Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Getaway in the Alps!

 By far one of the most crucial parts of our Vision Trip was connecting with our WorldVenture team. WorldVenture has 9 missionaries on the ground in Vienna, and we are excited to join them in ministry. At the start of our Vision Trip in April, after spending 1 day getting over jet lag (at least a little), we spent the next 5 days on the “Spring Getaway”, a WorldVenture team retreat in a mountain town in the Alps. We stayed at an affordable hostel that allowed us to use a large room for worship and study time, group meetings and sharing time. In addition to the Vienna missionaries, the WorldVenture teams from Germany and Slovenia joined us for the retreat.

We were really blessed by this time on retreat. Here are some reasons why…
Our Vienna WorldVenture Team
  • Conversations with our fellow missionaries over meals, hikes and down time allowed us to absorb so much about Austria, ministry and what to expect when we first arrive. 
  • Each missionary or couple was allowed 20 minutes of sharing time in front of the group to talk about their last year in ministry and what they have been learning. It was valuable to get a broad perspective of where and how God is using each missionary.
  • We were given the chance to share our story with the group – how God led us to Austria and what we envision for ministry.
  • We got to know all of the missionaries and began building relationships with people who we will be serving alongside for decades. When we move to Austria, we will see familiar faces!
  • We were blessed by quiet times with the Lord where we could pray and process all that we were learning and absorbing. God really spoke to me (Bethany) there and used that time to give me an overwhelming sense of peace about the next year of our lives and the journey we are on.
Sharing Time at the Hostel
  • We got to worship the Lord together and we listened to sermons from the Willow Creek leadership conference, which led to some really encouraging and challenging discussions.
  • We conducted video interviews with missionaries, asking them all about the spiritual needs in Western Europe and where they see God working. We are excited to share these with you over the coming months.
  • We spent 3 hours in the car to and from the retreat with our team leaders, Celeste and Peter Persson. We talked the whole time both ways, all about their 28 years of service in Austria and what God has been teaching them. We asked questions and learned so much just in those conversations. 
We felt the retreat was the perfect way to begin our Vision Trip to Austria. It laid a solid foundation for the rest of our 2 weeks by connecting us with our team and with God, before the fast-paced experience in Vienna that followed. We were so thankful for this time!