I think there was entirely too much the happened in the past week to really be able to reflect on in one go. But I can try and start.
I shared a room with over 100 others in a church. 80 girls shared 1 bathroom and 2 toilets. It was surprisingly exciting and I didn't mind drinking cowboy coffee out of Nutella jars. I call it the outreach mocha. I had little time to pamper myself and no shower to bathe in, but it was a great experience and reminded me of Cornerstone - camping out for a week waking up next to dozens of other people who haven't showered in days.
We smelled great.
The design crew from MOTA blew me away. One of the students, Rene, had previously made a stop motion video and THIS WEBSITE. For the mini outreach, we decided to make postcards to raise awareness in the city about human trafficking and child labor. We all came up with our own designs in about a day and a half and scattered them throughout the city.
There were tons of stories from the week about the other students hanging with the homeless, serving the churches, loving the prostitutes, and even parading in the red light. Actually Kelsey and I got the honor to dance in that parade. At any other time I think I would have been extremely embarrassed from the situation. But my spirits were high and not even the rain could have made me depressed.
We marched through the second largest red light district in Europe being led by a guy in a conductor's hat, someone carrying a huge cross, another with a large salvation army flag, and a German guy singing into a small amp that a girl carried along side his guitar while the rest of our group filed behind us in twos singing along to German worship songs. We waved proudly to onlookers in bar windows and tried to get others to join in our marching. None complied, but Kels and I remained jubilant nevertheless. My dream came true of having a parade in a big city that night. And I'm pretty sure some lives were changed. Or - if anything - people got in some good laughs.
It was too hard to say goodbye to the group this time. Being away from Herrnhut really allowed me to appreciate Germany and what we are doing as a ministry a little more. Sometimes you get so stuck in the YWAM bubble in that small village. The only people I can communicate with have relatively the same understanding and outlook on life, but this is how we get stuck in the mundane. We aren't challenged.
But I've been challenged constantly since I stepped foot out of Germland. On one plane home I sat next to Kathrine. She just lost her mother a week ago. She was flying to Atlanta from Long Island to get away. She had such a pleasant and joyous spirit. She craved the spiritual and had compassion for the poor. She's worked as a dental hygienist for 30 years and is ready to retire. She wants to volunteer and help the poor in her area and as I shared what I did, it really encouraged and motivated her to research more into organizations and programs where she can become active. But what's more, she encouraged me that there really is hope for America, no matter how lost we are, that there are a handful of people who want to serve others.
Tonight at church, the worship went deep. I think it stirred up things in a lot of the people in the building. God spoke to me that His children are lost and do not know their Father. It broke my heart and I wept for those who have not fully given themselves to Him. They will never know the joy that I have experienced by finding my Father. I felt God's heart for them. My heart pounded for His sorrow and the sorrow I felt for those who have yet to seek His Glory - how they will never experience this . So many times when I am worshiping our great God I imagine the world as it is, but people laying down their selfish motives and turning to God. It's a beautiful thing. I will continue to pray for His Kingdom to come to Earth, and though I may never see that fully manifested, I can still see His Kingdom around me, and I hope just that little bit can be shared with those I encounter. And I hope that small encounter will change something in them.