November 22, 2009

Roller Coaster

Today I had two very interesting lessons, the first was in Chemnitz this morning. The title was "Life in a 'Second Choice' World". It was about not looking back and living with a Christ centered world. How everyone dreams of doing things, having lots of money, a spouse, 2 kids and a picket fence, that job promotion, ect. But when we become Christians we are where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there. There is no looking back. Being a Christian is the second choice world from what we originally imagined. Paul was used as an example in the lesson, one that was on the opposite spectrum from what he originally expected in life.

Then this afternoon we went to Leipzig for worship and had another amazing lesson about the Christian life as a roller coaster. We looked at the life of Peter and the ups and downs of his life. Just when Peter thought he was at his spiritual highs he was actually at his lowest, and yet he still had an earnest heart for God and continually kept going after his downs.

Both messages really hit home today. Tonight on the train ride back we were talking about what our plans were for after graduation. As we all sit on a train in Germany lol. Life here is a lot like a roller coaster. It is absolutely exciting and invigorating to be a part of Gods work and know that I am doing work for the Kingdom. At the same time though, it is unbelievably scary! At any moment, something I say or do could influence someone in the wrong way. Just when I think I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing I get a little tap on the shoulder from God. Thanks God. For example:

I mentioned a new reader last week. She would be about my moms age and has a daughter that is a year younger than I am and a son 2 years older than me. She went to church on and off as a child but does not attend anymore. Last week, in prep for our reading, I was really looking forward to the conversations because it was over Jesus being left in the temple and his parents having to come back and look for him. Great story, great conversation starters right? What I wasn't expecting was the question, "What is heaven?" Seems like a simple question right? How would one explain heaven to someone who knows and is familiar with a lot of Bible stories but doesn't know Heaven? It was an interesting few minutes of me trying to explain. I finally told her I would come back with a better explanation next week. Which of course opens the door for all kinds of conversations of what happens after death.

Anyways, all that said it has been a great day! I finally got my newsletter sent out last night! Booo! I thought i sent it out earlier this week and found it odd that I hadn't gotten any responses.... and then noticed I had another draft in the draft folder... and there it was! Sitting in the drafts folder! So it went out just a little late! All is alright though!

Larry and Guido should be back from Bulgaria tomorrow, I am looking forward to hearing more about their trip! This week I have readers almost every day. I am on the hunt for a winter jacket this week! Its going to get cold soon... no comment, but I want to be ready!

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard

November 19, 2009

The Pace of Life

It never ceases to amaze me the way the human mind works. I am in constant awe of people. When I first got here the cross walks amused me. People would not cross if the light was red. Even if no one was coming. If you did cross, you could be sure there was someone waiting on the other side to tell you not to cross on red (in german of course). I say this from experience if you haven't figured that out yet!

At first I wondered, "Is it so instilled that no one should cross on red that they dont even think about it?" And then occasionally i see people cross on red. So i reevaluated, "Do they not cross because they are afraid of the windy roads?" which is a legit reason to not want to cross, there is no telling how fast someone could be coming. And then I thought to myself, "Perhaps it is because it is easier to follow the rules than to be different..." The answer I'm still not sure of.

It seems as though everyone tries to be so different. In their appearance, how they act, what they do, where they live ect and yet we are all the same!

I was watching some kids from church today, and although none of them speak english, and I don't speak german, we are able to communicate and still have a good time. It is that we are all still basically the same.

On a side note- we got locked out of the apartment this evening. Which is always an exciting experience! After karen and I tried to break in, and then got the kiddos to help us (with the idea that perhaps if we could get the top window town we could lower one of the children through to open the door...) we had to call Roy. Alas, no luck. Pam got home, the kids left and Roy went home. It seemed as though all hope was lost... both my keys and Karen's keys were inside and Larry had the extra keys in Bulgaria with him on his key ring. Hope was gone. Pam Karen and I recalculated and attacked again. Again, no luck. Karen then goes inside to look for something, when she does so, she decides to check Pam's keys once more. Upon doing so, she unzips the pouch on Pams keychain, only to find our house-key within its folds!!! Success! After much fretting, unscrewing, pushing, and pulling, we used a key to reenter our home triumphantly!

The end :)

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility. ~Bonhoeffer (that ones for you Roy!)

November 16, 2009

German Class

I started clas yesterday. It actually went much better than I expected! There are 8 people, Tiff and I are the youngest... lol. We have a guy, Hussam, from the middle east, a lady from the Ukraine, one from Tiland, one from the country to the left of Tiland, Nigeria, and Brazil. So it is a pretty diverse group. Most can speak some german so that can be intimidating but tiff and are in chapter 3 and we are starting in chapter 1, so this is all a repeat for us. On a side note- english is a universal language, so almost everyone speaks some english which means it is the language that is used if people dont understand what is being said in german.

I met with another reader yesterday. We started the book of John, which might have been a mistake on my part... she had already finished luke when I got here, and did some Acts with the LST team, but we started Acts again, and then went back to John. To say the least I was attempting to explain the difference in a Temple and "the church" and what the book of Acts was about and how we had backtracked a little in the story line and were reading another "version" of Luke. Oh it was a mess, she said she understood, but i'm not so sure... I think after we finish John we will read through Acts straight out of the NT and ill improve questions.

Okay i need to finish getting ready for class! be good and do good!

Quote: Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalms 25.5

November 15, 2009

2 Months

Its hard to believe I have already been here 2 months! Time has just flown by and we have done so much!

I got to talk to a lot of my friends this weekend. I miss my friends a lot. Family too, but friends are hard. One day I even picked up the phone to call and realized where I was and what time it was. Everyone here is amazing, don't get me wrong, and I am building new relationships, it is just hard to put the ones I have worked on all my life and for the past 4 years on the back burner and start new. Thats just part of it I guess.

Last night was singing in Chemnitz, once a month we have Saxony singing and it was Chemnitz's time to host. It went really well, there weren't as many people as I expected, but a lot of people are out sick. Speaking of sick, swine flu has hit germany! Crazy crazy!

This morning we had worship, it was focused on the Lord's supper. It is days like today, when some of the men were giving their testimonies that made me want to learn German so I would be able to understand! Tiffany and I start a german class in the morning. I am looking forward to it. I am.... maybe if I keep telling myself that it will help make it more true. There will be more people there, so that will be nice. I actually am looking forward to the class. I am more of a scheduled person, so having class everyday will be good.

I think that about does it for news this direction. Keep Larry in your prayers, he and Guido are taking the clothes for Bulgaria to Bulgaria in the morning, it will take them 2 days to get there and 2 days to get back. So they will get their wednesday and then turn around and come back.

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand. ~Chinese proverb

November 13, 2009


This week has been CRAZY BUSY!!!! Which is perfect because thats the way I like it!!!

Monday I met with one of my readers. We finished the book of Acts so now I think we will move on to John or the Good News book, im not sure yet. She is a very interesting lady and I enjoy reading with her and the conversation we are able to have.

Monday afternoon Roy Tiff and I all hopped a train to Dresden to visit Janine and Vanessa. Janine showed us around some of downtown Dresden and then we met up with Vanessa while Janine was in class and picked a spot for supper. We all enjoyed supper at a quaint italian restaurant. Tiff was feeling a little sick, and we were out late the night before in Leipzig, so we skipped the English Bible study and came back to Chemnitz. We had a fun adventure on the train when we got here though, we were on an express instead of a regular train, which means it doesnt stop at all the little stops in town... aka the stop right up the street from our house. So once we realized we weren't getting off in Chemnitz, we rode to the next little down and killed 45 minutes at the train stop while we waited for the next train to come. It was defiantly a fun adventure!

Tuesday morning I met with a new reader. It went very well and I am looking forward to getting to know her better. She has some Bible knowledge, she went to church some when she was little, so she knows the basic stories that we are reading. She was very friendly and jovial, which is rare the first time you meet Germans (for the most part not always). So I am really looking forward to reading with her!

Wednesday Steffi came over for lunch as well as Larry and Pam and Karen was home. So it was nice to spend some time with everyone. Meals are always a good time to hang out and spend time together. After lunch Karen Steffi and I played some skip-bo and chatted.

Thursday Tiffany and I made a trip to the Christian book store in town. We successfully made it there and back! That was a fun trip! We found a Bible for Ceili that had French, German and English! Karen and I ordered one from the book store about a month ago and we thought it was German/English, and sine we ordered mine and tiffanys off Amazon we didnt need that one anymore. Ceili didnt have a german/english bible so i was gonig to get it for her, but when we got there and saw the bible they ordered it was all 3. So what your thinking, its a bible.... well, Ceilie speaks English and French, German is her third language! So it was perfect.

Side note- it is a small world! I dont think Ive written about Ceili on here yet. She is an exchange student from the states, Organ, who just graduated HS and wanted to do a year abroad. She showed up at EBS the same time the Vienna students where here, and came over to play cards afterwards. Come to find out, Ceili did a lot with Cascade, and her host family here lives literally about a block away! How neat is that? Yay God! Theres not much more you can say to that lol, it is just so coincidental!

Back on track, Thursday afternoon Roy and I met with the older couple we read with. He and I had a very interesting reading, we did the story of the paralyzed pan that was lowered through a hole in the ceiling to Jesus feet. Jesus tells the man, "your sins are forgiven", and then the Pharisee's get mad and tell Jesus he doesn't have the authority to say that, so, in my words, Jesus tells the man to stand up that he is healed, and the man does and everyone is amazed. Its a pretty deep story. So I asked my reader, who is an older gentleman, "so, as Christians, what does this story tell us about sin and forgiveness?" I was expecting something a long the lines of, "we have to ask God for forgiveness of our sins, not man... ect." something along those lines. But what he said, was more along the lines of, "People who are sick, are sick because they have not asked forgiveness of their sins." So I clarified, "so do you mean people who are sick, are ill because of their sins?" "yes". Wow! I have heard people who thought that, but I have never actually ran into one! It defiantly took me for a loop!

Thursday night we had Ladies Bible Study, we talked about contentment. Which is always interesting. We talked about being content with our material things, which is a problem, but I think spiritual contentment is more of a problem. Getting to comfortable where we are to even realize we are standing still and being idle. Another time....

Today we went and applied for our visas. Tiffany and Roy already have a 6 month visa and I went to get mine for 2 years. We had a bit of a hang up, our insurance letters from IMG and our letters from the HIM program were both in english, so we have to get both of those in German. Which the HIM letter wont be a big deal, not sure exactly how we are going to do the insurance letter yet, I think Larry had some idea about someone here. So, anyways, we all left with a check list of things to do before we come back!

Tonight we are having a game night!!! Yay!!!! Anyways, now everyone is up to speed! It was a crazy busy week! Good times good times!

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: Hope means seeing the outcome you want is possible, and then working for it. ~ Bernie Siegel

November 9, 2009

Crazy Busy

This weekend was crazy busy! Saturday we got up and did some cleaning around the house. and then I went shopping.

Here is a shopping story for your enjoyment: Karen and I sat down to make a shopping list, knowing that we needed to leave by 12:30 and it was already 10:30. I, trying to be a nice roommate, offered to do the shopping so Karen could get ready. We make our list, and I grab the basket to do the shopping across the street. What should have taken maybe 20 minutes, took an hour and half. While I did all the shopping in the states, not being able to read what the labels say here can be and is very frustrating! Apparently chicken, which usually looks something like "Huhn....fliesh", goes out the window around november and turkey, "pute", comes in! Odd, because Germans don't celebrate Thanksgiving because it is not a significant over here lol. Anyways, after standing in the meat section for about 20 minutes trying to translate everything that was minced and had "huhn" in it, i decided nothing even looked close to chicken and left! Good thing though, because alas they had none of what I was searching for (chicken strips and breasts). I ended up going to another store around the corner but it was a fun shopping adventure. They have all kinds of meats here, and they mix them together a lot! everything is minced meat! Another day I will write about the adventures of attempting to make hamburgers lol.

Saturday was Alex's gymnastic competition. He did a really good job! It was around 7 when we made it back, so Karen, Alex, Steffi and I all had supper together and watch an episode of Greys.

Sunday we had church that morning, I really enjoyed the lessons. Alex (big Alex that preaches not sport Alex) is going through the book of Mark and talked about how we should do service with a prayerful perspective, and Steffin gave a lesson about arousing God's love in our lives through searching for Him. That afternoon, Roy, Tiff, Ceili, Jan and myself all hopped on a train to Leipzig where we went to worship. We had another great lesson from Larry about Gods love and forgiveness.

Today Roy Tiff and myself are heading to Dresden to visit Janine and Vanessa, two of the college age kids from Chemnitz who are in Dresden at University. I met with a reader this morning, and we have already worked completely through the Acts book! It was kinda weird to think I have already been here for 2 months! She was my first reader and we have already finished a book, it has gone by so fast! Exciting though, because we are able to have some very good conversations!

I say all that to say this week is also very busy so I probably won't be posting until next weekend. Have a wonderful week!

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: The best ideas come as jokes. May your thinking be as funny as possible! ~David Ogilvy

I say all that

November 6, 2009


We had our English Bible Study last night, which takes place the 1st and 3rd friday of each month. We always sing for a bit, then have a short lesson, and then sing a little more if we have the time. Last night we had the time and I loved it!

We were singing the song Magnificent which is cut into 4 parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) and as I sang my part concentrating on keeping my words right and the meaning, I looked up to listen. It was in that moment, the moment I stopped trying, that I realized that no matter how insignificant one person may feel, when we are all together we become a mighty force. I was thinking about how each person, sitting in no particular order, sings a different part. And I don't know about everyone else, but I don't have an amazing singing voice so I wasn't belting it out. Most people were doing their best to follow along with the song. But hearing them. Hearing them all. Each person with their quiet singing voice, came together to make 4 distinct choruses which were absolutely beautiful.

It made me realize, not only here, but when I was in the states, that no matter what I am doing, as a Christian everything counts. Everything. Each part of that, when pared with others, is God. That is God moving and working. It is an intricate system developed by the creator. How amazing is that? How awesome is it to be a part of that. Now I've heard tons of lessons over 1 Cor. 12, but it struck me again and new last night so I thought I would share that thought.

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: Coincidence is Gods way of remaining anonymous. ~Albert Einstein


Alright so here are some of the pictures I have been promising!
From top to bottom: A lovely bench in the cemetery up the road!
The next two are random views of the city from tram number 4.
The pumpkin we carved on Halloween!
And last but not least, the group of us that played cards and carved a pumpkin!

Tomorrow Alex has another competition so there will be more pictures to come of him!
Be good and do good!

Sarah B

Quote: As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~Henry David Thoreau

November 5, 2009

Oh Snickers

Snickers gets the title of the blog today because, as Larry and Pam's dog, she is going through a very confusing time of transition. She is at their house Tuesday through Sunday and our house, Sunday through Tuesday. All that said, it being Thursday, she is sitting at the door barking to be let in at the current moment. I believe there is a picture of the two of us somewhere on a previous post.

A recap of this week:

Monday I was at the market downtown. Not just the usual market, but the HUGE market that comes the first monday of each month. It was a rainy cold day here so the tram was a little more crowded than usual, as public transportation is the main form of transportation for people. I ventured downtown to see the market that Barbara had told Tiffany and I about the week before when we met with her. I was not prepared for what was waiting! I would compare it to a craft fair in the states with much more gifted and talented crafts! People had pottery, wooden crafts, table clothes, the list could go on. I was in awe walking around through the crowded downtown. I must have looked especially German on Monday because no sooner did I step off of the bus were people constantly trying to talk to me. I guess I have perfected my, "Ich Verstehe kein Duetsch" well enough that people do not believe me when I tell them I don't speak German. Anyways, I spent about an hour and half meandering through the streets looking at everyones trade and trying to compare the differences between them.

Monday night we hosted out first English Movie Night! We watched The Emporor's Club which always generates good discussions. There were only 6 people total, which was a little disappointing, but it went very well. We had a great discussion about morality and character. Our plan is to meet the first Monday of each month and show a movie followed by discussion of issues brought up in the movie. Next month, in honor of the Christmas season, we are watching Its A Wonderful Life hosted by Roy and Tiffany. Hopefully we will get more people to show up!

Tuesday was still rainy and cold. I spent most of the day attempting my German homework. The sentence structures are killing me! That afternoon, two of the young adults from the church came over for supper that Tiffany and I had prepared. It was the 5 of us, (Karen included). It was a great time of fellowship and just getting to know one another! That night was topped off with tuesday night Bible study over the book of Corinthians. Since I cannot understand the lesson, I try to read the scripture they are talking about and journal about it. Its not the same as Bible class, but I can occasionally pick up on something and try to figure out what the lesson is about in context.

Wednesday was German day! German pretty much dominates the day! I have another attempt at my German homework in the morning and run an errands that need to be done, and then at 12:30 Tiffany and I set off across town. We get back around 4:10ish for our meeting with our supervisors at 4:30. We took the Myers Briggs as a team, it is interesting to see how oddly accurate the test came out for all of us.

Today I spent the morning working at the church helping to put in a flower garden edge. This afternoon is the older couple that Roy and I read with. Today I met with them alone, Roy wasn't able to make it, so the three of us chatted and had coffee. I asked them about their weekend, and they had visited a small village near Siffon and hiked to the oldest Jewish synagog still left in Eastern Germany. From there I asked about their lives during the DDR time. The husband had mentioned that he was a police officer at one point before he retired, so I wasn't sure exactly where the conversation was about to go, but he told me he started in 1990 immediately after the wall came down. It was very interesting to hear their stories from when they were growing up and all the Jewish people leaving. Hopefully we will be able to talk about that more later!

And alas, here I am. Tonight I am having a quiet evening along. Sorry that is a really long post. I will post some pictures tomorrow night or Saturday. Now I am done.

Quote: People only see what they are prepared to see. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be good and do good!

Sarah B

November 1, 2009

The Older We Get

I know it has been a while since I have posted on here, sorry about that. It has been kinda busy around here this weekend.

Last week was filled with packing clothes for Bulgaria, readers and German lessons! Friday I attempted to go coat shopping with Tiffany and Ceili. I failed, but I did get an idea of what I am looking for. Larry said he would take us back so he could put in his two-cents on the coats since we really have no idea what we are looking for....

Saturday was fall cleaning day! We spent the morning cleaning up around the house. Pulling weeds, raking, and cutting the summer garden back. It was nice to spend some time in the cool brisk air. Saturday evening we had a card night and played some skip-bo and uno. We also carved a pumkin! That was fun! Germans don't really celebrate halloween like we do in the states, but they had pumkins out so we went for it! Everyone seemed to enjoy it! Hopefully I will have some pictures for you in a few days!

Sunday, we had church and then Karen and I relaxed for a bit that afternoon. The evening held sport which went well. There is a lot going on this week.

Monday we are hosting our first English Movie night. Please pray for the these as we are hoping to make them a good outreach tool! There is just a lot going on this week lol.

So now to whats on my mind. I have come to the conclusion that the older we get, or at least the older I get, the more I appreciate life and the beauty that encompasses it. I honestly dont think I would have appreciated some of the things that I do now, 5 years ago. And I am sure in 5 more years I will scratch my head and wonder how I didn't appreciate being here as much as I do.

For example. The hills. I love the hills. I find my eyes constantly roaming the landscape for a glimpse of what is on the other side. Be it an old building, a family on a walk, or a green field. That could be the human desire for more, or the adventurous side that just wonders what else is out there. But I like to think that God places that wonder in us. That wonder that makes us want to keep looking. To look for Him in the everyday things.

I say all this because today after church when karen, Ceili and I were taking the Omis (grandmas) home, and it was just the 3 of us, we topped a hill, and I found my self glued to the little piece of countryside I could see. I was completely lost in the conversation, my eyes fixated on the beautiful patch of trees and farm land that lay miles away upon the crest of a hill. It wasn't until I heard Karen and Ceilis laughter did I realize that I had completely zoned out. I was in my own little world, my own little search for God.

The funny thing is, even on the trams, I find myself always searching the horizon to see what is out there. Where is it that I could possibly see some sort of beauty that could come close to God. If I can see so much beauty in what God has done here on earth, I can not even begin to fathom what heaven will be like....

Quote: You find God the moment you realize that you don't need to seek God. ~Unknown

Be good and do good!

Sarah B