Alan and I were very fotunate to be able to go to Germany last weekend to celebrate Easter and our first wedding anniversary. We also wanted to use the time to investigate the country as somewhere we might like to relocate for missions work. Originally we had planned to go to Aachen, right over the border from Belgium but as we got closer to time I started really wishing we could visit Heidelberg. Even for just a day as it was the town I visited in college that I fell in love with and remains my favorite city in the world after nearly 20 years time. Unfortunately Heidelberg is in the center of the country and would mean another three hours of driving on top of the 11 Alan would have already had to drive to reach Aachen.
Of course being the loving and sweet husband that he is, he suggested we skip Aachen and go straight to Heidelberg and spend the entire weekend there checking things out. We didn't have a hotel lined up so when we got there we spent the better part of two hours trying to find something special and romantic yet CHEAP! :) We prayed a lot and eventually God led us to a wonderful little hotel in the center of Altstadt (old town) Heidelberg where we stayed two nights. They even had a fantastic restaurant next door which we tried our first night with traditional German food and drink. Alan had bratwurst and I had a mushroom linguini but Alans bratwurst was the best I've ever eaten. It didn't even taste like sausage!
Saturday we got up early and went for a long walk along the Rhine river and through town. We stopped at a bakery and got fresh bread and coffee/juice for breakfast and then found an internet cafe where we could locate a great English speaking church to celebrate Easter the next morning. We found one on the outskirts of town called Victory International and we took time to listen to the pastors online sermons and read his blog before getting directions and deciding that was the place we would go.
Saturday night we celebrated our anniversary, courtesy of Alans parents at a wonderful little restaurant where the people sitting next to us were Americans visiting from Virginia. We got to talking to them and they were very nice. Their trip reminded me of the trip dad and mom took LeeAnne and I on when we were young to Europe and dad said he'd never take us back again because we weren't that thrilled on seeing all the museums and stuff he had lined up. We wanted to do kid stuff instead and he was none too pleased with that! lol
Sunday we went to church and met tons of folks stationed in Heidelberg with the US army. There were far more americans there than I've seen since being in England. There was also a man who ran a homeless ministry, named Joe there and an English man who said God called him to Germany 30 years ago and he was excited to meet another Brit. Trey, the worship leader, spoke as the pastor and his wife were in America that week and the sermon was fantastic. He is very gifted but who equally impressed me Katrine who stood beside Trey and translated the entire sermon into German. She was fantastic.
After church we decided to drive part of the way back and in the end drove all the way to Calais and took an earlier ferry. It was a good thing we did as SeaFrance (competitors ferry) went on strike the next day and we may not have been able to get home. We stayed near Dover that night at a Holiday Inn Express and drove the rest of the way on Monday.
The last couple of days I've been washing all the clothes, cleaning the house, taking up running (lol), working in the garden, shopping, ironing, etc. Last night Alan and I went to Sam and Merci's for housegroup and it was fantastic. Merci shared her testimony of how the Lord saw her through her recent almost fatal illness in the hospital and then we had a great prayer time together. We are so excited about everything the Lord is doing at Hillside. We expect many more great things ahead.
Next Tuesday Ian, Bob, Alan and I go and meet Steve and another associate of his from Pioneers in Manchester for dinner to see if God may be calling us to join that ministry and possibly move to Germany as missionaries. We're excited and praying every day for His direction and guidance as we move forward.
Christ is risen... He is risen indeed! :)