Sunday, May 14, 2006

Freiburg: Thursday

Tuesday, Chip was the crazy one with his hike to the tower; Thursday, I was. A German guy I’d talked to sometime during the week (maybe in the Mensa, but I can’t remember) had told me that he sometimes goes to the Münster really early in the morning (around 6am) to pray when there isn’t anyone there. That gave me an idea to follow through with one of those “wouldn’t it be sweet if….?” ideas I’d had earlier in the week. As we were walking around in the Münster on Tuesday, I’d been thinking “wouldn’t it be sweet to have real, passionate worship like we have at Cru or ECC in a building like this?” So 5 or 6 of us made plans to get up really early and head into town at dawn on Thursday with Fack’s guitar (and Fack, I suppose) to try to get into the cathedral and have a worship session.

Come Thursday morning, I head downstairs to meet with the group in the main lobby, only to discover that Anna was the only other person dedicated enough to actually get up (not surprisingly, even Fack overslept). After waiting around for ten or fifteen minutes in hopes that someone else would show up, we decided to give up and I headed back to bed (although Anna stayed up and read for a couple hours; crazy morning person).

After a couple hours of very pleasant sleep, I got up again and we all headed to the “Challenge Breakfast” put on by the STINT team. It was pretty much a standard Crusade recruitment session, including pushes to go on summer project (especially in Freiburg) and to consider going on STINT. It was held at a local bakery/coffee shop and breakfast included a croissant (plain or nut…come on people…WHERE’S THE CHOCOLATE?!) and a coffee or hot tea. I’m already going on project and I’ve heard all the rest of the spiel before, so the majority of what they were talking about didn’t apply to me. I did learn one really good piece of news though. One of the main purposes of having a STINT team is to help get a ministry established and pave the way for International Campus Staff (ICS) to come in and help local student leaders run the ministry from there. By the fall of 2008, there will be no STINT team in Freiburg! They are busy making arrangements for ICS to come in and help Germans like Anzie and Regina lead the ministry while Crusade starts looking for their next location to start a ministry in Germany (Berlin maybe?). So yeah, the elimination of the STINT team shows just how far along the ministry in Freiburg has come and is really good news. The downside is that Pauline was sure that she’d be on STINT in Freiburg in a couple of years, but now it won’t be an option and she has to consider elsewhere (although a bunch of us on the team are pretty sure where she’ll end up).

As soon as we got done with “breakfast,” we headed over to the Mensa for lunch. I paired up with Mindy and we sat down with a girl named Caroline to eat. She was very nice and friendly toward us, but most attempts at a spiritual conversation were deflected pretty quickly. If my memory is correct, she’d grown up going to a catholic school, but didn’t really believe in Christianity. She knew “all about” what protestants believe from what she’d learned in school, but it was pretty clear she didn’t really understand. As an attempt to explain what we believed, Mindy pulled out a German version of the 4 Spiritual Laws booklet we use for witnessing a lot in Crusade and started going through it with her. I think we got as far as Law 2 before Caroline decided she had somewhere better to be and left, but I think we had gotten her interested enough in the English Café earlier in the conversation that she might come to that. So we prayed for her, finished our lunch, and headed outside to meet up with some others from our group.

After going to a local bookstore where Anzie worked to get some souvenirs of Albert Ludwig University and bug Anzie, I joined up with Liz, Jessica, and Aaron from IU to go visit the Medieval Torture Museum. It wasn’t really worth the €3.80 student cost to get in, but it was still, shall we say, interesting (and not a little gross at times). Typically each “device” would be accompanied with a description of what it was and how it was used in German (and about half of them also had English translations) and usually had a simple drawing of it in use. Some highlights...

You can probably guess how this chair worked. If memory serves, I think it was used during the Inquisition to force confessions out of people:

Want to grow an extra few inches?

“She’s a witch!!!” If your first thought upon seeing this WASN’T Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, then, quite frankly, I’m not sure we can still be friends. I kid you not, what you see here is a set of scales used to weigh suspected witches. Apparently the theory was that witches were somehow less dense than the rest of us, so somehow they would figure out how much she should weigh and compare it with her actual weight. If she was too light, I believe the typical result was, as Strong Bad would put it, “burnination.”

Partway down the stairs there was a creepy-looking suit of armor that scared Liz half to death. You can’t tell by this picture, but the lighting was so dim it was almost black in the staircase (safety hazard = very yes), which made the suit look that much creepier because you could barely see it. I used my camera to take a picture of it so I could show her it was ok (she was scared enough to declare that she wasn’t going down the stairs unless one of us went first, and even then she might not) and then used the focus-assist light on the camera to illuminated my way as we went down.

A guillotine:

Aaron trying on the noose for size:

I stopped taking pictures at this point because the items on display were getting grosser and grosser the farther we went in. Jessica and I didn’t even let Liz into the last room because of how disgusting one particular torture device was (and no, I won’t describe it here).

I can’t remember what the significance of this building was (I think it used to be town hall or a marketplace or something like that):

Look a little closer at the statues and you’ll see that they are holding something. Not only did we find the Scales in the torture museum, but this knight next door is holding the “Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!” Yes, I know that the whole cross-on-sphere thing had some sort of symbolic/artistic meaning that I can’t remember, but can you really fault me for thinking of Monty Python at this point?

Then we went to a free art museum near the office. On the ground floor there were some statues, gargoyles, and stained glass windows, but nothing terribly impressive. But then we found the stairs to the upper levels and discovered that it was actually a really nice museum. One of the things we found was a room full of paintings from the same guy that looked like they were photographs from any farther than a few feet away. I didn’t get the name of the artist, but here’s an example:

I also found a couple of paintings by the impressionist Goebel. If you haven’t already figured it out from talking to me, I’m a sucker for impressionists:

Some people napping back at the Office:

Dinner at Bellas:

Aaron from IU:

Shane, Anna, and I:

Ah, the joys of digital camera technology: everyone’s gotta look at their pictures instead of being social at the dinner table:

Look at that smirk:

Anna and Travis on the Strassenbahn:

Inside joke:

For our last night in Freiburg we all got together with the STINT team and Anzie and Regina to do a little praise and worship, favorite memories skits, light debriefing, etc. Here’s Anzie and one of the IU guys leading worship:

Ken from Illinois Catalytic:

The STINT team:

Emily and Liz messing around:

Fack and Anzie having a nice, “civil” discussion wherein Fack was “persuading” Anzie to go on STINT (picture from Chip):

Corndog (Courtney) and AJ, our two Purdue/Freiburg STINTers (picture from Chip):

Regina and Anzie, two German Campus student leaders (picture from Chip):

Illinois Catalytic and the STINT team (picture from Chip):

IU and the STINT team (picture from Chip):

Purdue and the STINT team (picture from Chip’s camera, but not Chip (he’s in the shot)):

We were going to have to leave at 7:30am the next day to catch our train out of town, but I didn’t really want to pack up and go to bed when I could spend more time hanging out with people. So as we were dispersing from that final meeting and taking pictures, I started telling everyone who was interested to get their stuff packed up and then meet in the basement at midnight. I was hoping that attendance would turn out better than Münster Worship that morning, but when I got downstairs I again found myself alone with the ever-reliable Anna wondering if anyone else would come. It actually ended up being really cool because we got to talking about the different ways that God had brought each of us to Freiburg and then as people began to slowly trickle in they’d join the conversation and tell their own stories. After a while, everyone of the 15 or 20 people present who wanted to share a story had, so we split up into a couple of different groups to play card games and people began drifting away to bed.

You can tell Liz and Shauna (head down in the white hoodie) are beginning to get tired:

Brian and Matt from IU playing Euchre:

Matt from IU:

Shawn and Shauna:

Freiburg Table of Contents
Freiburg: Intro and the Team
Freiburg: 1st Friday - 1st Saturday
Freiburg: 1st Sunday - Monday
Freiburg: Tuesday
Freiburg: Wednesday
Freiburg: Thursday
Freiburg: 2nd Friday
Freiburg: 2nd Saturday
Freiburg: 2nd Sunday
Freiburg: The Quote Book


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