Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Best Freindships are Broken

First a quick update on Jim.  He met yesterday with the Urologist and all the tests point toward the need for surgery.  He will meet with the surgeon who uses the DaVinci robotics machine tomorrow at 7:30am our time.  We are praying that the surgery and recovery can fit in between our returning from getting all our household furniture on Feb. 5 and leaving to fly to Emily's wedding on March 11.  Please, pray that this will be possible.

Now the rest of the story...

Friday was Karston's birthday.  Karston and Gerlind are the couple we are living with right now.  Friday morning after language lessons, Jim, Steffen (Jim's language teacher and our good friend) and I were sitting in living room enjoying a few moments of talking and laughing.  Suddenly, I heard a crash and shatter.  I had kicked off my water glass onto the marble tile floor.  Now, this was not just any water glass.  This was the Eule (Owl) water glass, much used and loved by Karston's grandchildren.

I had taken great joy in drinking out of that beloved glass, and now it was smashed to smithereens...AND on Karston's birthday!  This is when dear Steffen came up with A PLAN!  Yes, Steffen is that kind of person.  You must always watch for the twinkle in his eye because you know something is about to happen.  He grabbed my computer and started searching.  "Success!"  OK, Steffen, what do you mean by "Success!"?

So, here was the plan.  Steffen had found a store in town that sold the beloved "Eule" glasses.  He would walk over and make sure they had them.  If they did, he would text us and he would buy one.  Sure enough, a few minutes later we received a text, "Success!"  I quickly wrapped up the broken Eule glass to present to Karston for his birthday, then Steffen would pull out the new one and present it before anyone started crying (especially me!)

All went as planned.  Karston came home and we gathered around to have coffee and present our gifts.  When it was my turn I told him this was somewhat of a confession, as well as a gift.  That I had made it myself, but I wished that I could say that Steffen had made it.  This went on for just a bit as he became more and more curious.  I handed him the box, he opened it, and this was inside.
Steffen--See the "twinkle"?
As tears started forming in everyone's eyes (I am exaggerating a bit!), what relief I felt as Staffan pulled out his gift and presented it to Karston.  I leaned forward as he ripped the wrapping to reveal...TWO BAGS OF BONBONS!?!?!?!?  What had happened to the Eule glass?  The one that was going to save me from the wrath of all the grandchildren?  Steffen just looked at me and shrugged.  Now tears were about to be forming in my eyes!  Then Steffen slapped his knee and said, "Oh, I forgot!"  He got up, removed a package from his backpack and, yes, this time there was not one, but three Eule glasses!  Yes, Steffen had pulled one over on me and he's been enjoying that victory ever since!

I can't believe it and I'm NOT making this up, just as I am finishing writing this, Jim walked in the kitchen and knocked over one of Gerlind's flower vases!  It just shattered all over the kitchen floor!  Now we have one of two choices, either move out soon or call Steffen!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Demonstrations and Deliberations

Last night was the largest demonstration here in Leipzig since 1989 just before the wall came down. They expected "tens of thousands" of demonstrators and about 60,000 counter demonstrators. 4,000 police officers were called in from all over Germany, with about 1,000 police vans.  The demonstration was an "Anti-Islamization" protest against all the refugees coming into Germany. 

As the demonstrators and counter demonstrators marched around the ring of the city, passing by our church, The Ring Cafe, twice, a group of about 60 people were meeting inside the church deliberating.  It was the first night of a four-week series of presenting some of the hard questions of our faith and having a discussion time at the end.  Last night the pastor talked about the question of the existence of God. 

As I sat beside Jim in the group, listening to the pastor speaking in German and hearing the protesters chanting as they passed by our large plate-glass windows, I noticed two young men sitting a bit a part from anyone else.  During the question time one of the young men asked a couple of questions.  Though I could not fully understand what he said, I could instantly understand his body language.  After one of his questions, the pastor asked if he understood his answer and the young man rocked his hand back and forth signifying that it didn't quite answer the question.

After the meeting, I felt a great compelling to go over and talk to them.  I mentioned this to one of our German friends and said, "I don't speak German, but I can at least introduce myself and maybe they even speak English."  Sure enough, they did speak English.  Both are university students.  They had been walking by the church because they had wanted to be part of the counter demonstration, and they saw the signs telling about the evening's discussion and decided to come on in.  Jim and I ended up talking to them for about 30 minutes.  It was an incredible time.  They were very skeptical, yet open to discussion. 

Please, pray for Dirk and Kristjan (Christian) that they will continue to wrestle with their questions and that they will come back next week.  Pray that the Spirit will create a hunger and thirst in them that will lead them to God!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Quick Health Update

I just wanted to let you know that Jim's Nuclear Bone Scan showed that his bones are clear of any cancer!  Praise God!  His MRI results are being sent directly to his doctor where we will get the results at his appointment on January 27 and they will discuss what come next.  Please, continue to pray!

Our testimonies went well on Sunday.  Jim did his whole thing in German and I did the first 4 sentences in German then a dear lady at the church translated the rest.

Along with Jim's appointment on January 27 at 5pm, we are also getting the keys to our new appartment at 8:30am that day!  I am so excited!

So thankful for you all!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jim's Health

As some of you may have heard, we found out that Jim has prostate cancer. After a few years of the doctors watching his prostate, he was told he needed a biopsy.  The test results came back as positive for malignant cancer. As they keep assuring us, if you are going to have cancer, this is one of the best ones to have. We are thankful for that, but realize that it is still very stressful. 

Tomorrow Jim has an MRI and then on Friday he has a 5 hour nuclear bone scan to make sure his bones are clear of cancer.  After all the results come in, the doctors will decide what to do, which may be surgery to remove the prostate.  We are very thankful that we are in Germany where everything medical is up-to-date and, specifically in Leipzig where they have a medical university and have all the latest, cutting-edge (no pun intended) technology.  They have the DaVinci Robotic Surgical System, which we have found out can do the surgery through a small "keyhole". 

Another incredible thing is that the family we are living with until we move into our apartment the first of February, he in a doctor and has become "our" doctor! :0)  Very reassuring.

I am a bit weary of not having our own place yet, so we are very excited that we will be moving for the final (at least for a few years) time on February 1.  So far, we have lived in 5 different places since we moved out of our house in September!

Language is coming slowly, but surely.  You can also pray for that for us.  We are very engaged in the youth group and the church.  God has given us so many incredible relationships here! We KNOW that this is where the Lord wants us!

Thank you for your prayers!