I made it to Berlin in one piece. And we all said, Amen.
Trusting God’s Timing
I’m learning to trust God in his timing. Sometimes I do really well with it and sometimes I don’t. Saturday morning was one of the ‘donts.’
I wanted to go to church on Saturday. Our plane landed in Berlin at 7:45 and church started at 9:30. I had planned the trip and wasn’t anticipating problems: Deutsche Bahn had others plans. A broken train, a rerouted plan, and a frustrated me walking the rainy streets of Berlin looking up saying, “God, I’m just trying to worship you. Why can’t I just go worship you?” And so as I arrived with only ten minutes left in the service, a defeated me was greeted warmly and told to wait 10 minutes for the English service that I had no idea existed. Not only did my late arrival allow me to go to a service in my native language, but it also allowed me to connect with a friend I hadn’t seen in months.
Together, Laughter ensued as we sang were marching to Zion….4 times…. All the way through….
Becoming A Berliner
And following the service I may not have marched to Zion, but I certainly marched my way to dinner. A falafel plate paired with harumikäse complemented deep conversation with the marvelous Alice H.
To be honest we were WORN.OUT. Alice and her 45 minutes of sleep needed coffee and my complete and utter lack of sleep (albeit more than Alice with 4 hours,) led to the ensuing picture. I don’t drink coffee, but the temptation was there let me tell you.
A tour of Berlin by a spunky Canadian gave insight to the pre and post war difference of Berlin. Escape stories of valor contrasted the somber mood casting over from the 25 million dollar memorial to the Jews that lost their life in the war…
Dreams Coming True
The night ended the most magical way imaginable. So many dreams have been realized here in Europe. Seeing the Berlin Philharmonic play is one of the most special moments of my life! The warm tambers that filled the 360 degree hall enhanced the liveliness radiating from the hearts of the musicians on stage! My heart was full.
My full heart was doubled as Alice informed me that upon her arrival to the hostel (she checked in while I was at the symphony,) the man at the front desk upgraded us from a 4 bed shared room to a private 2 bed room with our own bathroom. He did this simply because he is a kind human being. The comfort and blessings we have received from his kindness have been immense. If you’re ever in Berlin, I can’t recommend the Plus Berlin Hostel enough!
A good night of sleep prepared us for a long day of walking, but nothing could have prepared us for the horror stories upon entering the gates of Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
To be cold and wet, numb and hungry. Uncomfortable to the point of pain and yet I felt nothing that can compare to the horrors remembered on these empty walls.
No man ever successfully escaped the camp. Tortured, scorned, mocked, humiliated, and stripped of any identifying mark, these men stood naked or nearly naked in -20 degree weather. There’s too much to write or process at this time. Later I will share with you all what I have learned.
As we took the train back into town, our tour guide recommended a cafe for delicious cake.
Once we arrived, we decided 30 minutes was too long to go to this particular cafe. We decided to go to the Brandenburg Tor to look for a typical Berlin dessert only to be shut down just like every other bakery on a Sunday in Germany. Two and a half hours and many failed technology extravaganzas later we ended up at the same cafe we wanted to go to in the first place
and that’s how I ate the most tired piece of cake in my entire life. Excuse the tired speak…. And that’s how we were too tired to care how the cake tasted.
An emotional trip to be sure, fulfilling dreams and hearing stories of those who never had the chance to dream. Berlin, your history amazes me!
Tomorrow will effectively be the happiest day of the year to date as I fly to Iceland to hug my parents! Five glorious days await us!
With God’s peace and his many blessings I wish each or you a beautiful week!