Sunday, January 30, 2011

Adjusting to Krakow

I am officially moved to Krakow!!!!! A week ago I returned to Krakow (after a week trip back to Poznan). My roommate (another volunteer) came back with me. We spent the week settling into our new apartment and a new city. We experienced many different adjustments. Even though I am in the same country and surrounded by the same language, I am struggling with figuring out where everything is located.

This was the week of IKEA!!! I lost count of how many different IKEA items I put together this week. I built furniture for 2 different apartments! My roommate and I made 2 different trips to IKEA on the tram and carried back bags of items and even shelving! It was not the easiest thing to do because we had to take 1 bus and 2 different trams to get home. But we conquered it! finding IKEA for the first time was a difficult task. I looked up the directions on the internet and found out the route we needed to take. However, what I found was by far not the easiest way. I then let my memory kick in and tried to walk us there. We ended up walking an hour in a huge circle! Finally an overpass and a Harley Davidson sign showed me the way to go! And we found IKEA the first time! It took us a couple hours, but hey, we ended up in the right spot! We also carried a microwave, laundry rack, and groceries for 3 different places on a tram home (in one trip). I learned a lot about how much one person can carry on a crowded tram! It was a week of trying to get our apartment to a nice standard.

Since I am unable to do a lot of the work needed to be done in the shop, and we don't have the money we need to finish the work, I got to do some exploring this week. I spent time playing tourist and visiting different sites in the city. I was shown where all the students hang-out and the best restaurants and coffee places. Got a good look at our competition! It was a nice week to just settle in and enjoy my new city. A great reminder of how beautiful Krakow is!

Today I finally received all of my stuff from Poznan. I am now officially moved to Krakow!

Worship Service - 22.01.2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Beginnings

I have been in Krakow for almost a week now. It has been an odd experience for me. In some ways I feel like I have moved to another country. I was so use to the way Poznan worked- the people, the shop, the tram system, the weather. Krakow is so different. I feel like I am starting all over again. The atmosphere and personalities of the people I am around are so different. It really is a new beginning for me.

I moved into an apartment above the shop. It is a really nice place, however it is only about half way done. I will be living there with another volunteer who is not here yet. We still need our wall put in and some more furniture. When that arrives I will be able to unpack my suitcases and then it will feel more like home.

The shop is slowly coming along. I believe that the Krakow shop is the most beautiful of all 3 Sweet Surrenders. But, maybe I am bias towards the shop I am working in. I am now feeling like I did during my first few months in Poland. I am back to painting and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. Construction creates a lot of dust! I am also finding myself in not so safe positions on ladders again. At least this time it is holding a paint brush and not holding plates! The shop is slowly coming together. Hopefully we will be open by mid-February. That would be really nice!

We had our first church service in the shop last Sunday. It was good. There were the 3 families we have been counting on plus 1 visitor! I have taken some time to travel out and about the city. Mostly all of my energy is spent on just finding where places are. I did have dinner with a friend of a friend. She was great! I enjoyed getting to know her and am excited to have a friend already. I have also been invited to spend some time with the different families in the church. It has been great getting to know them and here where there heart is for the church and shop in Krakow!

It has been a slow and at times very lonely week for me. But, I know I am where God wants me. And I know God has amazing plans for Krakow. I am excited to see it happen!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Closing Chapter

This week was a hard week. I have been living in uncertainty for months. There has been a certainty that I would be moving for months, but never a set date, a set job, a set transition time. It all came to a head and then explosion this week. It was decided, I was moving and I was training someone to take my place in Poznan. However that someone I was training changed 3 times this week. Which meant extra hours in the kitchen trying to pass my knowledge on as quickly as possible. It also meant not having time for any “lasts” in Poznan. And not having any time to say “good-bye”. I started the week overly exhausted and the emotional stress of moving just sent me into a snowball of emotional instability. Thursday I was able to take a few hours and meet with friend. An, unexpected friend, that changed my whole perspective in that time. Sometimes I just need a reminder that I know God has called me to do this, so I just have to do it, whether I feel like I am strong enough to do it or not. And so now I am facing a new challenge, a new adventure. Poznan became home. People in Poznan became my family. I faced so many new challenges these past months in Poznan. I learned so much about my self and was challenged to stand strong and succeed beyond what I could have ever thought I would do. And so leaving Poznan feels like I am leaving home again. I think Poznan and the friends I worked with will always be my Polish home. Because of that and what I ended up doing in the shop it makes it hard on me not to worry, not to try to still feel responsible for things. I was responsible for so much. I think Ev’s advice to me says it best “You have to go and just let Poznan Sweet Surrender do what it is going to do.” I gave all I could to the shop and ministry and now God has called me to give all I can to a new shop. So, with a sad heart I say goodbye to Poznan. God has closed the Poznan chapter in my life for now, and I am ready to begin the Krakow chapter!

Monday, January 3, 2011


I got to go to Holland for NYC NEF (Nazarene Youth Conference Northern European Field). It was an interesting experience. The ideas that I had about NYC have been influenced by my experience of the event in the States. Europe is not the same. I really enjoyed the worship every night and being surrounded by a group of young Christians. It was like being a Youth Pastor again. Sometimes, I really miss the traditional church things. This trip helped me to experience them again.
We got stuck waiting at bus stop in the middle of a random neighborhood, after traveling over 12 hours....
Our friend taught a gospel choir worship there. I actually joined it! And did ok!
We played lots and lots of games! Just enjoyed being with each other!
We got to see some traditional Dutch stuff!!!
We experienced coffee that was not up to Sweet Surrender's standard... or even Roto-Rooter crud standard!
We literally jumped into the new year! We joined in the Danish tradition!

We got to play with sparklers!!!!
We had to wait at the same bus stop to get home!!!
We took a detour on the way home and saw AMSTERDAM- for a half hour!
We enjoyed the canal's in Amsterdam!

It was a fun trip!!!!