Friday, July 22, 2016

Transition to "Rural Living"

Our new home - the town of Gerasdorf
As we wrote in our last update, we are preparing to relocate for our first church plant. We have known for almost a year that the northern part of Vienna (the 21st District) would be the target area for our church planting project and when we returned from our home assignment, we started looking for housing.

It turned out to be quite difficult to find something in the city close to our target region.

Townhouse kitchen
Most of the housing there was limited and there weren't any houses for rent in our price range. We were able to give up the search and wait until the spring to relocate, but then we decided to look just outside of Vienna, in a small town called Gerasdorf bei Wien. Gerasdorf is just over the border and offers trains and buses to the last subway station of the U1 in Vienna, so it's a direct suburb of the city.  There was more available there and because it's not as urban, options tended to be houses and townhouses, rather than apartments.

We are excited to share that we found a townhouse that seems like it will be a good fit for our ministry and our family. We have not signed a lease yet (still negotiating the details), but we have a signed offer agreement regarding the rental amount which is pretty binding. So we officially feel comfortable sharing this news.

We are excited about moving into this townhouse for a variety of reasons:
Back of townhosue with terrace and balcony

  • It is only 1 kilometer from the Vienna border and the area we'd like to focus on for church planting
  • The townhouse has a small yard for grilling and entertaining, plus an open layout downstairs. Both will allow us to host bible studies and show hospitality more easily than we can now
  • The townhouse can be reached by bus without paying an extra fee for in-Vienna travel (it is inside the same "zone"), which means it won't cost extra for anyone to get to us
  • We can still walk to one grocery store and bakery. This was important to us!
  • We will have enough space now to accommodate an office for Nate & a guest sleeping area (basement) and three bedrooms for our family. We hope to be in this house for a long time!
  • Moving to a suburban area means we are going to buy a car. This opens up new options for us in terms of getting around, travelling and accessibility
  • We will have more storage space, which will be a wonderful blessing to our family. It has been hard to find space in our apartment for baby toys, clothes, suitcases and camping/climbing equipment. Soon, we will more easily be able to access these things!
  • Townhouse backyard  and garden shed
  • We will have space for some "luxury items" that I've been dreaming about, such as a dryer and a deep freezer (since European fridges/freezers are small, this will allow me to freeze meals before the baby comes or buy food in bulk, taking advantage of sale items)
We have found a potential car to purchase and will soon be busy packing, disassembling furniture, taking down light fixtures and getting ready for the big move. We will have both our apartment and the townhouse in September, so we can take our time relocating and painting both places.

It is an exciting time for us, but every transition comes with a bit of uncertainty and trepidation. We have really enjoyed living in our current location, right in the center of the city with easy access to shops, restaurants and public transportation. I (Bethany) am a bit nervous about feeling isolated out in the "country" with a big open field right across the street. 

Open living area downstairs
Despite these reservations and the time it will take to adjust to a new lifestyle, we are confident that this is where God wants us. We have submitted to Austrian church leadership and through conversations with them, we feel good about taking this next step. Would you please pray for us and with us, as we experience yet another major life transition? Please pray for...
  • A smooth transition and plenty of help with relocating, painting the new house and painting our old apartment white again
  • Grace and patience as we adjust
  • That we can feel settled there before the baby arrives. Pray that the baby stays in for long enough! (Due date is October 11)
  • Pray for energy for Bethany throughout the move and transition
  • Pray for Ellie, as she also adjusts to living in a new place
  • Pray for God to prepare the way for us in this new place!