This week was wild and beautiful, and I loved every second of it. It's hard to find a theme tying it all together, but there was the gift of Caylie coming to clean that does arch over the whole wrapping up life in Kandern vibe.
Before I get into all that, I do need to say in bold font: my wheelchair guard has arrived.
It'll find it's way into the chronological recount, but I'm so grateful to have that on my chair to resume life without thinking about the damage to my clothes or inconvenience to wheeling around that happens without it.
Let's back up to Monday, though, because that was a lovely day where Lissy came to hang out and have a chill day enjoying my picnic table. Then Tanya showed up. Honestly, I can't post everything about that conversation because this Woman of God came to give me personal and intentional encouragement in my faith. I pray that I grow into the kind of person soaked in Scripture that Tanya is. She listened to me share a bit of life since we'd last talked then asked to see my Bible. After flipping through some pages, she pushed it to me and said, "Read that," indicating a four verse passage. I read it out loud and was stunned at how relevant it was to what I'd just shared. I'm so very fortunate that God gifted me this mentor who knows exactly what to say to me because she's listening to the Holy Spirit through every conversation. Unrelated to her awesomeness, but relevant to my joy, Tanya also brought me Crunchie bars from Canada because I'm a sucker for good Commonwealth candy and am still six weeks away from living where I can buy my own.
Tuesday was relatively uneventful as an unexpected rain shower cut short my plans to hangout and make paper with my friend Heather, but I did get a quality goodbye with my friend Ryan. He's moving to Romania this week, and I have valued his friendship the years we've overlapped in Kandern. This was one more marker of what I won't have in Christchurch, but as so many of the BFA seniors quote Winnie the Pooh, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." My friendships will be different in Christchurch, and while I won't have the 10pm friends of this past season, I'll learn a new way to live well in community.
Wednesday started with my usual call to Matt that can never be called uneventful. Even if it's just a "yeah, this week happened" kind of call, I get excited every time I hear from Matt about what's happening at RYC - the youth group where I'll soon be serving. I'm praying for the leaders and students regularly, and I love getting even minor updates on what's happening. I am so excited for how God is moving there and the wonderful story that has written me into this special place. I should give a full picture that this is not a perfect utopia all roses and butterflies, but what excites me is that I see there are people interested in the Gospel work of changing lives who want me to be a partner in that kingdom mission. That excites me more than I can express - fortunately, you can keep following my weekly updates to get glimpses of this kingdom lifestyle to see how God is moving in New Zealand and in my life.
Okay, so as much as I get excited about calls to New Zealand, that wasn't even the highlight of the day because after a rain storm, I headed down to the school to read to a few of my favourite kids and community members a children's book about trees that Lissy lent me. Then I headed to the airport to pick up one of my favourite humans on the planet. I can't tell you all the work God has done through me in this Germany season, but if you need concrete evidence what good I think I've done, I'll point to Caylie. In an incredibly humbling turn of events, this girl who was in my English 9 class my first semester at BFA asked to have weekly tea dates with me through her high school years and then weekly calls when she transitioned to university. Our calls aren't weekly anymore, but they are life giving in ways I also lack words for (this week really is stretching my writing abilities). I randomly texted Caylie a few weeks ago to ask if she'd be willing to fly from London to Kandern in order to do a deep clean on my apartment because the cost of an EasyJet flight was comparable to hiring teen labour for the dirty tasks plus I'd get some quality time with this amazing human before leaving the continent.
Wednesday afternoon she got stuck in to the dusting and sweeping as we divvied up the tasks through the next few days. As I write this she's filling holes in the walls before doing some hard work on the baseboards and floors. My kitchen and bathroom are sparkling, and I've got to do my best to live lightly for the next month before I move down the street and have the final wipe down and painting happen before checkout.
Thursday morning I had my regular call with another Kiwi, and Jacqui and I got pumped about writing a book together - because why not? I love the life I have that gives me a chance to have relationships bridged across continents, and I am also incredibly excited to see Jacqui in person in just a couple of months. Meanwhile, Caylie was such a good sport about me doing emails, writing letters, and flitting about various tasks while taking reading breaks as she labours on in cleaning my house through the past few days. Also I went to tea with my friend Heather because she invited me, and I left Caylie to the cleaning while I enjoyed scones and clotted cream. This season is strange as it's full of me emptying my life, but Heather is one of the people who has been willing to enter into friendship with me knowing I'm on my way out. I've loved the precious conversations I've had with her, and I made her promise to spend more time with me before I leave. After a long day of good work, Caylie suggested we make our way down past the school to where there was less light pollution to see the stars and carry on our talk that started at the picnic table. I'll really miss stargazing and picnic table conversations. There is so much beauty in the life here, and I love the smiles I can share that remind me of the quality time (and good food) I've had with friends.
Friday Caylie watched as the orthopädie employee stopped by to deliver and "install" my mudguard. The kind German man wasn't bothered by my poor language skills, and I think he was actually just stopping by on his way home to Holzen after work. He had the carbon fibre piece and three sizes of stabilisers to match the right one to my opposite mudguard. I think the whole interaction took less than twenty minutes, and I cannot tell you what a relief it was to have that part restored.
Obviously, I'm still praying for a miraculous recovery, and I know so many of you are praying with me. But so many of you also reached out and gave financially knowing my current condition means that RyanAir is likely going to shirk their responsibility and my American insurance will never cover replacement parts. Thank you so much to those who gave so readily and generously. All stress of insurance and airline shortcomings is left behind as I carry on with my best life. I can still hope for the responsible parties to pay up, but I won't be devastated by the loss if they don't.
I still have a few weeks of them left, and actually, there's a thunderstorm in the forecast for tonight, so maybe I'll get to watch one of those and pray about someday dancing in the rain. What a beautiful deep clean that would be for my soul. Realistically with Kandern weather, it might also be completely clear and still stifling hot, so I'll take what I get and praise God even if there's no thunderstorm, and even if I stay in the wheelchair a little while longer - at least I have both mudguards now.