In the last blog I wrote about Inselarche (Island Ark) which provides support and activities for children in Wilhelmsburg. This picture shows some of the children in the church building in December 2016.
Pamela and I spent Thursday in Leipzig, where we were treated to a tour of the city before speaking at the Frauenkreis (women’s circle) at the Bethesdakirche. It was Christin, the pastor’s birthday, and so we celebrated with coffee and cakes, candles and Sekt (sparkling white wine). There was laughter and conversation around the table, and Bible text cards were offered in both German and English. The afternoon was for me a high point of our visit, as we shared time with these ten German women who had come out through the snow to join together to support each other and to express and share their faith in God, both in good times and difficult.
We had breakfast on Friday morning with Pastor Gotthard Schreier and his wife Johanna in their home in Leipzig. Late morning we moved on to Chemnitz, where I have renewed friendships with some of the people whom I met the last time I was here in June 2014. We have shared ideas and experiences, this afternoon with Pastor Thomas Günther and his wife, Claudia, and this evening with other friends who gathered in the church meeting room here at the Friedenskirche. Tonight my head is buzzing with some of the stories I have heard, either shared with the whole group or exchanged privately afterwards.
We are just halfway through our time in Germany and I am looking forward to at least a little time to process some of the thoughts and possibilities which we will take back to share at home. As I tumble into bed tonight, the third bed so far on this visit, I am giving thanks for those who host us and welcome us into their homes. Tonight we are staying with Barry and Gillian Sloan and are grateful to them for their generous hospitality.