Grüße von Hamburg!
I can’t believe that I’ve been here in Germany for nearly two months now! It seems like I only left a few days ago but at the same time it feels like I’ve been here for a lot longer than just 8 weeks! So far my experience has been full of highs and lows – as expected with moving to a new country. On my arrival in Hamburg on 5th September, I was so overwhelmed by everything, and having not slept in over 24 hours didn’t help the situation! The first few weeks here were extremely difficult for me because, as you know, I have never lived away from home before and I was finding my homesickness worse than I expected! But during these times, I was able to lean heavily on God and I learnt that he’s the only one who will always be there for me, in every situation, and already I feel like my relationship with God has become a lot stronger! Any time I felt sad or down, there was always something there to remind me how great God is and how much he loves me
But, I’m glad to say it’s not all hard times and missing home! I’ve had some really great times here too and I’ve met so many lovely people already. I’ve been invited to lunch, been taken on tours of the towns and villages and had many a lovely stroll along the river Elbe – Germany is a really beautiful country! Through all my work with the youth here, I’ve made some really great friends already, so it’s great to be able to just ‘hang out’ together, and they’re particularly fond of baking here which is right up my street – though I have had to join a gym with all the eating that comes with it!
So you’re probably wondering what I actually do apart from tour Hamburg and bake…? My official title is a ‘Mitarbeiter’ or ‘Youth Worker’ in Josua-Gemeinde Kirche. I am involved in different activities throughout the week, including Youth Group on a Monday evening, Prayer Meetings and Girl’s House Group on a Wednesday and a Youth House Group on a Friday evening. I have also just recently been asked to help lead the worship in the Sunday Service – this is pretty exciting, but also scary because as you would expect, all the songs are in German! Apart from that, I just slot in where I’m needed, help out when I can and try to keep busy because when I get bored, I get homesick! Although, all this free time I have has been really great for me because I’ve been able to spend a lot more time reading my bible, praying and having quiet time with God! It’s great!
Before I came here, my German was – well let’s say – adequate. But on arriving here in Germany, I got a big shock to the system! For the first few weeks, I found myself going to bed at 8 O’clock most nights with constant headaches because of the sheer amount of concentration it takes to listen to a conversation and to try and understand and translate it in your head! The first Sunday in church, I had to stand up and say a little something about myself – in German of course – and afterwards everyone told me how nice it was to ‘hear German being spoken with a lovely Irish accent’…not what I wanted to hear! But I’m glad to say my German has significantly improved and I’m now even able to understand most of the sermon on a Sunday!
So, I just wanted to give everyone a wee update of how I’m doing over here in Deutschland, but most of all I really want to thank everyone for all their support and continued prayer! It means a lot to me and I am really missing all my church family back home! I’m happy to say, I’ll be able to pay everyone a little visit when I get home at Christmas! But until then, your prayers are very much appreciated especially concerning homesickness and building my relationship with God!
If anyone would like to get in contact with me, you can over Facebook or by clicking HERE.
Also, here’s the web address of the church I’m working in if anyone wants to take a look: http://josua-schenefeld.de Sorry it’s all in German!
Liebe Grüße und Gottes Segen