Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Experiencing Coronavirus in Austria

Eating homemade sushi
Like many people around the world, we are staying at home right now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Before Corona became a big issue in the U.S., Europe because the outbreak's epicenter when the disease spread rapidly in Italy. Since we border Italy to the north, it wasn't long before Corona was also here and the government in Austria began rapidly ramping up measures to try and slow the disease's spread. One day, the government banned gatherings of 100 or more. A day or two later, they closed the university. Then they closed the schools and soon after, they told everyone to stay home and only gather in groups of 5 or less, and they closed the playgrounds and sports fields. Every day, the intense of the measures ramped up and quicker than we expected, we were all in a "lockdown" state. 

So here we are, having been home for 8 days so far. The time has had its ups and downs, but overall,
Craft Time!
we have found the time at home as a family restful and relaxing. We have had to get creative about how to fill the time, but the kids have adjusted well to new routines and to playing with each other and not going out (except for walks around the neighborhood). We have both continued working on some projects, and Nate has been leading daily prayer times with our church to keep people connected and encouraged.  We are blessed to be in an easy phase with the kids, who aren't in school yet and don't have any requirements of what they have to learn during this time. We have been filling the time with crafts, podcasts, kids yoga, games, food adventures, experiments, and some screen time. For me, I am feeling much less stressed in some ways than I was a few weeks ago, as many of my big projects have been cancelled.

Introducing Battleship
There is, of course, some underlying anxiety about how long this phase will last and what the coming months will hold. Will all of our plans for the summer be cancelled? How can we reach out to people during this time of need, when we can't meet or communicate very easily? Will we get sick and if so, when? We are praying for peace and for the safety of our family and others, while also acknowledging that much of this situation is out of our control and many of us will, eventually, get sick with the virus. Our small town already has several cases and who knows if we touched the same grocery carts as those people. It's requiring patience, trust, and also creativity in how we can stay connected and stay strong in our faith. 

It's a lot to process, as I'm sure it is for all of you reading this. Our prayer is that during this time of uncertainty, many people are confronted with the most difficult questions of life and about what they believeWhat happens when we die? What do I believe about the world and about God? Is the foundation upon which I built my life strong enough to carry me through this time? God can certainly use a crisis like this to work in people's hearts and our prayer is that many people who come to know Jesus for the first time. Please pray with us that the gospel would spread!

Bonfire in the backyard

Family worship time on Sunday morning

Teaching Ellie how to play Mario Brothers

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