Julie and I just walked back to the apartment from dinner at the Brauhaus, where I apparently ordered a light meal … of FOUR types of pork over potatoes and topped with a cabbage salad. It was amazing. Our time here has also been amazing. Here’s a brief recap with a few thoughts.
Day one: We got settled into our apartment and walked about town to get oriented and try to force ourselves to stay awake. Seeing our living space and getting to know the town was incredibly helpful and has allowed us to process what life here will be like. We also had a great dinner with Tim and Amy, the local Youth Compass board chair and his wife. It’s great to meet others dedicated to this ministry and to “Third Culture Kids.”
Day two: We went into downtown Frankfurt to see the main shopping area and learn more about the train system. We finished the day at a middle school soccer game, got a chance to meet some kids and had a tour around FIS (Frankfurt International School). I even saw some middle school girl drama unfold in an array of accents. Kids are kids, but these kids have some unique challenges and we’re looking forward to working with them.
Day three: We drove to Dusseldorf, which was about a two hour drive. We met with leaders from several different European cities and spoke with them about working with TCKs in their countries. It was great to be with others that are “in the trenches” — wanting to impact the lives of kids in their part of the world. When we returned to Oberursel, we were invited by some of the FIS parents to attend a music festival and had the opportunity to see a German Abba cover band and an Irish duo … not to mention some incredible dancing.
Day four was spent at church worshipping with people from many different nations. Our reception was warm and we ended up staying about an hour after church speaking with people. I even got to see some folks I had met in 2004 — it was great to reconnect. Once we left church, Tim and Amy opened their home and we had a chance to meet the rest of the local Youth Compass board and their kids. It was incredible to meet couples from the US, South Africa, England and Tokyo. These couples also represent different churches throughout the area and we’re excited to work alongside of them.
Day 5 (today): We met with the General Secretary of the International Baptist Convention and heard a little about his oversight of churches around the world. I’ll be working with him as we equip volunteers to work with the kids in their own communities throughout Europe. We also met with a local (Frankfurt) pastor and youth pastor. We had a great time of sharing and prayer.
Overall it was a great trip and we’re excited to get back over here and start working in this community and in this region. The need to connect with kids and provide support to staff and volunteers is great and we couldn’t do it without your support and prayers.