We came back from the pastors conference & arrived at TPLF just in time for me to say goodbye to Matt & Shawn – they’re headed to Berlin for 3 days - & to say “Hello” to my friends from Battle Ground, Washington, Dan & Joy Russell – we hung out at the church for an hour or so, catching up on the events of the last year, & also planning for what would be happening with the “Roundabout” meetings at TPLF.
Got some pizza from Zimt und Koriander (Cinnamon & Coriander) & brought it back to TPLF with just enough time to scarf it down before people started showing up. One of the girls I met on Sunday, Talitha, is a friend of one of the eichhörnchen (squirrels) – Tiffany… Talitha brought a friend that she knows from the city a guy named Jason…
From our conversations, I found out that he was from South African & had come to Germany in 2007. The move & some other circumstances had led to him getting divorced, which left him at the lowest spot of his life. He told me that he was drinking all the time, & constantly carried vodka with him; he was low & ‘far away from God.’ One day, he was pretty sauced & was in the downtown area when he heard music… good music. He could tell by the ‘feel’ of it that it was from ‘gospel’ – good rock gospel. He wandered over & saw a group of Germans & Americans doing this program & outreach called “Life is Beautiful” – Leben ist Schön… Turns out one of the Germans knew him, & brought him over for people to talk & pray with him. Someone threw out his vodka; another prayed. Others listened. Mostly, he said, he just sat & soaked in the ‘love of God’ that he experienced from the people on the outreach. He said, “God used this to bring me back to Him. It saved my life & turned me around.”
I cried. He didn’t know it was Hillside that had done the outreach with TPLF, & didn’t know or remember me. He just knew it was life-changing. And that Leben ist Schön.
We hugged & I cried some more - & I’m so thankful to hear this story, this life testimony… and to see & experience the real life fruit of something planted 2 years ago. God is so good.
It moved me so much I had to leave - & went back to Alex & Linda’s & caught up on all the events of the previous 3 days. Told them about what I’d just experienced. I laid in my bed for a couple of hours, very thankful, so happy. Talked to theBean. Chatted on Facebook with Brother. Laid there for 2 hours, really soaking in it. Went to sleep.
When I woke up, I discovered that I’d slept for 11 hours. Goodness. Felt rested & refreshed, but a little rushed, because I had a meeting to get to in Mainz, & I’d planned on getting a very early start. The sleep was worth it though.
Made it to Mainz (albeit with the usual train issues that I seem to attract. Don’t ask.) Met with Jan for a couple of hours, talking about how I/we can be involved in supported Foursquare Germany, the churches & the pastors. It excites me so much to think about the possibilities & open doors. I love this man & I’m very thankful for what is happening now.
Stopped in a little coffee shop (that’s the name of it too,) to blog a bit. In a few minutes, I’m headed to Johannes & Anja’s place for a little food, wein, & good talks.
The cappuccino hits the spot. I feel a lot of peace. Blessing. Hope. Encouragement. Thankfulness. Love. Missing home… my theBean & my Pasty Gangster. IDoey. Weezer. You. Our church family. Sigh.
Another few short days, & I’ll be headed home. But in the meantime, I am content to say life is beautiful. Leben ist Schön.