“The only reason I did not cry is that German men don’t cry”, said my good friend with a smile, slyly revealing that he had indeed shed some tears. It was a sweet and a sad morning.
Sweet as we celebrated what God is doing in our midst. This particular Sunday was a day in which another church in town (Gospel Haus) joined us for our time of worship. It was exciting to have a full house, share the stage with members of their band and enjoy a pot-luck lunch together.
It was sweet to see so many faces in the room which were not there when we first got to Berlin. Families who used to have nothing to do with church which now attend every Sunday- they are joining Life Groups, reading Scripture, asking questions and exploring a life with Christ.
Lunch after the service on 7/7/13. It was a beautiful sunny day with lots of great food.
It was sweet to get to play on the stage we built with our own hands. And also to play songs which, throughout the course of the year, have helped Mavuno Berlin form its identity. We played two songs which I have written in my time here as well as others which have become “staples” in our set.
It was sweet to be recognized on stage after the service. The entire congregation sang a song to my family as the service came to a close. That is not something you experience everyday- or that you forget easily.
Roddy on stage leading worship on 7/7/13, the Dinsmore’s last day at Mavuno Berlin.
It was also a sad morning. It was our goodbye. We’ve been walking with this church and its people for the past year and it is not easy to say goodbye. It is not easy to be a part of starting something great, knowing you still have much to offer, but recognize your time is up.
We have made many amazing friends here. We have met men and women who cause me to smile when they enter a room. We’ve developed the kind of friends whom you can call and say, “I know this is last minute, but could… you watch our kids… have us over for dinner… help me at the such and such office…”. Our boys have friends who call them over for playdates and beg for spend-the-night parties.
I have to admit I shed some tears on stage that morning. I love this church in Berlin. I love the people in it. I love what God is doing in this city. I am grateful for the opportunity we had in coming here. And I am hopeful for many chances to reconnect with my friends here.
As sad and hard as this may be for us, I am also glad that we are returning to a place where are loved and missed. We have been so encouraged by the efforts of many to make our return as easy and good as possible. We’ve been receiving messages almost daily from friends who eagerly await our return. One family has even called our return date “Dinsmore Day”, as their kids are so excited about it.
We are spending our last week in Berlin by doing lots of packing and lots of spending time with friends. There are also errands that need to be run. Gabe and I are going to the Brazilian Embassy on Thursday to renew our Brazilian Passports, I need to unregister with the city of Berlin (mandated by law), cancel my cell phone contract and close out my bank account. In between that we are squeezing in a couple of parties, a one day trip to the beach and maybe a couple of sites in Berlin we’ve yet to hit.
Our family while being prayed for on stage- yep, this is exactly what we are like.
Wednesday morning next week will mark the end of an incredible journey. And as much as I’ve assimilated to the German culture, I don’t think I’ll be able to be a real German man and not shed at least a couple of tears.