Today started with the final celebration in Leipzig that lasted 3 hours and included a one-hour broadcast (live) on local television. We had to say goodbye to our traveling companions from Slovakia as we headed for Berlin. They were taking the train back in the evening but wanted us to go back with them.
After hearing some of the stories tonight, I think everyone had a great experience at the conference and met many new friends. The family groups allow you to get more personal with several people. Most groups get quite close and keep up with each other after returning to their country. FYI, the next one will be in Brazil in 2012.
Berlin is a city of contrasts. There are parts that look untouched for 50 years and other places that sparkle and are full of people. There are still many old (or rebuilt) structures right next to new metal and glass buildings of all shapes. After a 2-hour bus and walking tour, we all had dinner together in a restaurant - which served us 3 types of meat, fries, and veggies.
Tomorrow will be a very long day (30 hours to be precise) of travel. Thankfully, the airline has settled the strike and we're set to leave for Frankfurt at 10:25 and connect there with our flight to Dulles. We hope to sit closer together than we did on the way here. I don't think three people sat together on the way here. There will be a lot of tired people returning with many memories to share.
This will be the final post on this site other than posting a few pictures when we get back. Hopefully it has given you a sense of what has been occurring on the mission trip. If you don't already know, FBC should be proud of how these young people worked together and connected with others from around the world. I suspect the trip has touched many of them deeply. They were wonderful representatives of the US and our church.
You are welcome to continue posting notes on the page. I will leave it up for quite a while. It would be great if you would encourage the youth to write a note about their experience or one special memory.