June
17

Royal Rangers Troop 393

Posted In: freiburg, fun, jes, liah, rieselfeld by davey

This past Saturday we had the opening celebration of Royal Ranger Troop 393. For those who don’t know what Royal Rangers is – they are a like a Christian Boy Scouts. It started in the US back in the 60’s and has now spread to over 75 countries. In Germany alone, there are over 16,000 kids who are part of this program. We as a church had been praying about this for over a year now and have finally gotten a ‘green light’ from God to start a troop ourselves, the 2nd troop in Freiburg. We are officially known as Freiburg II, Troop 393.

Our desire is to reach the kids and youth of Rieselfeld, the neighborhood where we are currently living. As I mentioned in a previous post about Rieselfeld, there are now about 9000 people who live in this neighborhood, and over half are kids under 18! So this is a great way to reach these kids – the troop meets just down the street from our house in the neighborhood park, right next to the elementary and high school. At the opening celebration, the city even sent a representative to come and give a 10 minute speech on how the city is behind us, how they are excited to see us reaching out to Rieselfeld to ‘give the kids and youth of our neighborhood orientation and direction in life’ (something to that effect). And that is the ultimate goal of Royal Rangers – the 4 red points of the RR emblem represent the 4 basic teachings of RR – i.e. Salvation, Baptism with the Holy Spirit, Divine Healing, Rapture of the Church (can you tell this was started by the Assemblies of God?); while the white background symbolizes sanctification.

The five troop leaders are young students from our church – the main leader was saved through the Royal Rangers when he himself was a kid and his heart burns to see Troop 393 grow and reach out to the kids of Rieselfeld. At the moment the troop consists of mostly kids from our church who live in Rieselfeld (Jesaiah and Taliah included) and a couple kids (originally from Texas!) who we don’t know, but who somehow heard about it and joined. And they want to bring other kids from their schools!

So pray for us, as we reach out to the kids of Rieselfeld. Here are a few fotos…

PS – you can learn more about Royal Rangers at their website.

April
3

…I think. We’ve had a couple of really beautiful days here lately. There have also been some cloudy/rainy ones (like today) mixed in. But the temperatures are not as cold as they were on Easter so hopefully spring has finally ‘sprung’. Flowers were already starting to bloom even before the cold snap on Easter, but now more and more of the little wild flowers are popping up everywhere and trees are starting to bloom. We have a flederbaum (lilac tree in English, I think) in our back yard that is starting to blossom. It is one of my favorite trees, it gets big cluster of purple flowers that have a very strong sweet smell. When it is in full bloom you smell it as soon as you open the back door. We also have a Magnolia tree that has big beautiful flowers, that are a redish-pink. I love the creativity of God in all the colors and designs of this world!

We as a Phamily have tried to take advantage of the nice weather when it is here. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in Freiburg when the sun is shining you get out there and soak it up any way you can!! So on Sunday we went for a walk and ended up at our local ice cream parlor (along with a good portion of the rest of the Rieselfelders), for a special treat. Then on Tuesday we took an afternoon outing to Mundenhof, which is an animal park near our house that is free. If you drive you pay 5euros for parking, but there is no admission cost. It takes us about 15-20 minutes to walk it with all the kids. There are a pretty good variety of animals to check out, and it has a cool playground on one side of the park. The animals are all in open enclousures, some that you can even walk through and pet the animals in there. Well right now it is only the goats that you can walk through, but they are going to make the antelope enclosure a walk through one as well, they are working on getting the animals used to being exposed to people right now.

At the end of our time at Mundenhof we got ice cream, again (I think that’s a record for us twice in 3 days! Jesaiah doesn’t even really like ice cream!) before heading back home. Needless to say the kids were wiped out! We were gone for about 3 hours. The kids rode their rollers (scooters) and laufrad (literally ‘walkbike’) all the way there and back and walked around the whole time at the park, so it was a very good (tiring out) outing.

Zachy can’t wait to get a ‘real’ bike. Right now he is riding the laufrad, which is basically a bike with no pedals or chain. They push it with their feet and learn balance. Most kids here start on one when they are 2 or 3 years old and move to a ‘real’ bike within a year or so, without training wheels. They are pretty cool little things! And Zachy jams on his! He gets going really fast then picks up both feet and coasts as far as he can. He also gets very creative with the way he pushes. It is quite entertaining to watch sometimes!

Enough rambling….on with the pictures!! Enjoy! Sorry there’s alot, we got a little ‘snap happy’!, but if you go to the source of the album you can skim through them quicker.

November
16

This past Sunday was St. Martins day, for those of you who don’t know who he was, (like me 3 years ago) I will explain in a minute. Part of the celebration for St Martins is to make lanterns and parade through the neighborhood, or village, and sing songs. The traditional meal is goose.

So 3 years ago, Jesaiah’s first year in kindergarten, we got a note about St Martins day and needing to send money for making lanterns. My first thought was, ‘who was this guy Martin anyway why is he a ‘saint’ and why does he have a day?’ So I did what any modern-day mom would do, I got on the internet and ‘googled’ him!

The story is something like this:
Martin was a Roman solidier, one winter as he was riding his horse he came across a poor begger lying in the snow. So Martin took his cloak and cut it in two with his sword and gave half to the begger. According to legend he dreamed that night that it was Jesus wearing the cloak, and Jesus introduced him to the Angels as ‘Martin the Roman soldier who is not baptised, he has clad me.’ Martin was baptised then as an adult. The legend as says that when the people wanted to make him Bishop he hid in a goose stall because he didn’t want the position, but the geese were so loud they gave him away (hence goose for the meal).

The songs that we sing are about being lights and sharing, it is a really neat celebration. We walk through our neighborhood with all the kids from the kindergarten, this year with 1st and 2nd graders too on a different day, we stop under each street light and sing our songs. The kids carry paper lanterns with a candle inside. It is really pretty when they get out away from the lights and you see only the lanterns. After the walk there is a big bon fire and bread shaped like geese to share.

Every other year it is really cold, this was one of those years! At least it didn’t snow on Tuesday when we were walking…it waited until today!
The kids were so excited to see the snow this morning.

The pictures are from both Monday (1st & 2nd graders) and Tuesday (kindergarten) and our first snow, the captions aren’t working.

September
29

Fall

Posted In: freiburg, rieselfeld by becks


This is one of the reasons I love Freiburg so much!!

July
27

A Step of Faith

Posted In: dienst/ministry, freiburg, rieselfeld by davey

The Lord has been laying something heavy on my heart in the last year or so – something that is totally new for me and us. It is something that will require us all to step out in faith and see what God will do.

For several years now, we have lived in a neighborhood of Freiburg called Rieselfeld. This place is fairly new – the oldest building was only finished in 1996/7 (in fact our building was one of the first finished). This neighborhood caters to families and children – it’s probably the highest concentration of families in all Freiburg! There are currently about 8,000 people who live in this neighborhood, with still more apartments and houses being built weekly. The projected population will be around 13,000 people when it is built out – my guesstimate is that about half that number are kids and youth! And it’s a very ‘yuppy’ neighborhood – the average adult age is probably mid-30’s to mid-40’s, families with 2.3 kids, 2 cars, 2 incomes, cat or dog or rabbit, etc. In fact, it is like its own little village, with its own shops and markets, banks, businesses, events, etc. It seems to have everyything – at least on the material level.

But on the spiritual level, it seems to be lacking greatly. For these 8,000 people or so, there are only two churches that try to minister to them – the local Catholic church and the local state (evangelical) church. They share a building (see photo to right) that makes me go hmmm. Yes, that is the finished product – looks like a concrete bunker. Now I have always wondered ‘how many people do these 2 churches actually minister to – several hundred?’ Even if we include other believers who live here and generously say 1,000 people (highly doubtful) know Jesus, there remains a question that has been burdening my heart lately – what about the other 7,000 people? Have they heard the Gospel? Do they know that God loves them? Do they know that they can have eternal life? Has anyone shared Jesus with them? In any case, we have built many relationships with people in this area – neighbors, parents at Kindergarten, others, etc. and many are so hungry for ‘spiritual things’.

So God has placed upon our hearts to step out in faith and start a new work for the Lord here. I have shared with the elders in January of this year, the leaders in March and the whole church in June about us all taking this step of faith together – whether in prayer or active participation. Right now, we are seeking the Lord for more confirmation and also how to start, what to do, when to do it, etc. I have been praying about a combination of the principles of the ‘organic/simple/house’ church and the more conventional church. I don’t have all the details but I know He wants us to step out in faith and trust Him to lead us. So pray with us, for us, for the people who live here, for God’s leading through His Spirit and Word.

Here are a few passages that I believe are from the Lord and have ministered to me lately…

And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.” Rom 15.20-21

…to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. 2Cor 10.16

Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you– the sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people. Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.” Isa 55.3-5

July
15

Kindergarten Sleep Over

Posted In: jes, misc, rieselfeld by becks

Jesaiah had his first sleep over this week. All of the soon to be first graders, they call themselves the Schlaufuchsen (sly foxes), got to have a sleep over.
Everyone brought their sleeping bags, pjs and stuffed animals and slept in the kindergarten Friday night. They ate dinner together, had a scavenger hunt, played games, and stayed up way to late! After breakfast on Saturday it was already time to say goodbye.

Jesaiah had a lot of fun, it was the first time he has stayed somewhere else with out us. Our little boy is growing up, sniff sniff ; ).

Getting all settled in

Saturday morning pick-up

Some buddies from KiGa
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July
12

Eltern Abend!!!

Posted In: jes, phamily, rieselfeld, schule/school by becks

I had my first Eltern Abend (parents night) last night at Jesaiah’s school where he’ll be starting in September. There was so much information, and just trying comprehend it all in German wore me out!! The microphone wasn’t loud enough so I had to really strain sometimes to hear what they were saying.
Going to school here is a big deal. All the new first graders get ‘bags’ of goodies (Schultüte) (they actually look like a dunce caps turned upside down and filled) and they have a welcoming ceremony (einschulung)where they are greeted by the teachers and other staff (I think). Jesaiah’s einschulung is going to be on Sept 12 and his first day of school then is the 13th.
I know that I would probably be having a lot of the same emotions if we lived in the US and he was starting school, but I think I am even more ‘emotional’ (or however you want to put it) because it is all so foriegn to me. The school here has a very good reputation and i know that he will get a good education, it is just very different than the way I remember school…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing ;).
In any case he is ready and excited. I am still working on teaching him to read and write English here at home, hopefully we will finish our book before he starts school. He will be adding a 3rd language to his ‘repertoire’ come September. They start teaching French here in the 1st grade! It is done mostly with games, songs and pictures, but by the end of the year most kids at least know a few words and how to say ‘my name is’. So it will be interesting to see how well he picks it up and if he likes it or not.
So we are getting geared up for school! I will post some pictures of the einschulung when we have some, in the mean time please pray for Jesaiah that he will have a good start in school and that we will adjust well as a Phamily to the changes. Ich bin ganz aufgeregt! (I am so excited, nervous, all of a dither (just a few translations of aufgeragt… it’s a great word!))

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