This morning I got up nice and early to have a delicious breakfast. Apparently breakfast is important here 🙂 Not like at home 😦 Germans love their breakfast – in fact, dinner is the lightest meal of the day. I saw many of them simply eat slices of bread for dinner (haha! So what I do isn’t that bad for me).
As Eileen and other prepared for the missions conference I took her guitar over to a prayer room 🙂 I didn’t think I’d get to play guitar for 5 weeks so it was such a big blessing that Eileen let me borrow hers (it was a very pretty Ovation – I haven’t played one of those in a long time).
And then YOUnited in Missions started! It’s a conference about missions held here at Berӧa with Pentecostal Christians from across Deutschland. German missions conference! My favorite! I guess I missed Resolved, but I got to do this instead.
Opening worship (lobpreis) was led by a team from Berӧa that included Eileen on the guitar and Jonny on the keyboard. To my surprise, the team was led by the drummer who could sing while playing! What talent! To my second surprise, they opened with a song in English. Apparently, compared to American Christian music, German artists are “a little behind” (quoted by a German). There aren’t many Christian bands that are very popular and they enjoy listening to English praise bands.
As seen on the schedule (in German), there were messages and workshops 🙂 The messages were good, but I only understood bits and pieces since the preachers speak very quickly. I tried to take notes… but all I could understand were very basic concepts.
For lunch we had wurst und brӧt. It was basically the German equivalent of hot dogs. The wurst was a lot bigger and much more delicious 🙂 They also like to eat their wurst not in the typical hot dog buns, but in regular dinner buns. Actually it’s not even really a regular bun… its like the kind that’s soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It was quite difficult to consume, but quite delicious. I also had a nice bottle of their equivalent Manzana Lift! It would seem that all countries except America recognize the deliciousness of apple soda. Their soda is a lot less sweet compared to Manzana lift, but just as good. I didn’t take pictures because I was at lunch and had left my camera inside. Also, Germans tend to not take as many pictures as Asians… once again I felt out of place taking pictures of everything.
I skipped the workshops and swapped it with a 1 hr nap since I would have an even harder time listening during the workshops and I was a bit jetlagged. I guess I didn’t think that I would be so affected by the time change… but I definitely am.
I woke up just in time for dinner! Yay! For dinner we had chili and bread. I got to sit with Eileen, Jonny and his roommates, and one of the guest speakers son (at least I think that’s who he is). It was one of the first times I got to sit in/ be a part of a real German conversation. After people started to realize that I understood most of what they were saying, they felt a little freer in speaking around me in German. They talked about many things, but one main thing we talked about was German culture. I had asked Eileen about it earlier and others were beginning to chime in their ideas. One of the things Eileen had said was that Germans are extremely individualistic and strongly opinionated. They aren’t friendly and tend to keep to themselves. She says that German guys don’t know how to treat a lady. On the other hand, German girls tend to be very strong … which in turn I suppose is why the German men don’t treat them like women and also feel like they need to be extremely strong… I hope that made sense. We were joking around with simple loving terms (like I mentioned before). In America we tend to call our loved ones darling or sweet heart. In German they say treasure… which is “schatz” hahaha, not the loveliest sounding word. All the guys started laughing and trying to say it in the deepest angriest voice they could make hahaha.
Another friend asked me about some English grammar, a question that actually puzzled me as well. When someone asks, “It’s good, right?” we always answer “yes it is”… why is it that no one answers “yes it’s” … is it proper to say this? I told him he could, but people would laugh at him. English grammar still confuses me. It’s extremely fluid.
Following their language, Germans are extremely organized or strict. It was already obvious through the way things were organized at the school. Each person had their own drawer in the freezer and refrigerator; all the dishes were nicely put in. All containers were labeled. Each pull out cabinet was marked for a specific person, there was a nice schedule of who was to clean what and when. They have weekly inspections to make sure the dorm rooms are kept clean and the cleaning supplies are well organized. Of course they have to be organized because they are a school housing many students… but still, they have a very good system.
The speaker after dinner actually spoke in English and his wife translated for him into German – Dr. Mark Gabriel. He was once a strong Muslim and even went to a Muslim college and became a professor there. Later, God really opened his eyes to the Gospel and he converted to Christianity. Obviously his heart is for the Muslims and teaching Christians to understand the Muslim culture and to evangelize to them. Unfortunately though the topic was extremely interesting… like I said, it was usual nap time and I had a much difficulty staying awake.
Afterwards, there was a worship time (though, as other of the seminary students agreed, it seemed more like a performance) led by Outbreak band, one of the few well known praise bands in Germany. This was followed by a message that I was too tired to understand and then a very long prayer for all of those who were committing themselves to missions and for the team that Beroa would be sending out. At the end of the night we (I say we because I was too afraid to start conversations on my own auf Deutsch) with some of the students to came from other places. Once we started talking they were quite friendly. One of them wore bracelets with Spanish on them; the typical “Dios es amor”. I asked him if he spoke Spanish, but he said the only Spanish he knew was what was on the bracelets. Haha, too bad, I told him my Spanish is better than my German… though after this trip, that might not be the case, certainly I know more German grammar than Spanish… I just haven’t had the chance to use it as much.
Then I helped the missions team prepare for their trip by making sandwiches. It was quite fun, just hanging out and getting to know what they’re like on a normal basis. At 3:30am I got up to join with the send off in prayer and good byes. Now that Eileen is gone I have no one to take care of me or show me around 😦 … time for adventures of my own! I had a group picture of the missions team but I can’t find it D: I hope I didn’t accidentally press delete! D: D: