EAY General Assembly
Melun, France, May 1999
Rev. Dr. Dölf Weder, Secretary General
and Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, Secretary General Elect
It has almost become a tradition that the
report of the European Secretariat comes in two parts. This year, it even comes
from two different speakers, focusing both on our Assembly theme: "Building
on our Strengths - sharing best practices".
My task is to look back on the past years and
tell you what I consider the most important strengths of the European YMCA
family. No success stories, no problems or challenges. Only: What are our
strengths, on which we can build for the future?
Then comes our star speaker this morning: Johan
Vilhelm Eltvik, Secretary General of the EAY as from October of this year. He
will share with us his vision of the future of the EAY, based on where we are
Our Strength as a European YMCA Family
(by Doelf Weder)
What then are our strengths as European YMCA
family? What would you say?
My underlying assumption is that we produce
good and sustainable results because we base on a strong vision and valid
principles - and on committed people with love in their hearts.
Strength No. 1:
A common challenge and a common vision
Did you also follow Piccard's flight in a
balloon all around the Earth? Fascinating, wasn't it? Piccard and his crew had
set themselves a bold challenge and they developed a vision of how to meet it.
Our big challenge has the number of a
year: 1989 - when the Iron Curtain fell down and Europe changed dramatically. We
then developed the vision of a strong, truly All-European YMCA movement. And
since then, the development of YMCA work in Central and Eastern Europe has never
ceased to be our agenda item number 1.
But it never was the only uniting item either.
The Programme Field and the Christian Orientation work for example expanded
considerably during these years, too. The European YMCA family grew together
strongly, both in awareness and in action.
In two strategic five-year plans we laid out
our common vision, our guiding principles and our goals, as well as how to reach
And we became much more determined than in the
decade before, that we wanted our European YMCAs to be two main things:
a) Christian movements, and
b) youth centred movements.
This is our strength number 1: We have a clear
common challenge and a clear common vision. You remember:
"If somebody has a dream, it is
only a dream.
But if two or three dream together,
it is the beginning of something
Strength No. 2:
The Field Group and Partner Group System
In autumn 1990, shortly after my start as
European Secretary, we were confronted with an enormous difficulty: With then
only two European staff (Regula and myself) and without money we should support
the development of around 10 emerging National Movements.
It was clear: We needed to heavily involve the
human and financial resources of our National Movements as well as those of our
old friends USA and Canada. Several of them were strongly interested in
partnerships. Some had already started in that direction.
But then Rolando Dalmas from the World Alliance
made me aware of the problems with bilateral partnerships: the danger of well
meant, but one-sided influence, of dependencies and dominating imbalance. He
gave sad examples from all around the World and argued for a multi-lateral
approach. Only: how could one multi-laterally composed EAY Committee ever be
able to cope with so many different situations?
The solution was worked out in October 1990
here in Melun, France, when we met with the heads of the European YMCA World
Services: The EAY Field Group and Partner Group system was designed. It combines
the best of two worlds: the traditional bilateral partnerships put into the
context of a multi-lateral, self-governing group approach. This way, good and
strong contributions automatically balance each other, create considerable
synergistic effects and lead to a natural empowerment of the local people.
This concept has in the meantime proven its
high value and is today also discussed as a model for other situations in the
Thus, our strength number 2: The Field Group
and Partner Group System.
Strength No. 3:
The concept of "Begleitung" (walking side by side)
The next big challenge came in April 1991. Bob Copleton, then EAY Treasurer, and myself were called to Chicago on short notice.
There, our American friends told us that the US Government had granted 1.5
million US$ for the development of YMCA work in five countries of East Central
Europe. The Saphir Initiative was born.
The original idea was that one would gather the
most successful programme know-how from all around the World. One would organize
Programme Institutes and train the emerging leaders. And then grant seed money
for local programme implementation.
But, we asked, who guaranteed that these ideas
would actually work and be relevant in Central and Eastern Europe and its long
pre-communist YMCA history? Who would help to adapt these programmes to the
local situations? What about these countries' own ideas? What about meaningful
Needs Analyses and adequate response to their findings? And who would assist
these National Movements in developing their own institutions and their
Our American friends, especially Bruce Knox,
then Director of the Office for Europe, proved to be open and flexible. The
venture developed into an outstanding long-term partnership between the YMCA of
the USA and the EAY. This partnership is still continuing and bearing rich
Under the Saphir Initiative, the first two EAY
field workers could be employed in 1991, among them a man called Johan Vilhelm
Eltvik from Norway.
The challenging discussions around the Saphir
Initiative forced the EAY to work out its concept of "Begleitung": To
walk side by side with National Movements, empowering them and giving them the
full responsibility for their own development - including the right to make
mistakes. And to resist all temptations to execute undue influence from the
This needs a strong process-orientation and
often enormous patience and long-term thinking. But it creates trust and has
proven to produce truly indigenous and sustainable development.
"Begleitung" represents a modern, holistic and empowering development
approach, far away from the traditional project philosophy. The concept is today
known and appreciated throughout the YMCA world.
"Begleitung" became our strength
The EAY was very early aware that Leadership
Development is key to all development work, and we always carried out respective
activities, for example through the 5+2 Initiative.
But the real break-through came only in 1995
with the EAY Development Initiative, when the current Training the Trainers
scheme was started.
The approach focuses on working on EAY level
with trainers, enabling them to train their people themselves back in their
countries. This year, the methodology will be expanded to the Training of
In the years since 1995, the programme produced
a considerable pool and network of qualified YMCA trainers, on which we can draw
whenever we carry out leadership development.
Therefore our strength number 4: Training the
Strength No. 5:
A big, committed, competent and multi-cultural group of
YMCA volunteers and professionals
What would all these concepts and principles be
without committed, competent people, who actually carry them out?
In the case of the EAY, this is by nature and
by purpose a multi-cultural group. Because this is what Europe is, and it helps
us to understand and to work with the many different cultures and people in
Over the years, I had the privilege of working
with very dedicated and competent professional EAY staff from eleven different
countries. I want to most sincerely thank each and all of them for their
enormous contributions and for their personal friendship. Standing for all of
them, I only mention our faithful Regula Sandgaard-Leumann, carrying
responsibility for the St. Gallen office since its opening in 1990; and of
course Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, a great man and my successor. In practice already
since many years the co-leader of the EAY.
But it is also the virtually hundreds of
volunteers and supporters who serve in so many different capacities, groups,
committees and networks. And then all of you, our National Movements. I do not
even make the attempt to list all the great and faithful contributors and
friends. Any start would leave out too many with not less valuable
Representing all of them and all of you, I only
name the two great Presidents and the two fine Treasurers who worked with us
during these years: Terry Ratcliffe and Jan Nissén, Bob Copleton and Peter
It is simply enormous, what they and so many
others contribute to our YMCAs. Thank you so much!
All of you together are our precious strength
number 5: A big, committed, competent and multi-cultural group of YMCA
volunteers and professionals.
Strength No. 6:
Love for people and mutual sharing
This last strength of ours is very close to my
heart. Genuine love for people is simply the basis for it all. We all are part
of intensive mutual sharing as YMCAs and as persons and friends. I believe
because we simply love people.
All YMCA work is and must be based on love. On
God's forgiving love for ourselves, and on our own love for others. "No man
is an island" (John Done). No woman is an island. And: "Nothing is
real until it is local." "Nothing is real until it becomes
Mutual sharing is the consequence of love and
means to open our hands for giving and receiving. This was the theme of our
General Assembly 1993, down in Thessaloniki, Greece: "Facing My Neighbour
with Open Hands".
I would like to close this, my last European
Secretary's report, with the story I wrote for that Assembly 1993. All who
already know it, may excuse me.
This story became more and more precious for me
over the years. I wrote it as a parable of the YMCA. And then I discovered that
in many respects it is becoming more and more also a parable for my own life:
Once upon a time, there was a lovely clown. One of these
good, cheerful clowns with a big, red nose, with wide, colourful trousers around his legs
and with a small, brown violin in his hands. On his face, he always had a big, warm smile.
He lived and worked in a circus. Not a big circus, and
not a small circus. But a circus and a clown loved by the people, especially the young
Times were not always easy for this circus. There were
times of recession and economical disaster. There were times when governments changed
their financial policies, and circuses no longer got public grants. Sometimes the clown
was afraid the circus would no longer be able to have its own tent, or even some artists
might have to be sent away. What would happen to the people then?
He knew that circuses and clowns are needed. The clown,
for many people in the towns around, was a symbol of hope and joy and humanity. Hope, joy
and humanity in the middle of a not always easy everyday-life. A life in which the
strongest and the best and the fittest succeeded. But people know that not everybody is
the strongest, and the best, and the fittest.
The clown showed them what really counted in life. He
showed them that you can love and be loved, even if you are weak, even if you fall on your
nose, even if you sometimes cry. People loved the clown and his big, warm smile. And he
But there was one big sadness in our clown's life. He got
more and more aware that he was so limited in his thinking and experience. His thoughts
only circled around in his limited circus circles. And with every passing year he had more
difficulty to develop new ideas, to show his spectators the many sides of life.
people still loved him, he knew he should give them more. He should open their eyes to the
bigger world. He should open their eyes to the many people in this world. To the people
who think and live differently from them. To the people who suffer from injustice and
poverty. To the people who would like to share their gifts and their human warmth with
He knew: Life was much more than life in this circus.
Life was much deeper than he had experienced so far.
And so, one day, our clown decided to go on a journey. He
had heard there was a man called Jesus. And people had told him that Jesus lived life in
its fullness, and that he loved and was loved. That's what our clown was looking for: life
in its fullness, to love and to be loved.
And so he took his rucksack and packed into it his small,
brown violin, his wide, colourful trousers, and his big, red nose. And with the violin,
the trousers and the nose in his rucksack, he directed his steps to the East, to Galilee,
to find Jesus.
When wandering through the lands, it was not long before
he met a gipsy girl. Her long black hair hanging over her dark brown face, she was sitting
beside the road and crying.
"I'm a foreigner in this country", she said,
"and because I'm not like the others, I'm cast out. I'm allowed to work here, but not
The clown laid his arms around her shoulders and cried
with her. But then he took his small, brown violin and gave it to the girl. "Take it
and play it", he said, "and let its sound comfort you and the hearts of all
suffering people around you."
Wandering further through the lands, it was not long
before he met a mother with three children. Holding the youngest at her breast and the
other two in her arm, she was sitting beside the road and crying. "Injustice, poverty
and brutal war", she said, "have taken our father and everything; my children
must now live naked."
The clown laid his arms around her and the children's
shoulders and cried with them. But then he took his wide, colourful trousers and gave them
to the family. "Take them and use them", he said, "they are big enough to
give clothes for all three of your children."
Wandering further through the lands, it was not long
before he met a young man. Having his head on his knees, he was sitting beside the road
and crying. "I'm unemployed and cannot find a job", he said, "nobody needs
me, and I'm worth nothing."
The clown laid his arms around his shoulders and cried
with him. But then he took his big, red nose and gave it to the young man. "Take it
and put it on your nose", he said, "and I will teach you how to be a good and
Finally, after many weeks and months, our clown arrived
in Galilee. He went to Nazareth, knocked at Jesus' door and walked into His house.
A man was sitting in the room.
"Are you Jesus?", asked the clown, People told
me that Jesus lives life in its fullness, He loves and is loved".
"Dear friend", responded the man, "Jesus
died 2000 years ago, you cannot meet Him here."
The clown broke out in tears. "Then my whole journey
was in vain. And my life will continue to circle around in my old, limited circus
"Don't be sad", answered the man, "you've
already met Jesus three times on your way here. Whenever you meet a person and open your
hands, you also meet Jesus. And you make an experience of fullness of life, you love and
you are loved."
The clown stood there, surprised and silent. He dried his
tears and started a smile. But then, after a further thought, he sadly answered: "But
now all my gifts have gone. There's nothing left I could share.
"Your hands are empty", replied the man,
"because you faced your neighbours with open hands. But love means giving and
receiving. And only empty hands can receive. Open your hands for your neighbours again.
And your empty hands will be filled."
The clown opened his hands, and the man gave him a
wonderful Pan Flute. "Take this shepherd's flute", he said, "take it back
to your circus. And whenever you perform as a clown, play one piece on this flute for your
Let them listen to the sound of eternity. Let them listen
to the sound of love. Let them understand that the world is much bigger than their circus.
Let them experience love and to be loved, to receive and to give, to give and to
The clown stood there, with the flute in his hands. His
heart felt warm, and on his face he had a deep and happy smile.
"I will go back to my circus", he said, "I
will tell my people that I met Jesus. I will blow my flute, and we will face our
neighbours, with open hands, to love and to be loved, in the fullness of life."
[Written for the EAY General
Assembly, May 1993:
"Facing my Neighbours with Open Hands"]
[Fully formatted text on page
Building on our Strengths for the
(by Johan Vilhelm Eltvik)
Some people invite friends to their homes or to
a restaurant. That is nice. It is what I call ordinary, decent gray music. Dölf
is more generous. He is creative and he plays the blue music to surprise people.
He invites friends into his speeches.
In fact my friendship with Dölf started some
18 years ago in a small Swiss church where Dölf saw me and invited me up to the
pulpit to share his speech with him. Now history repeats itself. This man is
truly generous. The strength on which we can build today in the EAY is in so
many important details built on Dölf Weder.
Next time we go to a restaurant, Dölf.
I use these terms to symbolize among other
things the two elements of YMCA-work, the systematic and the creative.
Grey music is necessary in order to build the
YMCA for the future. I have played a lot of grey music in the EAY. The future
holds much more of the same grey music for me. The term may sound negative. It
is not meant negatively. Grey music is logical, systematic, hard work. Grey
music is strategic plans, structures for the organisation, systematic training,
time schedules, reports and budgets. We need it, and we need a lot of it.
Without the grey music, we will have no frames, no structures, no future.
Blue music is the symbol of creativity, of
surprise, of inspiration. Blue music is not in our power, we cannot force it or
create it. Blue music is a gift, coming to us from far away. When you hear it,
you know what it is and it makes your soul fly, enables you to do impossible
With grey music we build the house. With blue
music we fill the house with life. I am proud of the YMCA, because this movement
is full of blue music.
I am asked to share a vision of the EAY for the
future. A vision is a dream which can become reality. So let us dream together
for some minutes and try to hear the blue music which renews our motivation and
gives us strength.
Even a speech on vision needs a grey structure.
The foundation, the starting point, is our mission as the YMCA. For the EAY this
mission is realised through international unity and interaction. Built on this
foundation I will indicate three concrete visions. Then I will try to climb to
the top of those visions and listen for the blue music, look for possible
creative results, exciting goals for our common work.
Three solid, grey blocks fill me with strong
optimism for the future. These European Assemblies demonstrate a warm and
friendly unity in the European YMCAs. We shall build upon this strength and
further develop all the groups and committees and facilitate meeting places
where our unity and interaction will be strengthened.
The fact that you last year unanimously decided
to move the EAY-office to Prague, is a beautiful symbol of the project which I
sometimes call to build a new European house in the YMCA.
The partnership with the YMCA of the USA is the
second strong element. I am deeply grateful for this unique friendship. From the
very beginning of the huge challenges in Central-Eastern Europe they have truly
shared the burdens with us. There is a mutual understanding and trust between us
which gives me great expectations for the future. Bruce, Dale, Phil, Jan - I
The third strong element is the World Alliance
of YMCAs. I have been to my first meetings in Geneva and the team headed by
Martin and Nick have opened the doors for the future co-operation in a way which
already has created trust and confidence. For the future I see an EAY, which
still has its independent structures, but is much closer to the World Alliance
and the other areas. A team approach to the world agenda, lead by the World
Alliance, is what I see developing.
We have a very strong foundation. We have also
an extremely difficult world to face. In the WAY all of us together worked on
our common Mission. What shall the YMCA look like for the future?
A good friend of mine from the Russian YMCA,
Nikolay Kourotchkin, once gave me a picture of a beautiful, white monastery,
built at the side of a wide river. The river gives movement to the picture, it
is like life itself, running fast, never stopping for a second. Behind the
monastery are dark clouds, like a storm is building up. On top of the church
tower the cross is lifted up and makes the centre-point of the picture.
This picture hangs over my desk. For years now
it has reminded me of the troublesome times for the Russian people, struggling
with all kinds of difficulties and challenges. Today this picture also reminds
me of the dark clouds over Europe.
Trying to express a vision for the future of
European YMCA, this is today made on the background of dark clouds, like a storm
Still I find it deeply meaningful to express a
vision of the YMCA also in times of darkness. I see a YMCA close to the river,
close to life itself, lifting the cross towards the sky, the sign of hope, the
sign of future behind all dark clouds, the sign of unity. People are looking for
signs of hope. Are we giving it to them?
Let me take you down to Armenia for a few
minutes. Two weeks ago the YMCA of Armenia organised a seminar about the
Genocide, which took place in 1915, and where more than one million Armenians
were murdered. The seminar was covered by all the main TV-channels in Armenia
and helped giving a public profile to the YMCA.
One of the speakers was Alina Edelmann, a
survivor from Holocaust. As a young girl she was smuggled out of the Jewish
ghetto in Warsaw. A fascinating lady. I really would like to bring her to one of
our meetings. She talked about human dignity.
I was given the impossible task to share
Biblical perspectives on Genocide. A lot of young YMCA-people were there.
Afterwards a young man came to me, struggling with his school-German, he wanted
to express how important it was for him that the YMCA was willing to go into the
most difficult questions and not only offering sports and leisure time
activities. «It has helped me in my struggle to find my identity as a young
Suddenly the blue music had touched me through
the words of this young Armenian YMCA-man. And his words brought me back to the
year 1989, a year which definitely changed my personal life. My identity changed
a bit, opened up, included more. Then the painful pictures from the sufferings
in Bosnia again changed my identity as a European. Around me I see nations in
search of direction, whole societies struggling to find their way in a
dramatically changed world. There is war in Europe.
I so much understood my Armenian friend. And I
realised how many important questions people have when they meet the YMCA.
We need to remember that fact, because often
they do not formulate their questions. Building of identity, for individuals and
for societies, will be a major challenge in the years to come.
I have a prayer for the future of European
YMCA, the most beautiful prayer in the Bible: «Guide me Lord, so that I can
walk in your truth. Give me an undivided heart, so I can fear your name.»
An undivided heart...
My vision, or my prayer for the future of
European YMCA, is that we keep an undivided heart. We shall build together a new
European house - a common identity. The truth of the future YMCA lies in an
undivided heart. I see a European YMCA which is relevant to young people because
it is not afraid of dealing with the most difficult challenges facing young
people today. Not offering easy solutions. Most of the time we will just have to
be there together with people, sharing the struggle and frustration, searching
together for answers.
Between the dark clouds above and the river in
front of us, as a Christian movement we are lifting up the sign of the cross.
We are definitely not a church. We are in the
church, but not under the church. But as a Christian, Ecumenical Youth movement
we are much closer to young people than most of the churches. Young people are
searching for identity in a Europe wounded by rapidly growing nationalism,
xenophobia, racism. These messages are spread with the speed of a flash light,
and young people are asking: Are there no other alternatives, relevant to us?
Christian principles put into action is fine.
But principles need to be reflected upon, to be discussed, to be studied.
Principles are not just there, cut in stone. They come from somewhere, and they
are influenced by the people practising them.
Therefore - we have a job to do - to redefine
what Christian principles mean in the context of Europe today. To put new words
to the Christian message.
Last year in Malta we struggled with Youth
Spirituality. To me that was much more a signpost showing the way into the
future than it was a goal reached.
The initiative coming primarily, not only, from
France about Social Exclusion is another very important signpost for the future.
We shall go down these roads, we shall struggle with the challenges, we shall
fight with the obstacles. And doing so, our identity as YMCA will change, our
identity as Europeans will change, and it will make the YMCA relevant for a new
«Guide me Lord, so that I can walk in your
truth. Give me an undivided heart so I can fear your name.»
I talk about grey music because I firmly
believe that we need good plans and well built structures. But it does not mean
that we shall build an empire. The EAY will remain a small operation, not a big
institution. We will continue to have a small, but efficient administration. The
rest will be light troops easy to move as the challenges change.
I talk about blue music because I believe it is
a major force in our YMCA and sometimes it is difficult to define exactly what
it is or to give it a name.
What happened with «Fryshuset», the Freeze
House in YMCA Stockholm? Nobody believed in the crazy idea of turning an old
freeze house into a youth centre for youth from the most difficult areas of the
city. It was a lot of resistance. I visited this house and it was full of blue
music. Skateboards, rock-music, dancing, theatre. And hundreds of youth with
life in their eyes. I loved to be there.
What happened to my own local YMCA? One year we
were only a handful of people there. Nothing really worked. I came back as an
adult, and the house was packed with young people doing Ten Sing. School classes
were cueing up, but there were not enough places. I call it blue music.
Blue music infuses life into people and
organisations and make them grow. An important element of blue music is to give
people space and time and independence to discover their own creative potential.
Another element has to do with undivided hearts and love for people. Blue music
is close to our mission.
I believe it is possible to facilitate for the
blue music, and I will indicate three ways we will go to do so.
One is about programme resources, one is about
human resources and the third is to create a base for both of them, a small
Let me take you to the small Hungarian village Tiszadob, March 1992. 150 YMCA-leaders from all over the world, 120 of them from
the re-established YMCAs of 5 Eastern European countries met to share
experiences and visions for the future. The first programme festival organised
together with Bruce and the YMCA of the USA. I shall never forget the picture of
one big man from Togo marching through the Hungarian village in front of the
ecological programme workshop with a tree in his hand. The tree is still there.
Carlos Sanvee of the WAY was the man with the tree.
I had been against the whole idea, it was too
expensive and I did not believe in it. Then the blue music touched the event,
and it became a smashing success, a hit. People are still talking about it. And
for myself a big learning experience.
In August we shall organise the second
programme festival in Russia for 180 people and 5 new countries. It will be
financed by the YMCA of the USA and the IMSS-funds from the WAY. USA, Russia and
the EAY have developed this event in partnership. It is still expensive, but I
firmly believe that it will mean a lot for the involved movements. Sharing
experiences, sharing visions. Building friendships.
Could such a programme festival be imagined in
Scandinavia? In the United Kingdom? In the Mediterranean region?
When Dölf mentioned Training the Trainers, I
saw pictures flashing by of groups of young people very close to me. Always in
circles, no tables, an open circle and a deep going process of change and
growth. For all of us involved. It has been a most rewarding part of my work.
Also the most intensive. These participants are important for the future of
their YMCAs. Therefore we want to build a strong network where they can continue
to grow and develop, as trainers, as people, as YMCA-leaders for the future.
It started as a school for leaders of the
re-emerging YMCAs. More and more we have included the rest of Europe into the
training, and last time we even had two Africans and two Latin-Americans
A high number of our participants have stayed
with the YMCA for years now, a handful of them have become National Secretaries,
some programme secretaries and a lot of local secretaries. And of course the
whole staff of the EAY from November first are participants from TTT.
We believe that this training concept is an
important tool for our future human resource development. I want to pay tribute
to my former colleague Michael Wardlow from Belfast who taught me this concept
many years ago.
Therefore it is important for us to keep the
network together also for the reason that we will spread the concept and the
Soon we will be able to offer a few small teams
of trainers from this network who are able to present and facilitate the
Training the Trainers concept in other countries. This is of course a question
of money, but also a question of motivation. Do we see the need for such a
network of trainers? Are the old and established YMCAs of Europe motivated to
participate in such a scheme? Can we offer concrete training opportunities where
we could use these trainers? Will you send you young leaders for the training?
Have a talk with the people in this Assembly
who belong to the network. For me they represent blue music for the future.
The YMCA-centre in Mainau was an important
symbol of the European YMCA until the late sixties. It has been a dream for
years to have such a small centre somewhere in Europe as a meeting place, as a
resource centre, as the face of the EAY.
Five years ago we presented this vision again
for the EAY Assembly. Since then we have patiently kept the vision alive, the
re-emerging movements have asked for it, the network of trainers say that we
need it. I am convinced that such a face of the EAY will do the movement good.
It could contain a library and a resource centre for training and programme
development, it could be combined with a YMCA hostel for travelling YMCA groups,
and it could offer a venue for EAY committee meetings and training courses.
It is still only a dream. My concern has always
been that the EAY can never afford to buy and run such a centre.
There has been developments, though. Through
our friends in the Czech YMCA we are in negotiation with the Czech government.
They may give a small camp just outside of Prague to the Czech YMCA for free.
The Czech YMCA invites the EAY to run its EAY centre in this camp. It will be an
international training centre and hostel, but the ownership will be Czech. The
Danish Y's Men have fund raised 100 000 SFR to renovate the place and together
with the Czech YMCA they want the EAY to run this centre there. It will also be
used for the Czech YMCA and for the Y's Men.
It is a very, very generous situation offered
us by our friends. Practically no financial risks. It is still a dream. We may
have to be patient for more years.
But this is a dream with a sound of blue music
attached to it.
Dear friends! It was difficult to make this
shorter. As you will understand, there is a lot of hard work and solid grey
music in front of us to realise these dreams.
Before we go into discussions and work, let us
rest for some minutes and listen to the blue music. It happened at some
occasions during the previous years that Dölf and I hit some grey walls with
our heads. There were crisis and obstacles big enough to take our courage and
motivation away for a short time. But then there was always this blue music. It
has a tendency to touch you also in the darkest moments.
It fills you and renews you and give you this
crazy idea that you can do the impossible - you believe you can fly.
Blue music is the beautiful voice of God, when
he stretches his hands towards us to lift us up and give us new courage and
I believe we can fly...