Saturday, December 20, 2008

Drunken realtor

Okay, so now you get to hear another hysterical "only in Germany" story...

Our current house is nice, but way too small for our family, so we've started looking for another one.  If you've followed this blog, you know of all the troubles in finding a house down here in the southern Black Forest.

We had an appointment with the realtor and homeowner of a house we're interested in yesterday.  We showed up at the appointed time (10:30am) and were met by the owner.  He explained that his realtor had called a few minutes earlier and said he had way too much to drink at a Christmas party the night before and still had a hangover, so he wouldn't be joining us... and it's not even the weekend!

It actually worked out great for us, since we had a long time to talk with the landlord by ourselves.  But it seemed extremely unprofessional to my American mind.  I am amazed at how comfortable this culture is with such things.

Anyway, there you have it... only in Germany!


(PS. We'll keep you updated on the house hunt.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Chicken Dance

And now for something pathetic!  Emma is giving a presentation for her 3rd grade class on Texas (most of them are Americans that have lived overseas for many years).  It's kind of funny because they were supposed to give a presentation on a country... Emma chose Texas!

Anyway, with Robin's encouragement, she asked if I would play the Chicken Dance song on the guitar for her class so she could teach them the dance.  I hate country music!  Robin may have to pay for this one... I'm not sure yet :-)

Anyway, it should be hysterical.  And I'm quite glad none of you are here to see it!  Did I mention that I hate country music???

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Purpose of Christmas

I wrote an article entitled The Purpose of Christmas a few years ago... and thought you might enjoy it.  Here's a little teaser...

I gave in. What was I thinking? My wife asked (begged) me to go shopping with her on the day after Thanksgiving.  My answer?  Ok, sure.  What was I thinking?!?!  I hate shopping!  Even worse, I had agreed to go with her on the busiest shopping day of the year.  The only reason I can come up with is that if she went, I would be at home alone with all three kids ALL DAY LONG!  Oh well…

What I experienced last Friday was UGLY!  People were pushing, adults were fighting over toys & parking spaces (we saw two guys almost get in a fist fight over a parking space), and sales people were rude.  Honestly, it wasn’t all bad.  There were some people that seemed to have some perspective, but not many we ran into.

A bright spot in our day was when we were seated in a restaurant next to a new mom & her baby.  It just so happened that since our sitter was kind of young, we had our baby with us too.  She and Robin struck up a conversation and it wasn’t long before our conversation turned to spiritual things.  She was feeling guilty and alone (as an unwed mother).  We were able to share about Christ’s love and we invited her to visit our church.  It was a total God-ordained appointment.

Anyway, the whole consumer-driven, commercialized theme of the holiday shopping rush always seems to frustrate me.  I keep asking myself, “Don’t they get it?”  I mean… do they really think that’s what Christmas is all about?  If we look at the Christmas story from its original source, the Bible, we can determine the true meaning of Christmas.  Let’s look at it.  There are two biblical accounts to look at, Matthew 1:18-2:19 and Luke 1:5-2:40.

To read it online, click here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Leadership Podcast Uploaded

This podcast is from a Youth Leader's Seminar I taught in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany recently.  Although it primarily applies to youth leaders, the principles taught will benefit anyone in church or ministry leadership.  Check it out on our Podcast page at:

Friday, November 28, 2008

The police came by...

So I'm staying with my friend, Jim Rogahn, while I do some leadership training and teaching at RHEMA Germany in Bonn... and tonight a little after 10:00pm the guy next door has obviously had WAAAAYYYYYY too much to drink (and smoke). He starte playing his Hammond Organ with a monster Leslie speaker (the kind that rotates) in the next apt. The crazy part is that he was inside cranking up the volume and his speaker was out on the balcony.

He played so loud that stuff in Jim's apt was shaking. We're talking some serious wattage! Anyway, all the neighbors -- even the people from the Pizzeria across the street -- start yelling at him, but he doesn't even notice. After awhile Jim got his attention and asked him to turn it down, and he said he would, but he didn't.

And when he wouldn't answer the door for either the apt manager or the police, they stopped by and asked if they can climb over Jim 's balcony to get into the guy's house. I had to really fight not to laugh hysterically... actually, we waited until they left to start laughing. But the really stupid part was the only thing they did to him was ask him to take the speaker indoors. As they were leaving, they told us to call them if he was loud again. As they often say here, you can get away with murder if you're drunk enough!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Robin's Grandma


Robin's grandma, Cecelia Braswell - known to all of us as Great Cel - passed away on Tuesday.  Here is her obituary...

Cecelia Atteberry Braswell, Age 98, passed away Tuesday evening, November 4th, 2008 in her home. Ms. Braswell was born June 19th, 1910 in Clarendon, Texas.  Her parents were Bertha and Clyde Attebury and she was born in their Atteberry Hotel in 1910.  She was the oldest of three daughters.  The hotel register served as her only birth certificate.

Cecelia and her late husband of 73 1/2 years, Sam P. Braswell, also of Clarendon, moved to Kerrville in 1936 and were previous co-owners of the Kerrville Daily Times and Braswell Printing, Inc.  She also owned a gift shop and sewing/material shop in Kerrville.  Ms. Braswell is survived by her son Sam H. Braswell, daughter-in-law Betty Wildman Braswell, grandchildren Sam L. Braswell, Carol Bernhard of Austin and Robin Perrin of Germany, great grandchildren Megan Gilfillan, Samuel T. Braswell, Andrew Braswell and Ryan, Ashton and Emma Perrin. 

The family had a ceremony Saturday at 3pm Novermber 8th, for family members at the Braswell home.  Ms. Braswell will be laid to rest with her late husband at The Garden of Memories in Kerrville.

Thursday, October 30, 2008



When we moved to Kandern a few months ago some people from this area told us it doesn't snow in the Black Forest anymore.  I'm assuming they're wrong! :)

This morning we awoke to a white wonderland!  The kids were running through the house jumping for joy.  We got them ready a bit early and let them go out and play for awhile.  Here are the girls building a snowman.  Aren't they cute?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mexican dinner

Our neighborhood English class will be held at our house tonight.  Robin is making a wonderful Mexican Dinner for everyone.  And she's topping it off with one of her famous Chocolate Cheesecakes.  Our friends are really excited about this.

They have never had real Tex-Mex before, so we're making everything extremely mild.  Robin made some salsa for them that tastes like tomatoes and onions with a little kick.  I made another batch for us that'll make you sweat!

This is a God-given opportunity for us to earn the right to share Christ with our neighbors.  They asked us to teach them... and invited us over weekly for dinner in order for us to do so.  Please continue to pray for open doors here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finally home!

My USA fundraising trip was crazy, but amazing!  In three weeks I traveled a little over 17,500 miles, counting 14 flights.  I spoke in 15 services and did 3 leadership training sessions.  The coolest part was that I was able to pray with four students to give their hearts to Christ.

Now I'm back home and trying to ease back into the Central European Time Zone.  It hasn't been pretty so far, but sometimes that's the way it goes.  I have one week of down time with my family before heading to Frankfurt (Oder), Germany for four days to do evangelistic school and street outreach, as well as leadership training and a service for the host church.  For an updated ministry schedule, check out our website:

I wanted to thank all of you that supported this trip with your finances and prayers.  We continue to be amazed at our partners and friends... You're helping us change the spiritual landscape of a planet!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bad day!

lacyI (Jon) am on a short fundraising trip to the USA. On this trip, I was able to spend a couple of nights with my brother and his family in Virginia. I've had a great time with them. Today, though, was a really bad day.

His girls had a beautiful horse named Lacy. This morning she was laying on the ground and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. After calling the vet and trying all day to save her, they ended up having to put her down. It was a very bad day.

I was so sad for their family, but I was impressed with how well they handled the whole thing... especially the girls. Please pray for them.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Alzheimer's Crash Course and My Ten-Minute Miracle

DCP_2674 This is a photo of my 98 year old grandmother and my father.

I know that Jon did great job with the kids. Some of the moms commented that they were all dressed for school and were fairly clean :) that's a plus.

Alzheimer's Crash Course

I made the 24-hour trek home by car, train, plane, another plane, and car again to basically tell my dying father goodbye. The Dr. wanted to call Hospice and we all know what that means. But, when I arrived he had awakened and asked for food! Wow! I guess they underestimated the drive to live!

I feel like I was immersed into a different world for two weeks where I learned so much about this disease while I was back in Texas. (and my mom has been in this "twilight zone" for at least two years now...pray for her, it's exhausting!)

My father has Alzheimer's and brain damage from a hip surgery.

So it's difficult to attribute which radical actions come from which horrific disease.

Alzheimer's affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. He has lost the ability to do just about everything. Well, he can walk ...but he runs into walls. He can eat by himself ...sometimes. He can't seem to find the toilet. He calls and feeds the "imaginary" dog. He can't express simple words and thoughts. It's really surreal to see someone you love do such strange things.

My Ten-Minute Miracle

In the two weeks that I had with him my father was completely irrational and incoherent. But I believe God gave me a very lucid ten-minute window with him ...just for me! I told him who I was and he remembered having a girl named Robin. (although he was confused because he thought Robin was still a baby.) I am so thankful to God for the 10 minutes that He allowed me to talk with my father. He asked me all the right "fatherly" questions. He asked me how my family was. He asked me and if I moved back home to Texas and if my husband treated me good. When I told him what a great man I married, his response was, " I knew you would pick a good deserve it." He even asked if I was having a good life. I answered yes. His response was that he had a good life,too. I began to cry ...ya know, the "ugly cry"...the one where your whole body moves and despite all your effort...sound still comes out. Then, he said ...I should have known that you were Robin because your voice is so kind and soft. He then asked if I had to go back to Germany.

That's the hardest part about what we do. We have to be an ocean away from those that we want to be with. I know that the world is so small, but it seems pretty big when I can't hop in the car and see family. Plus, my mom is always reminding me that she wants to see "her" grandchildren.

Well, enough ranting. My father will be in heaven soon. That's our goal. Heaven. It will all be worth it...but those of us left down here sure need God's mercy and grace in the meantime.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm so proud of my kids!

Yesterday we went to the swimming pool.  It was the last day of summer break for the local kids, so the pool would be closing the next day (today).  And since Robin is in the US until Wednesday, I felt like we needed to have a fun "Daddy Day" together.

We had a great time.  The weather was clear, but a bit cool.  And because it was cool, there weren't many people there.  Luckily, this pool is semi-heated, meaning it's not as cold as other pools.  We threw a football around, played a bit of "keep away", survived the circular float pool (definitely not a lazy river -- more like a raging rapids), and went down the big slide... all except for Emma.

The big slide scares her since she's not a good swimmer and it dumps you into deeper water than she's comfortable with.  At first one of us stayed with Emma while the others went down the slide so she wouldn't be lonely.  But in the end, Emma just waited for us in the shallower end.  Ryan, Ashton and I had a lot of fun trying out different sliding methods to achieve maximum speed and splash, etc.  And Emma cheered us on.

Ryan and Ashton kept encouraging Emma to try it out, since she wouldn't get another chance for an entire year. (That's "a whole 'nother year" for all the Texans out there!)  But she wouldn't budge.  After I informed them that we would be leaving in a few minutes, Ryan and Ashton really worked on her.  In the end, she said she'd try, but only if I went down with her.

We did it, and I held onto the side every now and then to slow our descent, but going underwater -- even for a split-second -- was a bit much for her.  She said, "I didn't like that very much."

But she had faced her fears. And the other two did a great job at encouraging her rather than ridiculing her for her fears.  I was so proud of all of them.  It was an awesome day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chapel band

Ryan's middle school has asked me to help out with the chapel band, made up of all students.  I'm excited because it gives me a chance to use my gift to help the school while doing something with my son.  It's also a chance to develop some influence there.

We had our first practice a couple of days ago... went well.  There's much work to do.  I want to stretch the kids musically without overwhelming them.  I think it will end up being a lot of fun!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Awesome evening!

Tonight we had family movie night.  We turned out all the lights and cranked up the sound system.  We all laughed a lot and had fun.

Then it was time to put them all in bed.  Normally we give them 10 mins. to get their teeth brushed, PJs on and in bed before they get in trouble.  Tonight, since it was already late, and there's no school tomorrow, I gave them 20 mins.

Lo and behold, they were all finished and in bed in 10 mins.  What an awesome evening!

So far, so good...

Robin's been gone for a few days... the house is still intact (mostly) and the kids are still alive.  I guess that means things are going well.

I've been helping a missionary family get setup in Germany, just as our friends, the Freys did for us when we first arrived.  It's difficult to get everything taken care of when you don't even speak the language.  Anyway, it's nice to be able to be able to help someone else.

Actually, this family's daughter is watching TV on the sofa with Emma right now.  She's Emma's "new best friend."  Earlier this afternoon they were singing a song they made up about Dr. Pooper (or something like that).  Loads of fun! (Can you sense the sarcasm?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We dropped Robin off at the train station tonight.  It was sad.  The girls both cried for awhile.  They cheered up a bit when I told them we can call her everyday.  We prayed for her before I put them in bed.  It was sad, but cute.

First day of school

The kids all came home and told me how awesome this new school is.  They have all made some new friends.  Ryan even said, "I like this school... all of them are like me."  Thanks for your prayers for my kids!

Robin leaves tonight...

Okay, so I'm really sad because Robin will be leaving tonight to head back to the USA to be with her family for a week.  Her dad isn't doing well, so she's going to help out.

Actually, we will put her on a train to Frankfurt tonight.  The train connections from here to Frankfurt aren't very good in the early morning.  Tomorrow morning she flies to San Antonio.

That means I'll be left here alone with the kids.  If you don't see another blog from me within the next day or so, call the police! ;)


Friday, August 22, 2008

Uncle Ben, eat your heart out!

My brother-in-law, Ben, always used to tell my son, Ryan, how he couldn't wait until Ryan was old enough to mow his lawn.  Well, yesterday Ryan mowed our lawn for the first time.  With a bit of coaching, he did a great job.  He only did the back yard, since our yard is hilly and rounded... but he did awesome!

P1010001 P1010002

Friday, August 8, 2008

Free entertainment...

So last night one of the neighbors (a Swiss guy) had wwaaaayyyyy too much to drink. He had his stereo turned up pretty loud and it woke up one of the other neighbors, even though it wasn't the official quiet hour yet.

So the guy that was awakened started a shouting match with the drunk guy. They ended up out in the street screaming at one another.

Since this was a few doors down the street, a bunch of the neighbors just went outside and watched the festivities. (None of them understood the drunk guy either) My kids watched from the window as the drunk guy would scream -- in Swiss German, which is hard enough to understand even when the person speaking is sober -- at the other guy, then go inside and slam his door. Then he would come out about 30 secs. later and scream some more. At one point, he threw what appeared to be oven mitts at the other guy, who picked them up and threw them back.

Ryan said, "Mom, this is better than a movie... let's get some popcorn!"

If it wasn't so pathetic, it would have been hysterical. But at precisely 10:00pm -- the official quiet hour -- they both stopped and went inside.

... only in Germany!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I can't believe I finally did it... it was against my better judgement.  I hope it doesn't end up hurting my ministry opportunities if word gets out.

A few days ago we went to the Kandern swimming pool.  There was a big sign out front that said, "No Shorts" in German.  I talked with the employee at the entrance about it and she said, "All German pools are going to this standard... even the ones in Loerrach.  Only [Speedo-type] swimsuits are allowed." [Loerrach is the nearest big town]  I later came to find out that this was totally wrong... but that's another story.  She said it is for hygienic reasons... see if you can figure that one out!

Anyway, we went in with our American swimming trunks... and a little over an hour later Ryan was asked by the lifeguard to stay out of the pool.  He said Ryan can't come back in until he gets the right type of swimming trunks.

Now I'm an easy-going, live-and-let-live sort of guy, but this is ridiculous.  But I want my son to be able to swim in the local pool where all of his school friends will be swimming.  So I did the only thing a loving dad would do... I went with him to buy some Speedo swimming trunks.

Now I can officially say I don't even have a shred of self-respect left.  We feel like total dorks in these things; but at least we'll look like the rest of the dorks that are swimming in the pool there!

I really took one for the team this time!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wasn't ready for that!

Okay, so a bunch of the dads and some of the students from Ryan's new school played some father-son indoor soccer tonight. We had a lot of fun, but it showed me how incredibly out of shape I was. I was actually embarrassed. There were guys 10+ years older than me that were running circles around me... and I used to be pretty good! (Or so I thought)

Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun, and I'm starting to meet some of the other parents at the school. One guy started out as a church planter in Japan. After a few years he realized that his previous banking experience and his natural organizational gifts could be used for the Gospel.

He now handles the finances for most of the Wycliff missionary projects in Europe and western Asia. And he says it's amazing how perfectly suited he is for this job. As he puts it, "It's not glamorous, nor does it look really good in a newsletter, but it's exactly what God created me to do." How refreshing to hear someone who has found and is fulfilling God's will for their lives!

For more thoughts on this subject, check out our Perrin Ministries Blog.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Interesting neighbors

Our neighbor, Holger, from across the street came over to introduce himself and his pet rat tonight.  We were outside trying to put the finishing touches on a covered patio when he came.  He's a really nice guy, but I must admit, having a pet rat seems a bit weird.

Anyway, we have been praying for open doors in our village, and for high-speed Internet, which they told us was unavailable.  It turns out that Holger has the fastest connection in the village, and that he would be happy to let us hook up a high-powered WLAN so we can use his connection.

He seems quite open to a relationship, and possibly to the Gospel.  God is a God of good things... and He knows what He's doing.  And we may just be the right people for the job of sharing the Good News with him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For a limited time only...

Here are some pictures of our house (from the real estate agent's website).  They show a "before" picture of the house... just so you can get an idea of what our rental house looks like.

Click here to see them: Perrin family house in Sitzenkirch, Germany

Thursday, July 3, 2008


We FINALLY found a house!  If you've followed our blogs, you've seen that we've had a lot of trouble finding a place.  Although the house we settled on wasn't our first choice because of the size, we got it for a good price and it's incredibly convenient - only a few hundred feet from the girls' school and a few minutes from Ryan's school.

So... bottom line: God is good!  He doesn't always work on our time schedule, but it definitely pays to trust Him!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

O.J. Simpson

Many of the younger readers of this blog will only remember OJ Simpson for his trial for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, and the amazing low-speed chase on the freeway (read: boring!). I am old enough to remember him in Hertz commercials running through an airport to catch a rental car.

I felt like that today...

A huge line of storms swept through Dallas a couple of hours before the first leg of my return flight to Germany. That caused the cancellation or delaying of many flights, including mine. We arrived in Chicago an hour late, giving me only 10 minutes to get to my overseas connecting flight... the last one of the evening.

So there I was, a Forty-Something guy carrying two overweight carry-ons - not that I would advocate overloading your luggage - running the length of two terminals. The scariest part came as I was still a number of gates away from where I needed to be. I heard, "Frankfurt Passenger Perrin, this is your last call. Report to your departure gate immediately."

I barely made it... out of breath and sore from the weight, distance and slalom course needed to avoid running over other travelers. I got on the plane and into my seat and the sixteen year old sitting next to me says, "You know, you're supposed to be at the airport at least two hours before your planned departure."

Friday, May 30, 2008

How to handle setbacks

Okay... so this house that we were promised (in a handshake agreement until the contract could be mailed to us) was rented to someone else. It's really frustrating, but sometimes life just stinks.

One of the things I've learned is that although I can't control the way people treat us, I can control my response to them. As is the case with most of us, our first reaction was a desire to go help this man rearrange his priorities (if you know what I mean)... but we have instead chosen to see it as God protecting us from having a landlord with a serious lack of character. And for that, we're thankful!

So the house search goes on...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On my way!

Tomorrow morning I take the 15 hour long trip from Bonn to Dallas. I'm excited to get to see many of you. You can check out my travel schedule at:

http://www. perrinministries. org/pm-xp/html/modules/agendax/index. php?op=cal


http://www. myspace. com/jeperrin

See ya!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Exciting news... we found a house! We found a house that is a lot bigger than our current apt, and cheaper as well. It's only about 10km (a little over 6 miles) from the kids' school. The local train takes only 15 minutes to get to Basel (with its international airport and further train connections) and runs every 30 minutes.

We're really excited about it! It has a bedroom or each of the kids and we have a big bedroom. And although our bedroom is unfinished, we get to finish it out however we want to (within reason) at the owner's expense. It's set in the quaint German village of Wintersweiler (Efringen-Kirchen).

Map image

Friday, May 9, 2008

Check out our Youth Ministry Blogs

Be sure to check out our new blogs... their purpose is to assist those that work with youth. (duhh!!!) We have received a number of questions over the years. In these blogs we'll share the answers we gave.

Having worked with youth for over 20 years, and having served in a teaching/coaching and mentoring capacity for youth workers for the past ten years, we have learned that for every person that asks a question, there are twenty more that would like to have the same question answered.

These blogs are an attempt to share what we've learned through successes, observations and many mistakes. We hope they will be a blessing to you!

Youth Ministry Q & A (English)

Jugenddienst Q & A (Deutsch)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Jon's laptop hard drive gave up the ghost after a tough fight.  He did, however, get to install a large new one in its place.  He barely had time to back everything up before it crashed, but got all the critical files taken care of.  God is good!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

House hunting...

Well, we can now scratch four houses off our list. We couldn't see the house we really wanted to see because the owners are out of town. The "realtors" usually won't show a house unless the owner is present. And don't even get me started on the two - three month's rent the realtors charge for a rental property! Oh well... such is life. God is still in charge!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Coming to the USA!

Coming soon to a city near you!

Jon will be doing a month-long trip to Texas and Indiana from May 22 - June 16. If you're anywhere near those two states, he'd love to see you. Robin and the kids will be in Germany preparing for the move to southern Germany while he is in the US raising money for it!

Check out our website calendar to see where and when we'll be near you... Or check out Jon's band myspace page at

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Russian Space Shuttle

Today Robin and the kids got to see an old Russian Space Shuttle as it passed down the Rhine across from our apt.  It is headed to a museum in Speyer, Germany.  I (Jon) am sorry I missed it.  But the pictures are really cool!


Coming up the river



Passing by



The girls having a fun day at the river...


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to the Perrin Family blog.  This will be primarily maintained by Robin, although Jon may add a bit.  You can see our ministry blog at  Our goal is to keep you updated on our family and our adventures in Europe, and to provide photos of both.  Be sure to check back from time to time to see how we're doing.


Jon & Robin sm PerrinFam_Easter2008
Jon & Robin Perrin Family - Easter 2008
Where we live