Monday, February 22, 2016

We all connect on our broken edges.

"We all connect on our broken edges." 
I think that was the quote of the week. This week I went on a special-president-approved-split with Sister Leimer. A member in the Frankfurt ward who has been very active in helping us teach our New Converts from Iran- We picked up two other ladies and drove for an hour and a half to a refugee tent camp in Limburg. Once there we hopped out of the car and we walked through the gate into the camp. We were not allowed to go back into their living quarters but there was a big tent where they could come and do German classes and let the children play. They just stay here in the cold/rain-slush-snow and wait to see where they will be assigned next. We walked further in and started setting up some tables to do some German study and also to help the kids water color. 

As soon as I sat down and got the water colors out the little children flocked to me. Most of them come from Afghanistan, Iran and Serbia, there were toddlers and also teenagers. But everyone was so desperate for something to do. It was a tender moment to sit there and watch the children. I would walk around and help them color- point out the colors in German, and also draw things for them to paint. Little girls and boys would come running up to me to show me their little master pieces. All they really wanted was someone to tell them that they were special that they did a good job. I would kneel down and smile and just dote over their paintings. And they would smile and run back to their mothers just glowing. It is amazing how none of us could communicate linguistically but through smiles and lots of miming and a little bit of broken English we were able to communicate. I was struck with the desperate situation of many of these people- and how many of them were still smiling. A young man told me about his journey coming here to Germany. They packed all their belongings into a couple bags and began to walk for many many kilometers, in order to get here 50 people pilled into an inflatable boat as they traveled towards Greece. In the middle of the sea the boat began to loose air- so they had to throw all their belongings overboard. And it almost came to the point where all the women and children were going to gather in the middle of the boat and the men swim along side. 
There was one moment where I was just standing at the edge of the tent watching when I was just overcome with a feeling of love. The tent was SO loud- you could hardly hear yourself think. There were tables set up with german teachers. There were people playing ping pong, there was a long table of children glued to their art projects. Even adults who were sitting there coloring- some of them were so focused on their paper they didnt notice anything else around them. At that moment as I gazed at everyone in the room I just felt Gods love for each of them. And I felt that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life. 

On the car ride home I was talking with sister Leimer about the situation of many refugees here in Germany and also how we can help. We began to talk about charity as the pure love of Christ. How only through Christ can we hope to understand the circumstances of these people- who have a complete different language and culture and upbringing. Because Christ understands them perfectly. We also talked a lot about pain, both physical and emotional and mental and how it helps us to grow and become someone better.

I have been struggling with depression for the past 4 months and that can be like a broken edge, a sharp pain. But it is that pain that helps us connect with other people who are going through the same or similar situations. Sister Leimer said that "We all connect on our broken edges" and if we try to hide what is broken inside of us then we will not be able to help others. Why pretend that we are perfect? There is no point to that. I rejoice in the fact that I am mortal- that I make mistakes, that I can sin, that I have weakness- because that shows me that Gods Plan of Salvation is in effect. That I can change and become someone better. 

Dealing with depression has been very difficult- because I always assumed I could overcome everything- that I don't need to ask anyone for help. But as the scary reality hit- and the confusion began to overwhelm me I swallowed my pride and reached out for help. I talked to my mission president and to many other people. The last three months have been a roller coaster of finding the right balance of rest and medication and therapy. But today looking back I don't want to hide my broken edges anymore because there are people out there who can benefit from knowing that someone else understands at least a little bit of what they are going through.

There were a lot of amazing moments that happened this week. And a couple of amusing moments too. 
Lets start with the amusing ones shall we? so because of the depression I have been having a really hard time sleeping. Like a couple hours a night- and this week in a sleepy coma at like 3 in the morning I thought the only logical thing to do was make toast. In the morning my companion walks into the kitchen and a couple minutes later walks out and asks, "Sister Shurts.... why is the bread in the fridge and the butter in the utensil drawer" .... I just threw my hands up and said. "It was a rough night ok!" haha

anyways this week Liz was baptized. She is an investigator that the elders have been teaching but she and I are basically sisters. She asked me to speak at her baptismal service. She has a really cool story. She met the elders on the street and the first sunday that she came to church she knew that it was right. Actually the very next day she bought a dress to wear for her baptism. 

Also this saturday I found out that someone that I contacted on the street and taught in Heidelberg got baptized!! SO that was really exciting! :) 

Basically I love you all and I can't wait to see you all in 11 DAYS!!!!!!!! GAHAHHHHAHHHHH

Sister Shurts

1 comment:

  1. Cute photos :)
    Maria V.