Or as they say over in Germany, “Wo ist das Badezimmer!”
Wait a sec…that’s “Where is the bathroom?”…
…let’s see…uhhh…as they say over in Germany, “Frohe Weihnachten!”
Opps…that’s “Merry Christmas”…
Well, as I was saying over there, “Guten morgan! Sprechen Sie Englisch?”
Last week, helping out with new-staff training for MCYM (Military Community Youth Ministries, reaching kids of our military for Jesus on bases around the world) I woke up in a castle in the tiny village of Hurlach, which in next to Aichach-Friedberg, Fürstenfeldbruck, and Weilheim-Schongau (FYI… Sometimes German towns have names that are longer than the town is).
This castle belongs to a really cool mission group. They bought it as a place to prepare for, and rest from, sharing Jesus with athletes and fans during the Munich Olympics several years ago. The castle was built by the Fugger family in 1610. That’s…uhhh…let’s see…thirteen years before the pilgrims sat down to the first turkey in America. It was redone by the late (obviously!) Otto Freiherr von Schnurbein in 1898. He forgot to redo the central heat and air however! Castles are cool…until they’re cold. They lose some of their coolness at that point. That one kind of needs an “Extreme Maker-over, Castle Edition”. I can just see it…
“Gooooood morning, Von Schnurbein family!! Franz! Adalwolf! Egbert!
The days before that, we were about two hours up the ol’ autobahn in the Garmisch region for a retreat for the whole MCYM staff. We were on a US military retreat center in the foothills of the German Alps. One thing I noticed about the Alps is…for a big as they are, you don’t see them much! I guess it’s because of the Alpine atmospheric conditions, with lowland air masses climbing the slopes, but the Alps are basically a fog-fest! The amazing, spectacular triple-peaks that the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region is famous for, were right behind us…towering over us…and we never saw them! An invisible wonder, wrapped in clouds! Until…
Sunday! The sun peeked…the clouds thinned and…BAM! Leutasch Dreitorspitze! The Alpine triplets! Amazing!! And you wouldn’t have known they were even there!
And they weren’t the only “invisible wonders”!
I meet a couple at the retreat. They are nearly sixty. A quiet, sweet, kind, gentle couple who work with high-schoolers on our base in Turkey. With all the dynamic young singles and couples, laughing, sharing, and singing through the week, you almost wouldn’t have noticed they were there. Since I was trying to get to know everyone. I sat down with these guys for dinner to hear their stories.
Then the fog lifted…BAM! Dave and Beth Kanelos are amazing!!
They’ve been in Turkey two years. Before that, they’ve done Young Life in inner city Chicago, with urban kids and gangs for twenty five years! They took kids from gangs to Young Life camps with one gang in the front of the bus, and one gang in back. They and their leaders sat in between! Dave accepted Jesus out of the ‘60’s Chicago rock music scene. When he plays YL club music, he wears that guitar out!! They are the coolest couple I’ve ever meet! And they’ve shared Jesus with America’s roughest, toughest kids for over two decades! I’m so honored to be considered their new friend!
A wonder of God. I almost didn’t notice they were there!
Maybe God is using you in a quiet way. Maybe no one knows that you are loving someone in a difficult situation. Maybe you pray quietly and God is answering you to change the unchangeable. Unseen. Unnoticed. Maybe you love, serve, and care for someone who is too old…or too young to say “Thank you, friend”. Or “Thank you, mom”.
Here’s a verse for you…
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6.10)
He sees. He knows. And one, the fog will lift…
BAM! What a wonder!!