Munich Adventure

Nathan, Rada, Anya & Aleksa's move to Munich…

Tag: culture

Munich in October – Guest Post

Guest Post – Vicky Mennear: In October 2005 we visited a church in Solihull that were advertising for a new youth worker.  On the interview panel were Steve & Vicky Mennear. 13 years later and they are unique amongst our dearest friends, and we were very happy to welcome them to visit us early this month and Vicky has kindly given us some reflections to post….

Octoberfest – timing could not have been better!  We were visiting Rada, Nathan, Anya and Aleksa while Müncheners and tourists were enjoying the annual festival – Beer tents, dirndl and lederhosen, brass bands, family fun and of course beer!

Putting down roots and establishing a corner of the Kingdom of God in another nation other than your birth country is a challenging enterprise. This is what our very dear friends are about. I am enormously proud of them. Proud of their courage because I know I wouldn’t do it and of their dependence on their Father in Heaven.

Two years after moving to Germany, routines of normal family life are growing and stories of God’s provision are abundant. The apartment, schooling, paid employment, developing friendships.  Of course Steve and I saw the challenges they face. Living out a gospel of grace and planting a church in the national language, this is, as noted in, ‘Global Humility’ by Andy McCullough:

An expression of humility, of incarnation, of service, of honouring our hosts. 

Munich is a beautiful and captivating city, full of wide vistas and grand public buildings lying on the edge of an ancient forest. It has a dark past. 

Steve and I enjoyed getting to know it, finding our way around, trying to understand what makes this place tick. Müncheners love their children. Much of the suburban space is child friendly and there are places to play scattered between apartment blocks. Cycling for adults and children is the most popular way of getting around.  Worshipping in German, visiting a German Church quickly made me aware of the difficulties of crossing cultures. Then thinking how we overcome this in our home setting?

God is at work here. God comes where he is wanted (Philip Yancey).  A seed is planted in the ground and what appears in due time does not resemble the seed but is something completely different. Something completely different will grow here in due time and it will produce many seeds. 

If I had my way Nathan and Rada would be living next door to me and my family but God has a bigger purpose. As much as we miss them, I think I might be the one who has to adjust my thinking and get on board with a bigger purpose!

Vicky Mennear, 17.10.18

9 Reasons to be a Food Delivery Rider

A post from Nathan

Which famous figure said this about the capital of France…?

Fantastic bike ride through Paris. I cannot say this enough: to truly appreciate a city, get on a bike.

Answer at the bottom of the post!

Since March I’ve been earning part of our family living by riding around Munich delivery restaurant food to offices and apartments.  Here is a list of 9 reasons why this is a great job…

  1. Learning about local culture.  If you were to move to a new city and you enjoy riding your bike then there are few things I’d recommend more than signing up to work with a restaurant delivery company like Deliveroo or Foodora*.  You see all parts of the city centre from 11am until midnight and are absorbing all the details of how people interact and how the city works.
  2. It keeps you fit.  I have only been running once since I started the job, yet I am the lightest (and presumably fittest) I have been for years.
  3. You learn to appreciate tipping.  I have always been a fan of tipping service staff but now I am an all out champion for being generous with your change.  I know industries could do away with tipping by paying decent wages in the first place but nevertheless there are few better feelings than climbing to the top of five flights of stairs, wet and cold, handing over a bag of fast food and then receiving a smile and a few euros.  By the way, I wouldn’t want to start an argument but in my experience men are twice as likely to tip as women and sushi eaters hardly ever tip!
  4. Beautiful Sights.  I guess some cities are better than others but Munich is a stunning city to cycle around.  The river, the architecture, the bridges, the churches, the streets, the unique skyline.  One favourite of mine is riding across the mostly deserted festival ground for Oktoberfest when it is out of season.

    The festival ground for Oktoberfest during a quieter part of the year

  5. No boss and no employees.  My boss is a smartphone app that never gets annoyed with me and I am responsible for nobody.
  6. Spending part of your life outside.  One of the worst things about the world of work is that you are likely to spend most of your time either in the office or in the car.  With this job you are outside, seeing the sunsets, feeling the sun, the wind and the rain.  Even though you are in the middle of a big city you feel connected with creation.
  7. It keeps you humble. Riding around in pink uniform or, worse, falling off your bike whilst wearing pink, certainly help one to keep an appropriate opinion of oneself.
  8. People watching.  What better way to maximise your people watching than to ride around on a bike?  You see hundreds of people everyday and every shift there are multiple fascinating things to see….people getting arrested, nudists, surfers, musicians, beer sozzled tourists, road ragers….and the list goes on.  Below is a video of a guy I found surfing on the river during the recent high water levels.
  9. It gives you a passion for the city.  As a church planter the passion you feel for your mission field is really important and cannot be stirred up on demand.  It is a great privilege to spend a chunk of time in the city, seeing the people and everyday life and dreaming of what God will do.

*Other food delivery services are available!

The answer to the question at the top is none other the Austro-American politician and celebrity….Arnold Schwarzenegger 

 

“Last Times” and “Goodbyes”

Nathan’s reflections on the leaving process.

We are entering a season in our journey to Munich that is full of things that we are doing for the last time, and lots of goodbyes to special people.

Some are trivial but mark the ticking clock to our departure.  For example, next Monday will be the last time I put out a ‘Garden Waste Bin’ in England!  Others are extremely poignant, such as saying goodbye to my brother yesterday morning.

Some just make you think about how different the detail of life will be…I realised Euro 2016 will be the last major football championship where I enjoy the banter and coverage provided by British broadcasters.  I have no idea what German punditry is like!?  And enjoying talking politics and making jokes around the table at a work meeting makes me wonder how long it will be till I can fully take part in a conversation where I understand the nuance of language and implication of local culture.

Our plan is to move out of our house on 31st July as we go and visit Montenegro for a couple of weeks.  Exactly what will happen after that is a little uncertain but we will be in temporary accommodation for a period – we’re just not sure if this will be in England or in Munich.

But till then the “Last Times” and “Goodbyes” will continue.  Please pray for Anya and Aleksa as they leave their respective schools.  And please pray for all of us as we make the adjustments we need in order to leave well and move on to the next part of the adventure that God has called us to.

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