Last Tuesday, nine pastors from Nagoya, Japan arrived in Ewersbach (where we live) and we’ve had the privilege of helping with their “vision trip” here in Germany. The primary purpose of the trip is to allow the pastors to meet church planters in various parts of Germany to hopefully invigorate, refresh, and inspire them. We also have had time to do some sightseeing and it’s been a real blast. I feel utterly spoiled to be able to travel all around to see some of THE most famous spots of Germany and learn a lot about German history. Matthias has been serving as a secondary translator and I am enjoying getting to know the pastors and speaking Japanese every day! So far, we’ve seen the birthplace of Bach, the place where Luther translated the Bible into the German language, the church door where Luther’s 95 Theses were said to have been mailed, and the Luther House (among many other things). It’s been a whirlwind trip and every day is so packed with things to do that it feels more like a month than a week since their arrival.
As soon as we get back to Ewersbach, I’ll be sure to post loads of photos from this amazing trip. I am especially excited to have met so many German pastors (and their beautiful families!) and hear their stories about planting churches in very difficult, hard-to-reach places in Eastern Germany. I’ve also loved being immersed in German and Japanese simultaneously – this is difficult but also a lot of fun and a good challenge. We also had a lot of fun with our German host family and of course, I fell in love with their four totally adorable, very blond and fair children. One of their kids took me by the hand and escorted me to her Sunday School class this past Sunday morning – I learned a lot of German from her that day! I was also reminded that German kids have REALLY cool toys that we don’t have in the U.S. and that German kids can be just as unruly and wild (if not more so) than American kids.
The nine pastors seem to be a bit overwhelmed by this mountain of information but hopefully in time, after they have had time to process this experience, they will be able to implement some of what they have learned here in their churches back in Japan. Their churches in Japan are quite small and they are experiencing many difficulties. However, one pastor told us that since coming to Germany, he realized so many things about himself and his church and has been greatly encouraged and inspired.
We arrived in Berlin last night and are looking forward to six days in this great city where Matthias and lived for six months. Too bad the weather is not good but we are so happy to be back in Berlin!