"This is how grace works; it enters the soul, penetrates the heart, saturates the conscience, abides in the memory, affects the affections, gives understanding to the understanding, and imparts real life to the heart, which is the seat of life." Spurgeon

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life is Beautiful

From the 1997 Academy Award Winning Movie:

Guido: You can lose all your points for any one of three things. One: If you cry. Two: If you ask to see your mother. Three: If you're hungry and ask for a snack! Forget it!

Today was a good day, but emotionally tough. We woke up in Munich Germany and discussed over croissants and hot chocolates the nearly 500 year-old story of Martin Luther and his 98 suggestions for Rome in Wittenburg. We read the english and german versions of Galatians 2:16 and other passages in Will's trilingual bible and discussed works versus faith, the selling of indulgences and how the catholic church used fear and power to raise funds for St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, which we toured 2 weeks ago. Great start to the day!

After breakfast, we drove 30 minutes to Konzentrationslager Dachau. What a powerful memorial to the 6 millions Jews and at least 5 million Christians, Serbs, Poles, Russians and multitudes of political dissidents that suffered and died at the hands of the evil Nazi regime during the 12 years of the  Third Reich. 

The second KZ to be liberated, Dachau was opened in 1933 as the first Nazi concentration camp. Dachau was used as a template and model for all future Nazi camps across Europe. Many notable scientists, politicians, royals and authors were murdered here. Over 105 Christians were also martyred at Dachau. 

We learned about what it was like for these heroes to suffer so needlessly. We were able to appreciate why war was really so necessary - the world had to do everything in it's power stop such evil in it's tracks. We talked about how our grandparents played a part in this and said a prayer of thankfulness that they returned home safely, giving us the life and freedom we enjoy and take for granted as though we deserve nothing less.

The bookstore at Dachau has a Nice collection of memoirs and historical works and we were able to find several that we have already begun to read including:

"The boy in the striped pajamas"
"The diary of Anne Frank"
"The Complete Report - Dachau"

One of the memorials at Dachau states "Never Again", as both a promise and a warning. 

Tommy and Saili had lunch with Holly in the Dachau cafeteria and walked around a bit as Holly had already been to Dachau (in college) and we didn't want the little ones to be traumatized. But we all came away with a greater appreciation for how truly thankful we are that God helped the Allies win WW2. 

"May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933-1945 because they resisted Nazism help to unite the living for the defence of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow men" – inscription on a memorial at Dachau

After our Tour of Dachau the Kids spontaneously decided to kiss their momma all at the same time... 


  1. With all this information - you really need to write a book or something like it - comparing what you saw in Africa and learned and then experiencing history and extreme differences in these other parts of the world. Amazing information. AND, its Wills birthday coming up in a few days ---- everyone wish him a BIG HAPPY 39th BIRTHDAY!!!! I've been shopping to find just the right gift for you and since your heart is in Africa I found just the place -- a fair trade shop - will tell you about it later but the owner wants all the information about Every Orphans Hope. Yeh!!! Love Mom and Grandma ps I don't think I could every go through Dachau - hell on earth is what is was.

  2. last sentence should read - hell on earth is what it was. Mom

  3. Also I made a mistake - I guess it is your 38th birthday, not your 39th - silly me. So it is coming up soon. Love Mom2

  4. Hey - Claire , where are you in that huggy, kissy picture with Mom Holly? Great picture - guess when you see how people were split up and killed at Dachau, it makes you appreciate each other a whole lot, right guys?! Love Grandma