Sunday, 15 August 2010


Lídia and I had the opportunity to go to Germany to celebrate our birthdays there with our son Léo…
… and with our daughter-in-law Carolina.

We flew direct from Nairobi to Zurich, were Léo and Carol met us at the airport. – Zurich is Ulrich Zwingli’s city, were he performed Reformation at the same time as Luther was preaching and doing his reformation in Germany. This is Zwingli Church, were most of the religious reforms occurred. – It was very important and exciting for me to see that place, about which I had heard so much at my Church History classes during my Seminary time.
A plaque on the church commemorates Zwingli. – He died in a war defending his ideals. The location of Zwingli’s grave is unknown.
The engraved gate of the church depicts several moments of Zwingli life. This detail shows the Marburg Debate (1529) between Luther and Zwingli. They agreed on several Biblical points at that time (14 in total), but they didn’t agree on The Lord Supper doctrine. Zwingli affirmed that bread and wine were only symbols of Christ Body and Blood; but Christ was not really present at the Lord Supper; just in a spiritual sense. On the other hand, Luther pointed to the Scripture and affirmed the Real Presence of Christ in the Lord Supper as a Means of Grace. – It was not possible to join the efforts of both Reformers, as it was the wish of some common friends.
From Zurich, we went to Konstanz, Germany, on the same day (just a 2-hour drive). (The border between Switzerland –S - and Germany – D= Deutschland - )
Konstanz is an old and historical city, with several nice old buildings well preserved, on the bank of the Bodensee.
We found a Brazilian flag among other flags just at the City Map…
… and this is where we were in the map!
That house was rebuilt in 1294… When was it build? Other buildings are from 1209 and later.
Goethe lived for some time in that house.
Graff Zeppelin was born in Konstanz…

... and we saw a Zeppelin!!!
We enjoyed seeing the many beautiful gardens in that and in other cities as well. It was the first time I was in Germany during summer time. It’s a very special season to visit Europe!
The Cathedral of Konstanz.
Under it’s altar…
… there is the tomb (relics) of St. Pelagius, Patron of Konstanz (Born ca. 270 - Died ca. 283). The relics were transferred to that city around 904 AD (as it is believed).
Many fountains of fresh and drinking water are around the city, some of them in a very strange design…
The Council of Konstanz was held from 1414 to 1418. It is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Besides several other matters, it sentenced John Huss, a Czech Reformer (born ca. 1372, Boemia – Put to death in July 1415).
The conclave was held in this old building, now a restaurant (where we had dinner that day).
John Huss was hosted in this house before he was sentenced by the Council
… Now it is a Museum.
St. Stephen Church, …
…where several activities of the Council were held.
Memorial Stone where John Huss was burnt.
The date on the monument: 14th July 1415 – It was a coincidence that I was there just on 14th July, 595 years later! – “Huss was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the 16th century, and his teachings had a strong influence on the states of Europe, most immediately on the approval for the existence of a reformist Bohemian religious denomination, and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther himself” (Wikipedia).

From Konstanz we went to Leo and Carol’s apartment in Schiltach, Germany. From their balcony we could see the church we attended while with our children.
Lidia’s birthday was celebrated on 15th July. Lidia’s brother and sister-in-law, Luis Gustavo and Olivia, came from Sulzburg to the birthday party.
Carol and Léo prepared a fondue and a strawberry cake…
… and we all sang “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU”!
On my 60th birthday, 20th July, we spent the day visiting some beautiful cities near Schiltach. It was especially remarkable to visit the open air Museum: old houses rebuilt as an old village from the XVI century. Some people are there working in the very old style to show to the visitors how the life at that time was.
The Museum Map.
Old furniture was well exposed inside the houses.
An old picture was on the wall of one of the houses: Melanchton, Martin Luther, King Gustav Adolph and a German Dignitary.
In the evening, Carol prepared a genuine Black Forest Cake (we were in the Black Forest region!)…
… and a nice and good table, with several kinds of cheese, ham and homemade bread. HAPPY BIRTHDAY was sung again. – We thank God for one more year of blessings in our lives and that we could spend the birthdays with our children. – I went back to Nairobi for the weekend service (25th July) and then flew to Mozambique for two weeks (see the next postage). Lidia remained with the children in Germany until I came back from Mozambique.

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