am practically giddy with anticipation. Maybe it is because as one of my friends here put it, "I get to be normal for a night" So, my new friend Sarah and my friend Brad and I are going to the concert. We all have really busy lives. Full of good things but these good things wear us out from time to time and a good concert just seems like a really great thing to do right now. I am so glad to have friends to go with. I saw the advertisment a couple months ago and suggested it. At that time Brad told me that he had suggested it before ...but sadly I did not recall the suggestion. And Adrienne later told me that I was not in the room when he suggested it. So I do not feel too badly. :-) hmmm.. I am rambling.

Well, exactly 1 month from today I will be back in Portland. That feels strange... In between then and now... many things to do, a couple trips to take, some more dear friends to say goodbye to, and the Lord to keep leaning on. The great thing in this process is that Brad said my stuff can reside at his place and my friends the Millers will let me live with them my last week here. God is good.

Hmmm... I should go to bed. Tomorrow is a very full day.

Tuesday, 31 October 2006


My last day in Finland and I was delighted to see SNOW!!!! :-) yes... I love snow. it snowed about 6 cm today.
Here is dear Riitta trying to stay warm by doing a bit of line dancing while we waited for a bus today.

And here am I thoroughly enjoying the snow.

And here is a random bus sign... No popsicles, no hot dogs and no beverages...

Saturday, 28 October 2006


So... I have been in Finland for 2 days and I have had more Finnish experiences than I can keep track of.

Many delicious Finnish foods... cheese in my coffee... hmmmm... interesting. Downtown Helsinki. Finnish 4-yr-old birthday party. Finnish Sauna... Ah... here is what I will post about. I have heard various stories about saunas... I have experienced the American version of sauna... but here, today, I experienced a true Finnish sauna...
So... step inside.... Riitta's dear friends let us use their wood heated sauna... much better than the electric heated kind. :-)
Shower first to get wet as you enter the sauna it is dry heat until you start to sweat and then you add water to the stones and the steam comes.
inside the sauna... the temperature was hovering at 80 degrees celsius... :-) I guess for a lot of foreigners the joke is to add a lot of water to see how long they can stand it... I am happy to say... Riitta my dear Finnish friend, was done before I was.
Then a shower to get all the sweat off you and some cool air (or snow if it is available) to bring your body temps down. And then back to normal life.
Riitta loves the sauna. She said that the Fins use it for cleaning/cleansing. all your impurities come out through your skin. lovely thought I know... and she loves the conversations that happen. We had lovely conversation. Deep and insightful and light and funny... and of course, being women, we talked about men. hmmm is that too much information? :-)
I am a HUGE fan of the Finnish sauna. I have not felt that refreshed and relaxed all at the same time for ...well I don't remember when was the last time. :-)

Monday, 23 October 2006

two Birthdays

Okay so October 23rd is forever branded in my mind... Cause I have two dear friends who were born on this day... some years ago. Cindy Carlson and Tori Johnson.
Cindy and I met about 13 years ago on a mission trip to Alaska. She got married on my birthday a few years later and I was priviliged to be part of the wedding party. Here she is with one of her two delightful sons. oh, and she is married to a great guy, Chad, and they are being called to go work in New Orleans... fun adventures ahead!!!!
And Tori I met about 8 years ago and we bonded instantly... She is terrific! She has been my Festa Italia partner the last two years. She loves kids and is really really really good with them.
So happy birthday dear friends!!!!!

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Crazy Week

I just feel like I need to share all the things that are happening this week. I don't like weeks like this... too many things and none of them connected to each other but all connected at the heart level to me! Wears me out!

1. My dear friend Adrienne is going back to Ohio on Thursday. She has been my sanity so many times this past year and now she is going home to Colombus to plan a wedding.

2. My younger brother Matthew... not youngest...younger... the one who literally looks like Matt Damon... He is turning 30 on Thursday.

3. My missions pastor and his wife are here all week. I love them! they are fantastic and I really respect them. It is good to have them here... just a wierd week to have them here. Kristin sent a movie with them for me... Amelie.. I have been wanting to see/own it for a year now. :-) She is the coolest! :-) And my mom sent vitamins... that is a long story for another day. You know, it is always good for my heart to receive gifts like this. funny... not hah hah.. .but funny interesting. :-)
This is what the vineyards look like around here right now... it is beautiful! Fall is here and the grapes are being harvested!

4. My landlord started showing my flat to potential new renters... strange... I leave here in 2 months. I am so glad I am coming back here... Lord willing. And so in my heart I am processing through leaving this place and these people for a time... and it hurts my heart.

5. I need to write an update. I need to start packing. I need to raise support for New Staff Training. AND... I need to do my job here! I do not want to let anything fall through the cracks....

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Let's Celebrate Bekah Tucker Day!!!!

So I think that October 12th should be Bekah Tucker day. Bekah is my dear friend. I have had the privilege of working next to her in the same office, going to the same church as her, living in Europe at the same time as her, etc... All a huge honor to share with her. And today... October 12th is her birthday!

Happy Birthday Bekah!!!!!!

here is bekah...

this is Bekah and I before we both moved to Europe...

this is Bekah and I at our friend Karin's wedding in Switzerland...

Bekah is the coolest!

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Created to be loved

So I shipped a lot of books to Germany when I moved here... 1 year ago. Yes folks. 1 year ago today I got on a plane at some crazy morning hour and moved to Germany. And that means that 1 year ago tomorrow I arrived in Germany.

Anyway, I shipped over books. Books I have read many times and books I had not yet read. Living alone has given me time to read some of the books that I had not read. One I recently picked up was Don Miller's book "Searching for God Knows What".

Now, I like Don and feel privileged to have hung out with him in the past so that when I read his books it truly does feel like it is a conversation. He writes as if he is just in a conversation with you. I love it!

So, last night, I was reading in this book and came across this: "God wired us so that He told us who we were, and outside that relationship, the relationship that said we were loved and valuable and beautiful, we didn't have any worth at all." Pg 107.

Can you wrap your mind around that sentence? I can. And it makes a lot of sense to me. When I let other people or circumstances define who I am, I feel empty and undervalued. When I let God define who I am, I feel loved, valuable and beautiful. Now, this is not a new concept...but it is profound truth that I have a hard time remembering.

So last night after reading that and writing it down. I know I had this goofy grin on my face. How amazing is that???? I, Melissa Rennae Wright, am loved completely by God. He created me so that I am most at rest and most joyful when I let Him define me. And there is so much freedom in that definition. Truly AMAZIING!

So thanks to Don for pointing us to this truth that is all throughout the Bible.

Hi Diane. :-) you commented on Jen and Peter's site... should I be offended that you don't post on mine? :-)

Monday, 25 September 2006

learning to live deeply

I sent out an update on my life to about 180 people this month and at the end I asked them to tell me what it means to them to live deeply. I asked that because I am thinking alot about what it means to live deeply. I have had a response from 6 people.

I wonder... is this because people do not read my updates? Or is it that they have never thought about what it means to live deeply? Or are they so busy that they cannot share with me what it means to them to live deeply? And if you are that busy... how can you live deeply?

No, I am not upset with those 174 who did not respond. I am just curious what would cause one person to respond and not another. And... I am sad that I have not heard from more people.

I am not doing a school assignment with this question. I am trying to learn more about living as God wants me to live. And I think we learn about living like Christ by learning from each other as well as other methods.

so, if you have not responded to the question drop me an email and let me know what you think it means to live deeply.

Next month I will share what I think it means to me.

Monday, 18 September 2006


Okay, so at Rakel's comment I thought, "aw that is sweet. Rakel is so nice. She must see something I don't." Cause to be honest, I almost did not put that photo in... I do not like it that much. And then dear Melanie posted that she agreed. And I began to think... are they crazy??? and then K. good grief girl... what is this???? some sort of conspiracy to get me to post photos that I don't like of myself cause everyone else thinks they are great? sheesh.

Okay, I am not really upset, a bit confused and needing to change my perspective maybe...working on that... working on it. yeah... working on it.

Saturday, 16 September 2006

home sweet home

Well, after a lot of traveling this summer I am back in my own flat in Kandern. I was SO excited to go grocery shopping! I could purchase groceries for more than 5 days! Such a great feeling! After leaving the states I was home for a couple days and then I had an office retreat. That was good. It is always nice to get to know people outside of the office and with their families. We climbed up to the top of the 2nd highest mountain in the Black Forrest. :-)

here are all the kids who climbed with us.. this was the half way mark.

Here are some of the adults resting too... I have no idea what I was excited about or what I was explaining. :-) The man next to me and the woman in front of me are the new director of western europe and his wife. They are Spanish and I love their hearts for the Lord and for each other and for Europe.

3 days after returning from that I was up before early to catch a flight to Barcelona Spain for some meetings. Good meetings. Our team bonded on a boat. God is so good. He provides fun places to experience Him and have meetings! I had many firsts... snorkling, swimming in the mediterranean, seeing a stingray, driving a boat... fun times.

How wonderful to seek the Lord in this type of environment!

And I got home late on Saturday, was completely worn out on Sunday and most of Monday... I guess that is what happens when you let your self relax. :-) I need to do more of that.

Then, I had the privilege of having visitors for a couple days. Stephanie and Julie, two girls who graduated from the college/seminary I worked at before moving here. They were fun to have around, great to catch up on their lives and a blessing to see what they are learning. Sadly the weather has been foggy, cloudy and they did not get to see the Alps. I promise the Alps are there though! :-)

Sunday, 3 September 2006


My second week in the states was in Portland. (P-Town) Why do we always try to shorten names?

If I did not get to see you, I am sorry. It was a busy week! I am so blessed to have multitudes of wonderful people in my life and there is no way that one week could contain you all! :-)

Here are some highlights of that week.

Going to Cannon Beach with the girls...well those who could get off work or leave kids for the day. The ocean meets my soul. I love the vastness. I love the mystery. I love the power of the sea as it tosses small and larger items amongst its waves. Ah... yes. I have missed the Pacific ocean this past year!
Here are some of the beautiful women who are my friends:

The Festa Italiana with my dear friend Tori... 2 years in a row... it is a tradition now! :-) I LOVED dancing in the middle of Pioneer Square to the sounds of good Italian music. It did not matter that those Italians live in Columbus Ohio. Nor did it matter that I have been treated to great food and music and wine in Italy this past year. here we are with Erika in front. Erika is from Lithuania. It was a special night to be in downtown P-Town on a warm and clear night with good food, excellant wine, fun music, good friends... sigh...

It was great to be able to surprise my friend Andy for his little birthday celebration. And good for my soul to be in town when dear Sara was also in town. And being able to sit down with Bekah again... the last time was in Kandern. And yeah... I could go on and on... the people who work at church who I still LOVE. The people at MBCS who are dear to my heart.

Seeing most of my extended family. That was really special... even though I was really jet-lagged. I am so blessed to have a family who loves and supports me. On a more sad note... I was not able to see my dear adopted dad... he is this week going in for Chemo to battle the cancer that was recently discovered. It is not life threatening, but it is still difficult to fathom.

Being Stateside

So, I was in the States for about 2 weeks. One week in are some highlights of the time. :-) I did not take many photos but I had an afternoon to be up at Vail... that was amazing!

Colorado was the STINT briefing. I was blessed to see dear friends and make new friends too.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

The four men I met

So Saturday I left Kandern at 4am and took a 3 hour train ride to Frankfurt Airport.. stood in 3 hours of extended security lines, took a 6 hour plane ride to Newark, New Jersey, waited 4 hours and then took a 6 hour flight to Portland. And along the way I met 4 men that I want to tell you about. :-) are you intrigued????

#1 Seth. I met Seth in line as we were in the 3rd security line in Frankfurt. We chatted the whole time and it was really great to meet him. He has a girlfriend that he was driving 3 hours to see after we landed in Newark.

After we got through security.. it is kind of strange to go through security measures like that with a man you just met... Anyway.. we made it through and sat in the waiting area... once you enter the waiting area you cannot leave.. no bathroom trips.. you had better make sure that you don't need to go before entering the waiting area. Anyway we are sitting there and chatting when guy #2 enters the scene

#2 I did not get his name.. cause I really did not want to encourage this.. but it is a good story... He is a friendly sort and starts the banter of "are we there yet?" "Suzie is in my space",... yeah well all know that scenario. So I told him we are not there yet.. etc... Then they start announcing pre boarding and he starts mumbling.. getting louder and louder.. "military first, military first..." I asked if he was military.. Yes. he is. Then he asks me if I am 21 years old. I tell him no... I am 31.. he threw a fit.. literally... I asked if he wanted to see my license.. he said no. Then he asked me how old I thought he was.. I paniced.. he looked anywhere from 25 to 45.. yikes.... so I guess mid to late 30s... yeah.. he was not happy.. he is 26... he whipped out his license to prove it and then sulked for a while. Then he says..."well I was going to flirt with you but now I won't."

Whew.. what a relief for me. :-) In between swearing and telling me that I was fired.. he thought he was being funny... yeah.. glad that one did not last too long.

The flight was uneventful. Seth handed me his business card so we could keep in touch. Nice guy.

#3 So we landed in Newark and had to go through customs. I walked up to the customs guy.. he asked me what I do.. I told him I am a missionary.. he very seriously asked me what a missionary does. He gets missions groups going to build houses in 3rd world countries and missionaries going to preach on the street corners and he could not fathom how they are all the same. So I got to tell him that we are all movitivated by our relationship with the Lord and we want to share that love with others by whatever method. He thanked me profusely and wished me a good day.

#4 I was about to board the flight to Portland when the gate attendant informed me that my window seat had been changed to a middle seat and he did not know why but enjoy the flight.. I was irritated... maybe due to my lack of sleep.. but yeah.. bad attitude. So I get on.. cramped in between two people. The man on my right, Mike is #4. We spent the last two hours talking about how God wants to have a personal relationship with him. I shared the gospel. he knows God is pursuing him. I was so tired and I kept asking God to give clarity of thought and words. towards the end of the conversation Mike told me that he has never heard so much clear conviction and sharing about Jesus. Praise the Lord! I was pumped.. no longer exhausted. God is amazing. I challenged Mike to talk to God on his 1 hour drive to Salem that night. He kept saying. "this is a big decision.. I know I need to make this decision." I shared with him how God moved me to that seat and that now I knew why.

So yep. the 4 men I met on my trip. and as a bonus...

#5 I was in the Denver airport on Monday afternoon and I went to Taco Bell to order some lunch... been awhile since I had taco bell... but I walked up to the counter and the man said, "good Morning sunshine" We talked for a while and he just kept telling me how nice I was and friendly and cheery (I know that was the Lord. I was TIRED) and he gave me a free drink and told me he needs more people like me to come through the line. That was nice. And no.. he was not trying to pick me up. :-)

How is that for a different type of post from me?

Thursday, 10 August 2006

So, I was in Nottingham this past week for a conference. This conference had about 1200 people...of every language you could look for in Western Europe and some others too. I loved walking through the groups of people and hearing Lithuanian, then German, then Greek, then French, then Dutch, then Spanish, then Portuguese, then British.. :-) and a bit of Northern Irish.

I salsa'd, disco'd, had a newcastle...well more than one.. you can't get that in Germany, I took a lot of notes-I think I type faster now than ever before, got told by a Greek that there must be something really wrong with me-because apparently I am very attractive so there is no reason that i am still single other than something being wrong with me...good grief! -What about God having perfect timing??? I walked up and down"THE DOWNS" multiple times-that is a really large area of grass that separates one side of the University of Nottingham from the other side, listened to a variety of speakers, got little sleep, met lots of new people-some fun, some frustrating, got better acquainted with some people I met earlier this year, ate a LOT of jacket potatoes, met with the Lord... It was eventful.

Sunday, 30 July 2006

a day to sightsee

So yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a day to sightsee. Grace, who has been on STINT in Rome this past year, was up to visit me this weekend. She and Brad and I went on a train ride on Saturday so she could see Freiburg and Titisee and we could all see Schluchsee. Here are some photos of the day. :-)
this is what happens when you hand a man a camera... he takes photos when you are not expecting it! and Brad has the longer arm so we could all get a self portrait with the beautiful Schluchsee behind us. and here we have Titisee... I have posted photos of this place from the winter... it is amazing in the summer too! I went in the water up to my ankles and it was actually warm water! Beautiful!!!

The rest of the Italy story

Well, here it is about 2 weeks since I returned from Italia and I have not finished the story.. so sorry!
And I keep trying to post photos with this.. but alas.. no such luck. Sorry...

So.. we arrived in Verona on Saturday and went for a tour of the city with Rick Steves on Sunday. We saw it all...
the whale bone that will only fall if someone walks under it who has never lied. It is still up there in case you were all wondering.
We saw the house of Juliet... only we all know that she is not a real person. but apparently all the tourists find it very fascinating...
And we saw the Arena.. it is pretty much fully intact and they have broadway productions and various musicians come and play there during the summer.

Tuesday Louisa and i went to Lake Garda to go swimming... 2 hours after leaving the hotel we arrived. The Lady told us that the last bus to get back to our train station would depart at 1520. No problem. We had 3 hours to lay in the sun and swim too! Only thing is... I went to put on my suit and realized I had left it at the hotel. bleh. I still enjoyed the sun. And when it was time to leave... we waited for the bus...and the bus drive told us that his bus did not go to the train station... after much discussion and the help of a nice man.. Felice... we discovered that the bus actually went all the way back to Verona.. cheaper and faster than the train would have been. That was nice. So we got back to the hotel, changed and went to meet Kristin in Verona... where we had dinner in the Piazza Bra and listened to Eric Clapton playing live in the Arena... it was amazing!

Wednesday we all three went up to Gardaland... Italy's number 1 amusement park. it was loads of fun on water rides and roller coasters. Good day

Then it was back to pack up... Kristin went back to Portland the next morning... and Louisa and I went back to Rome... had an adventure getting to our hotel and another great person to help s get back into the city from our hotel. We got to meet up with the remaining STINTers in Rome. That was really great since I began this year getting to know them.

And then it was back to Kandern... Ah... .Kandern... so lovely, so refreshing... Yes. I skipped many stories... you'll just have to ask me about the hotel mix ups, our last dinner. Italy winning the final game of the World Cup. The cab driver who spoke German. The guys we met at the Verona train station. The smells of the train to Rome. The adventure in finding our Rome Hotel... yeah... it was an adventuresome week.

Friday, 21 July 2006

When God directs.

So, I am not sharing the rest of the Italy story in this post cause I have something really cool to share.

Last night some family friends from oh so long ago... came through town. I love the Anderson family. They we coming through Kandern on their way back up to where Jon lives as he is in the AirForce. There are three more kids in the family.

Julie and I were really good friends when we were younger and I love that God keeps bringing her into my life.

They arrived last night and we went to dinner at the local Greek restaurant and then had ice cream at the local Eis Caffe and then I took them for a mini tour of Kandern. Really.. the whole family are refreshing people. Each in a different way.

This morning we all went running and I have been trying to figure out a path that people keep telling me about... it is supposed to end up in the next town over after you go through the forrest and I have yet to figure it out.. many attempts... :-)

Anyway... as we were jogging along, Klarice the mother, asks me some questions and then she wanted to pray for our families.. so we are praying .. she is praying. I was marveling at the faith of this woman! She prays over any and everything. taking it straight to God and she immediately thanks God for the answers!

So she says amen and we come up to a fork in the road. I sugggsted that we could take the path to the left or we could return from whcnce we came. She said, "let's take the other path" so we started up the other path and up in front we saw a dog sitting next to something on the ground.

When we got closer we saw that there was a woman, obviously having fallen from her bike and obviously in a LOT of pain. She asked in German if we had a cell phone and in my German I told her that I did not and asked what happened. She explained a bit and where the pain was. Then Jon, came up with his cell phone so I dialed the woman's husband and she spoke to him about coming to get her.

I asked if we should stay with her and she assured me that it was okay for us to go on... Now Klarice and Julie are both nurses.. but I did not know how to tell the woman that in German.

We headed on and about half way back, John comes running up with his cell phone hands it to me and tells me that the man wants to know where to find his wife. Apparently he had gone out looking but could not find her. And he was, understandably concerned. I did not remember which "weg" she had been on so I convinced him that I would run back to her and then call him again. He seemed reluctant but agreed

So Jon and I take off running a good 1/4 to 1/2 mile back down to where the woman was and everything went well from there.

When Jon and I were climbing back up the hills we came up to a table where Klarice and Dave and Julie were praying for us and the woman.

How amazing is the Lord? He directed our paths to this woman who needed help and had no other way of getting help. And I got to tell the husband that G0d directed us to her.

Please pray with me that she would heal quickly... she could not put any pressure on her left leg without falling down.

Monday, 17 July 2006

Can a holiday be fun AND relaxing?

So I went to Italy this past week for a holiday or a vacation as my fellow American's would call it.

The plan was to fly into Rome, train to venice, spend a day, train to Florence spend a day, train to Naples, rent a car, drive to the resort, rest for several days, train back to Rome and fly home.

What happened....

Louisa and I flew into Rome and took a train to Venice

We met up with my dear friend Kristin and spend an evening and night in Venice. Where we ate dinner that night... there was a HUGE pizza with the words (in dough) Deutschland, Auf Wiedersehn... cause Italy beat Germany the night before in the semi-final round of the World Cup.

Train to Florence

Night in Florence. Thanks to Nicole who let us stay with her and took us on a little tour the next Morning.

Nicole is great fun... a fellow Oregonian. Gotta love it...
Myself, Louisa and Kristin posing at the top of Piazza Michaelangelo.. yes Tracy.. that is where we are. :-) Thought of you.

The next day we took a train to Verona where we were going to stay... lots of confusion with where we had reservations.. ah the joys of Italia... so Verona it was! I like Verona a lot. The hotel did not have any prospects for relaxing by a body of water.. so we headed into Verona on Sunday and did the Rick Steve's tour.. may I reccommend his travel books.. HIGHLY!!!? :-) He is great.

I'll tell the rest of the story in a couple days... :-)

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

the Fourth Day of July

Yesterday the Agape Office had a party for all those who are in town... including my non American friends who just want to have a BBQ with some American's celebrating freedom. :-)

We had an American flag that once upon a time hung at the American Capitol.

We had a clever cake (delicious too) that was very patriotic

We had a water balloon toss... I was the most soaked...yep. fun times. but it was a really hot day so it actually felt pretty good, Maggie and Marie got wet when Louisa crushed filled water balloons on their backs. Louisa was also my partner for the water balloon toss...sounds suspicious...

Efrem Workman enjoyed his watermelon... if I had a bib to carry my watermelon, I might like to eat watermelon more. It gets so sticky!

And Trent and Saundra Hardy were here to visit for the day as they begin their tour of Europe. It was so good to see them. Even if we did have to watch Germany lose in the World Cup. It was sad really. But wondeful to see Trent and Saundra.