Dave’s Blog

February 25, 2010

Hartmannsdorf, Schwarzeberg and Beierfeld, Germany

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 5:35 am

We started Wednesday the 24th with the mother and children’s club. There were about 50 mothers and preschoolers, including babies. It was a challenge to give a program that would include the kids but we did. We first had coffee and tea then went into the sancuary for songs and the string program. The mothers got very involved. They loved the mosquito. it was much better than I expected when i arrived.

We went back to Lutz’ home for lunch of baked potato wedges with spices on them and cream cheese or yougert with fedda cheese or tuna in sour cream. They also made a good cobbler of currents from their own garden that they had frozen. I was also able to work on the computer and get caught up with emails and my blog.

I went back for a nap then we went driving through the forrest to the Free Republic of Schwarzeberg…where after the war the Russians stopped on one side and the Americans stopped on the other side and left this independant area. They set up a Republic that lasted for 21 days. They have a celebration each year. There were many shops with traditional wood carvers making the little figures and table ornaments that go around with the heat of a candle.

There is also a castle there that we walked to. It was a beautiful village set in the hills/mountains We were about 15 miles from the Czech Republic. Then we drove on to Beierfeld, another small town along the river. There is a string of small towns along the river that used to be mining towns. We had childern and youth workers from the area along with a few of the older people of the chruch who wanted to see what this string stuff was all about.

What a good time. The volunteer youth coordinator from the church was most interested and had a lot of fun learning the things.At each of these meetings thay take up a collection to use for a future trip. They are so kind to me. They had set up sandwiches and cakes and tea for us to have afterward. It was a nice way to end the evening. The drive back took about an hour and i went straight to bed. It was a busy day.


February 24, 2010

Zwickau and area, Germany

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 7:05 am

Lutz Rochlitzer met me at the train station and drove me to a neighboring town to a small hotel near his home. I will be staying here for 4 days. After I was settled in there we went to the coffee shop for a light meal. i had potato pancakes and applesauce. We visited and went over my schedule while here. We then drove to Falkenstn in the South for an evening program with children and youth workers in that area. They had been taught the Cross by Lutz but that was the only thing they knew. Wow, were they entheused about the possibilities of this ministry.

We went across the street from the church to a bar that served light foods. i had a pot of chicken with cheese melted on top. It was served with toast and was very tasty. A local dish. We then drove back to the Pension or hotel. Lutz left me and said that we would meet at 8:15 in the coffee shop.

We met in the morning and talked about our day then went to his office where i was able to check my email. i was able to do a little work on the Blog but the connection was not good. He then took me to the city center where we saw the old town that was in the center of the wall. We went to the cathedral that was built by the Catholics but is now a Lutheran church.

Each cathedral has it’s special things. One of the things about this was the alter. It was composed of enormous painting on panels that opened to other paintings and then to other paintings. It served all the seasons of the chruch calendar.

We then went to a ratskeller in old town for lunch. We met one woman from Luts’ office and Phillip Weismann, the children and youth worker for a region North of Zwickau. I had pork hocks with potato dumpling and sauerkraut. I love these regional specialties. I will not loose weight on this trip We all had to have the local beer that they brew right there. It is just so normal to have beer or wine with a meal here.

Phillip and I walked to his flat to discuss the two programs that i would be doing later. We had tea and then went by car to Altenburg in the North. We had “mothers club”. Mothers and their school age kids. There were 4 mothers and about 8 kids, all school age. We had coffee, tea and sweets. One mother made a marble cake that was sweeter than most pastries I have had here. We then went into another area and did a string program. After the program we drove back to Zwichau. It was very foggy with misty rain hitting the snow.

We went back to Philips’ appartment and had a light supper and walked to the Methodist complex where the offices of the district supperintendant and all the children and youth workers are. We were in a meeting room in the church and had the workers from this area. We had a good time and Sabrina, Lutz wife was there to take me back to my pension room for the night.


February 23, 2010

Youth conference in Braunfels, Germany

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 5:09 am

On Friday the 19th Kevin and Carol took me by car to Haus Hoenblick, a Methodist retreat center in Braunfels. The church here was having a youth conference for area teens. There were about 70 youth and the workers in the conference. It started in the afternoon and went until Sunday afternoon. The main draw for the conference was Martin ………, U 2 a German singer and rapper that is pretty well known here. I was also on the agenda to do workshops.

The singer was caught in traffic so i started out the program on Friday night. I taught a few things and then we went into the rest of the program. We started in on Saturday morning with people choosing to do music, drama, street ministry or strings. There were about 15 and over the morning the group grew to about 30. I was able to teach them many things and through out the day they taught the other youth the things they knew. Soon all were doing strings.

We had and evening service where others from the community were invited. Johannes Belgar, a seminary student and youth pastor was my translator for the entire time and he did a great job of keeping me informed on what was being talked about. Martin talked and the youth did the music. They were so capable. The piano player was terific. They also did a couple of skits that were hillariious. It was a good evening.

They had a break with snacks and visiting. The kids who knew strings were busy showing off to the others and teaching them, They were going back in for an after concert time of singing and more but I was tired and went to bet. One nice thing about hearing aids is that I can take them out and sleep with stuff going on around me.

Sunday morning was church for all the youth and the regular congregation. There were about 140 in attendance and I was asked to add strings to the service. I thanked the parents for trusting us to teach their children this weekend and ask the youth to make some things to show. They made the star, cross and the Holy Spirit which they showed. Then we made a figure together. It was a good time and Johannes translated for me.

After that was lunch and then the youth went home. I took a nap and after that walked down into the valley and then up the hill to the town castle, Schloos Braunfels. It was built in the 1200’s and after a fire rebuilt in the 1500’s. It is in amazing condition and has shops, a restaurant and it looked like some living quarters also.

Outside the castle is the old town. Shops that are 3 and 400 years old. Winding narrow streets and buildings that look so German. It was a great time to just walk among all this history. I really enjoy just experiencing the time. It was Sunday so the shops were closed but that didn’t matter.
After that I walked back to the Haus Hohenblick for supper. There were a few elderly widows there who had spent two weeks in Bible study. One had a little English and told me she had been to the US. That was about the extent of our conversation. I had a quiet evening for reflection and reading.

Monday morning everything was covered in ice. I was supposed to be taken to the train and was not sure if it would happen. Hans-Herman Schole, the pastor took me to the station. The ice was only on the high ground and when we were in the valley the road was clear. I took the train into Frankfurt, changed in Nurenburg and was met in Zwickau by Lutz Rochlitzer, the person for the youth and children’s work in East Germany.


February 18, 2010

Ettal, in the Bavarian Alps

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 5:30 am

Sunday evening in Stuttgart we looked at photos from their families travels and some of my photos. Photos are a great way of sharing past experiences. When people do not have a lot of English then the photos become a great way of communicating. I packed up my things ready to leave Stuttgart in the morning.

Monday, February 15th, Robert, Brigitta, their daughter Lavinia and I went down town by train and then walked around Stuttgart. We went into a Lutheran cathedral where they have about 1,000 people each Sunday. I understand that the pastor is a very good pastor and communicator. It is good to see one of these buildings full. We walked the main plaza and then went to the train station.

I was on the ICE or inter city express to Munchen-Pasing, a suburb of Munich. I then changed to a RB or regional baun or train to go to Oberau in the Bavarian Alps. I am getting comfortable listening to the right word for the stop and checking the time to see if it is the one I need. The trains are often 10 minutes late so I must take that into consideration as to when we get to the right stop.

When I got to Oberau, a small town, I was to look around and see if there was a car waiting for me and if not to find the bus stop that was near and take the bus to Ettal, the very small town. There was no car so I went to the bus stop. I ask the first driver if it went to Ettal and he shook his head no. The next driver said yes and we went up the mountain to a small valley surrounded by mountains. Ettal was founded by Ludwig Der Bayer where he was patron for a Monestary.

The Benedictine monks have a beautiful church in the Baroque style, a winery and distillery, a hotel, and other enterprises. We went on a tour of their distillery and tried brandies made of honey, hay, anice, and numerous other things. They also have a cheese factory.

I was there staying at the Klosterhotel for the UM Chaplains Retreat. There were military chaplins from Turkey, Italy and Germany. Two Bishops were there and the coordinator for all the chaplins in military was there.There were workshops and worship services for them but they were also free to attend or not. They were there with their families and even though the 15th was Presidents day, there was a family program and worship service. I presented the family program in strings.

One of the chaplins was excited because he knew me. He had attended a workshop that I put on at his seminary in Tulsa. He introduced me in glowing terms and we had a good time with the strings. Not everyone was there at 7:00 in the evening because they had been skiing or sledding all day and some of the kids were worn out. Next year they will have this family time scheduled on Sunday afternoon so all can attend.

After the worship service some of us went down to the lobby - bar and played Uno. It is traditional for them. We had a good time and they were very inclusive. I look forward to doing this program for them next year. The next morning was the tour of the distillary…try a tasting at 10:00 am. We walked around the village and stopped in to see a couple of traditional wood carvers. We then had lunch in a near by restaurant. I had Saurkraut and sausages. I have to stay in the tradition.

Kevin took me to the bus stop to wait. The bus was late and we decided that the train already left so he went down to the train station with me. We were waiting for the next train (they run every hour) when he discovered he had looked at his watch wrong and we were right on time for the origional schedule. I changed in Munich and took an ICE straight to Frankfurt with no changes. I went to the dining car and had a nice big bowl of split pea soup with spicy sausage in it.

When I got to Frankfurt, I took the underground train to Marienplatz near where Kevin and Carol live. I stopped at a Thai restaurant and pointed to one of the soups and then pointed to one of the other partons plates and said that I wanted one of that. I couldn’t read the menue that was written in Thai and translated into German. The soup was a curry with coconut milk and very good and the main dish was also very good. Lots of vegatables.

I got back to the appartment and Annabell the cat was all alone. She wanted some company so I gave her some yogurt and spent time with her. Had the appartment to myself and slept late. I got up and walked in the shopping area looking for a restaurant for lunch where I could tell what I was getting. I found one that had pictures of all the dishes and ordered a ground lamb kabob with 3 kinds of salad. It was great with the chutney sause they had.

Kevin and Carol came back and Kevin worked on the Ash Wednesday service for that night. We all went to his English service. Hans Ulrich, the pastor for the German service came also and said he was not used to having ashes on the head. In Germany that is only for the Catholic. I said that it was new to me when I came to the Methodist chruch 15 years ago.

I shopped for things to cook for supper when I was out. I knew that Kevin and Carol would be back by then and I wanted to fix something for them. I fixed it after the Ash Wednesday service so dinner was late. We had chicken and spatzel, grean beans and a salad. The apple pastries we saved for breakfast. We had a very good visit at the table and talked of many things. I do like their company.


February 14, 2010

More time in Stuttgart

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 10:57 am

I am trying to get used to the German kezboard. Some of the letters and symbols are different. Please put up with me.

When I came down Robert was working on a special meal for us. He had been to an outdoor barbque with Cornelius and came back to cook for us. We had a white sausage…Weiss Wurst with pretyles and a special Bavarian sweet mustard. It was so nice to have this very special meal from around here.

In the evening we visited and I taught Max Jacob´s Ladder and a couple other things. We then had a glass of a very local wine…Trollinger mit Lenborger. These are things that do not happen if you are rich and staying in the Hilton. I am really having a good time trying all the local things.

Sunday morning we walked to church and I gave the children´s time. Since it is Valentines´day I used the heart and taught the kids to do a heartbeat. We then had a couple more songs and the kids and I went upstairs to their children´s church. There were about 11 children and 6 adults. Many are on holliday this week.

We did some of the simpler things and I tried a couple of new things. They worked and the kids were great. We spent most of the time with strings. We took a couple of song breaks and worked until the end of the service. We then went down and had coffee with the adults.

There were a couple men that were interested in the strings. I take that as a challenge to get them to want to learn something and they picked up the bait. We had a great time laughing and practicing while the others watched. We must have spent one hour after chruch just fellowshiping. Many offered thanks for my being there and said they will pray for me.

We came home and Robert and Brigitta prepared another special meal for me. This time it was kartoffelkloese or potatoe dumpling filled with a little meat, Burenberger Wirevste or small sausages and potatoes fried with bacon and onion. We also had a big salad. We gave Robert 3 stars for this meal. Only three because only 3 of us can make the star out of string.

We were visiting about some of my family recipies and able to trace a couple of the things to Bavaria. My grandmothers´egg riveletts or little dumplings were from here and “riveletts” is an Americanized form of their word for them.

It is still snowing very lightly and so clean and crisp out there. I am glad that I have a nice place to take a nap and enjoy the afternoon. I will go down now and maybe read for a while. This has been a delightful time for me.


February 13, 2010

Stuttgart - Vaihingen, Germany

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 1:19 pm

Friday the 12th of February I took the underground to the main train station in Frankfurt and then a train to Mannheim where I changed trains for a train to Stuttgart. The train was late but Brigitta Helzner called me to say she was waiting at the end of the gate. She was there and we hurried to make a train to the Vaihingen area of Stuttgart. There was a Kindergarten waiting for me to come. We then walked quite a way in the snow to get there.

The kids were cute and had a lot of fun with shapes, letters and simple things with string. One thing they liked was making a candle and blowing it out. Brigitta`s son Cornelius was in that class. We left there and walked to her house where her husband, Robert Hoffmann was making lunch. He and Brigitta share a position as pastors at the church here. Brigitta is also the coordinator for the South German Methodist Youth workers.

After lunch she and I drove over to the Radio M station. We drove in their carshare vehicle. It is a great program where there are a few cars around town and people join the carshare. They go on the web to see where there is a car when they need one. They go to the car and use their card to get in to get the key. We used it to drive to the radio station.

It is a Christian station that produces programs for airing on regular German radio. They wanted an interview with me to air later. Never put a mike in front of me and ask a question. You might not get a chance to ask a second one. I talk easily about String Ministries, Inc. I love to talk about the way God is using a piece of string. Brigitta is one of those that learned from someone who learned at a workshop that I gave last year. It just gets passed along.

We had a good interview and they wanted some photo shots to put on the web and to use in a magazine they produce. I was showing Benjamin Elsner, the interviewer, some more figures when Brigitta said we must hurry because she needed to get the car back on time for the next user. We stopped at a shop to get some of the food for the workshop the next day then went by the church to drop off the food and then took the car to it´s parking place and walked home.

We had the traditional breads and meats and cheeses for supper and visited. Max, their 8th grade son was making a cake for the workshop the next day. He did not have the correct amount of butter so he shook up the cream and made butter. Bed time was up to the third floor of their place where they gave me the guest room.

Saturday we went to the church for a string workshop. Brigitta had all her children and youth workers coming for the workshop that started at 9;30 and went until 4:00. It was great having so much time to work with these people. We had the big pretzles and coffee etc to start and then went in for a couple of songs and then I had the morning. Uschi Hepperle was my translator. What a great job she did. She did not stumble over any of my words or ideas that I was trying to get across.

We had time to go slow, let everyone learn and help each other, talk philosophy and give history of some of the figures and the stories. A couple of people were stumbeling through some of the figures but by and large they did very well. I got so much pleasure teaching at that rate.

We broke for lunch of a local meat or vegatable dumpling called Naultaschen. They were cooked seperately in a vegetable broth and served with potato salad. Very, very good. We had rasberries in yougert and the cake that Max made for dessert. A little visiting and then people started practicing and showing each other what we had done in the morning.

We went back to the meeting area in the sancuary and after a couple of songs, Brigitta talked about some of the other resources she had for the people there. She also showed a couple of string books and talked about my books and dvd´s. We then learned some more things. I took them through a lot of figures and stories and know that strings will be a major part of the work in South Germany. Brigitta had prepared handouts that had a lot of written directions for many of the figures and web sites etc for people to use. We did not give those out until the last.

I can not emphasize how great it was to have this long relaxed time to work with people and teach them. I know that they each are going back with something they can use. We did some very simple things and some very complex ones also.

At the end of the day we had a wrap up time and I brought out extra strings for people to take back for their children and youth. They really appreciated that. Evaluation forms were given out along with certificates of attendance. Brigitta also gave me a copy of the Lutheran string book that was produced here. Thanks to all for making this a memorable day for me.

We then put things back in order for church tomorrow and while they were doing dishes I sequestered myself in a quiet corner and read. We walked home and I came up to lie down for a while. It is now 7;15 and I will go down to get something to eat for the evening. It is a good tired.


February 11, 2010

A snowy day in Frankfurt.

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 1:22 pm

We got up and around and then Kevin and I walked to the markets. We bought fruit, meat, milk, staples and some household supplies. That was 5 stores. There is the meat market, the green grocer, the wine store and Penny Market and others that are a kind of supermarket.

I had a couple of good pastries in Koln and wanted to get them here. We tried every bakery that we saw and did not find them. They all had the same kinds of things. They all looked good.

We walked home and put things away and then went to the Methodist Church near here. They serve a meal on Thursdays for anyone who wants to come. It costs 1 1/2 euros for the meal and you get a cupon to get a bag of vegatables, fruit and bread. It is for all, not just the poor. They want people to intermingle. It was an assortment of people.

The two men that sat across from us were older and friends that met there every Thursday. One of the men ate half his meat and put the other half in his bag for later. We had potatoes, a big slice of pork loin roast, red cabbage and au jus. We also had a bowl of fresh fruit and a glass of apple juice. What a bargain for about $2.50. We did not take the cupon for the food stuff.

Later we took the train one station away to get some parmasian cheese. You can go to the cheese store or to the big expensive supermarket downtown. We went downtown. Very fancy. This is in the multi leval building that was just finished that has a tunnel of glass going through the building in a swilr. It is really impressive.

I looked at all the kinds of fish, cheeses, meats, probably 30 kinds of mustard and lots of fancy candies. We just got cheese and then went back to the train station. In the station was a bakery that I bought some pastries for breakfast and one to eat now. Not too sweet but very good. Took the train home and I took my nap. Naps are so good.

I spent my free time reading a very good book. Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom by Albert Nolan really makes me think. He is looking at things in ways that I never thought of from Quantum Physics to Philosophy. I love it so far. It is shaking some of my prexisting concepts.

Had spagetti and garlic bread for supper and Carol made a good apple crisp with lots of topping. Kevin and I had ice cream with ours. What a hard life I lead. I need to finish packing so I can catch an early train to Stuttgart tomorrow.


February 10, 2010

February 10, Pastors’ meeting

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 1:42 pm

Kevin and Carol asked if I would like to go to the Sub District Convent meeting of the pastors that are in the area around Frankfurt. Pastor Hoffman from the church where kevin is the English pastor met us and we drove the 30 K to a very nice village church. It was a nice modern building. There were about 25 pastors there. I knew two of them. We had coffee, rolls and big pretzels and the things to go with them.

They accepted me and the District Superintendant asked one of the men if he would translate for me. He did a good job of summarizing things every little bit. They gave me some time to share and I taught a figure that went with the message that the District Superintendant had given. I then told them that I would be returning next year and hoped for their cooperation. One of them asked for me to reserve one week for their district.

Carol suggested that I had one day in March right before I came home that I could do a workshop for them. They agreed to have it at a conference center about an hourdrive from Frankfurt and will bring the appropiate people to it. It was a good time of connection and I think opened some doors to further work by myself, Kevin or others interested in the strings.

Through the rest of the meeting people were playing with their strings. There is something basic in letting the string go through your hand or binding your hand or fingers and letting them go. The Catholic Rosary and the Buddest Prayer Beads work at that basic level and I think some of the string figures do also. It can be very meditative.


Around the Koln - Dusseldorf - Messe area

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 1:27 pm

Gunter Loos and his wife Birgt Braeske and their two boys Lukas and Simon came over to the Jollie home to pick me up. When they came in the boys wanted to know about this string stuff. They had seen a little from their father and wanted more. We had fun with the two girls and two boys and 3 adults all trying things. Then we ate the open faced sandwiches that people here are famous for. What an assortment.

We then drove to Velbert (vut the V sounds more like an S) where they live in a flat right downtown. We parked in the parking garage and walked down to the street and up to their apartment. They have an enoumous kitchen, living room, and 3 bedrooms. Simon gave up his room for me and he slept in his brothers room. I had my own bathroom, out the door of the apartment and down a half flight of stairs. We visited over a bottle of wine and then turned in.

Monday morning they had breakfast for me. Breads fresh from the bakery downstairs and either sweet things…honey and jelly or salty things…cheese, ham, sausage. We also had tea. That is for breakfast. Coffee comes later in the morning. We did some planning and went for a walk in the town. I needed hearing aid batteries and some information about my phone. We stopped and got the batteries and there was a long line at the phone store so we didn’t stop.

Later, Gunter’s son Lukas…the 7th grader said he could help. He punched in the right things so I could tell how much money I had remaining on my phone. Leave it to kids to program the tv, video machine and phone. They are great boys and so helpful. Simon is a little bashful with English.

We drove to Neviges to see the Mariendom, the next largest cathedral to the Dom in Cologne. It is modern in structure and built to resemble a tent…with many poles and the inside has balconies and levels to simulate a market place. It can seat 6,000 people and is a very magnificant structure. Plain in outside design and inside also is almost stark.

We left there and walked to a traditional church building from the 1400’s. It is now a Lutheran Reform church. It is a round building on the outside and around it are period houses. What a beautiful picture of old Germany in contrast to the modern cathedral.

We left there and went to the Bethesda Gastehaus or Methodist Deaconess home in Wuppertal. Besides being home for the Deaconess who are retired and the current ones, it is a retreat center and guest house. We had a small tour of the beautiful facilities by Elizabeth Drackoff the manager of the retreat center. I had must come in contact with the concept of Methodist Deaconess’ in India. The director of the girls hostel was a Deaconess.

There is also a large Methodist hospital there that used to have a lot of the women from the home working there. They now have a clothing store for needy people in the area as well as other respinsibilities. Gunter and I then drove back to his home for a wonderful meal that Birgit made.

She is taking Italian and came back from her class and fixed us a wonderful Italian meal….no tomato sause. She is such a great cook and has many of the special rices, pastas, spices and things needed to try new recipies. She loves to cook and is teaching the boys also.

After a nap and some computer work, we were going to go to the church where he is the pastor but his car broke down. He walked and said that we could come later after he found someone to pick us up. Thank you God. We were having an evening program of strings for anyone that wanted to come.

We ended up with at least 25 people from many areas. There were two Catholic women who work with children, a woman from the YMCA, some of the older people from the church, one refugee from Togo, a couple of confirmation students and others. We had a rowsing good time. They tried things, laughed and tried again. This trip is going to affect many people as the leaders reach out to teach others.

After the program we got a ride home and had another good meal of bread and meats, cheeses, fish, jellies, and condiments. I went to bet early since I had to get up early to be at the Gynmasium or Secondary school first thing in the morning.

Met Alexander Reis, the religion teacher at the secondary school. My first class was grade 7 which had Lukas in it. There also was one girl that was at the program last night. The kids were not sure what was going to happen and not sure they wanted to listen to this old man. Things changed quickly when we started doing things. Alexander had checked the web site the night before and thought he understood the string stuff but when he saw the first ‘illusion’, WHOH! he was taken aback. I think he was more amazed than the kids.

His ENglish is great and he translated for me and tried to do the string things at the same time. He would get confused and the kids thought it was great. He is a super person and the kids love him. After the class he said that he couldn’t wait to see how the grade 11 students would do with it.

On our way home we stopped at the bakery and I bought a couple of breads that I thought looked good. We went to the apartmant and had coffee and bread. One was a cheese cressaunt…spelling… and the other was a sesame one. They were delicious. I will have to find a German bakery in Oklahoma City.

Gunter wanted to take me to the key museum in Velbert so we went on our way back to the school. Velbert was the lock capital of Germany. They have a museum showing the earliest locks to the present and future. It is a hands on museum with things that kids…and adults can manipulate. Very interesting.

We then went back to the school and found Alexander. There was some confusion as to there the new room was to be and some students came in late but we started with a trick. That had their attention from the very first. They had already heard from the grade 7 kids that it was good so they were primed. Boy did we have a good time. What bright minds. They were very relaxed and had a wonderful time. When we were finished we could have stayed for another hour with them but decided they needed time to process all this and put it in context of their religion class.

Gunter and I walked home from school and he made lunch. I had mentioned that I had not had sauerkraut and bratwurst yet so he fixed it. I got to see how a ‘real German’ does it. I picked up a few good ideas and will have to try them at home. I then finished packing and he took me to the bus station in Velbert where I was to take a train to Wuppertal.

I had two schedules so if I missed the first connection, I could take the next one. The train from Wuppertal was 30 minutes late and I would have missed my train in Koln main station so I took one to Koln - Messe. There I made connection to take a train to Frankfurt. I am getting confident at reading the signs and numbers to find the right gate and time for the train. I then took the U4 to the station near the Seckel home. I made it home safe and sound. Praise the Lord.


February 8, 2010

Weekend of Feburary 6,7 in Germany

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 5:00 am

I took the slow train to Koln (Cologne) so I would have one hour to find the gate where Jula and Hanna Mae would meet me to continue on the smaller train. My train was 50 minutes late so I only had a short time to find them, but I did. We took that train to a stop where we walked for a while to get to the Koln Methodist church.

The Wesley Scouts were meeting there. They are a branch of the Boy Scouts in Germany run by the Methodist Church. There were about 6 leaders there setting things up for the meeting. I was to present for one hour of their 3 hour meeting. They also have songs, games, a craft and usually cook a meal. The meal might be outside or in the kitchen. This time a mother fixed the meal since they didn´t think they would have time to cook this day.

There were about 10 scouts there. They do a lot with knot tying so making unknots was different for them. They had a good time. We ate lasagna for the meal. Van Jollie, the pastor of the church came to pick up his two daughters Jula and Hanna Mae and myself and drove us to one of the members of the church were I was to stay for the night.

The Weber family have a very nice home in the suberbs between Koln and Dusseldorf. Margrit and Georg and I visited until the boys Max and Florian came home from playing with friends. Then we visited more and did strings. They were blown away by them. All four of them were very interested in learning everything that I would teach. Georg ended up taking a lot of pictures.

We had a nice meal of Curry turkey and rice with a couple of salads. Margrit is a great cook. We visited more and I showed some of my family pictures and then more strings. It was a fun and for me relaxing evening. The boys went to bed and we visited more. Georg travels a lot internationally and we talked of similarities we have seen.

The next morning they drove us into Koln to the chruch where I gave the children´s moment…actually about 5 minutes. Some of the congreagation told Van later that he should have had me for the whole service. People don´t know until they see the string ministry what it is all about.

After coffee I went with 6 youth which included Max and Florian Weber and Hanna Mae Jollie to their ´confirmation´class which meets every month for 2 years. We did strings, of course and then took a break for a spagetti dinner that Margarit had fixed for the kids. Back upstairs for more string. At two thirty we broke up and Van drove us to his home.

He lives out of town about 30 minutes. His home is near the creek where they found the first Neandrethal bones in Europe. There is a museum which is closed on Mondays when I would have time to see it. He has a home with a fireplace so we sat in front of the fire with a nice pot of herbal tea. I relaxed and Van and I visited. He is from the US and is living full time in Germany. He is part of the German Methodist Conference.

He fixed a meal of bread, cheeses, cold meats, jellies and three kinds of mustard. Carrots and orange pieces also filled out the meal. We waited for Gunter and his family to come. They were coming to pick me up and take me to their home for the next two nights. I met Gunter last zear…and also Van.

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