Friday, July 10, 2009

First full day in Germany

(Pictures above)
The mound has inscribed on it the number of people buried there. The least we saw was 1000 and the most was 5000. The sign above says Lutheran Church Mission. It is the headquarters of Missions for the German Independent Lutheran church.

As the sun rose this morning it was the beginning of a day which would include a great german breakfast, a visit to a concentration camp nearby, shopping and getting money, and the beginning of Missionsfest weekend in the village of Bleckmar, north of Hanover.

The weather has been very cool for those of us from Arizona, at times a welcome reprieve from the fiery furnace of the Valley of the Sun. It rained off and on and there was a cold and at time chilling wind. It really set the mood for our visit to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Even though most of the buildings had been demolished or had fallen time from age, our tour of the concentration camp was a brutal reminder of the cruelty of the human race. The mound you see is only one of several that hold the remains of thousands of people who were forced to go to the concentration camp.

It certainly is not the Germany of today, and the Germans themselves are still a little shameful of that moment in history. We can only pray that evil of this magnitude will never happen.

We had such a wonderful evening with people of the missionsfest organization. Let by Markus Nietzke, who is the head of missions for the Germany Lutheran Church, this annual event has tuned ino a time of connecting area congregations and teaching young people the importance of missions.

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