Before we arrived in Germany, there were emails going around the alliance of churches here searching for living accommodations for our family when we landed. One of the offers that came back was from a lady who “happened” to be going out of town to visit her sister and to take some vacation time. For our first 5 days we stayed in a hotel near the Holzmann’s who graciously cooked for us and took us all around to help us get a start on setting up life here.
Once our time was up at the hotel we packed all of our stuff up and moved about 30 minutes away to Friedburg into this home. (The picture is actually of three houses but it’s the easiest shot to get. We are the furthest in the back.)
It is absolutely amazing that she was willing to let us come and live in her home after having only heard our story via email and then meeting us briefly one afternoon. The community of believers here is awesome! She is one of many people who are really happy that we have arrived and they want us here. We sense their excitement and are so thankful for their willingness to help!
We have really enjoyed her home. She is a grandmother and so her home is filled with lots of toys that our kids have really put to use. She also has a backyard, or garden, as it’s called here which is a bonus! It is so beautiful here and we have really enjoyed our stay.
We still have another month or so until our permanent space is ready in the actual city of Augsburg and details are still being worked out as to where we will land next, but for the next 10 days we will be enjoying our time here in Friedberg.
Adjusting has been the name of the game over these past 2 weeks. We have adjusted to the time change which has been great! Language, and culture will take quite a bit longer. One other adjustment that we’ve had to make is to the weather. We went from tanks and flops to boots and coats in a 24 hour period. We have been so happy to just be here that we haven’t really been bummed out about the weather. It’s just a part of the change.
Today we had a glorious surprise with 70 degree temps! After a crazy past 2 days of trying to register our family in the city we got a phone call from Dianne urging us to give ourselves a break and come over for lunch. She and her husband had us over for lunch and before we ate, the men checked a big item off of our list- setting up a bank account.
On our drive home we were taken aback with how beautiful the weather was. When we got home we didn’t even go inside. We headed straight for a nearby path to enjoy the beautiful weather. Today was so sunny and we were all really happy to be outside enjoying the weather.
Although we are still adjusting lots, we are incredibly thankful for the doors that God has opened for us here! There’s been lots of hard work trying to get us set up but in only 2 weeks we are now officially registered to reside here, we have an appointment to obtain our visas, we own a car, we have a phone, we have consistent internet, a German bank account and we even have a contract on a place to live.
These are things worth running through the fields about! Wouldn’t you agree?
We are so excited that we have finally made it! It’s been quite a crazy week so far filled with appointments to the bank, to the visa office, apartment hunting and ikea shopping. All and all we are doing well. We are having normal transitions that we expected and lots to take in for sure. This will be a short note because we are having to connect at a local McDonald’s because of very limited internet. Communication and life are slower on this side but we will try to maintain contact as frequently as we can until we are in our own space.
Thanks for praying for our trip over! It went very well. All 3 of the kids slept a great amount and we adjusted to the time change faster than we all expected!
Here are some ways that you can be praying now:
– Pray for school decisions. We just secured a place to live today!! Tomorrow we are registering at the local office here and we suspect that getting our names in the system will kick an inquiry for Ellison to go to school. We heard about a transitional school for kids who don’t know German and are praying that they will accept our appeal and let her in.
– We will be transient for the next month or 2 as things are worked out for our apartment. Please pray for patience as we continue to live in this mode. We are all ready to have a “home” of our own but we are praying that God will give us what we need each and every day to serve his well! We are currently living in the home of a widow in the local church as she is on vacation over the next 3 weeks. Once this time is up we need guidance for where we should head next as a family.
– Patience in this transition. It is very hard to not understand everything and to not be understood. We are thankful for people who are graciously taking their time to go to foreign affairs, cell phone companies and banks with us to make sure we understand everything and to help us get set up.
– Pray for the visa process. We are a bit burned from Austria although we have been told that it should be an easy process here, we are just putting our hope in the Lord and trusting him to lead us and others who are working with us.
-Pray for our kids as so much around them is different. Pray for courage for Ellison as she faces the biggest challenge of us all right now. Pray for Jude that he would be able to articulate his emotions and that we could support him through all of these changes with patience. Pray for Ian and Beth to be a untied force for our children and for peace and courage as well as we are put into lots of situations where we probably look really ridiculous trying to navigate this language.
Blessings to all of you! Thanks for your support.
After a roller coaster of a month, we are so grateful and excited to announce that we will be headed to Augsburg, Germany as we continue to pursue life and ministry in Austria! I wish we could tell you about all the specific things that have happened in this past 2 months (even before the visa denial) that God used to gently nudge our attention towards Germany. Augsburg is located a few hours west of Vienna and currently there is a couple serving there with TEAM (our sending agency). When they heard of our visa set back, they very quickly stepped up to the plate to help our family out. They have been working so hard to help us find accommodations and figure out the legalities of getting a residence permit for Germany.
Although our location will change, our first season will look very similar to what it would have been in Austria. We will attend language school, adjust to culture (this region’s culture is similar to Austria’s) and intern as well.
We will be leaving the US on April 11th (less than 2 weeks)! We are really pumped about our new adventure. It is crazy here, but in an awesome way!