“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”Hebrews 4:16
Week 1: Adventuring (March 16-26)
Our first week was an adventure. We are, now, settled in at the “Farmhouse,” which is a walk away from “Wasserschloss” (Watercastle): where we have meals and classes. We are in a spacious room with a perfect view of the sunrise. It has been incredibly refreshing to wake up with the sun, as opposed to before the sun (sorry to all my Powell peeps!). There is a playground that is perfect for Leo to climb and play on. It has tunnels! The people we have met have been positively delightful. We are falling in love with them. I believe Leo has won their hearts, too.
It’s been quite an adjustment for Leo and I. He’s seeing more of me than he has since last summer, while eating different foods than he is used to, on top of a major shift in time change. I’ve done it before, without Leo, and it seemed to get better after a day or two, but Leo is taking longer to adjust. We practiced walking at Ijam’s Nature Center many times before we came to Germany, but I don’t think any amount of practice could help him to change his solid routine he had at home.
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”Deuteronomy 31:8
Many, many, MANY of you prayed this over us before we left. And, there is proof of this!
Leo loved flying! As I would imagine other toddlers to feel, he was ready to be done flying pretty soon after it began. Thankfully, we had entertainment attached to our seats. We tracked our flight as we traveled.
Leo, also watched a show or two and was extremely calm on the flight. There was maybe 3 hours of sleep on his part—not on mine. He adjusted back and forth side to side in our cramped little seats, but seemed to be well-rested when we arrived in Frankfurt.
Our next step was to board our plane for Dresden. Maneuvering through Frankfurt airport was met with patience and deep breaths. There was much hustle and bustle and we were, I’m pretty sure, the smallest people in the airport. The Lord carried us through the masses to our gate. I was already thinking of our next move. ‘How do we find the train from Dresden to Löbau? Will I be able to understand the German? How were we going to carry all of our luggage to the train in Dresden?’ Y’all the Lord is faithful!
It did not take long for Him to demonstrate His faithfulness. As we climbed the tram for our flight to Dresden, a beautiful, young lady said, “Don’t I know you? Aren’t you going to YWAM Herrnhut?” It was a classmate traveling to Herrnhut! Her name is Ariana. We weren’t alone anymore! She had been on a much longer journey than Leo and I. Coming from Texas, with many connections, Ariana was tired. She had concerns about the train as well, so the Lord gave us a 2 for 1. Thankfully, the Dresden flight was very short.
When we arrived, we waited to pick up our luggage. Leo and I gathered ours, while Ariana waited. It was strange how empty the airport was, so when the door for luggage closed it was very ominous. We took that as a sign that Ariana’s luggage was not there. Ariana found that they would deliver her luggage to the base. Awesome! So, I asked if she might be able to help us with our bags. More than willing, she carried Leo’s bag and helped with him.
We both fumbled our way to the train. The train attendant, a lovely woman who spoke as much English as I speak German, explained how get to Löbau, our next destination. She gave perfect instructions, but I followed them less than perfectly. Between our inexperience, mass amounts of doubt, and inability to understand signs at the station, we went up and down elevators and (the same ones several times), bought too many train tickets, tried to board incorrect trains- you name it, it probably happened.
What was Leo doing this whole time? Leo was being a sleep-deprived two year old boy. He was like an overly wound up toy car sputtering around the edges where the trains come. Yeah, I think I have another gray hair or 10. Point blank, we needed to rest. After snacks, a change of pants (for Leo, not mama!), and many deep breaths we caught the right train = 3 hours later.
When we arrived in Löbau, we were greeted by Erik and Jenn, staff at the base. They drove us to Herrnhut and showed us where we would be staying. As we pulled up to the castle, the sight was surreal. We made it! We had arrived at this place that we had been dreaming about for months and months. To boot, Ariana’s luggage was there waiting for her. The Lord is good!
Several days later we are receiving mercy and finding grace. More so, we are reminded of why we are here. Not to learn how to cope with circumstances or have some super spiritual experience, but to fall more passionately in love with the person who passionately loves us. We are overjoyed to be in a place that God has ordained as a place “to know God and make him known.” The Lord’s beauty is right at our finger tips and once we get a routine Leo and I will be back to ‘exploring.’
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