Germany on Monday: Schools, A Bible Study, Shopping, A Prayer Meeting
Today marked the first full week since we began traveling! It was a week ago that we sat in the Detroit Airport and began this great adventure to Europe.
This morning Regina, Katelyn, and Nate went with Kip to the Realschule (the school for average students) and spoke to a class of (I think) 5th Graders. The teacher said that they were very excited that we were coming. At first we could not find the teacher and were waiting outside of the classroom. But Kip went down to see if she was standing somewhere else to meet us and they came back up to the classroom shortly. She said that when she didn’t see us she began to wonder how she was going to break it to the children! They were a very attentive class and asked lots of great questions. They wondered if we had seen a movie star, what our favorite food, color, and animal was. Nate and Katelyn handed out American bills for them to look at, and explained what was on each bill and coin. Later, Brittany, Janell, and Felicia were in the same school, only in a different class later in the day. After the school, Nate, Katelyn, and Regina all went to the Gymnasium (see below for an explanation). Zach Pappas (John and Becky’s son.) leads a short Bible Study during the 15 minute lunch break between classes for a group of students and he wanted us to come tell the group what our favorite bible verse was and why it was important to us. He translated after a couple of sentances. Some of the students in this group are probably not believers.
While they were in the English class, Nate, Katelyn, and Regina visted “Kaufland” (the equivilant to our Walmart) which is right next door to the church. We browsed a bit. This store is set up kind of like a mall with the clothes in one section, the bakery as another store, etc.
When we all got back to the church, we ate Chili con Carne made by Stephanie (called “Shtephy”). She is the daughter of Sabina (Janell, Brittany, and Felicia’s host mom). It was delicious. After cleaning up the kitchen, our entire group walked to the Gymnasium (not gymnasium, but Gim-nahs-ee-um)-the school that Zach Pappas (John and Becky’s son) attends. This school is for the gifted students in Germany and starts in the 5th grade. We participated in a 1 1/2 hour long English class at this school. This was the class that Felicia, Nate, and Janell had visited the first Tuesday we were here in Germany. The teacher was very good and engaged the students in a discussion on the topic of money and it’s importance or lack of importance to people in society. They were reading an American drama called “A Raisin in the Sun” about African Americans living in Chicago in the 1950s.
After this class we went shopping in downtown Aalen. It is pedestrian, and our group split up after we went to a couple of stores. We shopped for 2 hours and then met up at 6pm at a designated meeting spot to walk to a resturant to eat a Turkish meal. It is called a “Doner” (Pronounced “Du-rn-a” -we still can’t prounounce it correctly and they laugh at us when we try to say it). Nate hadn’t had one yet while the rest of us had. It is a wonderful meal that consists of a pita filled with shaved meet and lettuce, something like ranch dressing (which they call “yogurt”), tomatoes, and curry sauce if you like. I am definitely going to miss German food!
After a wonderful team dinner we went to Kaufland again with everyone and happened to run into a girl from Colorado who speaks fluent English and is married to a German man. After hearing her story and inviting her to the English and German church services, we went back to the church for the prayer meeting led by Dennis.
It is so cool to pray alongside Germans. Even though you don’t know what they are saying, you can still understand the emotion of their words as we both come before our Heavenly Father. Dennis opened the meeting reading and talking about Romans 12:1. John translated for us. We prayed for the persecuted church in different countries (which I LOVE to talk and pray about), missionaries supported by the church around the world, and for us as the people from Grace and Aalen -because we are missionaries also! We all went our seperate ways after the meeting. Regina and I talked to Dennis (who took us to our host parent’s house) about her church in the USA on the way home. (Also: Radom Fact: German people call any type of SUV a “Jeep”).
Tomorrow we head to the schools again and then we are going to a woman’s house for dinner. She is part of the Aalen church and has a set of triplet girls our age and two other daughters whom we have already met. I can’t wait!