Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring has Sprung...

Spring has arrived!!! At least I hope it has. Last night was our time change. This is always a little bummer for me, and not for the reason you may think. I have never understood those who struggle with only an hour difference with the time change. It's only an hour... but I guess only those who understand my sleeping patterns (or my lack of sleeping) would understand why 1 hour doesn't throw me off. The reason I don't like time change is that the US time and European time changes do not fall on the same night. So, that means for a week or two I am one hour closer to my family, which seems to make a huge difference in the ability to catch my nieces and nephews on skype, before I am passing out for the night. But, time change has sprung us forward and I am enjoying the last few rays of sunlight at 7:30pm. It's amazing how a little more sun can change the perspective and energy level. I have also started to train for the 10k I will be running while I am home. This week was a challenge getting back to a running plan, but it's the good kind of challenge when you feel a relief and freedom in running again.

What does spring mean for the cafe?? It means we pull out all of the outside furniture and sneak outside for breaks in the sunshine. So far this month has proven that each week is inconsistent. It seems that whenever we think that we have figured out a pattern with our customers, it changes. We must accept the inconsistency. But, we have had more people in the evenings, there is something about having sun that keeps people out in the evenings. This is a good thing for us! :) We have been making a lot of contacts with families in the evenings. We have also been bonding with our volunteers and as a team. The atmosphere in the cafe has lightened and even when we are really busy their is still an attitude of joy and fun and friendship. And this attitude, I think, has spread to our customers as well. The mother groups have become so comfortable with us and the cafe that they almost treat it as their own living room. They lounge on the couches and babies are crawling everywhere. Obviously this is both good and bad. But, I think it proves the need for a place like ours, a place where people can feel at home, welcomed, and comfortable. We also have a number of our volunteers who find this like home as well. It has often become a place where we hang-out and enjoy being together in fellowship in the evenings. Ahhh Spring... everyone happy and feeling the freedom from the dark winter.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Time Flies.......

Time flies when you are....... having fun? doing ministry? extra busy?
Whatever the reason, time flies by. Today I actually opened up my blog and found that it has been 6 months since I have written, six months!!!! Where in the world did fall and winter in Denmark go? It seems to have zoomed by like that summer vacation does for a child. Today is spring in Copenhagen, the air is fresh, the sun is nice and the long over due blue sky is showing. In the midst of winter I was not seeing this time fly, but everyone knows my strong dislike for cold, snow, and ice. Luckily we did not have too much of that this year. But, now it is spring and the sun and warmth is returning (if only for a day). So, what has been happening in my life here in Denmark?? So much can happen in 6 months.

I spent this weekend in Oslo, Norway at our Portuguese speaking church there. We had our Scandinavian District Assembly. I was privileged to be the representative from Sweet Surrender. With this privilege comes the task of reporting to the district what has happened this year. And when I stood in front of all the important people all the facts of the business and events flew out the window and the stories of the people came out. The different people that we have met through the last year, the stories of how their lives have been changed by walking through the doors of Sweet Surrender and how our lives are changed because we have been able to minister to them. Because isn't that the point?? I could write or talk for a long time about all the hours we work, all our food, drinks, and how much money we make. I can list the different project groups we have started, the different places our income has supported, but in the long run none of that matters, the people matter. And so what have I been doing the past  months (besides obviously not updating my blog). I have been standing behind a bar making coffee, in a kitchen helping make food, cleaning, helping plan/throw parties/vents, helping organize a church, teaching, preaching, counseling, but most importantly- getting to know people and trying to affect their lives. So, when I reported to the district I shared about the neighbors who I have talked to about Christ and the church. I talked about the people who walk in off the street and become volunteers because of the community they feel in the cafe. And that is why we have built Sweet Surrender in Copenhagen, not to be another non-profit cafe, not just to be a place where mother groups can relax and be free (which are all wonderful things). But, we built it to be a place where people meet Christ, where people come face to face with real love and acceptance. The team has worked really hard to create that place in the last year. I think we finally have arrived, our customers, neighbors, and volunteers come back because they know we are different and they want that. Soon, they will realize it is really Christ they want and we are here to give them that!