Prague and Prayers
Six years ago, I started praying for my best friend to move to Germany. Five years ago, he moved to Germany - literally the week I moved to New Zealand. Then he moved to Prague the month before I moved back to Germany. So my friend Becca and I decided this past summer that we should go visit Givorgy during our fall break from BFA. Last Wednesday, we hopped on a bus out of Basel and realized the posh FlixBus website does not actually accommodate wheelchair users as much as they indicate. Not one to be easily stopped, I pulled myself onto the bus while Becca packed our bag and my wheelchair in the storage. Barely two hours later, we were left off in Freiburg to wait for our significantly delayed connection.
The long night from Germany into the Czech Republic was far from pleasant, and my papers didn't get graded as planned thanks to the unreliable outlets and wifi on the bus, but we eventually disembarked in a new country ready for coffee. It was past ten by the time we found the nearest coffee shop to our bus which unbeknownst to us was incredibly inaccessible. Becca had to help me maneuver over super uneven paving and then step up into the building before we could find a place to sit and wait for Givorgy to find us. He was in language classes for another hour, so I finished off two incredible lattes before he even arrived. It was so great to spend the rest of the day sight seeing with him though.
After almost no sleep for two nights (the previous night was just routine insomnia flaring up, the bus didn't help), I made it up Givorgy's dusty flight of stairs like a champ so we could hang out and eat the best mozzarella sticks of my life. It was seriously an incredible meal, but those mozzarella sticks have changed my life. Also that latte. Prague is my favorite city for food now.
It's not my favorite city for wheeling around though - the entire city is cobblestone. It's as bad as Dresden. I'm still vibrating from three days there. Fortunately, my friends were willing to take it easy, and I didn't spill into the street (though there were a couple close calls). Givorgy knows all the good coffee places (except for that one we accidentally found for him), so he took us to get coffee at one of his regular places on Friday morning before we adventured around to some super fun tourist spots and then returned to his house for more life changing mozzarella sticks.
Saturday, Givorgy promised me good Mexican food, and he did not disappoint. He'd actually managed to find a place he'd never been but that online listed all the allergens in their food. It was perfect for Becca and I who have to be careful with what we eat. Also it was delicious. As in, this was the best Mexican food I've had in Europe. Guys, seriously, Prague is the place to eat.
But also, Prague is not accessible, and I'm so thankful for friends who are patient with me when we find a way to get into the Museum of Communism only to discover the entrance is at the foot of a whole flight of stairs. When the kind entry attendant tells us there's an elevator, I was less than pleased to discover the elevator was up two steps in a side entrance. Are you kidding me? I did a lot of stairs this weekend. And I laughed a lot, and I celebrated spending time with my friends, and I think I'm thankful that God answered my prayers to move Givorgy to Germany, and I don't understand why he couldn't stay in Germany, but I'm especially grateful for the chance to spend time with my best friend after what's been a pretty intense first quarter back at BFA after my sabbatical.
I trust in a God who does things I don't understand, and I'm really blessed that I got to visit a new city, spend time getting to know an incredible new friend who is a phenomenal travelling buddy, and catch up face to face with Givorgy after not seeing him for a year and a half. I would love to have had no leg spasms, no sleep issues, no aches from countless kilometers of cobblestone, but that crappy stuff is all mixed in with the blessings I found this weekend. I still pray for miracles, and I won't stop. I've been praying for the friend of a friend the past couple weeks, and Michele has made this awesome document to pray through the Psalms for Matthew. I've missed some days with busyness and lack of internet, but it's a really beautiful idea to be intentional in asking God for big things for someone.
I take my prayer life seriously, and I pray for my students regularly, but I also ask for prayers here weekly. Sometimes it feels selfish to ask for more prayers than once a week, but I'm going to do it soon. I actually talked to Michele about this, and I'm asking now for my Christmas present from every reader of my blog - I want 40 days of prayer starting December 26 and ending the day before my birthday - then I'll also ask you to pray for me on my birthday, so its 41 days of prayer for me.
That's still a month and a half away from starting, and I'm still going to ask for prayer today. I'm grateful for the gift of spending time with Givorgy, but like I said, I don't know why he had to move to Prague and couldn't do his role here in Germany (I mean, I know legally and all that why, but I don't know why God didn't make it happen). So in a rare moment of unselfishness, I'm going to ask you to pray for Givorgy as he seeks out why God placed him in Prague instead of Kandern. Most of my readers in Oregon and several in Kandern know Givorgy, so it's not hard to add him to your prayers this week. I still also selfishly want prayers for me. My body aches, and my legs are spasming more than normal these days, and I've not been sleeping well for a while; I'd love you to ask God for a miracle in my body again. I've seen several already, and I'm ready for the next one.