I’m now past my two week vacation in Austria. Do you ever have that time frame where things turn from visiting to really planting yourself where you are? The hard thing about that is letting go of the roots so deeply planted where you were. The motto of this week was “keep going!” I’ll be honest and say it was a particularly emotional week. Some of the questions/thoughts I faced were: “Do you want Me (God) or do you want ‘your’ life?” “Where do I harbor unforgiveness?” “How would I describe God?” “What in the world does God want to do with me right now, here in Modling, Austria?” and especially “What’s the German word for . . .?”
By Thursday afternoon I had given so much of myself to these questions and even sharing within the context of our school that I had nothing else to give. What did fuel me was our outreach on Thursday morning. We took hot chocolate and gave it out to the local high school students on their way to school. It was a crisp morning and some of them were excited about receiving a hot drink. One guy got out of his car and screamed “Woohoo!” That was my favorite reaction. Then there were some students who don’t completely understand the concept of taking a hot drink to go. We were able to give out more than 20 hot chocolates that morning!
The coffee culture over here is different from the Starbucks generation spreading from the United States. Coffee or hot drinks are consumed in the context of a two to three hour conversation with a good friend or family member at a cafe or a nice restaurant. It’s an occasion, not something you grab and go. But the youth culture here is learning and some are catching on and taking advantage of our free offer. I hope we will go back consistently. I believe consistency will say more than every now and then. I’ve found it to be humbling to speak German mixed with English mixed with pauses. I’m not immersed in the language as much as I want to be here, it’s going to take discipline and lots of practice.
Because of the emotionally draining week I had so much fun playing this weekend! Yet even in my play I can’t seem to turn off my brain. hee hee! I’m always processing. I went back to the forest paths and almost found the castle ruins Mallory and I looked for last week. Here are pictures of one of the paths, the German signs that don’t help my sense of direction at all, my rockin’ out shadow and the castle ruins from a distance.
Today Courtney, Mallory and I ventured out and found the city center of Vienna ourselves. Definitely not without good maps or running after one S-Bahn (the train) worker for directions. But I have to say I was proud of our independence. And it felt so good to be out and about on our own.
Susanne (one of my DTS leaders) said this is one of her favorite spots in Vienna because it’s such a picture of what is and what was. Do you see how the old historic buildings are reflected on this new more modern one?
There are dogs everywhere. Dogs in stores, resteraunts, etc. Austrians love their dogs, but they don’t necessarily like to pick up their poop. So, watch your step when you come to visit. This woman and her dog were just of the many walking through Vienna.
Tomorrow morning I embark on a new adventure. We’re heading to Germany to stay at another YWAM base for a week, Hurlach. It’s a castle! And this princess will have a lot more to share about being a princess next week, or when I get back on Sunday. It depends on what my internet connection will be like while I’m there.
I hope you have a great week. Thank you so much for your e-mail responses and prayer requests. Keep them coming. I hope to respond to so many of you via e-mail this week!