Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New House, New Baby, New Ministry

For this month's update, we'd like to share a quick video of a tour of the new house and prayer requests for us. We are so appreciative of your prayers during this major time of transition for us. Thank you!

Monday, September 19, 2016

We're not in Kansas anymore...

Our life has changed a LOT in the last month. And some of those changes we are still experiencing for the first time!

Our new (to us) car
First, we purchased our first car in Austria. After not owning a car for 4 years, it's been a new experience to navigate car ownership in a new country. And to get used to getting around in a vehicle again! (I have yet to learn how to drive a stick shift car...so more changes to come!)

After the car, we signed a lease on a townhouse outside of Vienna and started the moving process.

Holding up the house keys! 
Signing the lease!

Now, we are living in the townhouse and beginning to feel settled. But the changes keep coming! Although we are living just a kilometer from the border of Vienna, we can definitely say we are not in Kansas anymore. Living in the town of Gerasdorf feels completely different than our former city life.

Here are just a few things we are getting used to...

  • People are kinder and friendlier here! A lot! The Viennese do not have a reputation for being very polite or offering a very high standard of customer service. We got very used to this. But so far, nearly every service person we've interacted with in Gerasdorf has been polite and helpful. Each time, we've been so surprised by it. Today, we went to register at the local government office and the women working there were so kind and friendly. They emphasized that we could call anytime if we have questions and they even cracked jokes! We commented on the difference between our experience here and in Vienna, and they promptly said, "Yes, we hope it's different. That's something we're very proud of." The people of Gerasdorf appreciate having access to a big city, but living in a small town...and they show it through their kindness.

  • Bugs! It is very uncommon to have windows here in Austria with screens on them to keep bugs out. In the city, this was absolutely no problem and a few flies here and there never hurt anyone. But here, there are more bugs and bigger bugs and at night, especially after a hot day, opening the windows can mean insect galore. I had mosquito bites after just a few days and Ellie got her first, as well. Guess we have to be more strategic around here in the summer about window opening!

  • We have to be more strategic with going shopping and getting places. Thankfully, we can still walk to the post office, grocery store, bakery and pharmacy. But anywhere else requires a little more planning or a car trip. The bus only runs every 20 minutes, so we don't get home as quickly. We don't mind, but it's an adjustment. The other day, I was in the city for a doctor's appointment and proceeded to get errands done at 6 or 7 different stores, just because I wasn't sure when my next opportunity would be. This is a new experience!

  • We can see the city skyline from here, but from quite a long distance. Otherwise, we can see other houses, apartments and a big open field. No more busy streets and tall buildings!

  • Having a house is a bit different than an apartment. We are still getting used to climbing up and down flights of stairs (and trying to remember to bring something upstairs so you don't have to climb the stairs over and over again). We are dealing with water heater issues and mowing the grass in the yard. Mozzy is also adjusting. He has yet to poop in the yard, and we're not sure when he is going to figure out that he's allowed to...so we have to keep taking him out on walks. Having a house is a HUGE blessing, but it comes with some lifestyle changes!

  • We have more space for our family and for ministry. We finally have enough storage space for our baby things, outdoor equipment and many other items, that were previously very difficult to access in our basement storage locker. We feel less crammed and have more space to entertain and show hospitality. We have space for our growing family. We are very thankful that God has provided this larger space that seems to be a better fit for us and for the work we hope to do here.