Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wall Musings: 5 Videos Taken From The Berlin Wall

Here is Jeff Serio of European Initiative explaining the East Wall Gallery.

Scott Robson explains controversial Berlin Wall picture.

Rolf explains what the dead zone was and Jeff Serio talks about what it is like to be a Christian missionary in East Berlin.

Steve Foss has a brief explanation of what laid on the other side of the Berlin Wall.

Brian vandalizes the Berlin Wall

Saturday, August 7, 2010

America's Got Talent!

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Like Winfried Rudloff!

I met some absolutely amazing people on this trip who completely changed my life forever. I'll tell you about some of the others later. But this film is of one of the greatest men I have ever had the honor of meeting. His name is Winfried Rudloff and he is the pastor of the second largest church in East Berlin named Christus Gemeinde. We visited his church so that he could take us on a tour of the recently discovered and opened to the public prison of the East German secret police named the Stasi. More about that place later because I am actually starting to tear up as I recall visiting that place.

He was a great host and very hospitable. Here he tells us a little bit about what it was like being a Christian in East Berlin before the fall of Communism. I'm sure Stalin is rolling over in his grave as the testimonies of East German Christians are published abroad. And don't forget that Putin himself was a KGB agent in Berlin for many years before his rise to the true head of the Russian Federation.

May I grow up to be just like Winfried Rudloff! May I grow to have his humbleness, his elegance, his faith, and his heart of dedication to his calling. He made me proud to be a Christian. Incidentally, his church is building a kitchen to feed the homeless and disenfranchised ex-Stasi residents of that neighborhood. His church needs $40K. If you have some cash in the bank, this would be a great investment. Contact his church

Einstein and the Burning Books

Trivia question:

What do the following people have in common: communism father Karl Marx, evangelist Dietrich Bonhoeffer, socialism father Friedrich Engels, Nobel Prize winner Max Planck, and genius Albert Einstein. They all attended the university in this short film. Humboldt University was where Albert Einstein was a professor working on relativity and Karl Marx was a student working on communism. The Nazis held a huge book burning in this very square of any book that did not conform to their "family values". And Jeff Serio shows us an amazing prophetic inscription from a bronze plaque in the square from Heinrich Heine.

Eric's Ascent!

OK, so I forgot what this amazing monument symbolizes. And Google is no help. But here is what I DO remember: Eric "Spider Man" Harrison became only the second man ever to scale this monument and stay alive upon descent. This was on Mauerstrasse (wall street) and symbolized the people who had to be relocated quickly and take everything with them. The statue symbolizes their earthly possessions wrapped in blankets and put in a car. Eric will soon be touring with Cirque de Soliel as a high wire acrobat.

If you know the name of this monument please comment.

Christian Vandalism in East Berlin?

This is what's so amazing about grace:

Kim prayed for a public salvation in Boxhagener Park. And she got one, in the form of this man named (oddly enough) Christian. He thought he was too high to get saved because he had smoked a lot of hash. God sobered him up. And he confessed a life of unbelievable sexual depravity. Luckily for us, God's arm is not too short to save, or sober people up. The rest of the story is absolutely amazing.

This is Jork with his famous dog Mr. Spock. Please pray for him. He is a brilliant man who is paying tribute to the god of heroin. May God rescue him!

Behold, the entrance to a High School in East Berlin. The graffiti was so artful, yet so dark. The authors showed their brilliance in painting images of pain, rejection, rage, and hopelessness. Sorry to offend some Christians by the above picture. But if this offends you, you probably won't be able to hang in East Berlin. Not having anyone who will hear, or any way to express what is happening inside emotionally, they turn to spray paint and bricks. Note the picture of the kid with tape over his mouth. Oh how I wish I could talk to the person who painted that special message (f.u.) to their dad. I understand. And I'd love to hold them and pray for them. How can I not share the freedom that was given to me?

This is the "Open" sign for the clandestine brothel across the street from Bree and Kim's Das Garten coffee shop. We prayed. A couple of days later the sign was off and the window closed behind a graffitied steel pull down blind.

Here is a long lost post I found that couldn't get posted in Berlin...which was probably a good thing.

Let’s make a deal, OK?

I have a rare few minutes to sit and type this morning so I’ll spend a portion of doing the things to help assuage the frustration I am feeling right now. And this time I’ll have to open myself up to many people who will read this and don’t know me or my writing style. I am sitting in the middle of a staircase in a very uncomfortable position (Indian style) because this is the only placed I can get a half decent signal. People are walking by and starting up conversations and all I really want is for everyone to leave me alone. How unchristian is that? But at least it’s honest. Being in sales where time management is a key to success, and seeing how poorly I am managing my time here is a real consternation. Alone time is so rare. I am surrounded with fellow Christians who always want to talk about how amazing this place is, or something spectacular they witnessed. And that is good. But my quiet times have been sparse and weak. And my alone moments on a Ubahn platform or a Euro-toilet have been my best bet as to centering my thoughts, receiving spiritual downloads, and praying for the strength and discernment needed to accomplish everything I need to do. So I’ll try to fly through some bullet points.

Here is the deal I’ll make with you as you read this: I’ll spend some time elaborating on all the condensed points I put here this morning. And then this time I’ll follow up on this. The first day here I made a similar deal with God. I asked for the power to do something miraculous. I also asked Him to send me the “worst of the worst”. His only stipulation was that I come back to thank Him like the one healed leper and not as the other nine who just kept going. He showed up by having my paths crossed with Argie and two drunken punks in Alexanderplatz. We spoke to each other of His goodness and power. But I didn’t take the time to fall down and worship. God kept His part of the deal. I didn’t. And I will never make a deal with God that I won’t fulfill my part of the bargain again. Never!

Day 4 points:

Bree and Kim’s world is an amazing experience. These two ladies should tour the world showing people how Christians should live by faith. Their strength and dedication to a cause is such an inspiration to me. I know that the seeds they have planted within me will remain and help me go to the next level spiritually. Solomon said that a threefold cord is not easily broken. And their third cord is my new brother Thilo. We share the experience of having been on the top of the mountain, face to face with God, and yet somehow walked back down to be friends with the world again. Unfortunately, that never works. And this is such a separation plan that we must choose. I think I have helped them a little bit to think offensively about Boxhagenor Park…which now belongs to them. There I met Christian. He is a man who was high on hashish, asked to be delivered, and was set free. We did a good thing that has been noticeably lacking in our approach to outreach: pray over a geographical location BEFORE we get there. As Jayne and I walked around the park we felt like most of the business had been done before arrival. There was an influence of pedophilia around a swimming area where most of the German kids frolic in the water naked. But that is gone now. I was really uncomfortable. Maybe it was the spiritual influence. Maybe it was just some triggers from my own childhood sexual abuse. I don’t know. These three will do amazing things soon. They prayed for public salvations in Boxhagenor Park. And they got two. They prayed for public deliverance. And they got Christian. Praise God for His willingness to let us receive after we merely ask.

We have hundreds of pictures of graffiti in East Berlin. The interesting thing about art is that like the eyes, it is the window to the soul. Some of the paint on a wall or sign post screams to me as I walk by. How I wish I could stop and just heal the person who wrote/drew it. I’ll promise I’ll make a post of nothing but graffiti.

Be sure to ask me about the whorehouse across the street from Bree and Kim’s café and how it was discovered. Also ask about York and Mr. Spock. I am begging God for this one. This would be a story for the ages.

There are strongholds everywhere. We passed two in Bree’s area. And I went in one by Ann Frank’s house that was a little café hidden in a back corner. Jeff Serio told me to go in there and look around. He knew I would get it. I did. Oh My God! I pray that we get to go back there and clean that place out. Probably not though.

Notes on day 5:

Two words: Berlin Wall. I was so overwhelmed when we arrived by the spiritual influence still lingering there that I almost couldn’t take it. There are hundreds of pictures. We’ll post them tonight hopefully. And I’ll post a video that will fully show what manner of place that is.

Passing through Alexanderplatz again we saw some of the punks who were involved in the uprising that got us chased out. One of the kids who doused me with beer and spit on me was there. He had zero reaction to my presence. I wanted to go up and hug him, but I really felt that I needed to keep a least for one more day. These punks are nothing but scared little children looking for a way to regain their power and gain some acceptance. I get that. My whole past was nothing but an attempt to regain the power stolen from me as a child. And that is why we are here; to help those who are really lost and searching unsuccessfully for ways to feel whole again. I love those kids.

I have yet to see and Neo-Nazis or Satanists. I would love to spend some time with them. Maybe God be gracious in that way. Maybe I am not ready yet. Time will tell.

I miss my wife. We see each other all day long every day. But normally I am either running to catch a train, praying for someone, counseling with a fellow Christian, or being a total jerk because something in Berlin triggered me. She walks the streets in wonder and amazement from her first trip to Europe. I walk the streets like someone who has been here many times in my full-blown warrior mode. And that makes a slight incompatibility. She deserves so much more than me. I know God will bless her for her patience.

There is so much more to say but....(censored at the behest of my wife so as not to offend team mates. it was a cranky rant about Americans as travelers. we were all very tired at this point)......More later!