Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Category: Houseboot Heart of Berlin

What others tell about time on my ship

It is a dream to live on a river, look out on the water and rub my eyes every morning: Is this true?

It is. I love my life. All the pain of renovating this old, rusty former Army ship was so worth it. For myself and for others who come here.

One of them was Evi who had lost her job in a ministry she loved just a few months earlier when she came for her first visit. At the end of the first visit she said that she now feels hope for the first time.

But best read it in her own words: Weekend on a houseboat

Discovering Life – Questions for God

IMG_0237 – Was I alive today? Yes! I had prayed that God would send me a senior that had time and skills and the desire to help me. God must have thought, “Well, if that’s all…” and He sent me a nice senior who has much building experience, likes boats, and has time. He has already helped me a few times and will continue on board. On Thursday evening he told me and another woman, who had also helped on board, while riding back together in a car (with seat-heating, which was wonderful for my stressed back) the story of how he met and fell in love with his second wife (he was a widower). It was simply wonderful to hear such a love story out of the mouth of a man. – What new thing did I learn about life? That people have very different questions for life and for God. After getting out of the car, the other woman said to me, “Sometimes I wonder why God gives some people a spouse twice and some like us not even once.” I was surprised. That question hadn’t come into my head at all. The next day, I was making a fruit salad. Again with hands that were oozing with mango juice. I am never successful with portioning mangos in a “civilized” way. I ask myself, “Why did God put such a delicious thing like mango in such an impractical package?” In short: The questions that people ask themselves and God are apparently very diverse. – What new thing did I learn about myself? Apparently, feeling jealous of happy couples is no longer an issue for me. For one, because I know that with most portions of happiness comes a good portion of work. But perhaps also because during a phase where I often struggled with jealousy when I saw happy couples, I learned how to bless them (like this unknown pair on the photo). Just say a short prayer for them that God will strengthen, preserve, and bless them and their relationship. Hopefully, this will be good for them – it’s certainly good for me. – See more at:

Discovering Life – God Can

2013-09-17-08.17.36– Was I alive today?


– What new thing did I learn about life?

Two things are moving me right now. The first is that one harvests what one sews, even if it’s years later. This message came in a moving 3-Minute Video. There are prayers and “faith-investments” that I sewed more than 30 years ago, and of which I still wait excitedly for the harvest. In one areas, I “harvest” with a twinkle in my eye. A while ago, I published the inspirational booklet “Gebetsnotizen” (“Prayer Notes”) to encourage people to take note of their prayers and the ways in which God responds.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been moved by the story of the quails and manna. In this story, a leader is confronted with a challenge: a few hundred thousand people want meat. Even if they slaughtered all of the animals they had, it wouldn’t be enough. And soy burgers hadn’t yet been created. It was impossible for him. And then his God asked him, “Is anything impossible for me?” The answer is, logically, “No.” And then God seriously dished up – the Israelites had the BBQ of their lives. Mountains of meat. Nothing for vegans. But the others were happy.

This story moves me in relation to my boat. The beginning agreed-upon budget has now, through mistakes and unforseeables, been exceeded by one third. And another 50,000 Euros worth of costs are due by April 2014 – and then after that, I still have to repay the loans. I am doing what I can to offset the costs:

– I publish books

– I sell used things

– I coach people

– I give lectures

– I rent out my guestroom to vacationers

– I want to give blood

– I live economically

Impulsheft GebetsnotizenBut even with these efforts, obtaining the needed 50,000 Euros in 8 months is impossible – for me. But not for my God. Going back to the inspirational booklet Gebetsnotizen that I made a few years ago: I am currently using it myself for my prayers about the ship project. And while I was turning to a new page this week, I saw:

“Is anything impossible for God?”

I thought it was funny to be reminded through my own booklet of the assurances of God that are currently moving to me. I think God also smiled. Now I am excited to see when and how the quails will fly to me.

– What new thing have I learned about myself?

I am soooo alive when I coach. Today, I had a coaching appointment about cravings. To coach about this theme is essentially a really simple skill. One discovers where the customer has bound eating, or a specific food, with certain emotions, and then breaks the bond. Through this, “the spell is (more or less) broken” and it loses its power. It makes me happy every time to experience how things get unbound in people’s minds and new thoughts and feelings are now possible for them. It’s simply wonderful.

– See more at:

Discovering Life – Learning Manual Skills

2013-09-11-16.35.08– Was I alive today?
Yes! And at the end of the day, I was so bone-tired that after the evening prayer with my neighbor (beautiful tradition), I fell into bed like a stone!

– What new thing did I learn about life?
Ok. Right now, I”m learning a lot about manual skills. I now know that wet-dry vacuums come to their limits at a certain angle. How to solve this, I don”t know yet.

And… I would have never thought that sandblasting could leave behind such a huuuuuuge mountain of sand. Phew!

– What new thing did I learn about myself?
When I have a problem to solve – such as getting about 200 liters of oily water

a) out of a tank
b) away in an environmentally friendly manner
then I”m not really open for interactions with people… which is a shame… perhaps this interaction is exactly the most important thing I need today.

– See more at:

Discovering Life – and Making a New Friend


– Was I alive today?
Yes! And how! The best moment of the day was when I successfully got all 12 balls into the faces of the Astrid Lindgren figures with my new friend, Lukas (3rd grade), and he asked me at the end, “Will you be here again tomorrow?” Heartwarming.


– What new thing have I discovered about life?
When a water pipe is clogged, it doesn”t necessarily mean there is grime in it. I was on board and was trying to unclog an overflow pipe from the roof and was poking around in it. And I was surprised when instead of grime, a huge spider came out. NO, I did NOT scream! But only just! Screaming is only useful when someone else is nearby who can hear it. It”s only half as fun alone.

– What new thing have I learned about myself?
It”s really difficult for me to go along when someone is whining and complaining. Today, the sandblaster told me how difficult it is to get the coating off of the floor of the main room. He said this in a whining undertone that automatically released in me these feelings:

– He”s not doing well.

– I am responsible.

– I have to do something so that he will be doing better.

My auto-program offered to pay him more (before the freecar racing car racing games mobile rest of me even had a chance to think about it), even though we had already agreed upon a price. Ouch. That wasn”t necessary. How someone feels is really their own problem. He could have said instead, “Gosh. This coating is being difficult. But I, the MacGyver of Sandblasters, will be the master of this project.” And he could have felt like a hero. I hope to get something from life for the expensive premium I paid… What I already know in theory – that I am not responsible for the feelings of others, but only for my own behavior – I hope I can internalize this even more!


– See more at:

Goal in Sight

Goal in Sight photo

The big day has arrived. First, some good news: The shipyard invoice has been paid in full.

This was made possible partly through loans, but mainly as a result of the many generous donations I received – over 15,000 euros! In the lastfew days, I have received even more support, so now the remaining sum is only 7,000 euros. It feels so good to see a four digit number!

In addition, the things that people have written, have brought me close to tears. I never dreamed of receiving so much help and support.

We believe in a great God and believe in you and that He has a plan for you and the ship. For that reason we have transferred you the money and bless you with it.


For my birthday I will hopefully persuade my guests to get inspired by the ship project. I hope that you will find peace and know that you are not alone on this emotional roller-coaster ride.

It is really unpleasant, to find yourself with a problem like a huge unexpected dockyard invoice. However it is really wonderful to experience how people are so willing to open their hearts and their purses to support the project. I have never cried so many tears of gratefulness as I have in the past few days.

If you would still like to contribute to the cause, so that I can raise the remaining funds and not have to continue to rely on loans, then please feel free to do so here. Every little helps!


Tailwind – when others support me

Whilst renovating.

When renovating.

My sister’s charity was recently a part of a competition, where the charity with the most donators, rather than the largest sum of donations, would win advertising resources for a campaign. One of the things that really struck me about this competition was the incredible support she received from other people.

Not only did over 120 people contribute financially to the cause, but many wrote about the charity on their own blogs and Facebook pages as well. I cried when I read the words of one woman in particular, who said: ‘don’t wait for a miracle, be one yourself’. She was writing about a group of great women who were trying to change the world and counted me amongst them.

She wrote about my ship, the pressure of the unexpected extra costs, how I was praying for a miracle and wasn’t afraid to be open about my difficulties. She then explained how €10,000 had already come together and that she knew the project was bound for great things.

Her words gave me so much hope and reinforcement. So, if you ever feel obliged to do so, please share my project with your friends and send a gust of tailwind in my direction.


God didn’t just hear my prayer…he exceeded it!


If I’m honest, when I heard the news from the dockyard, that I needed to pay 20,000 euros more than I had orginally planned, I was just schocked. Then I cried and then I talked with my God. For one, I didn’t know how I should go about getting the rest of the money together. Secondly, the idea that I was going to have to pay off €20,000 extra over the next months or even year was a complete nightmare.

I prayed that God would present me with at least a quarter of the sum required -I asked for exactly €5555. I couldn’t really imagine any more than that. As I am writing this, we have surpassed the requested €5555 and I am completely overcome and crying with happiness. I did not expect or think this would happen. It moves me, that so many people (over a 100) have contributed to the cause, from as little as €1 to as much as €1000. Lots and lots of people have contributed 1,5,10 or 20 euros and together this amounts to a lot. Others could give more and they did that, which is also wonderful! It’s such a miracle how all the little donations add up to 1,000.

With the help of the donations and a loan, I was able to pay the dockyard. The ship is now free and we can start work again as normal, welcome helpers on board and so on. This makes everything so much easier!

Encouraged by the 100+ miracles I venture to ask my God, that the rest of the money that we need will come together, so that I won’t need to spend months paying off loans, but rather use the money for further rennovation work.

What you can do:

. Contribute financially: as much or as little as you can. The best way to do this internationally is via paypal. The email address is: alternatively you can click on the paypal DONATE link at the side of this blog.

. Make something: perhaps you could paint, bake or make something to sell in order to raise money for the ship. Eg. Sell homemade cakes after a church service.

. Sell something: you could collect old objects, books and items of clothing and create a mini-flea market with a group from church. Alternatively you could use web platforms such as EBAY (clothes, objects) or AMAZON (books) to sell your items, and then donate the money to the ship.

. Help on Board: this is particularly wonderful in the summer. We work hard during the day, and then enjoy a barbeque on board in the evenings. Previous handywork experience isn’t required.

. Donate materials: perhaps you have some things lying about that could be of use to us. We need a lot of stuff: wood, toilets, fireplaces, lea, paint brushes etc. If you have access to building materials – please let me know. I can give you a more specific list of things.
. Become a Partner: commit to being a Godmother or Godfather of the Ship projekt over the next 10-12 months through the following:

– Praying for 5 minutes a week
– 5 hours of practical help on board a month (if you don’t live in Germany, perhaps you could commit to spending a week helping out)
– Donating €5 or more a month to the ship project fund.

Godmothers and godfathers of the ship will be the first to know of any important developments.

Heart of Berlin 2

I am ever so grateful for all the gifts and donations that I have received for the ship over the last couple of days. It’s so overwhelming!

As well as donations, there are other ways of supporting the Shipproject where you can get something in return.
I source my income primarily from the Down To Earth publishing house and coaching. At the moment, all the money that I earn that I don’t need to use for rent, food, health insurance etc. goes directly into funding the Shipproject.

You can support the Ship-project indirectly and get something in return!
– Why not treat yourself or a friend to a new book or leaflet from Down To Earth. The books are available from the Down To Earth website, as well as Amazon (although they do take a lot of money from us!) please choose whatever is easiest for you.
We currently have two English titles:
‘The Father’s Love’

The FAther's Love

Print DTE:
E-book DTE:
E-book Amazon:

‘Learning To Forgive. The Art of a Life of Inner Peace.’

Learning To forgive

Print DTE:
E-book DTE:
E-book Amazon:

– We are currently in the process of translating our LEA online training course. I wrote LEA in order to help people find freedom from their physical or spiritual burdens. It has been incredibly successful in German and we are looking forward to starting our first online course in English from the 1st July. The course lasts for 3 months and costs €99. More information coming soon, but if you are already interested please send me an email.

I hope that you will enjoy these products, along with the joy of knowing that you are helping to build something that many people will use and benefit from.

The Ship, Sacrificial Anodes and Easter


The ship’s welding is done and dusted, everything’s waterproof and we now just have to paint the base coat, then the dock work is done. Unfortunately there’s no sense in doing any painting with the cold, wet weather we’re having, so for now we’re taking a break. A good opportunity to give a bit of background information.

The ship is made of steel. When water comes in contact with iron it forms a galvanic cell (just like a battery), whereby acid comes in contact with the iron and corrodes it and then the steel gets corroded and rusts. All that from water touching steel. Steel and water simply don’t get on; and then sooner or later, the steel is worn out.

To prevent that from happening, we’re attaching so-called “sacrificial anodes” to the ship. In plain English, they’re simply lumps of low quality metal. As the name would suggest, they sacrifice themselves. They get eaten away first and that means that the ship’s steel is protected.

Usually sacrificial anodes for sea-faring ships are made of zinc and for fresh-water ships of magnesium. Magnesium anodes can also be used in briny (salty) water. They offer full protection but are corroded faster than zinc anodes.

The sacrificial anodes (the grey lumps on the picture above) are going to be attached to the outside of the ship every few metres along. What’s more, we’ll be giving the ship a coat of a conductive underwater paint containing metal, so that the sacrificial anodes take the strain.

A few things have gone wrong with my ship. I suspect that the last time there were lots of people on the docks, a few new anodes were attached. It’s just that some heroes have covered the ship in a mixture of zinc and magnesium anodes. They counteract each other. What’s more, the ship wasn´t given that special coat of paint. The result: the corrosive process was in full swing.

The stern (rear part) of the ship usually suffers the most, and here the steel was fairly r

uined. Just a millimetre thick in some parts or completely rusted through – the simple act of hosing the ship down on the docks punched new holes in the steel. The stern was the area that was out of bounds when I went to visit the ship before purchase. Since the quality of the steel ranged from good to excellent in other areas, we hadn’t expected the extent of the damage and got a fairly nasty surprise. 

Now everything’s been welded. Next on the agenda is a second coating of underwater paint. The paint has three layers. A conductive primer (first layer), then the paint itself and then marine anti-fouling paint, which stops mussels and algae from clinging to the boat. Then we’ll be attaching new, good quality sacrificial anodes to the ship – and then it’s Easter…

But in a symbolic sense too, for me, renovating the ship has become an interesting parable for life. All of us are sailing our ship of life and sometimes the waves we hit are rough, sometimes stormy. Now and then we spring a leak when we hit an ice-berg or ram against a cliff. But disasters of that scale are thankfully rare.

Far more often, our steel skin is attacked by inner strain. We’re hard-wired with stress, and if we can´t channel it off; it eats away at us. Sooner or later.

But then someone comes along who offers himself up as the sacrificial anode. I’m there. I’ll channel all your stress and pain, anger and frustration away from you. But we throw the sacrificial anode over board. We think we can handle things on our own… until our steel is attacked or corroded or, worst case scenario, our leaky tub sinks.

Redemption means…. that someone offers to repair the damage caused by rejecting the sacrificial anode. That can be painful. You have to cut, grind, hammer and weld, until the ship is ready to sail again.

Easter means: I’m given a new start. The option to be lovingly and protectively enfolded by the Holy Spirit (a new coat of paint)… the opportunity to have pain and strain conducted away by the redeemer (sacrificial anode)…and finally, with a good captain at the helm and a new ship-owner, to set sail once more.


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