Germany 2016

Kontaktmission holds an annual conference in Germany. Last year we were not able to go because of our visa issues and it was getting a little late for me to fly as I was pregnant with Silas. This year, since we have our visas, we were able to go!

We went a couple of days early to visit our good friends Sascha and Eva. Sascha's great aunt has an apartment that she lets missionaries stay in for free. We had relaxing breakfasts on our own and then would meet up with Sascha and Eva later on. We visited their apartment and had lunch, we went to a castle, went to a playground zipline, had dinner at Sascha's parent's house and went to a farm. It was so much fun to catch up with them.

Silas greeting us in the morning, Stephen & the boys recording a song, Silas pulling himself up on furniture, Elisha and Eva looking for rocks, all of us together, and the butterfly zipline. 
On Sunday we went to Kontaktmission's Missions conference where a lot of the missionaries and supporters of Kontaktmission Germany come for a full day. This year the theme was "foreign" and so Stephen spoke about how even though they speak the same language here in Ireland, some things are still foreign to us.

After that full day we went on to the Kontaktmission Mitarbeitertagung (team retreat) where we spent the rest of our time. I was afraid that I would not be able to attend a lot of the classes as I would be taking care of the two boys, but the Kontaktmission USA office came to my rescue and not only took mine, but a few other children as well so that missionary parents could attend classes. It was great for me and Elisha was much happier as well. The retreat has classes, but it is also such a nice time to catch up with people and to make new friends and contacts. We were so glad to go as we missed it so much last year.

Stephen speaking at the conference with a translator, everyone worshiping at the retreat, Stephen leading music, singing more songs, Elisha with his new friends, Friends who also worked in Drogheda at one time (photo cred. Anna Friesen)
On Thursday we made the long trek back to Ireland. Our first train was in the afternoon, but there was no one to drop us there at that time. So, we ended up at the Stuttgart train station at 10 am! Luckily, there are lockers you can rent to put your bags in, so we did that and explored the city a little. It was also nice that Luke and Tiffanie Swain were traveling with us, so we got to know them better as well.
Silas falling asleep in the buggy, Team Ireland (photo cred. Tiffanie Swain), Egyptian Goose, Pig shaped salami (photo cred. Tiffanie Swain), rocking horses in Stuttgart, a knight of old.
It was a great trip, but by the end of it, I was definitely ready to be back home. The boys did pretty well too, but since we were not in their normal routines, we had a few more meltdowns than usual. I think they were ready to be home as well.