Monday, October 7, 2013

One Year Reflections

Arriving at the Vienna airport on October 6, 2012.
Yesterday, we went out to dinner to celebrate one year since landing in Austria. ONE YEAR! We can't believe a year has already passed since we got on a plane, left the States and began this new adventure and new life.

Like many things in life, we experience a paradox when we think of the last year - so much has happened since we left and being in the U.S. feels like a long time ago, so it seems this year has been full and gone by slowly. But at the same time, it feels like it has flown by!

Tiredly posing with teammates at the airport last fall.
Here are some of the amazing things that God has done in the last year:
  • He got us here, with 100% support, all of our luggage and a readiness to jump in!
  • He enabled us to get acclimated to life here quickly and pass our A1 language exam last fall, required for our visas.
  • He answered many prayers and got us us visas to stay in Austria- in record time!
  • He healed our German teacher Renate, after she was in a coma and nearly died. She has since revealed that she is going to catholic mass more regularly, and we believe she has encountered God in a new way.
  • He opened the door to partner with the Fry family in England AND found us a German tutor while we were there, so that our time across the water was productive and used well while we waited for our visas to return.
  • He helped us find the perfect apartment in only TWO DAYS of looking, and we were able to move in just TWO DAYS after we arrived back in Vienna.
  • He provided us with many friends and teammates here who helped us paint and put together Ikea furniture, helping our move-in process go more quickly.
  • He's given us favor with learning German, and we're amazed at how far we've progressed, when we look back at the last year. We've also had great classroom and tutor experiences across the board, which is truly a gift. Not everyone has had such a great experience as we've had.
  • He led us to a great church community in Vienna, where we've been able to plug in, be welcomed and grow in our German. We've met many patient people willing to help us learn.
  • He blessed us with our little girl who will be arriving in January, ss well as excellent medical care from our doctor and midwife, helping us feel great about having our first child here in Vienna.
  • He also blessed us with our sweet dog, who has already given us MANY opportunities to meet our neighbors and practice German in the park and at puppy class.
  • He led us to start a bible study with a few folks from church, which will be a wonderful outreach opportunity and a chance to grow in our ability to discuss deeper topics in German.
  • He has blessed us with a community here - a supportive team and friends who have helped us feel at home. This is a huge blessing and one we do not take for granted (or try not to!).
We could go on and on. Suffice it to say, God has opened doors, given us favor, and confirmed his presence with us every step of the way. We are blown away by his blessings, even in the times that have been challenging, tiring and downright difficult. We are still confident that He is working and that He will use us to impact people here, despite our frailty, sin and failures. For this, we are the most grateful.

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

- Deuteronomy 31:8

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