catching up in Wien

It’s Tuesday night in Wien. This trip has been so needed and successful in many, many ways. Thank you for your prayers! The truly special part of this trip has been to see those Austrians I met last January and in whatever broken German I could use, thank them for their prayers. Here is a photo of the Austrian woman I lived with last January. It was such a memorable moment to see her again for the first time after almost 10 months. That evening I joined her and a few other friends for a meal, and tried goose for the first time! Most of the conversation was in German, which made for a great German refresher course, or a “oh, I remember that word, but I don’t remember what it means . . .” kind of night. That night, I think my brain processed a lot of German while I slept.

For the first couple of days in Wien, the weather has been unseasonably warm. Today it’s more gray, rainy and cooler, but for a while the high was in the upper 60s and beautiful! That was a blessing. With the gorgeous weather also came a lot of wind. They say, “windig” in German.

It was so windy that the day I went to get my visa I was chasing the parking passes down the street because they blew off of the dashboard and out the car door. Luckily I caught them!

Here are some photos of the Blue Danube. You can see the effects of the wind on the water and on the tall grass. I went on a long power-walk with Vera, one of the GEM missionaries here. We had time to catch up on life and ministry in Austria.

One of my favorite traditions when coming to visit the GEM-Austria team is spending time with the McCauley family. You may remember me mentioning them when I saw them in St. Louis earlier last summer. Many of you know how much I LOVE pancakes, so we’ve made that a part of our gatherings the last three times. Here are two photos of me and their girls. It’s fun to be goofy with them!

sharing about God’s power
Last night I attended a Bible study in German. I can only pick out words here and there, and even though I can’t translate I can get the gist of a conversation, for the most part. I love how the Word of God is life-giving even when I can’t understand all that’s being said or shared. I had the opportunity to share with Austrians about my recent journey with cancer and God’s power, peace, strength and faithfulness through it. I even shared about my large bottle of shampoo and how funny it was that I am still using it! They thought that was funny. And yes, I am still using it!

the joys of Skype
Here are two videos of some Skype moments I’ve had. The first one is with my family on my mom’s birthday, November 7. My nephew Kaleb had his first Skype experience. And he thought it was soooo funny. He was quite amused with himself and went crazy when I started to move my laptop around. Just listen to his giggle! I didn’t think I was recording the conversation, but I was and am so glad. I think it’s hilarious! If this video doesn’t work then you can watch this on my Facebook page, if you have Facebook.

Then the next one was late, late last night when I Skyped into youth group at the Indiana campus, Collide. You can’t see me very well, but you can hear what I shared. I started the conversation off with my blue hair. I told you I would show you my blue hair, so you’ll also see a picture below. It was from a volleyball tournament I went to in mid-October.

It’s so wonderful to be here and being here feels almost natural, but sometimes I do have to pinch myself. Tomorrow is my last day in the city. My friend, Angela and I are headed to the first district and I’m sure that will involve more coffee. I believe I’ll come back to the States quite dehydrated because I’ve been drinking coffee like its water. hahaha!

Gute Nacht!

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