I’m looking forward to the New Year. I have my garden all planned. I have even bought all my seeds. I’m also hoping to start an English home Bible study group in January/February. We may begin an Alpha course in our church in English. The US Army is leaving Heidelberg. 5 English speaking churches are also leaving Heidelberg. About 10% to 20% of the people in these churches will be staying here. So our church is considering what we might do to reach these English speakers. Many of them are Internationals. This is of course my heart We (as a church) never reached out to this population because of the other churches, but now we might take up the challenge. I am very happy about this! It seemed forever that I had no opportunity to do anything in the church. But now all of that is starting to change. The long cold winter is melting, and my spiritual spring is beginning to take it’s place. I just turned 50 years old. One of the big highlights of the year was our house warming-birthday party. We put up a big tent in the garden, and I cooked for a whole week. Juergen helped arrange a wonderful Jazz band. I was so blessed by the band and the friends. It really was the best of the year for me! Another bright spot has been the 1st birthday of my God child Anna. I look forward to spending more time with her, and teaching her how to grow a garden.Now Juergen's part: This year has been kind of tiring, at least the second half of it. In August I took off 1 month from work to work on our new house. I was a construction worker for one month - and my arms really hurt after that :-). We had to rip out almost all the tile, paint all the walls, put in a new garage etc. But the worst was to get the boys rooms ready. I had to knock out 4 x 4 feet of 40 cm (15 inch) of hard concrete wall with a 40 pound electric sledge hammer. That took in total 6 full days and my arms hurt for a month after that. I guess I should have more practice? NOT! It was nice when it was all done and now everyone has their rooms.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
first from Amy... I’m sitting in our living room as I write this Christmas letter. We put our tree up yesterday (Dec 10th). That’s late for Americans and early for Germans. Sarah is busy writing a Christmas card to her Grandma and Grandpa. She doesn’t know how to write in English, so she is copying what I wrote down. Philip is playing with the dog (Mickey) and watching Rudolph the red nose reindeer. We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in our new house. The house is the “big news” of 2011. We found the house in March. Juergen and I have looked for a bigger house with a bigger garden for nearly 2 years. We finally decided we wanted to live in Bad Schönborn (a small village 15 minutes south of Heidelberg). So on a Saturday we decided to look only in Bad Schönborn, and Sunday we found the house. We knew our house because we had looked at it first in 2007 (just a few months after we adopted Sarah). I have a cute photo of Philip and Sarah on the staircase. We decided we could not manage the renovating at the time. I think every house we looked at after that was seen as “compared to that house in Bad Schönborn”. Over the years Juergen would even want to