In my last blog post I gave a bunch of updates and shared what would be going on with us for the next 2 months. Here's what actually happened as well as what's coming up...
Language School - My language school continues for another month and a half. It is very difficult for me and each time I go I am more convinced than the time before that I will have to re-take this class. On the plus side we have each been given 20 minutes to do a presentation in German for the class and the topic can be about anything so I have decided to talk about my "work" here in Germany. In particular I will speak about the spiritual background surveys we do at the University, why we do them, what the results have been across the students we've talked to, how it all compares to students surveyed at UGA and what God has taken me through to get me to Germany and to this work. I hope to really take some time to talk about the questions that we believe every worldview has to answer and how Christianity tries to answer them. My difficulty is I want to speak about all of this in 20 minutes or less and in German! :) Please pray for this presentation on June the 20th and for my fellow students and teacher (who is a committed Muslim) that the Holy Spirit would really speak to them through what I say.
CVJM construction - Alan's work at the CVJM and on the missions loft continues through the summer. It's slow going without much help from others in the church (the pastor helps when He can) but Alan still feels blessed going there and hopeful for what God will do with the space.
Teams and new team members - Our site visits are still planned for July and Nicole Demers, our Edge coordinator from last summer is currently raising funds to join us by summer of 2015 full-time. She is a recent (as in last week) graduate of the University of Delaware.
Plans for the Great Exchange continue with 10 plus a baby arriving July 4th. This week I hope to nail down accommodation options. Alan and I had a great meeting with a church in downtown Heidelberg about partnering with us for this event and also with the leaders for Campus Crusade for Christ. Two weeks ago I attended my first CCFC church service they offer students on Thursday nights and last Sunday I went to the kick-off for the Hochschultage which is a big evangelistic outreach that lasts a week with 24/7 prayer, evangelism, prayer breakfasts each day, big programs at night and afternoon Neckarwiese activities as well. They even have a Café on the Hauptstrasse. I helped bake cakes and brownies for the café and hope to attend their night program tomorrow. What a great, on-fire group of students!
MOPS - MOPS finished officially for me yesterday although I hope to stay in touch with friends made from the group over the summer.
Chloe - Is now three and had a great turnout for her prince/princess birthday party here last Saturday. It was exhausting for us trying to get it orchestrated but it was a lot of fun in the end. She had 8 little boys and girls that attended, a swingset that her daddy built her from scratch and a new princess bicycle. She also had a princess cake made by mommy that was quite the adventure to pull off. I was up only until around 3:30 in the morning finishing it but it turned out ok.
Chloe's nana from Chester, England also came in for the week to spend time with her over her birthday. Chloe and Margaret have so much fun together and it was a real relief having Margaret here during the week of the party so we could get everything prepared.
Thank you to all who prayed for a spot for Chloe in the Evangelische Kindergarten in Kleingemund below us. Chloe was granted a spot for the 1st of October and it's only a short walk from our house. Not only is this convenient but we pray it will open opportunities for us to get to know our neighbors who have children in Chloe's class and help her to make lots of new German friends that live nearby.
Jesus Abend with SAM and the Refugee Camp - This Friday Alan will make dinner for around 17 people at the Jesus Abend. Pray that goes well! :) Other than that he continues to enjoy the fellowship, German practice and community there.
Conferences and TC's - The InTent conference in Altensteig went really well and we enjoyed being there again to help serve missionary leaders from around Europe with Pioneers. A few weeks later we were made team coordinators for Pioneers in Heidelberg which doesn't mean a whole lot right now but will have more significance once our team grows.
At the end of April we drove to Hungary stopping two nights in Salzburg to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Salzburg and attending the sound of music tour was so much fun. We had a wonderful meal out (with Chloe) and drove to Hungary the next day. The conference was really good and we were glad we attended. Note to anyone ever wanting to visit Hungary by car - make sure you get a toll pass vignette before entering the country that allows you to drive in Hungary legally. We were not told about this and there are no signs, toll booths or anything at all saying you need it so we were hit with a 132Euro fine about a month later in the mail as a result. We were NOT pleased. Grrrrrr - find another way to make your money Hungary!
Holland with mom and dad - what a fantastic week it was visiting Keukenhof, Amsterdam and the Holland countryside with mom and dad. Chloe absolutely loved being with my parents and we all loved the gorgeous flowers and beautiful country. We even rented bikes and my mom and dad, Alan, Chloe and I biked all over Edam together. So fun!
MOVED! - Literally the day we came back from Hungary we started moving. Our official move we altered one week to May the 10th and we were a bit fearful we would have no help as a result but God really came through for us giving us 10+ volunteers that day to move all our stuff down 5 flights of stairs and into our new home. We love the new place, the garden, winter garden (conservatory) that is now Chloe's playroom, fireplace, etc. It is also soooo much closer to everything! What a blessing!
So there's your update for the last - ugh TEN weeks! This is the longest I've gone without writing a blog post and to those that follow faithfully, sorry about that. Still, it has been an exhausting few months and we have a bit of a breather before going to England on June the 15th for Alan's nieces wedding. We're only gone a week and then we return for my presentation at school, a BBQ with the Campus Crusade for Christ leaders and our team from the states to kick off the Great Exchange and our site visits. After that we've been granted two months of home assignment in the states where we hope to catch up with all our supporters and church as well as have a debrief week for the last 3.5 years here at a missions center in Atlanta.
Thank you for standing with us and for praying. If you want to take part in 30 days of prayer leading up to the Great Exchange team's arrival we would welcome you joining us. Pray for open hearts, for logistics, good communication, lots of helpers, team unity, discernment and wisdom for us all.