Adventuring

Hello friends! It has been over a week since I last posted, but that is because I’ve been on an adventure! I live in the the South, where Summer is sticky and sweet tea flows freely. But my family lives in the Southwest, land of dry heat and exquisite sunsets. Consequently, I don’t get to see them often, and this makes me sad. I just spent the last week and a half with my family, soaking in the sun’s rays, and packing up most of the stuff I left behind when I moved to where I am now. Then my brother and I drove a small moving truck back here (since he’s moving here, too). Let me tell you, driving those things is hard! But my adventure over the last 2 weeks reminds me of my adventure last summer when I went to Europe. I’ve never been more than just barely proficient with technology, so I didn’t figure out how to blog from my Kindle until the summer was almost over. But I think the time has now come to share my experiences from my summer in Europe. So over this summer I will be periodically posting journal entries from a year ago, sharing my thoughts and observations from a foreign culture.

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A Journal of Impossible Things: My journal is so called because this summer I will watch God do things that seem utterly impossible.
River wrote in her journal, the original Journal of Impossible Things, of her adventures. All the strange people and places and things she encountered. These things all together were so improbable as to be impossible. But that description applies to God’s work, too. People don’t believe in God, don’t believe in miracles, but God is alive and well and working constantly. He is the One who makes truly impossible things possible.

May 22
All our bills have been paid. There are 26 of us, and the cost is $5,000 each.Two of our members needed $2500 each just a few days ago. God is so good to provide for us.

May 23
Landed safely in Frankfurt and then Geneva. Didn’t sleep much on the flight, and we are all very tired. The poor drivers have to drive on little sleep. Through a miscommunication we ended up putting gas into a diesel engine. Thank the Lord we caught it before we turned the engine on. The repairs were minimal – both in scale and cost. God gave us a safe trip to Grindelwald despite fatigue and weather conditions. We stayed in a youth hostel in the Swiss Alps. When we got up in the morning it had snowed and the scenery was so beautiful! Thank God for the beauty of His world!

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May 24
Woke to snow in the Alps. Drove to Gummersbach – a 6 hour trip. Hopefully one of the longest drives of the summer.
The church in Gummersbach is Russian-German. Hundreds of years ago the Czar offered German people land in Russia if they would come farm it. Many went and were then caught behind the Iron Curtain. When it was lifted they came back to Germany – still German because they had formed their own communities in Russia – but they had picked up the Russian language and customs. Most of these churches are very conservative. This church has a huge split in culture between the older and younger generations. The culture split works here much better than in America. Or maybe they just put their best foot forward for their American guests.

May 26
Today we started our trip to Austria. We stayed in a youth hostel in Bavaria – a fortress, actually.
Yesterday 9 of us went with our hosts to a history museum in Bonn. It detailed Germany’s history since WWII. They don’t want to forget the Holocaust and how many people died without cause.

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May 27
Last night we stayed at a castle in Bavaria! When we got to the church in Linz we ate wonderful food – including the most amazing schnitzel!

May 28
Before we left Linz we visited a baroque church in Pöstlingberg which had a view of the whole city. Inside the church we sang “God so loved the world” in German. I love singing that text in places like that. We can give them the truth from their own scriptures.
I am staying with a missionary family, and the missionary wife and I had a wonderful conversation over evening tea – sharing our experiences and what God has taught us. When I told her about how my dad and brother had died she said she remembered hearing about our family and that she prayed for us. God has chosen to use our testimony all over the world. After another team member gave his testimony yesterday I realized the power that telling a story can have. I realized that I need to tell my story. My conversation with the missionary wife confirmed that.

Musings on Spring

This Spring has been so beautiful! This is my 5th Spring in the South, but I have never really had a chance to enjoy it before because I was always studying, practicing, busy with school and all that it entails. I have made sure to enjoy this Spring. I love walking out of my house and seeing brightly coloured flowers in the yard. And as soon as one plant loses its brilliance another blooms! Let me tell you, it makes taking all these pictures for my Etsy shop so much easier and more exciting. I love having the chance to go outside and capture the exquisite colours and subtle nuances that only come once, only for a single day. Do you ever think about that? I can take a picture today and then go back tomorrow and take a similar picture, but never the exact same one. Each day is different.

Anyway, today I bring nature to you.

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These photos are unedited. This is really what I saw today. Isn’t it beautiful? Am I not blessed to experience such beauty day after day? It reminds me of the first few lines of one of my favourite poems: Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware….