I can only start this post out one way… with the mom dance! Yes, words can’t even describe! I know at least Kylee will enjoy it. I captured this stunning performance by one of the older female fans during half time of the U.S. World cup game.
When England scored the first goal 5 minutes into the game I quickly learned that 80% of the people there were rooting for England. Not good… numbers mean that they feel like they have the right to say and do anything they want to us. But that’s okay.. we stood our ground. Toward the end of the first half we had our turn to taunt them with a goal of our own. They gave us a hand gesture that I think was supposed to mean “good job” but I’m not positive.
The game ended in a tie which is probably the best scenario for all parties involved. I’ve never enjoyed watching a soccer game so much in my life. Me and four of the guys walked across town and got a table at this little restaurant right on the edge of the river. We were sitting there for a bit talking then all of the sudden an older man sitting next to our table leaned over and said something because he overheard what we were talking about. His name was Gus. He and his wife asked if they could join our table and continue the conversation. Of course we all said “Sure”! Gus is one of the most interesting men I have ever met. He is one of those guys that know how to talk to people. He can provoke thought and conversation and brings everyone into the conversation. He owns his own company and has done business all over the world. He just turned 60, and celebrated it while he was in China on business. He knew quite a few languages and you could tell he was a very smart business man.
He shared insight after insight about business, people, life, government, politics… we talked to him for 3 hours! He paid for our meals and then gave us his contact information. GET THIS… Gus lives in the Netherlands! We are going to be in the Netherlands for 3 weeks and he invited us all back to his house for a home cooked meal while we’re there! Like pop’s always said, “If it’s free it’s me!” But really I’m very excited to sit down and pick his brain again. God has blessed me with wild opportunities like this on our trip! He is good. Praise the Lord.
We left Czech and headed onto Austria. On the way to Austria we stopped at a former Nazi Concentration Camp. I’ve read about them and even saw a few images of them on the History Channel, but nothing compares or prepares you for actually visiting one. I don’t know how much detail I can go into on this blog about what I saw, one because I’m still processing it, and two because I don’t know exactly how to describe what I felt. This was real life. People really suffered and died. How one human can possibly treat another human being like that and feel okay about it is beyond my grasp. I walked into the crematory, where they burned the bodies, and almost couldn’t hold it together. Here’s a picture of one of the ovens they used to burn the bodies.
I just imagined them putting body after body in there and burning them one after another. Also I walked up to the firing wall and touched it with my hand. I didn’t want to, but my mind began to think about all the blood being splattered on the wall when the Jew’s would line up to be murdered cold blooded. Then there is the gas chamber that was disguised as a shower room where people would walk in and suffocate to death. I still don’t know what to think about it.. I pray to God that something like that never happens again.
On another note we’ve made it to Austria! We finally are getting into the mountainous region. We are in a town that is completely surrounded by mountains. It is absolutely beautiful. Our hotel is right at the bottom of one mountain and I was lucky enough to get a window that faces it. Waking up to a view of fog rolling off of the mountains isn’t too bad of a life eh?!
This week isn’t too bad at all. We have two classes in the morning and the afternoons pretty much free. I did laundry today… I don’t want to talk about it. At least it’s done. I forgot to mention we’re staying at the Olympic facilities here in Austria! Yes, that means we have access to all kinds of sports arenas. There is a pretty sweet part of the mountain that they do the ski jumping at too that is lit up at night. I’m fairly impressed with the facilities to say the least.
Tonight we played soccer down on one of the fields in the outdoor complex. It was one of those field turf facilities. It’s pretty nice. Me and some of our IBI group went down there and played with a few locals. It was actually really fun. I think I’ve found my spot right back there at goalie. Yup, I’ve finally found my calling. All this World Cup action has made me a dreamer, one day; I will play in an old man’s soccer league. One day. Does it really get any better than playing soccer on a field that has the Alps all around? It’s absolutely beautiful everywhere I go outside I can’t stop looking around. I think I was born to live in the mountains! But then I couldn’t grow corn… hmmm my hearts being pulled.
Tomorrow after class we’re heading to the mountain lake to go swimming. It should be pretty terrible, I mean there’s no reason to really envy me.. I’m in Austria swimming in some lake in the middle of the Alps. Dang it.
By the way I’m in the middle of Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love. If you don’t have a book you are reading right now, pick it up and read it. Right now. That book calls you out and doesn’t let you settle for less. It makes you look inside yourself and ask yourself the deeper questions. Yes, I think most of us Christians have enough church knowledge to give a good answer to any question but when it’s just you and God, it gets real. There’s no churchy answer that gets us by, he sees our heart. I just want everyone to know and feel in their heart God’s love. How could you not want to give your life for that? Is there anything sweeter?
Love and miss you all. Namaste.