Saturday, June 29, 2013

Freut Freitag!

KIBA - Day 5
In not so many words...

The boys are trying to unscramble words in German.  An extra challenge.

Caleb, demonstrating "fox" - open your ears and close your mouth.

Craft time was making wordless books, where I attempted several times to explain the gospel in German. The kids also got to decorate crowns or tiaras.

Yee-haw!  It's line dancing night!

Pastor O'Timo

Beckie was our gifted instructor.

We did 3 different dances, and by the time those were done, everyone was exhausted and ready to go home and rest their sore feet.

Lessons learned today:

God prepares in subtle ways - there was a reason He had me learn my colors in German (I used it a lot with the wordless books).  I even got to use my experience cleaning up after 5 boys in the bathroom!

Things that would shock me in my own church aren't so shocking here - it's a good thing to keep the focus on things that matter, like people, and the gospel of Jesus.

I can't line dance.  Especially in a circle, where others are depending on my speed.  I got passed twice.

Smiles speak volumes, and so does touch.

Post title translation: "Glad Friday"


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ich liebe dich, Jesus

KIBA - Day 4
Today was a quiet day for me.  I stayed back at the flat with Sam, who had gotten sick to his stomach a few times during the night and wasn't up to participating in the morning session.  It ended up being a good time to get some extra rest.  Mercy slept until 9:30, so both Sam and I were able to lay down after the rest of the group left and get another hour's sleep.  KIBA continued on, and Caleb did fine in his classroom by himself.
Sam and I went in after lunch so that I could help with the afternoon craft, which was making groggers for our re-enactment of a Purim celebration tomorrow.  Groggers are just noisemakers, shakers, that are shaken during the story of Esther whenever the name of Haman is spoken.  It's a substitute for booing.

Here's the older group praying together.

Being silly during free time.

Parachute games outdoors.  We've only had that one day of rain, praise the Lord!

Mercy and Evie playing together while we practiced our line dancing for tomorrow night.

Our family ate at a restaurant this afternoon where we were commended for our "super" German.  He said he spoke very little English but could understand it spoken.  The menus were in English, which was wonderful!

Next up: The last day of KIBA, line dancing, and a whirlwind tour of Berlin.  Please pray primarily for good health and good rest over the next 8 hours.  Thank you!

Post title translation: "I love you, Jesus"

Du bist!

KIBA - Day 3

Wednesday morning came too soon after our late night on Tuesday, but look who's all smiles for breakfast!

Today, we discussed how Esther and Mordecai and the Jews in Susa fasted for 3 days in preparation for Esther to go before King Xerxes.  Caleb is glad he doesn't have to fast for 3 hours, let alone 3 days.

Mercy is making new friends each day as the kids get used to seeing her and having her there everyday.

Caleb stops a game of tag long enough for a quick photo.

Mercy and an English-speaking friend.

During game time, the boys played flag football.

Caleb and Sam do have a clue of what is being said in German, thanks to Gloria, who's translating for them.

  Brian and Sean have both really enjoyed the outside active time with the kids.

Minnesota night was an advertised community event mostly attended by people from the FeG Pankow church.  We (the Starkeys, us, and Gloria, our fellow Minnesotan) had prepared for this while still in the States.  We prepared or brought typical Minnesota treats - Beckie and I made 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies, there were mini Salted Nut Rolls, and Gloria had brought root beer flavoring to add to mineral water (there isn't root beer in Germany, just beer, which is much preferred) as well as makings for s'mores (not toasted marshmallows, just "raw").  We also provided lemonade.  There were about 20 people in attendance, including Dan, who's from Wisconsin (he's the one moving here with his wife and child in September).  We had a powerpoint presentation that included interesting (or so we hoped) information about our state, as well as pictures of our families in each season.  The presentation took about 45 minutes, then we had some time for questions.  We talked about everything from homeschooling to the Vietnam war.  See the older gentleman in the front?  He asked about the John F. Kennedy assassination and climate change, as well as Vietnam.

Other interesting questions:
"Do you need a special certificate to get hired by companies?"
"How many snow days do the kids get for school?"
"Does your state support Barack Obama?"
"Why do Americans like guns so much, and why would it be so hard to get rid of them?"

A cultural difference I've noticed is evidenced during team prayer time, which takes place back in the school kitchen both in the morning before KIBA starts, and after lunch before the afternoon programs start.  The prayers are all in German (Sean has prayed in English), and it's "popcorn style".  After every person prays, they say amen, and everyone else also says amen, but then the next person will jump right in and pray.  It sounds so much more engaged.  There is a designated closer, so you're not constantly looking up to see if the prayer time is ended.  Unless you're an American.
The group prays together twice a day - I love how one is right in the middle of the day - problems or concerns are able to be addressed and prayed for and everyone feels supported and heard.

Please pray:
I'm getting the feeling that quite a few of these children are unfamiliar with the God of the Bible.  Pray for dozens of tiny opportunities throughout the day and for eyes to see them and a willingness to open our hearts to theirs.

**URGENT!  So far, two of our kids (Sam and Jack) have experienced stomach issues.  As I am writing, it is Thursday evening, and Sam missed half of today at KIBA because he was up a few times last night and was pretty drained all day today.  Jack just woke up with it after being in bed for a couple of hours.  Pray for quick recovery and that it stops with them.  Thank you!

Post title translation: "You're it!"