Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back at it

I did not realize having a blog would be such pressure :)

Anyways...I am back at it again after a break of a few months.

Most of you know that we have opted to stay in Vienna for a few more years! We are thrilled to have this ministry extend by the free gift of God. Such a privilege.

I think we have been overwhelmed by the dominoe effect of the decision in our lives.

It has been hard to resign from Kost Church. We love this church family as we have loved all our former church families, but after 9 years, we really know each other. That is hard to sever.

Also we have had to decide some other major issues: where to live here in Vienna, furnished house or unfurnished apartment? cost issues involved! House is more money in the long run, but unfurnished apartment requires more money up front: 3 months deposit, 1 month rent at contract signing, purchasing furniture....

We have decided to go with the apartment since we will also be needing a car and also would like to see some other countries. We will save in the long run doing it this way. Less space, but more freedom!

We also are working on getting better acquainted with the Grace Church family. We don't have enough days in the week to get together with everyone who desires us to come over to their home. They are very hospitable people!

We are hosting a young adult Bible Study in our home. We have been asked to teach on timely subjects on their hearts....mostly relationships and sex. I said that one is simple....If you are not married, don't do it. If you are married, you can do it.

We are looking at airline tickets for flying back to the States in June and returning to Vienna in August. While we are home we will seek to sell our home, put our things in storage, visit supporters, continue to raise financial support, and reconnect with family and friends. Can we do all this in two months? Many what ifs scroll through my mind, especially at 3:00 a.m.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving in Vienna

Apart from being thankful to God for bringing us to Vienna, we are going to celebrate the holiday as traditionally as possible! Many people have asked us how we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving and if we can find all the little things we traditionally eat. Here is what is planned so far!

Our turkey is coming from a store that has fresh turkeys which they 'prepare' the day you want it. I have a friend with a car who is bringing me a fresh turkey. I haven't made my own turkey in years so am hoping I can do it right. If you have ever been in Europe you know that ovens are about 1/3 smaller than US ovens. So my turkey is smaller, too. I am going to a chicken in the crock pot as well since we are having 7 students join us.

Another tradition in our family is "Pear Salad" but it is made with Cool Whip. Hopefully the real whipping cream will hold up in this recipe.

Am making my own creamed corn today so I can make corn casserole. There is no Jiffy muffin mix, so am making that from scratch as well.

I have to make Cream of Mushroom soup from a powdered mix in order to make Green Bean Casserole. I did find onions---baked and fried....I got a package of both because I wasn't sure which one tastes most like what we are used to.

I bought a small pumpkin to make pumpkin pie. I stewed it up last night and today I will puree it. I am going shopping today to look for lard to make the pie crust. Forgot that yesterday when I was shopping. Sarah makes an awesome Apple Pie and so we are going to bake pies on Wednesday afternoon.

My family loves my homemade rolls, but with all the other 'homemade' elements to this dinner we are going to enjoy the wonderful Austrian fresh baked bread which they do famously! I think we will have croissants!

We will serve Almdudler for drinks. The kids love it. It is like an herbed ginger apple sparkling drink....hard to describe! But it is the national drink of Austria. If you cross Ginger Ale with Apple Juice you might get close to the taste.

Stay tuned for pictures!

Thanks be to God for His indescribablel gifts! Salvation, Jesus, Eternal life, Love that never ends, Family, Friends, Ministry

Sunday, November 8, 2009

God speaks

We have often wondered what God is doing and where he is leading on a personal level.....and we know that 95% of what needs to happen is internal character, and spiritual growth and becoming more like Christ as revealed in the Word of God, and yet this activity happens on earth in the physical realm. This is where every choice is played out. If we are to get to heaven to hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant", then earth and now is where each choice counts!

Our family made a choice to investigate going to Vienna and here we are. We made this choice within our relationship with our dynamic God. We wondered if He would do for us what He has done for other missionaries or if would we fall flat. We hoped, wished, prayed and internally agonized, but we did not stop. We took the next step, then we took the next step, then the next. We "walked" our way to Vienna by small steps.

Even after arriving, we have wondered, will we be able to stay? Will the support come in that we underestimated that we needed? Does God see us? Is He for us? We would now need to make a choice....ask Him and His people for help or realize that this is no longer humanly feasible and just head back home to a waiting church and our comfortable home and two cars in storage and a regular income.

Through many late night talks, prayers of surrender and supplication, encouragement from fellow believers and co-laborers here in Vienna and other places, we chose to ask. That was a hard choice. We have heard of and experienced the recession in the States. We know it is painfully real to many families whose hours are cut back, who have lost jobs and houses. But we can choose once again to look at the first 6 feet of what is happening on earth or we can look to the Lord in heaven who is above any recession. A choice...will He speak or act on our behalf? By faith, we have been knocking at his door. Thankfully he is not a disinterested official. He is teaching us so much more about His direct involvement in our faith or fear, our choices to give in or push through. The needs we must see provided for by Dec. 1st --human deadline--are arriving in the most unusual ways that they are obviously of God's divine providence. We are humbled to our knees by those God has led to give directly to us to meet the needs that are inherent for a family of five living in Vienna Austria.

I was talking with someone recently about other mission fields. Hungary has a lower cost of living and hence all the missionaries live above the standards of the Hungarian people. Austria is much more expensive and all the missionaries live below the standard of living of most other Austrians....hand me down furniture and appliances, no cars, no amenities, no going to movies since they are too expensive...sometimes giving up the little things in life. So the irony is that it costs more to live here but we get less physical goods for the dollar. Is it wrong to be here, then? By no means! Austria is so spiritually needy! They have everything, but nothing! Vienna is 60% international! only 40% of Vienna is Viennese! So we are here and praying for the city and the country for God to crack through the tough exterior. And we are serving a school unlike any other for hours around. The international community consisting of many Muslim nations are available to reach here. It is legal to share one's faith in Austria with a Muslim! So we are praying for opportunities to abound to do that here.

God speaks! He leads! He answers!