Sunday, March 29, 2009


So, what's this? Two updates in less than one week? Well, I felt like dedicating an entire blog to my mom and sister's visit before posting this next one. The weekend of 20th and 21st was quite an interesting one. It was full of encouragement, more than anything, which just so happens to be what my team and I needed, more than anything. Let me see if I can fill you in with the abridged version without leaving out any important details. You can also check out my teammate's blog here if I've left out anything.

That weekend, we had a group of career missionaries come and visit us in Dresden. To see others who are in Europe serving Christ was, alone, an amazing thing. That wasn't the only reason I was encouraged by them. They came to Dresden to help us look at different methods of prayer walking and walked around the city in small groups with all of us. Each of the Hands-On girls was in a group with two older folks and prayer walked with them. They encouraged us by talking about the amazing things they saw going on in Dresden. I know that was a great thing for our supervisors to hear. I just had a full week of encouragement that week! Can I say encouragement enough?? Encouragement!

On top of all that encouragement, we were able to see two men come to Christ. One guy was a Neo-Nazi who has a major alcohol addiction. He is slowly relying on it less and less, but he still needs. His witness will be an amazing story to tell. The other guy's name is Benjamin, and he has his own struggles. Just pray for both of these men as attacks from the enemy will be really strong these next few weeks. That's all for now! Hopefully I'll be able to tell a little about Berlin in another post this week.

German word:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Smith Tidings

This week was a blessing for me. My mom and sister flew all the way over to Dresden to come visit me. Well, my mom came solely to visit me, while Cailtyn came to see me… as well as Dresden and Prague. :) Let’s be honest, that’s part of the reason why most people come visit friends in Western Europe, and I’m okay with that. I was able to show them both around the major highlights of Dresden with plenty of photo opportunities. They were able to meet my teammates as well as see where we live and where most of our ministry takes place.

It was great to have their encouragement and their love poured into me. Being away from your family and friends is never easy, so their visit helped fill my cup with strength and love. There's something about talking to people face-to-face instead of computer-to-computer or phone-to-phone, ya know? We humans are relational people, and physical presence is a must for those relationships to stay at full potential. If you don’t agree, that’s just fine, but this has proven true in every relationship in my life and was reconfirmed last week. Thank you mom and Caitlyn for being such a blessing in my life and showing how much you love me by flying across the world to see me!

In other news, my teammates and I will be traveling with our supervisor to Berlin this weekend! We have plans to see such sights as Checkpoint Charlie and remnants of the Wall (as well as many others). I’m so fortunate to see such amazing pieces of history. Plenty of pictures and stories to come, I’m sure!

German Word(s):

Saturday, March 14, 2009


We met with two different people to help with their English this week. The first person was the guy I mentioned in the previous blog (Pyro). All four of us met with him, and our conversation with him was still strained. We know he doesn't believe in God, but he still feels very uncomfortable talking about religion in general. We are supposed to meet with him again, so we are praying that his heart will be more open to talking about God instead of closing the subject down as soon as it's brought up. The other person we met with was a girl named Caroline, and she is as cute as a button!! She is hopefully moving to the U.S. to get her Ph.D. in linguistics, so she wanted to know anything and everything about the U.S. We couldn't stop talking with her. Jessica, Jennifer, and I gave a very good review of the U.S. :) She is now more excited than ever to head to America! We do not know if she is a believer or not, but we have a good feeling about continually meeting with her.

The team had a very cultural night this past Thursday. The journeygirl here invited us over for dinner with some of her classmates and their friends. There were 12 people total, with 8 countries represented. It was quite a learning experience for us--especially the Americans since we come from such a large country where cross-cultural experiences aren't as common as they are for Europeans. In case you were wondering, the countries represented were Canada, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Germany, France, Scotland, and the U.S. My favorite part was comparing the U.K. with the U.S. I really need to visit there one day!

Anyways, things are picking up speed here. We now have relationships started on top of our prayer walking. We have a trip planned to Berlin on March 28. We're seeing a few more blue skies and the weather is warming up. And the most exciting thing for me currently is: my mom and sister will be here in Dresden tomorrow!!!!

German phrase:
der Wolkenkratzer - skyscraper (literally, the cloud scratcher)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Watch out for that.... drawing!


We went out around Neustadt again this Friday. We ran into some of the same people we saw last time we went out and about on a Friday night. One guy, named Pyro, began talking to us because, as always, he wanted to practice his English. Isn't it amazing how God is using our lack of knowing the language to reach out to people? We asked if we could pray for him, and he said he didn't want us to do that, so we didn't do it in front of him. We were able to give him our email addresses and he has already contacted us all. The best news of all is about one girl named Lila (she is the one we met last time we went out). Last time we talked to her, she was very adamant that we not pray for her or talk about God with her. She just wanted to practice her English. This time, she was an open book. She told us some of terrible things that have happened to her in the past and her struggles with believing that there is a God. We were did our best to answer her questions, and when we were finished, we all prayed over her with her there this time. We also exchanged email addresses with her, and hopefully will begin to practice English with her. Isn't that great news? We've been seeking out relationships, and God has provided. Pray for Pyro and Lila, please. 

On a funnier note, I have an embarrassing story. We went to an art gallery opening at a local church here. Two of my teammates and I arrived right when it started, so we were looking to see if our supervisor had already arrived. We spotted him, and in my rush to go sit down (people were about to speak), I tripped over a set of drawings on the floor. Seriously. The artist had strategically placed several drawings on the floor (see picture below) and in my rush, I didn't even look down. Fortunately, I only stepped on 2 of them and nothing was broken... except my pride. It, at least, gave me something to think about while I listened to a woman speak German for 30 minutes straight.

Thank you, as always, for your continued prayer. The people here in Dresden need it more than ever, as well as my team and I!

German word:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This is not Mississippi

So, I haven't much to tell you, minus the fact that my mom and sister are for sure coming to visit me! They've made reservations at a local hotel, received their FIXED passports, and purchased airplane tickets. It is really happening, and I'm counting down the days! I want to update my blog, so I have been keeping a running list of differences between here and home. Some of these differences are European, some German, and some are just local to Dresden. There are plenty more to come.

1. They like to eat standing up at some places, like the mall or McDonalds.
2. You cannot leave your key in the door on the inside and expect to be able to open from the outside. Not cool.
3. They’re a lot more affectionate.
4. They like extreme colors in their hair.
5. Germans recycle everything. Including plastic bottles with soft drinks. And plastic bags for bread.
7. Shoes are taken off at the front door and replaced with slippers.
8. They repeat outfits… a lot.
9. Toilets do not have handles.
10. Salsa = suck
11. Their tops to plastic bottles are really strange. Let me see if I can explain this: Instead of having two pieces break apart when the seal is broken, the lower half piece just splits apart from itself in two places, but stays connected to the top half of the top. VERY annoying.
12. They don’t commonly sell antiperspirant. Only deodorant.
13. Their light switches aren’t like ours. They’re similar to clickers.
14. They don’t give refills.
15. They don’t use ice in their drinks.
16. Their cars are tiny. Like a baby.
17. They don’t sell very spicy things.
18. They don’t like cinnamon candy.
19. You have to pay for bags for groceries and convenient stores.
20. They don’t use trashcans at fast food restaurants. Instead, they have places for you to set your tray.
21. They don’t tip. If they do, it’s very little.
22. They listen to American music everywhere.
23. They sell their milk and juice in VERY small cartons.

That's all for now. Stay tuned.

German word:
der Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung--speed limit

Shoes to Slippers

Small Cartons

No handles for toilets

Crazy bottle top

Light "switch"

All the trash to be recylced