Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
What would I do if I did unto others? I would spend my time and love with them. So, that’s what we are doing. Today we made the much anticipated trip from Hamburg to Schonebeck. First, though, we had to pack up yet again, run our gear to the car and then spend a few short hours in Hamburg. After getting our luggage in the car we decided to head out for breakfast and a little last minute sightseeing. We found a nice deli near the Rathaus, had breakfast and then made our way out.
After breakfast we did a quick trip through the Rathaus and then decided that we might as well head out. The drive was expected to be about three hours and we figured we would need some groceries anyway. So, anticipating an arrival time of 4pm (we had told everyone we would be in by 5) we headed out. I drove while Sara studied and the kids played on their tablets. It was relatively uneventful except for the fact that I was enjoying my first foray into driving on the Autobahn. For those of you unaware, German highways for the most part do not have a speed limit. Thus you drive as fast as you feel comfortable. For me that was 190 km/h at one point (translated to mph that is 118). At that speed our Opel Astra felt a little loose in the handling department so I decided to back off slightly. It was still fun to drive at that speed especially aware that I would likely never drive at that rate in the US.
Three hours or so later we arrived in Schonebeck only to learn that Birgit had already done some grocery shopping for us. Johannes recommended we get to the apartment to see what we had before shopping, though we did stop to make sure we would have some wine and beer for the evening. We made our way through the familiar streets of Schonebeck happy to be back in this place that had meant so much and made so many memories. Arriving at our former home away from home we felt great relief and excitement to see our friends.
We actually went to Joannes and Birgit’s home first (instead of the Pilgerherberge) and rang the bell. With no answer we texted Johannes to let him know we had arrived. Moments later we could see him walking around the corner at the apartment about 100 hundred yards or so away. The kids saw him coming and literally sprinted towards him. I will remember the squeals of joy and the smile on his face as our kids each took turns giving gigantic hugs to this wonderful human being. We offloaded the car and then headed to Johannes’ house for drinks and a later dinner with our old friends.
Unfortunately Johannes and Birgit had to leave but they kindly opened their home to us for dinner which included our friends Steffi, Steve, Saskia, Rene, Susi, and Emma. To say that we were overwhelmed by the love we received would be an understatement. In one sense we were so happy to be home with these people we had not see in almost a year and at the same time we felt like we had never left. It was just like being home.
I have written previously about the fact that in almost, if not all, places we have been God has given us a rainbow. He did not fail again. On a day when the weather forecast had originally called for no rain we received a downpour just before dinner. Moreover, God gifted us yet another rainbow, reminding us again of His love and that He was with us on these travels. I also think it was a reminder that we were in the place we were meant to be. We enjoyed the company of our friends for the evening with a great meal (shout out to Steve and his excellent grilling skills). After we retreated back to our old and familiar apartment and rested easy knowing we were in a place of great love.