Going out of the country for the first time can be pretty exciting. Going out of the country for the first time and being on an airplane for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. But, I seemed to manage it pretty well. Don’t get me wrong, it was indeed, a nerve-wrecking experience. I never in a million years thought I would go to Germany for any reason at all. It was not on my list of places to travel. I have tried many times to pen my story of Germany and how to express my experience and this is my attempt in doing so.
My previous thoughts of Germany consisted of bratwurst and a very harsh sounding language. I was in for surprise when my feet came in contact with German soil. I was in a foreign country for the first time with 11 other people I had spent the last eight months trying to build relationships with and had no idea what to expect. I took a leap of faith, (a giant, gargantuan leap) 9 months before and trusted God when he told me to sign up for a missions trip to Hamburg, Germany. So many thoughts went through my head. I was ecstatic and hesitant. I thought on numerous times of recanting my application out of fear and nervousness, but I stuck with it. There was a feeling that just resonated within me that I was supposed to go.
After signing up and being placed on a team I remember feeling satisfied and completely out of control in a good way. Things were falling into place. I remember sitting in the chapel of my university waiting for the big reveal and when I got Germany, the feeling I had was one of joy and finally a peace after waiting for so many weeks of not knowing what team or what country I would be placed on.
I found out that I was placed on a team to go to Hamburg, Germany with 11 other people. We spent the next 8 months together having meetings, getting to know each other, and preparing to spend two weeks in a foreign country on a missions trip. This was my first missions trip. Throughout my life I don’t think I ever planned to go on one. I knew that mission trips were cool and so was traveling out of the country, but it was not a plan or a goal that I set for myself in life to do. Traveling, of course, has always been a desire of mine. However, the thought of traveling and doing it for God were two things I never put in context together to do for myself.
The 8 months of preparation was not just a time for team building, but a time of fundraising. I knew this was going to be a fundamental part of actually being able to set foot in Germany. For the most part I didn’t worry. I knew my God is a God who provides and I knew that this trip was one He wanted me to take. So, I attempted to raise the funds hoping that it would yield some great results. Unlike some who are really crafty with painting, crocheting, and other things. I decided I would sell my poetry on really nice paper and sell them.
After spending a good few hours on Photoshop I came up with some pretty decent looking cards with my poems printed on them.
I honestly thought these things would sell pretty well. That was not the case though. I ended up making low profits on them. So, with my card not doing so hot I ran out of options besides prayer. So, I prayed, my family, prayed, and my friends prayed.
It seemed as if nothing was happening on my end and honestly it got a bit stressful, but I chose to trust God. One day I was contacted by the office that was in charge of my university’s mission program and I was told I would be dropped from my team the next day by 5pm if the money didn’t come in. When I think of the situation I acted very nonchalant about the entire thing. I’d heard stories of the same thing happening to friends who still ended up going on their mission trips. So, I didn’t worry..too much.
There came a point though where I did break down. I remember asking God what was going to happen? I knew that I was supposed to go, but I did not have the money to pay for my own trip. Throughout this time I had been posting on Facebook about funds that needed to be raised in hopes of reaching out to people who would want to help. And surprisingly it did.
I NEVER thought the funds for my trip would come in the way it did. A very kind and generous soul donated to my trip and because of that kindness I was able to go to Hamburg, Germany.
Many times I think of that act of kindness and my heart bursts with gratefulness all over again. All because of that one act, my German love affair began. Without that donation the stories I have, and the people I met, the sights I saw, and the language I’ve come to love would not be possible.
*Stay tuned for more pictures of my time in Germany in German Love Affair PT. 2 🙂