I wasn't really keeping track, but the Missions organization I work for was! Today the doorbell rang and a young man handed me a heavy package. (For a change, it wasn't something I ordered on Amazon!) It's a crystal trophy for 25 years of service. Tonight - or rather tomorrow morning - there will also be a livestream of the awards ceremony at 1:00 AM my time. Somehow, I don't think I'll stay up to watch it! There will be an array of honors presented via livestream this year because the annual international conference has been postponed to 2022. It's nice to be honored and remembered. But it will be a quiet, Covid19-normal kind of desk day today. Soli deo Gloria!
This is my first blog post since early in the crisis. How am I, you may ask? I've kept up daily walks, have been eating too much and have done more cooking than I have in ages. I've kept my recently-renovated house clean and have been reading a LOT. I do about 15 minutes of French practice on my phone app every day. I have a 144-day streak going!
I've started back to small-group things at church, like missions prayer, Tuesday evening prayer, and Wednesday home group but I'm not ready for the main service yet. I also just started back to work at the language school two weeks ago, but am commuting by car to avoid public transportation. Yesterday, I "broke out" and went to a little concert of Bach's Coffee Cantata in the old leather factory. It was delightful to hear some live music again. You could tell that the musicians were really enjoying playing in front of an audience again after what has probably been a long break for some of them.
Me at the leather factory. What an amazing oleander!
The semester at the Bible school starts in a couple of weeks, but it looks like my involvement will be minimal. We have no new first year students, only new second year students: the course I usually teach in the fall is for first-years. If I have any students for English, the lessons will be online via Zoom. In the meantime, I'm preparing to record all the lessons for one of my classes so that it can be offered as a completely online course. Learning to work with a teleprompter, and formatting the lessons for online teaching is a challenge!
I am continually grateful that I have it easier than so many others. Since my summer trip to Kenya was cancelled, I've been trying to help out with some of the needs of the people I know there.
Here in Germany, things are progressing, although there have been flare-ups of the virus in recent weeks, mostly due to vacationers returning from outside the country. Testing (free, and voluntary for the most part, but required for returnees from high risk zones) has been implemented at the borders, train stations and airports. The big mask debate rages here as it does in the US, but maybe less vehemently than over there.
I've also been spending a lot of time on my balcony. For the first time in years, I filled up my flower boxes and turned it into a very comfortable, sunny but breezy extension of my apartment. I've even entertained visitors out there a few times in more recent weeks. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by for tea and a chat! I promise I won't talk as much as I just did here in this post, but will listen to how YOU'VE been in these "unprecedented times."
Mine's the one with the gray awning: