Hey gang! I know that Pat wrote you last night, but thought I'd throw in a few things of my own. One last comment about the marathon train ride from Grenoble, France to Denmark -- that is, other than "I'm not gonna try that again." My sleeping space (and I use that term incorrectly) was roughly the size of a car's glove compartment. I felt like Dracula. Only awake. Buried alive. Walked the train corridors a lot that night until they started dropping off train cars here and there, then I decided I should stay put. Okay, enough about that. Oh, except to say a big public "Merci!" to the woman at the train station in Grenoble who spent nearly half an hour with me working out a possible route to get us to Denmark in time.
As you'll recall, we're in Denmark staying with the family of Tenna, who was a foreign exchange student to Norwalk, Iowa last year. Her family is letting us all stay here and feeding us like kings and folding our laundry when we aren't looking and driving us all over town. Did I mention that Pat and I had only even met Tenna once? (She and Joe are friends.) Wow. Incredible hospitality that Tenna's mom Pia describes as "only the natural thing to do".
Today we went to Tenna's school. She's in her first year of college, but it's a single group of students with rotating teachers, sort of like a high school. Tenna had arranged some time ago for us to visit and even talk to the class. We arrived there just in time for the religion class this afternoon. The teacher was totally surprised to see us because she'd forgotten we were coming. So she said she would teach her lesson, then let us tell about our religion. She then proceeded to get up and talk about denominations and secularism and Karl Marx and Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons and Presbyterians (sorry, don't know why that was in there; it's just what she was writing on the board). Then she turned it over to us to tell about our "type" of Christianity. Wow. Talk about a hole big enough to drive a truck through.
So, Joe got up and explained about religion (and no religion) as opposed to what we believe, namely Jesus. The questions were flying and the conversation lively but always respectful in all directions. The students just really wanted to know what we believed, and weren't afraid to voice their differences of opinion. Even the teacher was asking questions (she had trouble grasping that we don't belong to a denomination). It was a great time! Joe did the presenting while we sat in back and prayed. Afterward, the teacher and students were genuinely thankful for Joe's lesson. Very cool.
Thanks for the continued prayers. Today's prayer request: We mailed the art we were carrying around with us on to Dusseldorf today. It was just getting to be too much of a hindrance to try to get it on and off trains, metros, etc. So, pray it gets to Dusseldorf in time for the event this weekend. It's supposed to be no problem, but you know...