When U. S. Army Chaplain David Waweru and his wife, Chaplain Christine Waweru, learned that they both had orders to detach from duty at Fort Hood in Kileen, Texas and report for chaplain service in Katterbach, Germany, they immediately began trying without success to find the town on a map of Germany.
They asked Army friends at Fort Hood, many of whom had been stationed in Germany, but no one knew Katterbach. Christine and David then began to really wonder about this mysterious garrison that no one seemed to have heard about.
Alas they bumped into a Lieutenant Colonel and his wife who had just returned to Texas from duty at Katterbach. This fine officer and his spouse excitingly assured the Wawerus that they were in for a wonderful place to live and serve. The LTC's spouse followed up with phone calls to Christine in which she provided helpful contacts in and around Katterbach and other information about their soon-to-be "home town" for three years.
Katterbach is located in Bavaria. The nearest somewhat-large city is Nurmberg -- site of the post WWII Holacaust trials. Katterbach is a small town very near the old and interesting small city of Ansbach. I drove the five-hour trip from Ramstein/Landstuhl on Saturday, May 5 to visit with the Wawerus at chapel on Sunday and to make chaplain rounds with them on Monday.
My compact visit included participating with the Wawerus in the Katterbach Chapel Liturgical (Episcopal Rite) Holy Eucharist where David and Christine are co-pastors. Their two fun-loving, spiritually-maturing sons, Baraka (17) and Imani (13), also serve faithfully in the chapel life. Baraka takes his turn as an usher and as a scripture reader; Imani plays percussion (gently, rhythemically playing the drums) and he substitutes as pianist when the regular keyboard person is away.
The Sunday afternoon Episcopal chapel-community lunch at the home of newly commissioned lay Worship Leader, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Crogan, and his wife Jackie; my Monday separate chaplain rounds with Christine then with David; and the Monday evening dinner-out with the Waweru family -- all allowed me see something of how this dedicated, faithful, happy family is making a positive difference in this relatively small military garrison community.
The Waweru chaplains along with their gifted, smart and athletic sons, have indeed found Katterbach, and as a result, Katterbach is a good deal better place to live and serve. They are gently, good-naturally and faithfully serviving God, the Episcopal Church and the U.S. peace makers/keepers and their families stationed here. Thanks be to God.