It’s mushroom season here and everyone is out with baskets, taking strolls in the misty woods – my hunt for food was not quite so romantic.
We changed accomodation on Saturday from near Leipzig, down to Werda in southern Saxony. Its really different, much more mountainous and covered in pine forests. So, so beautiful but very rural. A lot of winter sports take place here especially skiing.
And a lot of violins are made here too, which is why we are here. It seems that violin making and lace making go hand in hand.
We are also very near the border of the Czech Republic. We took a drive over to Kraslice, which is just over the border. It is a very different feel to Germany. It is a country that has had alot of political unrest. Communism and socialism have taken its toll, splitting the country from Czechoslovakia into Czech Republic and Slovakia which did cause economical instability. The buildings were quite run down, some of them crumbling, and often empty. There weren’t many shops and the centre seemed quiet. Very different to their German neighbours who have a higher level of income.
We had shopped on the way to Werda on Saturday, just enough for a meal and breakfast. On Sunday we drove to Markneukirchen and realised that the supermarkets were all shut but we had enough potatoes for a gratin. It was on the way home we remembered that it was ‘Reformation day’ on Monday and was a bank holiday. Panic set in as I knew we really had nothing else to eat after this meal and worst of all – we only had two teabags left!
If you know me, you know that one of my greatest pleasures in life is a well brewed pot of tea. I had of course planned ahead and brought enough tea to last the whole trip but that was now in the car – in the garage – in Erfurt. And ever since, I had searched every supermarket like Lidl and Aldi, but to no avail. I don’t think the German people drink very much tea.
I searched the internet for open shops and we drove from petrol station to petrol station but it seems that in Saxony they do not deviate, they keep bank holidays. Then it dawned on me, the Czech Republic didn’t celebrate the Reformation, we could cross the border and bring back food. But we didn’t have Czech money and i knew we would stick out like a sore thumb. We remembered that just over the border we had seen a run down building, with a few market stall type shops, it said ‘Bargain Border Shop’ and it was our last hope because it might take euros, being so close to the border.
The next day we drove over with empty tummies and prayerful hearts. I went in alone so as not to draw attention. It was the strangest shop I have ever been in, more like somebody’s garage than a shop. Stacks of boxes of food, mostly spirits, coffee and ………wait…..what’s that…..? Tea! A huge box of what resembles English tea. After a big search, it was here in this unlikely place!
People were rooting through and it was really busy. I suspect there were a few Germans there, caught short by the bank holiday. I managed to find some spaghetti and tinned tuna, some passatta and UHT milk. There was some strange looking food in a fridge but I took no chances, some of it had hand written labels and it definetley looked like meat. Hooray, we wouldn’t starve today. When I went to pay the lady she was a bit indignant that I only had euros but she took it. Its amazing how out of your depth you can feel when your away from familiarity, and if I had spoken the language then I’m sure it wouldn’t have made me feel so overwhelmed but it is hard being a foreigner with so many little people depending on you at times.
Needless to say we had a hearty tuna spaghetti bolognese and I have never been so pleased to see an open Lidl the next day. I did have a good stock of emergency tinned and dried food but guess what? Its in the car – in the garage – in Erfurt!
It was yet another experience that stretched me but, God blesses those who come to him and ask, and He even threw some tea in! Praise be to You Jesus.
“Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name….Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.”
It can be a hard thing to put onto practice- not to worry. It is the bit that really tests your metal. When we broke down I didn’t worry as much as this occasion when we were running low on food. I don’t know why, perhaps I forget that God is in charge of even the little things too. That He does not let even a pebble roll in the wrong direction but has everything in the palm of His hand. And He wants to help those who ask.