Friday, 7 June 2013

Friends, floods, flats... And finally summer.

I am sat out on the balcony on the 10th floor at my friends flat in Neubrandenburg. With the sun in my face I squint to see the endless expanse of fields and forests. Windmills break up the skyline in the distance and too my left a great lake is glistening in the sun. It is hard to imagine now that the glorious summer has arrived that only on Monday I was helping my friends evacuate their homes and their church as the heavy rains threatened to burst the banks of the River. Prague had already been flooded by then and it was only a matter of time before the water would flow down stream and flood Meissen too. The whole town was busy with people preparing sandbags and moving furniture to higher ground. Some people didn't even bother to block their doors when they realised the water was likely to over head hight flooding entire first floor.
I couldn't help but notice though that even with the prospect of so much loss and damage, there was a sense of excitement and togetherness as everyone pulled together to help. By evening as the last sandbags were put in place, crowds of people gathered in doorways beers in hand admiring their work. As I got to my tricycle to peddle home I discovered my front tyre was completely flat and my pump broken so what should have been a 20 min ride turned into a 2 hour walk pulling my trike behind me. Fortunately though the rain had stopped and I even saw the sun for the first time in days as is dipped below the horizon turning the whole sky pink.

I have been in Neubrandenburg now since Tuesday and have been staying with Some friends from a community called 'polilux'. They live here in an estate at the top of the hill that is dominated by 3 high rise flats. The idea is really simple... Doing life together, loving God and loving their neighbours. Many of them are also involved in a community centre at the bottom of the flats too. I have been here making circus shows and running workshops with the children for the last 3 days. It has been such a privilege to share in a small part of what God is doing here, it has been so much fun getting to know some of the children, they have been so gracious with me as I try to explain what to do in very bad German. And this afternoon we watched them make a performance to show off their new skills. 
Tonight we are heading off to the lake to relax, swim, make fire and drink wine, then on Sunday I make my way back south for a quick stop in Berlin and then onto Meissen to get my tricycle ready for the big ride.
I will be sad to leave this place though, there are no platforms or pulpits, no celebrities or big names, just a group of friends loving God and sharing their lives with others... and it's beautiful.

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