Saturday, March 29, 2008

Campus Meets Berlin

March Madness jumped to Europe last week when 50 German students gathered in Berlin to share their faith with other students. This kind of gathering had not happened in the last 15 years with our ministry. 20 students from Univ of Indiana and Purdue joined them, along with the Berlin Stint team. They talked to students at Humboldt University, Technical University, and Free University.

At one university, 8 German students did a creative outreach where they put 50"Soularium" cards on the floor of a lobby and interacted with those who stopped by about what they meant. (These pictures are designed to grab curiousity and connect with someone who might not typically respond to a conversation about the Bible.)

A huge answer to prayer was the transit strike (airlines, buses, trains, oxcarts, everything) was settled the day that everyone traveled to Berlin.

One of the leaders of the Western Europe ministry called the "Campus Meets Berlin" gathering historic. So much prayer and work have preceeded this moment by German leaders and students, plus Americans and other Europeans, who have a heart for spiritual awakening throughout Europe.

Its a great day for all of us to celebrate. Count me in. "Ich bin ein Berliner".
(And no jelly doughnut comments from the peanut gallery. Look it up. That whole slam on Kennedy's German grammar being wrong is an urban legend...according to Wikipedia)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March Madness

There's a different version of March Madness than the buzzer beatin, bracketology lovin, Duke hatin festival that lasts three weeks - of which 1 week is in April. It occurs all over the world, with college students using their Spring Break to travel the world and bring the love and grace of Jesus to other students. So, I'll take the next few entries to tell the story of some of these world rompin, Jesus lovin students who've set out around the world to experience their own March Madness.

Costa Rica STINT team shared this -
"On Friday a group of staff and students from Idaho arrived. They were able to meet so many new students on campus. We are now in the process of following up about 40 students they met that week. In fact, we have one new brother in Christ!

We also spent one day at an orphanage in Cartago, a neighboring town. That experience affected all of us deeply. We are hoping to have continued contact with the orphanage in the future...taking supplies to them and playing with the kids."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"The pain is unbearable"

Yes, this is a quote I read this morning. But what was it about?
-A father losing his child to cancer?
-Genocide in Sudan, perhaps?
-An innocent life lost in some kind of random violence?
If these or similar thoughts race through your mind, you would be wrong.

It was freshman basketball player Jai Lucas from Univ. of Florida, explaining how hard it is to not make the NCAA tournament after being NCAA champs the 2 previous years. And if that wasn't hard enough, the Coach actually has locked them out of their $10 million practice court .
Ouch. That's right, the coach decided they needed some old fashioned discipline. Seems the team doesn't want to win badly enough; takes their status as 2 time national champions a little too much for granted. So the coach was forced to take draconian measures. Back to practicing in the little old dusty gym that the fraternities play their intramural games in. No more big screen TV in your own private lounge. And no wearing the school colors around campus, including "gator" logos. They are simply not worthy of all that, until they figure out had to play harder and win more.

Oh the pain. The embarrasment. The shame and humiliation of it all. It must really be hard on these guys right now. Next thing you know, they'll have to go to class too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Scraps from the kitchen table..

Nothing like a beautiful Saturday morning to get back on the Global Road again.

It is amazing to see the student involvement with the needs of the world. Every time I look up, students are doing something to help others. Here are three examples from my own tribe, which I happen to be quite proud of -

I went to Dad's weekend at Megan's sorority, and they were doing "Race to Live". It's the biggest philanthropy on campus, 700 runners, all put together by a bunch of college girls. Raised thousands for breast cancer research. Nice job, ZETA's. Quite impressive.

Matt is leaving today for New Orleans during Spring Break, with about 100 college kids, to join the ongoing rebuilding efforts there.

Matt's fiance (yes, managed to work that in) Laura leaves today for a medical mission trip to South America for her Spring Break.

Now, dial back to when I was a college student student (whoa, too far there, I was not born during the depression). None of this kind of stuff was being done, or very little, or I was just not paying attention. What is happening is totally cool. Students want to make a difference right now.

A few other morsels to get you through the weekend. In case you've been wondering, I will not be running for President. Since Michael Bloomberg made his big announcement to clear that all up for his 5 friends, I thought I should do the same.

Also, like Barack, I will not be accepting any VP role with Hillary. I've worked too hard and long to get where I am (exactly where is that?) just to help her win Missouri, Indiana, and perhpas the whole South - only to break ties of boring Senate votes when in office. Just not worth it.

I have a new coffee streak going. Since Dec. 10, we've been on another free coffee binge at the Bubalo household. Props to my friend from South America who I'll just code name "Carlos" for getting me started with the bean grown in his own neighborhood, Tres Rios in Costa Rica. Since then, the cupboards have been full. I may start doing coffee reviews sson.