Sunday, September 30, 2007

Germany & Oktoberfest

I was told today that some dear brother kindly sent the ministry a large financial gift when he heard about the theft of our sound gear. We were so encouraged to hear that.

We arrived in Munich, Germany, and I hit the sack at midnight and got just under seven hours sleep.

The next day we went to the famous “Oktoberfest.” This is a beer festival where millions of people drink beer for a two week period. They down millions of gallons of during this time.

On the way there, we stopped at a fast-moving river in the heart of the town and watched of all things, surfing. Duane and I (both ex-surfers) surmised that someone had put a huge board under the fast-moving river and this caused a 3-4 foot wave to form. We filmed them, and then laid the foundational teaching for the episode right in front of the main entrance of the Fest, with thousands of people pouring in behind us.

After that we went in and I got some good interviews, while EZ and Mark were able to get a couple of outstanding witnessing sessions on camera. We were also able to get some incredible B-roll.

We drove a few miles into the center of Munich and had a wonderful German lunch—dumplings, duck, venison, and apple strudel and custard. That gave us the energy to do something I had wanted to do for about a week. I had gathered a dozen old leather wallets, put in tracts and real money, with a cell phone number on the inside. I put on the spy-glasses (sunglasses with a tiny camera in them) and set up three hidden cameras. We then dropped wallets one at a time in a busy square and filmed people’s reactions. Most were honest and made an effort to find the owner. One man pretended to drop his cigarettes, bent down to pick them up and swooped up the wallet at the same time. He then walked away really quickly. I walked quicker, curved around, confronted him and asked him if he had found the wallet. He said that he hadn’t. So I let him keep it.

We are going to use the footage for a program in the Third season, which is on how a lie detector works. It’s not actually a “lie” detector. It’s a “conscience” detector. It measures the heart-rate, sweat on the palms of the hands, etc., looking for guilt.

One man actually fell down on top of a wallet, grabbed it, and then ran like a gazelle, weaving in and out of the crowd. I chased him for about 50 yards. So did Chris with the shoulder camera. The man suddenly stopped and burst out laughing. He had seen our cameras and was kidding. He handed the wallet back to me. It was funny.

We then preached open air. This time I held onto Mark as he stood beside me, wearing the straight jacket and the chain. I said that if we had sinned we were held in chains by death. The crowd stayed for the entire Gospel without Mark hardly doing anything. I handed over to EZ, and he preached while Mark struggled to get out of the jacket. I whispered to members of the local team that he could actually get out in about 30 seconds. It made me laugh to watch him thrash back and forth, make his face turn red and groan as though he was in pain. Mark had done this about ten times, and he was getting really good. I found out later that his arm had gone weak from doing the escape so many times, and this time he couldn’t get out of the jacket! He eventually did escape but at one point he was almost having a panic attack. He’s a real trooper.

We then started another open air and tried something different. We asked trivia questions, and when people got the answer wrong we applauded them, and gave them a Million Dollar Euro tract for at least tying. It was a great way to get tracts into people’s hands. Scotty then preached and did a great job.

On the way to the train station a very kind couple gave a large bag filled with all sorts of healthy food (they had been reading our blog and I suspect that they read that we were pigging out on chocolate). How kind people are. It’s such and encouragement to step off a train late at night and immediately be greeted by brethren who are not only kind, but who are extremely enthusiastic about our ministry.

Valentino bought another 12 cakes of chocolate at the railway station and said that it’s for the special chocolate club. EZ keeps raving about it being the best chocolate he’s ever had in his life. The couple also gave me a box of Weetabix and milk. I was particularly encouraged, because I met a New Zealand couple the previous day. They were living in Switzerland, and I asked the woman if she had had any Weetbix (a very similar cereal). She didn’t and looked disappointed, so I gave her mine (joyfully). Now I had more.

Thanks for all your prayer and support. We are heading for Prague, and we are excited to do more wallet drops. God bless, Ray


CHANGE Collegian Network said...

Oh, please film Ray chasing people stealing the wallets!

- Justin Grice

SpenceOhana said...

MArk and his brothers love to drop those $100 bills and watch people. Poor Mark with the straight jacket and panic attack!

Be careful guys, doesn't chocolate make you constipated!? :-)

Praying you guys have a safe remainder of a trip!

Mark's sis in-law,

Garrie and Jackie said...

EZ's right! Having lived in Europe for 7 years, I IS the best chocolate you'll ever eat in your life. Milka bars and Ritter Sport bars rule!!!!

ayouth4christ said...

This is great! Keep up the good work guys!