Thank you for your prayers as I ventured through Greater Europe Mission orientation, drove up to Denver on Friday night, June 15, and caught a red-eye flight to Louisville for my cousin Caitlin’s wedding. I made it safely and only had flight delays on the way back. My parents said it was as if they were dreaming that I was even in town for the weekend. (More on the wedding below.)
I’m now back in Colorado still enjoying life with a flexible schedule. I completed another freelance article this week, which is being considered by Boundless Web zine. I’ve also been blessed to have friends in the publishing world who have generously given me ideas and leads on possible jobs. Thank you Suzanne and Shannon!!
On Wednesday I’m meeting with a woman from the Magazine Training Institute (Susanne I may get to meet your friend). This is a ministry that used to be based in Vienna, Austria and now has relocated to Colorado Springs. We both have hearts for assisting nationals in creating resources for those in Europe. There is a possibility of a part-time job with the organization as I continue journeying toward moving to Austria. The hard part about finding a job right now is that people are looking for a longer commitment than I can honestly offer. Also, fund-raising for this next step to Austria will be a full-time job in itself. Pray for discernment as I try to find balance in these various roles. Pray for the conversation with the staff of the Magazine Training Institute. This organization’s name keeps showing up again and again. I figure I best pay attention!
Here are some of us single-gals now serving with Greater Europe Mission visiting Garden of the Gods: (From L to R) Lynn, Kathleen and Beth .
It’s exciting to journey alongside these people. We’re going through similar struggles and joys and I’m blessed to have them and their friendship. It is like having a new family. In one week I went from primarily focusing on job-hunting and life in the Springs to heading to Austria and preparing for what’s ahead. I have so many mixed emotions that I don’t think my friends and roommates can keep up with how I am feeling on a day to day basis.
Recently, I’ve felt overwhelmed with all that’s required before a financial training I will attend in Charlotte, North Carolina in mid-July. I had to split up my list into more manageable bites and am trying to focus on just what I need to get done in the next two weeks. Even that’s still a BIG bite.
Let me give you a better picture of what I’m heading into. From the time of acceptance to the time of actually boarding a plane to Austria will be approximately one year. This can vary person to person. Before getting on a plane, I’m curious to see how God will shape and reshape me during the coming months. He knows I struggle with security, especially financial security and is already teaching me so much about trusting Him. I still have SO much to learn! This next year is as important if not more important than the coming years in Austria.
I asked my field director, Jim, what I could tell you about my future in Austria. My first year will be focused on culture and language training. I need to learn the language and culture well in order to connect with the people. In time I’ll be working with youth, those involved in two church plants in and around Vienna, as well as teens who aren’t connected to an evangelical church at all. In the city of Vienna there are more than 300,000 unreached teens. Many have the misconception that Europe is a reached area, but actually less than one percent of people in most European countries have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I’ll try to give more details about Europe, Austria and Greater Europe Mission in a letter within the next month. The funny thing is that I may say I’m going to be doing one thing, but by the time I get there it might be an entirely different ballgame. (If I don’t have your mailing address please e-mail me and I’ll get you on the list. )
Now back to some pics:
Here are the Parnells. (On the left Mary Lynn, middle Derek and on the right Mary Lynn’s cousin who babysat Isabel during orientation, who is in the stroller.) Derek, Mary Lynn and Isabel will be heading to Europe in the coming year.
We had a great time touring Garden of the Gods. It was fun to take some of the group to my favorite spots around the Springs. We finished the evening at Jose Muldoon’s (a Mexican restaurant) downtown!!
During orientation I had many incredible people investing in my life, challenging me and encouraging me in a deeper intimacy with God. Two of those people are Kathy and Steve Martens. Kathy and I shared the moment of my GEM acceptance together looking at Pikes Peak. Ironic enough, the hotel we were at was just across Focus on the Family. God is funny like that! I’m thankful for this couple and blessed for the time I recently had with them.
family celebrations and the flu
Here I am with the bride. I was honored to be a part of this big day by reading a passage from Matthew during the wedding. I’m proud of this couple and their standards of purity and devotion to God. It will be great to see how God uses them together.
Now here’s the germ-culprit! Mr. Kaleb had the stomach flu prior to my arrival and was recovering when this picture was taken. Unfortunately the stomach flu spread to Kevin and Marissa and even my dad on the last few hours of Father’s Day. Later I heard I had so many people praying for me that I wouldn’t get sick. And I didn’t. Thanks for your prayers. I made it back to Colorado Springs without needing my air-sick bag. Woohoo!
Well, that’s a bit of an update. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I hope to be chatting with each of you more either via e-mail, phone, letters or even in person.