Dense fog drifts over the ridge of Hoch Blauen, creating a dramatic contrast with the evergreens. This is a common sight out the front windows of the dorm, and though I find it somewhat enchanting other days, today I long to see the sun. The dark days have begun up the hill, but inside it is warm and bright, and twenty three contented people reside. As I sit with my chai tea in one hand and my pen in the other, candlelight lends its luster to the room and I pause to reflect, because today is a special day. Today is the anniversary of an unexpected beginning. One year ago today, October 13, 2010, my plane taxied into the Basel airport, and I crossed the threshold of Sonne and an adventure which I am still blessed to be living. I have thought much recently about that day; Marty meeting me at the airport and stopping to let me pick flowers for my first intrinsically German experience; Debbie and Tommy meeting me with huge warm smiles and hugs at the door; Eating lunch with Chris, and still wondering where on earth I was. After my stuff was safe in my new room, I was whisked off to my first staff meeting. Though nervous, I still remember thinking how happy I was to be there, and “have I got a lot to learn.” That was also likely the quietest I have been in a staff meeting. And then 4:15 came. I entered the living room and shook the hands of some of the greatest guys in the world. Though it tooke me a while to get their names just right, they are now forever etched on my heart. From that time, no even before, God began to give me His love for them, a love which I learn to show and live in new ways every day.
The hours, days, weeks, and months that followed were filled to the brim with firsts, “this is hows,” and “You’re going to finds.” With all my heart I am glad I did not perceive the enormous breadth of the learning curve I had entered. I probably would not have come. But gradually over time, the “firsts” become fewer and farther between. Relationships emerged from acquaintances. Conversations happened. I learned to drive the manual dorm vans. My guys even let me in on their girl-problems. It was not an easy year, but it was good. It was good, because God was in it. His fingerprints are all over it. Great things He has done. Today is one year. But there is so much more to do. What will another year bring? Will I be sitting here another year from now? Although I don’t know the answers to these questions, I know the One Who does. And I trust Him implicitly.
My tea is getting cold, and dinner will be here soon. Have a good evening, friend.