A Workout Ministry

So, most of you would probably expect this post to come from Chris, considering he is the personal trainer of our family. However, I still and forever will be the Queen Socialite in the Cannon Household.

In April, Chris and I decided to join a gym here. Our reasoning was that I really wanted to take Spinning (Indoor Cycling) class. I loved Spinning in college and wanted to get back into it. So, we found a gym with Spinning classes that also happened to be really reasonably priced. I couldn’t wait for my first class! I showed up on a Monday and luckily, we ran into an acquaintance of ours who happens to be pretty fluent in English. He decided to go to Spinning with me, which I was really thankful for, in case I had trouble understanding anything. The teacher arrived and realized that we “had a new face in class”. The class then announced that I only spoke English and could not understand him. Of course, I hastily corrected them and the class was shocked 🙂 Victory!

After a great spin, the instructor came up to talk to me. He asked me where I was from and why I had traveled so far for his spinning class. I told him that I was from America and that my husband and I were working with a church here in Chemnitz. Of course, the next question is always, “Why Chemnitz?” (It really is a great city.) Long story short, we found out that he had actually visited our church and met with some of the members a couple of times. He informed me that he was a “Suchender” or someone searching for his faith. I was pretty shocked that he would share something like that in our first conversation. So, of course, I offered various ideas of things the church does or one on one meetings, etc. In other words, spinning class was a success, in more ways than one. Since then, we have had a few other conversations and hopefully will continue to develop the relationship.

Fast forward to last week. It was suggested to me by a good friend that instead of taking German classes, I should try to take classes in German. That way I would still be practicing and learning German but not necessarily just drilling grammar. I thought this was a great idea and realized that I should start with our gym. We are already paying for a membership, which includes all the classes the gym offers. And it just so happened around that time a Zumba class opened up that I could fit into my schedule! So, off to Zumba I went with the intent of working out and of course, practicing German. Well, wouldn’t you know that the whole class was in English?! Seriously, in Chemnitz. Just my luck! And that’s the truth. It was just my luck! Because I went up to talk to the instructor afterward and found out that she is originally from Cuba, but spent 10 years in America. She married a German and that is why she is in Germany. However, she isn’t completely comfortable with the language yet, so she asked the class, if they would mind her speaking English and they all agreed! So, of course, we bonded instantly and I invited her to everything English that we offer. And she seemed very happy to be speaking English with someone!

Chris, of course, couldn’t believe that 2 out of the 2 classes that I have tried have become opportunities to reach out to people and make new friends almost instantly. For me, it was just proof that God will always present us with opportunities, even in the most unlikely of places. We just have to be brave enough to take them. And often, those opportunities turn into huge blessings.

Moral of the story: No excuses! Get off your butt and go to the gym!

There may be an opportunity waiting there for you.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Frauenfreizeit

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Each year, the churches in German-speaking Europe host a wonderful retreat for the men and women of Austria, Switzerland and of course, Germany. Last year, we attended the German-speaking retreat after only being in country for 3 weeks. It was overwhelming to say the least, but nevertheless, incredibly encouraging. It helped us to see that we are part of God’s greater plan for Europe and showed us the brotherhood/sisterhood we had in all of the Churches of Christ here. We couldn’t wait to go back and see our brothers and sisters and deepen our relationships with them. This year, the retreats fell on the same week, so they were a little smaller than normal. We had a great time, as well, meeting our fellow HIM Workers, Will and Holly Kooi, who are working in Vienna.

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This year, our theme at the Women’s Retreat was Thankfulness. We talked about how to be thankful in all areas of our lives. Mostly, I was thankful this week that I could understand everything that was going on! It was a great mile marker for Chris and I, since last year we could understand next to nothing. We felt so confident this year that we could see how much our German has actually improved. Although we still have a long way to go, we were happy for the confidence booster!

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