his name was willi.  i was in one paddle boat and he was in another.  both boats started to race back to shore, girls screaming, and boys splashing.   suddenly this boy said to me, “i’m gonna beat you!”  i quickly looked at him, knowing most Konfi’s don’t say things like that.  i decided to show off my english skills (which are quickly declining the longer i’m here) and said to him, “how do you know so good english?” 

willi is originally from california.  he has lived in Germany for the last two years since his father has been stationed here.  he’s an awkward thirteen-year-old;  the kind that doesn’t fit in and the kind that talks so quickly he ends up tripping over every other word.  a few nights later he stood on one side of the honeycomb counter and i stood on the other.  he told my all about his life, all about his parents, and his lack of interest in church.

i’m here in Germany and although i work with kids every week, sometimes the lack of depth in conversation can be frustrating.  i start to wonder how much influence i can have while playing uno and asking them the questions they’ve learned in school (what are your hobbies?  how many brothers and sisters do you have?  do you play sports?  etc.).  but here i was having a real conversation with someone.

i told him about Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him.  he told me he wanted to act better towards his parents and younger brothers and i explained my struggle with trying to be a better person and never being satisfied with myself.  i told him about our need for Jesus.

i don’t know if things changed with willi, but i know that i was able to tell him all that.  and it felt so good.  i walked away thinking that if that’s the only real conversation i have all summer, my time here was not a waste.

we finished the busiest week of our summer here at Bodenseehof.  all the staff went out to dinner and they told us about walter.  everyone knew walter by the end of our English Camp.  he was outgoing, made fun where ever he went, and everyone loved him.  sunday morning, at the end of our camp, there was a decision meeting.  walter went, found Jesus, and found himself running around the room with his hands in the air.  everyone noticed his joy, his smile, the life that was in him afterwards.

yes, this is why i’m here.  i’m humbled that i can be part of this ministry – that God would use me in a setting where He’s changing lives and hearts.  and it is so exciting.

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