Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Radio Silence

It feels like a really long time since I have sat here, and shared my heart with you all. I have sat down a few times and tried to write something, but never got far enough to post it, but finally that time is here, so here we go!

About 6 months ago our church started the process to move from our now former location to a new worship space. We had known for a while that the previous facility wasn't meeting all of our needs, but space is a difficult issue here, and most churches struggle to have adequate worship space. Often times they need some sort of multi-use building that is a church on Sundays and a pre-school or offices the rest of the week.

After much prayer, searching, and struggle, we landed in our new home. The challenge was this new space was empty commercial real estate with cement walls and pipes coming out of the ceiling. So we started planning and dreaming.

A few months ago, things really started to kick into high gear. The last month or so has been a whirlwind of activity. It has been really fascinating to work at the construction site. I am just handy enough that I can make really great mistakes, but I am no expert craftsman. It has been hard to find a balance between "regular ministry," this special project, and family life. We knew that it would be temporary, but certain things have fallen by the wayside (i.e. this blog).

At the moment, I (Nate) feel like I can come back up for air and reconnect with life again.

We are very excited for what God will do through this new space and in the new neighborhood. There continue to be challenges and we still have many kinks and new systems to work out. We know that God has great plans for this church and we are praying that he will walk with them through this new stage of impact.

Here are some photos including me using power tools! Click the images to see them full screen. Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Back in the Classroom

Right now, I am in the midst of an intensive 2-week German class. It's hard for me to believe that it's been almost 20 months since I've been in the classroom learning German! Being back in a language course feels like such a familiar place for me, having spent most of our first year here in Vienna doing exactly that. It's like riding a bike...I haven't forgotten how to be a student!

I feel very blessed and thankful for this opportunity and experience. Everything came together for this course just a few weeks before I enrolled, and it clearly seemed like God's doing. The course had SPACE (there are only three of us!), was FREE (because Nate helped out this language school when it was first getting started), was SHORT (2 weeks, instead of the typical 4) and started at the RIGHT TIME, just when our church relocation project was calming down. I was worried that I would be disappointed in the course quality or materials, because I've had good and bad experiences in the past...but I have been blown away this time around. The course is moving very fast, because the other two students actually teach German in their home country, so we are focusing on advanced concepts. The teacher is truly gifted in her ability to explain grammar and language and keeps the class very interesting. Despite the fact that the course has been quite tiring, everything else about it has been perfect.

In my current stage of life, I stay at home with Ellie and speak lots of English (in order for her to learn English before she goes to school here). It has been hard for me at times to feel like my German is progressing, or even staying at the same level. It is opportunities like these that will help me improve my language, as well as my confidence, and be a better servant here in Austria. Please pray for more language learning and speaking opportunities for me in the coming months, so I can put into practice what I've learned!

We're in!

We made it, and we're in! Last weekend, our church officially relocated to our new location in the Meidling district of Vienna, and we have already celebrated two Sundays there. We are so thankful for the new space! It has already been a blessing to us as a congregation to meet there, with more open space, cleaner classrooms and room to grow. We look forward to the space being a blessing for many others soon.

Click below to see this month's update video about the new building, the relocation and how you can be praying this month for us and our church!