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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Six years ago today...

Six year ago today I went to church with Rick and MaryBeth Holladay here in Kandern. At the end of the service they introduced me to Deb Heefner, and the following week they took me to see the area, had me take a personality/strengths inventory test and prayed with me a lot. That week changed my life. I am always amazed at how God works things out. 
Now 6 years later, I have said goodbye to many dear friends who moved from Kandern to other places, welcomed in new people and now I am moving to Rome. Leaving the people who are so dear to my heart brings me many tears, but I am eternally grateful for that day 6 years ago that has given me so many dear friends here. 
a few photos of some of the people who are dear to my heart here. 

Thursday, 25 November 2010

thanking God for a flat tire

Well, today is Thanksgiving Day for Americans. I have not been privileged to be in the right place at the right time to celebrate Thanksgiving with anyone this year. But I am thanking God for a flat tire today.

This may seem odd, to thank God for a flat tire. But last night when I heard the hissing sound and saw the tire losing its roundness quickly, all I could think was that I am so thankful it was not on my winter tires! 

The reason this is so important? Here in Germany it is an issue with car insurance that you must have winter tires on your car in the winter. And because I am driving from Germany, through Switzerland and into Italy next weekend, it is important that my car be wearing its winter attire.

So... I guess I will just wear out my winter tires and when I need new tires... I will have three great ones.. and will need to get the 4th repaired.

Yes... this is a detail that is challenging in the midst of all the other details I am trying to sort through at the moment.  It looks like I will be contracting a moving company to get my things to Rome. We shall see how much they need to charge me. I find out on Monday.

Ah.. details.... I sure am thankful that God holds the world in His capable hands.

Monday, 22 November 2010


 I have spent the past 18 days in Tallinn, Estonia. I want to share some photos and thoughts with you about this time:
 i fell in love with the chocolate pistachio basket at Komeet.
 the view of the city.. old town from up top the Oleviste Church (Oleviste Kirik)
... the highest building in the world during the Medieval times
 as we walked around the top of the church this was the spire as I looked up
 During my first set of meetings... we in the Next Generation Leader Development group were working on how to present what we learned during the past 2.5 years together.
 The Swiss explained it this way... :-)
 finishing details for the presentation
 working hard
 beautiful coffee
 another beautiful chocolate pistachio basket... this time with a gooseberry on top.
 Some of the dear women in Europe. left to right: 
Nicole (Italy) Becky (Latvia) Daire (Estonia) Renata (Lithuania) Eva (Spain)
 Dear Rut (Portugal) I love this girl! 
of course I was wearing tall heeled boots... makes her look so much shorter and me SO much taller.
 the hotel preparing for the long dark days of winter in Estonia.
 a great view from a popular viewpoint overlooking Tallinn
 I was privileged to attend a concert ... of which I understood only 10% of the words sung or spoken... but the music was great!  Anyone who knows me well, knows that music and art feed my soul. This was a soul-feeding experience and I got to enjoy it with a dear friend.
the night view of Tallinn.

18 days is a long time, but Tallinn is a beautiful city and the Estonians that I know are lovely.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Next Generation Leadership Development Initiative

Is that a long title? It is the name of the programme I was part of with Agape Europe the past 2.5 years. We shortened the name to NGI (Next Generation Initiative) but the  memories we have from these years will long be with us.
 I am eternally grateful for Mike, Boppi, Daniel, Brian, Nicole, Eva, Mar, Samuel, Mariona, Nacho, Raphael, Kevin, Lehari, Matthieu, Aaron, Emmanuel, Duncan, Arjan, and Adri. These people from 9 different western European countries are so dear to my heart. We have laughed together, cried together, questioned and came to conclusions together.
When we began the group, we were challenged to consider the future and what we would need to lead into the future with Agape Europe. And at the end of this programme, some of us have been entrusted with more challenging leadership roles than we ever thought possible. 
We were challenged for our last gathering in Tallinn, Estonia to make a presentation to the current Agape Europe leadership team of what we see are necessary changes to see multiplying movements of winning, building and sending people in Europe. 
It is always a challenge for a younger generation of leaders to present idea for change to an older generation of leaders, but we saw God at work. The things God had put on our hearts as critical to the work we are called to in Europe, are similar to the things God has been putting on the heart of leadership team. 

My heart is to work with all of Europe, that is why I moved to Europe in the first place with Campus Crusade for Christ (Agape Europe) I am passionate that people be grounded and growing in Christ. I am passionate that people know who they are in Christ and know what He calls them to do. And I am passionate that Europe would once again be a sending continent of the gospel to the world! 

I am excited to move to Rome in a few weeks to join with the others in proclaiming and demonstrating the gospel there. One of the other NGI participants is the leader of the ministry in Rome and this makes me very happy! 
And I am excited to use the principles learned in NGI as I lead the programme team for our all Agape Europe gathering in 2012.

I am so thankful for the time with NGI. I know I have life-long friends and life-long co-laborers.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

a few days in Kandern

Arriving in the Basel Euroairport this past Thursday, it felt like coming home. Maybe because of all the travel I have done in and out of that airport... :-) 

My friend Brad also flew back from the United States via Frankfurt on Thursday so we came into Basel on the same flight. And as we exited the airport and found Karin who graciously came to the airport to retrieve us, I found myself feeling so grateful for the friends I have found in Kandern. God is good.

I arrived in time to attend a goodbye party for the Miller's dear people who have been in Germany since 1989 and are now returning to Colorado. They have been an integral part of my time in Germany.

At the goodbye party I looked across the room and took it all in... It is amazing how God creates family (the joys and the pains) within a group like this. Most everyone in that room has left their country of origin to follow God's call on their life. Being outside your country of origin creates a bond with others who have done the same. These have become my family over the past 5 years.

Across the room were my dear friends John and Shelly Gilmore. They were sitting with some other dear friends of mine and I was struck with a collision of worlds and how precious it is to me that I know my "family" here in Germany will take these dear friends into the family too.

Sunday, I went to church and saw several people I love and hold dear to my heart. And that night I got to join in with a small group of friends for an evening of good conversation, laughter, and nourishment. I feel so blessed!

Throughout the days in Kandern, I was looking for my real winter clothes. winter coats make great padding for breakable items in boxes... so I had to find those boxes and then I found my winter coats... and sweaters and trousers.  But not my winter shoes... hmmm..

Autumn in Kandern. The tree I used to see out my bedroom window
And then Tuesday morning I got on a plane to Estonia. It was a short time in Kandern. Full of precious moments, and the acknowledgment that saying goodbye in the end of November when I move my things to Rome, Italy... will be hard.