Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1ne Year Is Over / God With Man

to nobody in particular:

...i write this blog on the eleventh night of august, and to many of you, or at least the one or two of you that may actually read this, perhaps the importance of this date is yet an enigma...

...exactly one year ago, i began to test the theory that "you learn something new every day", and on the twelfth day of august, i started recording my daily learnings...

...three hundred and sixty five days later, i can honestly say that i believe this theory to be true -- with limitations...

...such limitations include: personal motivation, intentional interaction, boring living, lack of imagination -- if any or all of these are present, this could hinder one from learning something new every day...

...so go on -- go and live life, go and learn new things -- there is a whole world out there to discover, a plethera of lessons to learn and things to know...

...but as i've recently re-valued, in discussion with a friend, that in a culture where knowledge and self-discovery is cherished, perhaps wisdom should be sought after most of all...

...what good is anything without wisdom to accompany it?...

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and now, the last (and final?) installment if theory testing for this past year:

..."you learn something new every day"...

two days ago, i learned: Mauerpark Flohmarkt + two strollers = stupid idea...

yesterday, i learned: it's hard to tell what the ratio is for how much manpower/"doing" does and how much prayer/"relying" does...

today, i learned: no matter how many people there are in number, just add one more, because God is there all the time anyway...

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recently watched: Taken



...this was a pretty intense movie, and well-done...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

English Camp / Almost There?

to nobody in particular:

...here's the latest blog post from our family's site (www.xanga.com/thecareyjourney)...

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It was a wonderful experience for me (Ben) to spend the week up in Karchow for English Camp 2009! Thanks for your prayers and encouragement in preparation for it and during the camp. We had 24 teenagers and 14 staff (including me and Don from our team here, Katie who has taught three years now, Caleb our intern, two friends of the Jones family who helped cook and a team from Kenmore Alliance Church near Buffalo, NY) enjoy a week full of classes, activities, good food, fun times and, hopefully, spiritual encouragement! I served this year as Asst. Director for the camp and was able to see it all from a different perspective as last year. Next year I will be filling the Director role for the camp, and am excited about that. It was a fairly busy week, but we were able to enjoying moments of relaxation and genuinely spend quality time with the teenagers...

During the classroom sessions, they were able to develop their English proficiency, work their creative artistic juices through painting, baking apple pies/crisps and even doing Improv skits (think "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). It was really fun to see how they all interacted with the different sessions...

Team and/or leaisure games and activities included Don't Touch the Can, Ultimate Frisbee, baseball, volleyball, "Kickerball" (Fussball, to Americans), 4-way Capture the Flag, Bandanaball, Intersection Races, and more -- and being fully-staffed this year (as compared to last) made it more flexible for all of us staff to join in or watch. All the students were separated into four teams, and throughout the week, all four teams were competing for points, which were gained from winning activities, saying the daily Bible verses (in English), receiving daily votes from staff for "Most English Spoken" or "Most Improved English", and more. In the end, the team I was on came in second, but all in all, it adds an element of excitement and motivation to it all...

Some of the teenagers come from a church-background, and that does not necessarily mean very much. However, several of the teenagers, when prompted near the end of the week, re-committed their lives to Christ, and that was refreshing and encouraging to see! You wouldn't believe how awesome the singing sounds during the worship/music time, and just the fact that several teenagers asked for us to have an extra praise time before the evening "Etwas Mehr" ("Something More") Bible session was encouragement for all of us...

God was truly working, and it was clearly evident -- but we're all praying that the teenagers would carry that encouragement on through these coming weeks and months. We're able to keep in touch with many of the students via internet/facebook and, when possible (but hard to come by) face-to-face visits, but are trusting for the extra bit of spiritual encouragement from the Holy Spirit to continue moving closer to Jesus, no matter where they are in their journey/relationship with Him...

Would you pray for them with us too?

Thanks!

Here are some pictures that capture a general feel for the week



...our main building...




...English Camp 2009!...




...us guys playing a traditional German kindergarten game...




...no, not any of the campers (although there was a hospital visit during the week)...




...what do us manly non-teachers do while everyone else is in class? why, pick berries of course!...




...me and Caleb photobombing Lisa Z.'s picture...




,,,"Etwas Mehr"...




...Jen's Beginner class...




...Laurie's Intermediate class...




...Katie's Advanced class...




...stretching their English through improv skits...




...4-way Capture the Flag explanations...




...bike trip to the gas station...




...volleyball...




...painting...




...Caleb, Dave (both staff) and Michel (camper)...




...playing Settlers of Catan...




...Adeline and Lisa E....




...Don and myself...




...and we had to give them even just a little bit more of American culture (and our generation) on movie night: The Princess Bride...

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..."you learn something new every day"...

seventeen days ago, i learned: book-smarts and street-smarts are oh so very different...

sixteen days ago, i learned: i can bike down to Alexanderplatz from Open Door church faster than the Stra├čenbahn can get there...

fifteen days ago, i learned: what a pastor shouldn't do...

fourteen days ago, i learned: English Camp 2009 is going to be awesome!...

thirteen days ago, i learned: these six years of marriage have gone by quickly but wonderfully -- so much has happened, and i'm eager for the next six and more!...

twelve days ago, i learned: i think i may have seen the best/funniest improv impersonation of Michael Jackson by a 16 year old German girl...

eleven days ago, i learned: to walk in to your room at camp and find flies mating on you bed is fairly disturbing -- "i sleep there, dagnabbit!"...

ten days ago, i learned: 4-way Capture the Flag does work and is fun...

nine days ago, i learned: the genius and wonder of The Princess Bride goes over many of the German teenagers heads...

eight days ago, i learned: slugs are cannibals...

seven days ago, i learned: English Camp 2009 was awesome!...

six days ago, i learned: i can play and sing an original song i've written in front of other people, including both friends and strangers...

five days ago, i learned: playing catch-up is not as fun as it sounds!...

four days ago, i learned: Hertha will be starting this season 33 million Euro in debt -- ouch...

three days ago, i learned: when there, buy it...

two days ago, i learned: Hertha tickets don't go on sale until the 10th of August -- bummer...

yesterday, i learned: men plainly should not wear short jean shorts, no matter how athletic or hairy their legs may (or may not) be...

today, i learned: my daughter is one smart cookie...

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recently watched for the first time but definitely not the last: Casablanca



...i'm not sure why i had waited so long to watch this classic, but i enjoyed it very much -- i think it's also my first Bogie movie, as well...