Planes, Trains, and Standing on my Own Two Feet

I got on the plane in Denver, Colorado at 4:30PM, got off in Reykjavik, Iceland At 6:00AM, back on at 6:30, and then off the plane in Frankfurt, Germany at 1pm. We gathered our things and went down down down into the train station beneath the airport, where the only relief from the heat is the trains rushing by.

After being in a hot, crowded train for about fifteen minutes, we made it to the square where we were meeting our contact. We walk up from the station into a huge outdoor shopping center complete with McDonald’s and Starbucks. We got the boys a soda which they were very much confused over (they use less sugar in Germany), and then we went our separate ways. My God family to their apartment, and me to my room.

Another train later I found myself walking up four flights (not including the landing) and confronted with a smiling German face. He explained that I was to live in the attic room, which is a nice little room with a comfy bed, three tables, a dresser, and a water heater for tea and coffee. There is no air conditioning, but I assured him that my time in Sutton Hall had prepared me for that.

Back on the street minutes later I was led to a coffee shop called Awake where I was to meet my God family again later. My guide said goodbye to me then and I was left alone in the city of Frankfurt.

As I walked back to my room I begin to get a little nervous. I have never lived on my own before. I’ve never had to pay for rent, or buy groceries, or navigate a foreign city, let alone one where I don’t speak the predominant language. But I got back fine and I dragged my sleep deprived body (I hadn’t slept on either plane) up the four flights. After the day of traveling I was very excited to be able to crawl into the shower and just be clean. After which I proceeded to take a half an hour nap.

I awoke, got ready, walked back down to the cafe and met my God father who told me, quite understandably, that the boys had passed out and were happily sleeping as we spoke. I then spent my evening sitting outside and talking to new friends.

I met a girl named Hannah who is part of a church group that sometimes does church services at the coffee shop. She told us about her upcoming trip to Africa to do some outreach, and about how her church has been moving in Germany. Hannah told us that at a certain point her church realized that people weren’t coming to church buildings anymore (sound familiar?) she said that they realized they couldn’t just have a church and expected people to show up, they had to go where the people were. So they started having small services all over in different towns and cities at coffee shops, hospitals, movie theaters, anywhere they could one a venue and people who needed to hear about God. They opened up the floor to hear from the attendees what they wanted to see done in the world. If someone had a heart for prostitues, they set up an outreach group, if someone wanted to reach the elderly, they set up a coffee outreach. And not only dos the members of the church start mobilizing, they opened it up to non believers who wanted to work on a social project. In this way they have been able to reach not only those they are serving, but those they are serving with. They even opened their mission trips up to secular participants which I think is revolutionary in our age of religious exclusion. It was amazing to hear how God has been moving in Getmany and I heard a lot of things I can’t wait to take back to America and maybe shake things up a little. Hannah told the story of the 101 year old woman who had come to Christ last month. Who says it’s ever too late to except the love and mercy of Jesus Christ?

Mercifully, after our chat, I was finally able to go to the little discount store across from my building, buy some water and some dehydrated noodles, and crawl into bed at about 9:30pm.

As I got ready for bed I started to realize that maybe this is a great chance for me. Maybe this is my chance to live alone and support myself and learn to be a functioning human being. If everyday German woman can wake up, get on a train to work, go shopping, walk all these place alone, then surely I can handle it too. I’m excited to find my own capabilities through this journey. I didn’t come on this trip as a journey of self discovery for me, but that seems like it’s going to happen whether I want it to or not.

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