Wednesday, August 31, 2005

first impressions...again

I just tried to post this and it didn't work, so here's attempt 2.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city! I love the narrow brick streets, the old buildings, and the canals. This morning Tina and I went exploring together with our maps. We were quite proud of ourselves for finding the Shelter Jordan where we will be working (it really isn't hard to find, but we are proud nonetheless) and we also walked past Anne Frank's house. We'll have to visit sometime. It is nice to be meeting so many people, but a lot of them are leaving soon, so that is difficult. They are understaffed at both hostels, so please pray that more volunteers volunteer! I have been told a number of times that I am an answer to prayer. In fact, I will be having a special duty...there are cleaners who are people who live in the hostels for free for a month and they clean the hostels. They are often not Christians, and they may be refugees or homeless people trying to make a new start, or people who do not have enough money yet to live "normally" in Amsterdam. I will be their supervisor, so I make sure that they are doing good work, encourage them, and really get to know them more personally, and in that way build relationships and have more opportunities to share Christ. Pray for me in this, that I will be Christ's hands and feet and mouth! I start my first official shift tonight. Originally I wasn't supposed to start until tomorrow (according to the schedule) so my first shift is an unusual one for it being my first. I will be an "attender" which means that I will go to the Bible study (that is being led by Harmen tonight) and help stimulate conversation with the guests...Before the bible study I will find out what the topic is and pray with Harmen. Perhaps there is more to it of which I am not yet aware? I will find out soon enough. Well, it is a beautiful day so I'm going to enjoy the sun on the patio.

first impressions

Amsterdam is a beautiful city! I love the narrow brick streets and old buildings. It is so full of history! Today Tina and I went exploring together. We grabbed our maps and hit the streets on foot (we have not yet received our bicycles). We found the Shelter Jordan, where we will be working, and then walked past the Anne Frank House. There are lots of cute shops in this area that would be fun to explore sometime. I'm starting my first official shift tonight, which is an unusual shift to start with, but I wasn't scheduled to start until tomorrow and they needed an "attender". So basically what I think I have to do is meet with the person who is giving the Bible study (in this case, Harmen) and find out what the topic is, then we pray together and go to the Bible study. As he leads it I will ask questions and initiate conversation with the guests. At least, I think that's what I will be doing, haha. Well, it is a gorgeous day so I think I will meander out to the patio for a while and enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I have arrived!

Well, I am currently sitting in my new living room (great windows by the way...lovely) on Willemstraat in the Jordaan district in Amsterdam. My dear friend Rala met me at the airport with a gerbera daisy, some cute bracelets (that match hers) and "brother Ben". Oh, and also she gave me some snacks which was wonderful because the caterers for the airline are on strike so I was hungry. We had a nice train ride and then walked from central station to here where I was shown my room and met my roommate who also just arrived (her name is Tina and she's from Germany) and I've been meeting a number of other volunteers also. So that's all for now, praise the Lord that I got here safely without mishap! I'm going to settle in a bit before small group dinner.