My birthday is a good opportunity to look back on this year. What a rollercoaster this last year was!
April: Information that the dry dock costs would be 3 times higher !!! than expected. Lots of friends helped with loans and donations – and miraculously the dramatic bill was able to be paid!
June/July: Mediation to solve conflicts with the ship builder I worked with and then – as differences and different expectations could not be resolved – the sad ending of our working relationship. Still sad – without him I would probably never have dared to start the project.
August: Moving the ship from Hamburg to Berlin – what a journey! The new birth of Bernd number 2 who entrusted his life to Jesus. Continuing renovation on the ship with a steady stream of friends helping me to move things forward and assisting the professionals. Challenging interpersonal relationship with the Berlin dry dock owner. Phew.
August/December: Professional training in a well-founded technique to reach goals and an extremely good trauma-relief therapy method. I’m very happy that I could increase my skills and am more equipped to handle tough stuff.
November: Bernd number 1 – a friend who helped me a lot with the ship and gave me lots of good advice – suffered a severe stroke and is still recovering. Last minute new windows for the ship – what a miracle that I could find the right professionals!
December: Discovering rust in places that should have been renovated. What a frustration!
January: Winter renovations – tough work with tough guys – my cousin and a great team from Portugal. Starting to coach a businessman in the Stuttgart area.
Dec – March: Writing 5 new titles in 5 months – quite a lot.
March: Starting to coach a man who wants to lose 40 kilograms of weight.
April: A stupid law suit – someone suing me for something I did not even do – forgetting to mention a photographer on a picture we published. We had mentioned her, she had just not looked properly. A little break at the baltic sea for gaining new strength.
Hopes for the next year of my life:
– Finishing the ship – praying for more helpers and finances to complete the project. Thankful for everyone who is helping – may it be small or big!
– Staying in peace – letting my soul be stilled by God.
A sentence that Joshua Lupbema, one of the chairmen at Gemeinsam für Berlin at the Transforum, said really moved me. The gist was this:
Peter bragged about how much he loved Jesus. Yet, when it came down to it, he betrayed Him.
John bragged about how much Jesus loved him. John remained by Jesus” side until His death on the cross.
You can”t construct a theology out of this, but what I became aware of was that it”s not our great or even weak love for Jesus that carries us… rather it”s the awareness of His deep love for us.
On this theme: the inspirational booklet, The Father”s Love, that personally formulates the loving affirmation of God, is going into its fourth print today. I can warmly recommend it for anyone who would like to be touched more deeply by God”s love.
And I am glad and thankful that, with this inspirational booklet, we can contribute a little bit to people being touched by God”s love.
Today, I was on the ship and painted (among other things). The paint ended up where it was supposed to go, but some also ended up on my hands. I tried to get it off with turpentine and paint thinner and wet towels, but nothing worked. So I rode home with dirty hands. On the way, I realized that I’d once heard that orange oil can remove paint. I had a mandarin in my purse, peeled it, and squirted the oil from the peel onto my fingers and rubbed it with a tissue – and the paint came off. I sat in the tram and ate my mandarin and marveled: my God makes the best things!
– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/besser-leben/mandarinenoel-zum-reinigen/#sthash.5SKRIN0c.dpuf
This month has already begun splendidly with a day in Potsdam to reflect and pray – with many wonderful small encounters in between.
I am excited for everything that this month will bring. Of course, we never know what will happen and whether we’ll sprain our ankle or if something bad will occur. But, if everything goes according to plan, this will be a good, full month.
– Fitness program: In our world in general and when rebuilding a ship from the 50’s specifically, our livers often have to work very hard. For this reason, I am going to do a liver-cleanse (first a classic one with Glauber salt + grapefruit and oil, then later with milk thistle) and do a whole-body detox of a garlic-lemon tincture (sounds terrible, but it’s not so bad – and it’s antiviral and energizing).
– Learning new things: I wanted to participate in a class at the Kingly Garden Academy about how to create pots for plant seeding. I will need this in the future because I would like to grow as much food as possible myself on the ship. I misunderstood it – it was more like a vending event. But I still learned some things.
– Receiving inspiration:Transforum is taking place in Berlin on the 6-8 of March. This is a conference that occurs every two years and deals with the question of how we as Christians can positively shape our society. I am still thinking about many of the inspirations from the last Transforum. I am thankful for this inspiring conference – participation is free, by the way, in order for people who can’t afford it to participate. And people can decide to come last minute as well.
– Giving inspiration: After the women’s pamper days were so nice for both participants and speakers, we planned two sequels. On March 14 and May 9, the theme is “Spring into Abundant Life” at 8pm in the Gemeindehaus des SV. I am already excited to see the wonderful ladies again. In the afternoon, we are offering the option to book a coaching session with me – a special service for those for whom Berlin is too far away and telephone coaching is not a good option. At the end of March, there is another women’s cafe in Britz with me and the theme is SWING.
– Writing. There are several things laying on my desk. In addition to all of the organizational tasks that come with running the publishing company and building the ship, I’m writing two more inspirational booklets: Friendship and Grief. I would also like to begin work on the new online course, IDA – In deinen Armen.
– Ship: Of course: continue building with all my strength and as much wisdom as possible!
– Men-Teams on board: On March 14 (Treptow Church) and on March 22 (Lukas Church) a whole bunch of men are going to energetically help with the ship. I am looking forward to showing the ship to the “guys” and making an impact with them! In addition, a “mixed” team (1 man/1 woman) is coming for two days – also wonderful!
– Women in Paris. This is probably the biggest surprise. For months, I’ve been occupying myself with the life of Coco Chanel, probably the first modern woman who out of her own strength – she came from bitterly-poor circumstances – built a worldwide undertaking. The wish awoke in me to visit the places of her work, but it was more of an idea than a plan. With the ship, I have more than enough to do and to pay for. It was just a silly idea until I began to research pictures for the inspirational booklet. The pictures cost 180 Euros each! This is way over the budget. But we still need 3-4 expressive pictures. A plane ticket to Paris only costs 120 Euros – much cheaper. In addition, I haven’t taken a real vacation in over a year – if you don’t count the moving of the ship (4 days) and Antwerp (3 days during which I was ill!).
So, I asked a friend if she was interested in coming to Paris with me (she’d pay for herself). She wrote back, “For the past few weeks, I have been working on cleaning, organizing, and clearing out the house of my recently deceased great-aunt. I really need a change! And I have friends who have an apartment in Paris. They live in the middle of the city – only a 15 minute walk from the Chanel head office!”
Accordingly, I am looking forward to this exciting month!
– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/maerz-2014-ein-glaenzender-monat/#sthash.TQksvmSF.dpuf
“Miracles take a little longer!” This is so easy to say when you aren’t waiting for one… yet it is wonderful when something occurs about which we can wonder…
One side of shipbuilding: Hard work
Building a ship is a lot of work. I putter around on the ship on any given 3 afternoons and on Saturdays. It also takes work to earn money. I do what I can to bring the required finances together. I rent out my guestroom, recycle bottles, sell used items and books, coach, hold seminars, and much more in order to earn money. Hard work is one side of the coin.
The other side of shipbuilding: Miracles that occur
A friend of mine who identifies as an atheist mentioned recently that as he noticed how often things that I prayed for happened, he began to wonder: “Until now, I have always just believed in coincidence, but in your case, it’s pushing the limits!”
A few miracles from the last couple of days:
– The money that I have earned, borrowed, and received as a gift has sufficed so far. Sometimes, like with the high wharf rent, it was really tight, but it has always been enough. I am so thankful for all of the big and small donations that have made this possible.
– I’ve been praying for several months that God would send me a ventilation engineer who can help me with the ventilation plans. A man from Ghana who studied ventilation in Spain and just came to Berlin looking for a job has contacted me and is now going to make the calculations and plans for me…
– On my list of things that I still need for the ship is “espresso machine for seminar operation.” At the birthday party of my father, I told one of his friends about the ship without revealing any details about the needs. Suddenly, he asked, “Do you need an espresso machine?” And he gave me a fancy, barely-used unit.
– Friends were telling a young woman about my ship. She has visited the sea for many years, loves ships, and currently has more free time than she’d prefer, and now, she’s getting involved with the ship…
Someone – was it Luther? – once said: “Pray as though you cannot work. And work as though you cannot pray.” Absolutely!
– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/wunder-dauern-etwas-laenger/#sthash.IcpAcJd1.dpuf
There are only 10 or 11 weeks until the planned deadline at the end of April. It is ambitious but not impossible. Whether it’s possible I can’t yet say; it’s hard to tell exactly with construction projects. One thing is clear: we’ve made a lot of progress over the last weeks and months, despite some adversity. The whole ship is finally derusted and painted and the seminar room is almost finished. We’ve started with the substructure for the walls and the window frames under the deck. We’re making headway.
Since August, over 1000 hours of work have been put into the ship!!! About 90% was from people who gave a couple hours, days, or even weeks to help. The many motivated helpers have been a huge blessing and a large portion of the work doesn’t require technical knowledge or it can be learned quickly when someone explains things well. For the next phase (until finishing at the end of April), I will continue to need people who simply want to tackle it with me, although I will also need specialists for different things (ventilation, heating, electric, sanitation, etc.).
Including specialists, I still have about 800-1000 hours of work until the ship is finished. I myself work, when I am not travelling, about 30 hours per week on the ship: 5-10 hours of planning and the rest on-board. A carpenter friend who currently has free time and knows how to do everything (wood, welding, etc.) offered to work for me whenever he can for the next while. Of course, he still needs money to live on – 10 Euros per hour with legal receipts. I would love to hire him for 100 hours per month through the end of April.
I am searching for people who will help finance one or more of his work hours so that the progress on the ship continues. If you would like to contribute, you can donate via Betterplace, Paypal, or bank transfer. This would really help with my burden – and increase the chances of finishing soon.
Of course, just like before, helpers are warmly welcome and will be utilized.
– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/hausboot-heart-of-berlin/zieleinlauf-schiff-noch-10-wochen/#sthash.dfYPvK1t.dpuf
On the ship, there is much work that one later won’t see. First, the steel is derusted, then vacuumed and cleaned, then preserved with ship flooring oil, then painted with primer. Before each new layer, it has to dry well and be washed in order for the next layer to hold. Finally (again after washing!), two layers of insulation get laid down. Then the laths for the paneling, then the paneling. In the end, people only see the pretty wood on the wall. They don’t see the many hours of work that are behind making the ship safe and warm: the substance is invisible to the eye. Sometimes after going through a new process, I forget all the things that went into it, and I have to remind myself consciously: oh yea, first I had to derust, then… I only see the respective last layer. I also find it interesting that the word for “paneling” in German is the same word used for “costume.” I think it’s a pretty picture for the inner processes in our lives… that what is underneath is no longer visible to the eye in the end, and yet, it’s still substantial. The substance is invisible to the eye. – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/vertrauen-lernen-das-wesentliche-ist-unsichtbar/#sthash.jVkO4EpJ.dpuf
The theme “Growing in Trust” is still occupying me. A central question that is on my mind is, “For what can I trust?” I don’t mean the foundational questions: on what or on whom I found my trust. That is, at least in theory, relatively clear. I am much more occupied with the question, “For which concrete things or behaviors of God can I hope on the basis of the claims of the Bible?” I am still sorting this out. A long time ago, I thought I could trust that everything would work out the way I thought it would. I was that naive, at least theoretically, but at least I’m not anymore. For one, God never promises what the process will look like. Once, God promised David that he was going to become king. The “small print” about how much character building, difficulties, and challenges would come before that, David painfully discovered over the next years and decades, surely with a ton of frustration. If I correctly understood God, He allowed the idea of building this ship to grow within me. This doesn’t mean that everything will go smoothly. My current level of knowledge: I can not trust that everything will go smoothly, but I can trust that God is with me and also wants to and will give me advice.Photo “Eistee” (Ice Tea) by Nuno Soares– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/vertrauen-wofuer-kann-ich-vertrauen/#sthash.igNqcjPd.dpuf
As I was walking home through the snow today, I asked myself what the most beautiful moment of the day was… and couldn’t decide. – Perhaps it was the moment when I woke up this morning and realized that I wasn’t feeling nauseous anymore – the evening before, I upset my stomach by eating food that was too fatty. – Perhaps it was the moment when an executive told me that he stumbled across the quadro “Learning to Forgive”through an article in ZEIT online… and through this, the whole association discovered me (How did ZEIT online find us? We didn’t do it!) – Perhaps it was the moments when I saw that around 30 pastors and responsible employees were intensively listening to me, taking notes, and taking in what I was saying about the treasures that I’ve discovered through coaching and psychological concepts. And how I could see through practical exercises for individual concepts how much they were innerly moved. – Perhaps it was the mid-day walk through the snow. – Perhaps it was the moment when the director found out that I thought it was a shame that there was no snowball fight and suggested sending me off with a snowball fight… – Perhaps it was the moments when the man who drove me an hour to the next train station answered my request, “Tell me something about yourself!” with a brief description of his career and then a detailed explanation of the seven months before the death of his wife – the most intense phase of their marriage. – Perhaps it was the time when I was sitting in the train and was reading a novel for relaxation in which a man struggled to rekindle the love between himself and his wife after a 30 year marriage that had fallen asleep – and while I read, a man in the next section played accordion… a live concert for me… – Perhaps it was the moment after I got out of the train in Berlin when I discovered that my cell phonewas gone and a train conductor allowed me (although I didn’t have the appropriate ticket) to ride to the main station in the hopes of finding my previous train (it was actually still there) and tried to help me through his cellphone connections and network. And I – while he was searching – discovered the phone in the wrong pocket in my bag. – Perhaps it was the moment when I stopped bymy neighbor’s with whom I often pray, and I told her that everything went well and she rejoiced with me… – Or perhaps it’s the moment now… when, after a long, good day in which I gave and received much, I fall thankful and happy and dog-tired into bed… and look forward to sleeping like a rock. – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/der-schoenste-moment/#sthash.mi5vSfoF.dpuf
This morning as I stood in the kitchen still half-asleep, it suddenly came to me: I like God. Of course I honor and obey Him – He’s God. That’s obvious! But as I stood there and considered whether I wanted orange juice or coffee or both, it suddenly hit me: I like God.
I like His creativity, the range of colors with which He makes plants and flowers – I like His creative power.
I also like His approachableness, His warmth, and nearness.
I like His brightness, His expression.
I like the depths of His heart.
I like that He talks to and with me.
I like that He hears me.
I like that He knows me and still wants to discover me.
I like that He enjoys taking care of me.
I like Him.
I really like Him.
Sometimes I wish He was different. I wish He would act more often like I imagine. But when I imagine that I had a husband who was the way I sometimes wish God would be, I’m horror-struck. I would soon be seeing Him like a wimp who does everything that I say. Terrible! I currently have three Portuguese men on board who are helping me. Sometimes, when I tell them: do this or that this way, they say clearly, “No!” usually with good reason: because it’s better another way. Sometimes it’s just because they prefer to do things differently. This is also good and motivated by the wish to support me and help me in the best ways! And I don’t have to carry any heavy bags when they are near: they enjoy taking the burden from me. In looking at this, it’s clear to me: I even like God when He is sometimes “macho,” when He insists on His own independence and doesn’t let me tell Him what to do – at least not about how He should do things, and nevertheless acts out of love for me.
I like God!
– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-ich-mag-gott/#sthash.WN9DAD0y.dpuf