Monday, July 30, 2012

In Cologne

Or should I say... "Köln". I made it here Friday in a van full of luggage and Students For Christ leaders. We are here in Cologne for a SfC conference for 8 days. Over 13 different countries are here. It's so cool to interact with so many different cultures and hear so many different languages! It just reveals to me how god is so present all over Europe! It's opened my eyes to how blind I was to how God is working beyond America! He is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, never changing, powerful God with a heart that longs for EVERY nation.

I have been here on the service team for the conference. Serving as well as participating. Yesterday Jeanette and I spent 3 hours washing dishes from cake and coffee...needless to say we had some PRUNY hands. I also get to help with worship while I'm here, as well as participate in the classes and workshops. I'm learning so much, it's great!

Last night I helped with worship, and before the service, I opened up to psalms. I read this verse which was so prophetic over my life NOW, and the days to come:

"I will sing your praises among the nations.." -Psalm 57:9

Not only does this verse speak to my heart to go to all the world, but the fact that as we do worship at this conference, we are in the presence of 13 different nations! So awesome.

Throughout the course of this week, I am in a class called "Reaching Today's Student". It's especially awesome because i feel like I'm in bible college, but without the ridiculous tuition! Ha :) I am learning SO much for this next year at my University that I cannot wait to bring home. Jesus has used this trip so much for preparation for reaching the students on my campus. It makes me so thankful that I get the opportunity to do school at a secular public university!

One of the coolest things about this conference is the amount of young, TEXAN missionaries that are here! There are about 15 of them, all from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville TX. They are in their 20's, and have been sent all over the world from their Chi Alpha chapter. It has over 1200 students! Their focus is very heavy on "sending to the nations". They have gone in groups of 2-6 to different parts of the world: Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Norway, etc. its so cool to be able to see their love for god and their community. They are so focused on reaching the nations! The best part is that they get to do it together. It's really hard to do this kind of work alone! It's also SUCH an encouragement to see these people so after gods heart and His global purpose coming from a secular university! Just the encouragement I needed!!!

We still have 6 more days here at the conference and I'm super excited to see what else God has in store! Pray for god to speak clearly at this conference and to touch each nation!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tonight I've been packing because we are leaving tomorrow morning for the Connect conference with Students for Christ in Cologne Germany. Ive heard great things about Cologne and even better things about this conference. There will be students from all over Europe! It will definitely be another culture shock! I am working the conference, as well as participating in the conference! So I'm kinda volunteer/participant. It will be a good time to serve but also get filled up! Super excited!

Love you all. I'm heading to bed, we are leaving at 730am tomorrow morning! Love!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reading List

While I've been here, Aaron has assigned a couple books for me to read. I love that I actually have time set aside to read these books! My schedule is usually so busy that I dont have the time to sit and enjoy a good book. Both of the books have taught me ALOT, and I reccomend them both.

Radical by David Platt

This book challenges the man-made gospel of the American church and encourages Christians to live an authentic life based around the gospel of Jesus. It leads us towards true discipleship. Everything in this book was GOOD, though very convicting. Its worth the read. 

Love Does by Bob Goff

I'm about halfway into this book and I LOVE IT. I love the style of writing. His personality definitely comes through in it and it has made me laugh and cry in every chapter. He just focuses on the simplicity of who Jesus is and who He is to us.

I highly reccomend both of them :)


HELLO from Berlin! 
Yes, halfway into my month. Its gone by fairly fast, looking back, and the last couple weeks here are going to fly by. The first week I was here it rained everyday. No sun! I enjoyed the 50 degree weather, but I didnt know how much I missed the sun until it came out yesterday! Its perfect. The weather here is amazing, & I'm so glad I got to skip out on that miserable Texas heat. While you guys endure over 100 degrees, I'm here enjoying a high of 70 :). 

I must appologize again for my lack of consistancy here on this blog. I guess I just dont think about the few that actually do look forward to my updates. Please forgive me, and I'll try my best to post more frequently. Unfortunately, my phone camera is NOT working at all, so I'm unable to take pictures :( I have a big cannon camera, but its just heavy to carry around the city! Plus it kinda makes me feel too much like a tourist. 

Last friday night I went to something called BURN Berlin. It was a worship service that is put on I think once a month or so. Its run by the worhsip leader at Reset. It goes from 6pm to 6am in a more dangerous part of town...I say dangerous...its not really DANGEROUS. Its just not a place that I would go alone. It was so cool. Such a melting pot of people, just doing their own thing in this little room. 

Saturday was Serve The City Berlin, which is just an outreach that goes and does good things for the city! There was a group of about 20 of us. Half went to give thank you cards to the local police and firemen, and have of us went to go pick up trash in Mauer Park. It was great. There were alot of people from the US, alot from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and it was cool to be with people I'm familiar with. We got to meet locals too while out in the park. We got weird looks as well as 'thank you's". One group of people actually gave us CAKE to show their gratitude! It was great.

This week, we are looking at starting a project called "schön bis du". (Beautiful are you). Its a blog site that we direct people to through random acts of kindness or just conversation, celebrating the beauty in everyone, the good, the bad, the poor, the old, the young, etc. Its a 'just because' way to show the love of Jesus. For example, this week, we are going to be passing out chocolate, flowers, water, etc, and telling people "schon bis du". When they ask why, we will be SIMPLE with our love. No strings attached, we just want to love you! We will direct them towards the website, talking about this movement. In a section of the site will be the straight up gospel! Its a good, non threatening way to invite people to hear the gospel through pure LOVE! I'm really excited for this week!

Continue to pray for God to move. I've been seeing alot of hurt and brokeness. I want Jesus to touch the people here. They need him. And he wants them! I know though, that regardless of the dark people and places here, this is still God's country. These people are HIS, its just a matter of time until they realize it! He is relevant and still longing to be one with the hearts in Germany.

Photos in Berlin

Here are pictures that I have yet to post here...they are about a week old now. Sorry :)
THIS is the Berliner Dome. Its a lutheran church here in Berlin. Seriously, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. The inside was even more incredible, so detailed! There was a prayer night here that we went to...very different than what I'm used to. But cool experience!

^Pictures from the concert the first Saturday I was here. Reset Live. It was so awesome! I got to play about 5 of my own songs, and 5 covers! A really fun experience.

The buildings here are so fun! Different colors and styles, and although you cant see in this picture, theres almost always flowers hanging infront of the windows!! I love it!

Worship! It was acoustic with violin and bells :) Really cool. Sundays at reset are great. We have people from all over. Young & old, well off and people on the street, and people from all backgrounds! Its a coffee shop, so everyone sits at coffee, lattes, expresso, and breakfast! So cool.

Sundays here in Berlin, at a place called Mauer Park, there is a big flea market! Its AWESOME. Theres a ton of tents set up, food, drinks, people playing music, playing with their dogs, napping in the park, kids playing, and also a huge karaoke thing set up on a hill! Its so awesome! Not to mention, pretty much everyone there looks like they popped out of a Urban Outfitters catalogue! Definitely one of my favorite parts of Berlin so far!

Unfortunately thats the last of my pictures before my phone stopped working :( I'll try to take out the big camera and post more!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hello all! I'm sorry for my lack of posting during this trip. My days are busy and I hardly ever have a chance to get in wifi so I can post! I love Berlin but I miss everyone! I wish you could all be here alongside me. The reality of the darkness in Berlin is hitting me day by day. Its a tough place for ministry, but so worth it! The most effective way to evangelize here is relationally...and this takes TIME. Especially with Germans. Relationships in itself are hard to make with Germans, they are very reserved. But, to bring faith into the equation is a whole other battlefeild. By time, I mean months and years. Unfortunately, since I am only here for a month, its been really hard to find my place in the ministry here. I recognize the need for Jesus here, but I'm not sure how I fit into that equation when really the only way to make a lasting impact on someone is to build trust. I just dont have that time. Not only that, but the language barrier is taking a HUGE toll on me. Its really hard to feel the need to talk to people and not be able to.

For the past week or so, I've been just really asking God...WHY am I here? For what purpose have you brought me all the way to Berlin if I am not able to do what I THINK ministry should look like. He's teaching by day. Its taking a while to understand, but I guess I'll just have to trust. In the mean time, I've been doing tasks & cleaning around the church I'm working with, and various outreaches.

-RESET Church put on something called "Reset Live" last Saturday. It was simply a concert, featuring three songwriters. Not worship, just music and people. Very casual. We brought people into a church without actually having church! It was a great way to get people in and comfortable with Reset. I played along with 2 other artists. Such a weird experience! I'm not used to "preforming" my music. But it was a great experience and I got to meet so many nice people.

-Coffee To Go: Tuesday some Students for Christ students went out to a university here in berlin to pass out free coffee, make conversation, and invite people to "The Living Room" (SfC's tuesday night gathering). It was an interesting experience because I couldnt really interact with people since I dont speak german...I mostly just observed, smiled, and poured some coffee, ha!

-A few days ago Aaron had an idea to bake for some of our elderly neighbors. Jeanette made brownies and we went and passed them out. Such a special way to make friendships.

-Monday night I went to a lifegroup with some girls from Students for Christ. They were So welcoming. We talked about the holy spirit. But, like I said before, I dont speak German, so I literally understood none of it :) hhaha. Its great to be around these girls though and see the way Jesus moves in different countries. They have the same questions, same concerns, same hardships that I face. Its so cool.

-Yesterday the other intern (Bart from New York) and I went to a place called Der Garden (The Garden). Its a local ministry here in Berlin. We met up with other people from a group called European Initiative. There were about 20 of us total. ALOT of us from Texas, which was so refreshing to hear our accent :). We did worship and prayer together for a while which was AWESOME. Then we went out and did worship in the city.

Tonight Aaron is having about 9 people over for dinner from his language class. This is a vital way that him and Jeanette do ministry: inviting people IN and building relationships. None of these people know Jesus. I'm really excited to meet all of them!

What I have noticed so far with this that it is nothing like what I had expected. It is a very humbling experience to be in a place that you dont speak the language. You really just have to observe, and thats exactly what I've been doing. Observing the way this ministry thing works as a lifestyle, observing the way Aaron & Jeanette treat those around them, observing the gospel and what it truly means to be "a disciple" and not just a "believer", observing myself in the fact that my way of ministry is not always gods way....I'm learning so much. SO much. Its hard but so good. And I've never felt so called to my home, to my city, to my university. I cant wait to apply all the things I'm observing and learning in a place where I can actually COMMUNICATE! Jesus is working in a way I've never seen him work. Pray with me that I can understand and be obedient to the things hes teaching me! Pray that the seeds I plant, though small and seemingly insignificant sometimes, would reap a harvest and would add to Aaron & Jeanettes ministry here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 3 in Berlin

Hello family & friends!

The reality that none of you are near is finally hitting me. Not a sad feeling, because I am used to independence, but its just a WEIRD feeling knowing that I am on the other side of the world from everyone. While we are getting ready for dinner, most of you are finishing up your breakfast! Such a weird thing. My mind & body were taking the toll on this jetlag thing. This morning, Jeanette & I went to the grocery store and I just could not stop yawning. On our way home, I started feeling a little queezy so I went to lay down but ended up taking a two hour nap! I guess its from my lack of sleep, but my body is feeling a little more under the weather than usual, & i've been waking up with a headache and jaw pain! So please pray for that! I want my health to stay the best that it can while I'm here!

Today I finally got back in the swing of things with my jesus time! You have no idea how great it felt to get back into that routine! It was so refreshing. It was also the first time I ventured out into Berlin on my own. Granted, the bakery I went to was a 5 minute walk from the apartment, it was still cool to go out on my own! Unfortunately, the lady at the bakery spoke zero English so I had to put a little of my german into practice, as well as ALOT of my body language & hand gestures, haha.

Jesus taught me alot today that I would love for you guys to pray over with me!

1. Germany NEEDS the Holy Spirit. Desperately. Theyve heard the whole Jesus thing, they know the "church", and dont really want anything to do with it. What we are missing here is a MOVE of the holy spirit, both supernaturally, and through the actions of the servants of Christ here. The church needs to BE the bride, through the empowering of the holy spirit.

2. Legalism is dead, grace is alive and inviting.

3. I've been so frustrated these past few days that I am unable to communicate when the german speaking people. I want so badly to be able to make conversation with the people I come in contact with as I take the bus or train, in coffee shops, on the streets, etc. Today I kinda realized that maybe this language block is so that I am able to actively be the hands and feet of Jesus, rather than through my words. People here acknowledge the fact that talk is cheap. They want to SEE that you live out the things that you believe-especially in the church. So just pray that I can find ways to show love instead of just talking about it!

Tonight we are going to a place called the Berliner Dom for a prayer night. Not really sure what to expect but I'm super excited!!! Here's
what it looks like:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finally in GERMANY!

Well, its so crazy that I'm FINALLY in Berlin! It feels like I've been waiting forever for this day to come and my adventure in Germany has finally begun! I will be updating daily (hopefully; or-as often as possible) here on my blog. Pictures, text updates, prayer requests, etc.

I had about a 11 hour flight from DFW to Frankfurt, Germany on Monday. You can imagine how uncomfortable I was! I had a 2 hour layover in Frankfurt. While I was there, I had to get my passport approved by some police ("politzi"), and they had some fun with me. They tried to tell me I need a visa (which I dont have to have one to stay 30 days), and that I couldnt enter the country without it. You have no idea how shaken up I was! NOT FUNNY! Trying to find my gate in a German airport was scary enough! Ha. But I found it and travelled one more hour into Berlin where Aaron, Jeanette, & their precious kids: Luke & Anna met me!

The first day (yesterday) I was  awake a total of like 30 hours! I was EXHAUSTED. That night, I got to visit RESET Church, which is the church I will be working with while I'm here. The college Students For Christ group met as well. I loved it! There was about 30 college students there. The night started up with a home cooked meal (sausage, potatoes, salad, & coffee), worship, a message, and then hang out time. Everyone was SO nice. I was amazed at how welcoming this group was! So many of them spoke fluent english. And not many people are actually from Berlin. Almost everyone is from somewhere around the world. In this college group alone I met people from Madagascar, Ukraine, England, etc. It sure did make me feel SMALL!

Today Jeanette took me out to see the tourist-y parts of Berlin: The Brandeburg Gate, The Reichstag, Potzdamer Platz (the 'timesquare' of Berlin: built 1990 & after), etc, and a Holocaust Memorial Museam.

 ^Berlin has lots of flower shops!

 ^There are also alot of street musicians! Today I saw quite a few in the train station.

^^ These horizontal stones trails all along the city to show where the Berlin wall used to be! So much history here!
 ^The Reichstag: the current, rebuilt parliament building. Formerly, it was where the German Parliament was housed. To gain power, Hitler burned it down in 1933. Only the 4 pillars remained.

^Brandenburg Gate: It is the only remaining gate of a series through which Berlin was once entered. So beautiful in person! 
Memorial to the Murdered Jews...very somber piece but I loved it. 

After our day's events, we had Bart (another polish intern @ SfC from New York) over for dinner, and then went out for gelato. I had kiwi :). We came home and all talked for a while about Jesus and what he's wanting to do with not only the Christ followers and church in Berlin, but back at home. 

I am so excited about whats going on here & cant wait to continue to update here on my blog. 
Its 11:30pm here so I should probably get ready for bed.
Pray for this ministry & for the city of Berlin!!! Love to all x