Today is our one year anniversary of living in Hamburg. Today was a special day, a good day.
I had made arrangements to meet Harri, an 82-year-old blind man that Jason visits weekly, at a Wednesday morning breakfast held at the local community center. Jason and Katy are regulars at this breakfast, but they are in America, so I decided that it was a good place to visit with Harri while they are gone.
I arrived at the appointed time, but Harri was late (he is blind – it takes him a while to get places). So I sat there – watching people I had heard stories about & trying to work up the courage to strike up a conversation. One of the women there, Gisela, started talking about Katy. I decided to listen in and see what she had to say when Katy wasn’t there. She said to the woman next to her, “Katy and Jason are not here today. Do you know her? Katy? Oh, she is very, very nice. We are friends. Yes, I believe she will be back next week.” She then look around the table & asked if anyone knew when Katy would return. I took that as my cue to start talking.
Harri arrived and ate quickly. When he was finished, he asked me to take him home. However, when we got outside, Harri had other plans. He wanted to go into town and go shopping. I had been warned that taking Harri into the city was a rather large ordeal, but I had set aside the time to spend with him, so we went into the city. We road the S-Bahn; Harri bought a sweater at Karstadt; we prayed together; we ate fish at a fast food restaurant; we told stories about our families and our past; we went grocery shopping. Going to town with an 82-year-old blind man sounds rather mundane, but it is totally crazy!! Crazy but good.
After my morning with Harri, I went home. Laurie was there with the boys waiting for Yke. Yke is Laurie and my language partner. We meet with her once a week to spend a couple of hours practicing German. After a year of meeting, she is much more than a language partner, she is a friend. The week prior, I had shared that today was our one-year anniversary of living in Germany, so when she arrived, she brought flowers to celebrate.
I had to excuse myself from visiting with Laurie and Yke because I needed to go and meet with Rosa. Rosa is a member of our Saturday evening housechurch. She is looking for training as a caretaker’s helper at a nursing home. We went and visited a local nursing home to ask if they had a training course available. They didn’t. We talked about what next steps she needs to take to locate and get the training she needs to work as a caretaker’s helper.
Christopher was coming over for dinner, so Rosa accompanied me to the grocery store to buy food for the evening. I was planning to make chili and cornbread, and Rosa asked if she could come to dinner because she had never eaten cornbread.
I went home and cooked dinner. Rosa arrived early; we talked about some struggles in her life, and she asked if I would pray for her. She told me that I could pray in English, but I knew that since she didn’t understand English, it would be better for her if I prayed in German. I took a deep breath and I prayed for my friend in German.
Christopher arrived. Christopher is a student at the local university; he is a young leader. He will be leading Bible study at homechurch this coming weekend, so he had come for dinner and to prepare with Ryan for the Bible study.
Christopher’s English is perfect. My German is not perfect. Since Rosa was there, we spoke German. I said to Christopher, “yesterday, Rosa bought a soda stream.” He asked me to repeat myself. When I did, he started laughing and said, “oh, I thought you said, ‘yesterday, Rosa cooked a soda stream.” A few minutes later, I was telling him something else, and he gave me a blank stare. I asked him if he needed me to translate my German (German is his mother tongue) into English. He said, “yes.” We all laughed.
Today is our one year anniversary of living in Hamburg. Today was a day spent with friends. Today was a day for flowers and kind words spoken about friends behind their back. Today was a day of serving. Today was a day of speaking German. Today was a day of praying for and walking alongside others. Today was a day of remembering that we love because Christ first loved us. Today was a special day, a good day.