Friday, September 29, 2006

Verse for the day . . .

1 Peter 3:15-16

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Just another day being flexible . . .

Hey guys just thought I would give a little insight into the coolest thing about being a teacher here at VCS where we tend to be under staffed sometimes and where I am pushed to be as flexible as I can be. It is also a cool report on how God is blessing my life through these kids.

This morning right when I got in to school Megan Tice, the elementary secretary asked me to sub for the elementary music teacher because Mendy Burnett was sick. Mendy had amazing emergency sub plans and I was able to effectively handle a 40 minute elementary music class. It was a blast! We learned what mirroring was and the kids enjoyed the time alot I think. I asked each of them to find a partner and then we continued to tap and bang wooden sticks together in rythmn to the song. I thouroughly enjoyed myself with those kids. Our second graders are awesome and really well behaved. They have alot of energy and when controlled in an effective way they can be great.

So yeah now it is off to teach my 8th graders! :) Have a great day guys! :)

In His grip,
Brian

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is Austria a valid mission field?

I have wondered this myself and one of my favorite techies was able to write fairly effectively on this subject. You can check out their website at www.maysonandlaura.com

Here is the text of why I believe Austria is a valid missions field. Just in case any of you might wonder.

Is Austria a valid mission field?

While no one has come right out and said it the question of whether Austria is as valid a mission field as China, Iran, Afghanistan, or some other closed or impoverished country is a question I know a lot of people have. My short answer to this is yes it is. Below is my elaboration on that.

Despite what most people assume Austria is not a Post-Christian country; it is a Pre-Christian country. In all of Austrian history, Protestant Christianity has never had a foothold. Whenever it came to Austria, Protestantism was stamped out by the Catholic Church before it could take root. However, in the last 10-20 years missionaries have begun to make an impact in Austria. While the last figures we have seen indicate only about 1% of Austrians are Bible believing Christians, missionaries we know involved in pastoring and evangelism say that a real stirring is beginning and that they believe God is getting ready to do some amazing things, things that have never occurred in it’s history.

The work that God is doing in Austria right now requires missionaries, as the church in Austria is not yet large enough or strong enough to support itself. The church in Austria is so new that the Christians are basically all first generational. That means that right now there are few indigenous Austrian Christian leaders. The vast majority of the Austrian churches are pastored by missionaries simply because there are very few trained Austrian pastors. Three big things work against creating more Austrian pastors: educational opportunities, cultural barriers, and finances. By educational opportunities I mean that there are no seminaries or Bible schools in Austria. In order to gain an seminary education Austrians need to leave the country, which has its financial burdens attached to it. The cultural barrier is that Austrians by nature do not like to make decisions; Austrians strongly prefer making decisions in committee; they are very uncomfortable leading. This has obvious implications with pastoring a church. Finally, there is the problem of finances: most Austrian congregations are relatively small, about 40-60 people. A congregation this small can’t support a full time pastor and facility rental. On the same note, a congregation that size can’t rent the facilities needed to grow the church so that the church can in turn grow its congregation. Even the church we attend, which by Austrian standards is a mega church at around 350-400 people, is staffed by missionaries and can’t afford to pay its secretaries.

So why am I saying all this? All of the above show that the church in Austria is not at a point where it can stand on its own without missionaries. Until there are seminaries it is the missionaries who can provide the necessary training. Until there are enough Austrian pastors it is the missionaries who can pastor the churches. Until the Christian community is trained to take leadership it is the missionaries who are needed to encourage and disciple Austrian believers to step out of their cultural norms and take leadership. Until there are congregations that can support a pastor and a facility it is the missionaries who, through their support from out of country, can help offset the costs that go along with growing the congregations. The missionaries I know would like nothing better than to see Austrians trained up and leading the church in their country, and they are working hard towards that goal. But that goal is not realized yet.

Our work at VCS is needed because the missionaries are needed. VCS is the only English speaking school that has tuition rates the missionaries can afford. We are missionaries and raise support because if we didn't and were paid a salary the tuition rates at VCS would be just as high or higher than the other schools which would force a lot of the families off the mission field because of their children's educational needs. VCS was originally founded by the missionaries from various missions organizations in Vienna because they realized their need for a school. That need is still there today and VCS is still here to fill it.

If you guys could, please leave some feedback? Do you agree with what Mayson wrote? I will make it known that some person other than me wrote this, but it is pretty much what I believe about it. Consider this post an invitation to open discussion about this. God bless ya'll! :)

B

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Report on the retreat . . .

In case you were wondering the retreat this weekend was wundebar or wonderful! It was such a great thing to go away and not have to think about school for a little while anyway. Not that I don't like school it is just that it can becaome like work and weekends like this help us as missionaries to remember our calling and to get re-energized. To describe this retreat I have three words that sum it up . . . Sauna, soccer, and goodspiritfilledtimewiththeLord. Ok that was more than three words, but it really was a great time spiritually. Donovan had a real way of making us open up and of putting things in a way that make it blatantly real to us as educators and first and foremost as Christians. I had a great time playing soccer more than ever, relaxing the most I have in a long time, and getting to know our Father in heaven a little more and growing closer to Him through the sessions that we had. The sauna was really awesome too. It was not only great to relax the body, but also a great bonding experience with the guys that were there with me. I know Ken Norma, the director of our school, a whole lot better now. Believe me . . . in some ways that I never wanted to. :) It truly was a blessed time.

P.S. I changed the font is it ok?

New member of the VCS family . . .

Hey guys just thought I would share some news to all of you that don't know. Kayley Gayle Morrissey was born a week ago Sunday I believe to Mason and Laura Morrissey. Mason is one of our tech savvy guys here at VCS and Laura was teaching up until having their first daughter a couple of years ago. Their new family member is beautiful and thought you all might like to see a pic.

Beautiful baby girl! :)

and secondly the verse for today compliments of the VCS intranet and the word of the living God,

1 John 4:10-11

This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

Peace ya'll!

Around the apartment . . .

Hey there faithful and loyal supporters. I thought I would give you a visual of what things look like around my apartment. Pretty cool in the daytime, but a little scary at night. Please keep me in your prayers as it is a God-less neighborhood that I live in. Pray that I would be a light to those around me and not get sucked down in the environment around me. Vienna can be a difficult place to be a Christian, but then again anywhere can be.







I was looking at some of the pictures that I have from last year in the Czech Republic recently and realized how blessed I have been to have lived and worked amongst people that Betka had come to know and love so long before me but God brought me into their lives as well. "Learning to be czech" was a wonderful experience and as Irena said, I will "never forget" my "second mother country." I have begun to realize just how much that statement is true.










Monday, September 25, 2006

Congratulation Jana, Lukas, and the rest of the Kubik family!

Hey guys! Just thought I would share the joy that my good friend Jirka shared with me. His sister Jana was recently married to her boyfriend of a few years Lukas. Jirka sent me many of their wedding pictures. Lukas and Jana look wonderful together and Jana is just beautiful. I will include a few pics to show what I mean. Jirka must be so proud because not only is his sister a great girl, but her new husband, Jirka's new brother-in-law, is a great man of God. God's blessings be with them both as they set out in life as one. Makes me realize how much Betka and I have to plan. Lord willing, our pics will be the next wedding pictures that you see on here.



Friday, September 22, 2006

Staff Retreat this weekend . . .

Hallo everyone! :)

I am writing now in eager expectation of what is to come this weekend. VCS is having our staff retreat this weekend for which we have a guest speaker and his wife visiting for the weekend. Donovan Graham and his wife Wilma are here and are very excited to minister to us as staff members of VCS. Please be in prayer that this weekend will serve not only as a time for friendships and community to be built, but also for the Holy Spirit to work through Donovan and his wife to bring to us a re-energizing message that will bring us back Monday rearing and ready to reach our students for Christ. I am really really rally excited about this retreat mainly because I just need to get out of Vienna for a while, but also because I look forward to fostering the awesome relationships that the Lord has blessed me with here at VCS. Thanks so much guys and gals for your continued support. It truly keeps this ministry alive and running. It is amazing to me to see how week in and week out the Lord is in this every day every minute and every hour. Thanks for helping Him.

Also on a personal side note, please be in prayer for Betka and I that we might settle on a date for our marriage so that it is set and that we can start working towards planning that and get that anxiety out of my life as well as hers. We want this to be right in the Lord's eyes and we are both working through things in preparation for our upcoming marriage. Thanks.

Blessings in Him,
Brian

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Message of the day from VCS and more . . .

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

The middle school boys soccer team did very well yesterday against the boys (and one girl!) of Budapest, Hungary. We pulled out a 5-3 win. No goals scored on our own goal like last week's game. The pictures tell the difference. The guys looked much more focused and in control of what they were doing. I got some decent action shots too. Enjoy! :)


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PFO and other stuff . . . .

Hey there,

Just thought I would give all of you a little example of how this world is a small world. Back at the end of June beginning of July, when I was back home in the states for a month I attended what was called TCK-PFO, Third Culture Kid- Pre-Field Orientation. There were 120 missionaries in training and their families in attendance and for two weeks we learned about the kids we would be leaving to start teaching in Christian schools and international schools all over the world and I do mean ALL over the world. The guys staying in the same suite as me, one was going to China, the other to South Korea. I also met many others that were getting ready to go to other places such as Turkey, Taiwan, Hungary, etc. It was an amazing time with people who very much like I were getting ready to go into what was unknown for them to go and serve the Lord in a foreign land on nothing but the supporters that the Lord had brought to them. It was great to spend two weeks with lie-minded people who had some of the same experiences in support raising and so forth. Anyway I was in an advising group and my advisor, Roger, was from Adelaide, Australia. There were also 5 other guys there. 2 were going to China, 1 to South Korea, 1 to Taiwan, and 1 was going to be in Budapest, Hungary. Austin was really worried that he wouldn't have enough financial support to be able to go to hungary in time, but was really trusting the Lord to provide and we all agreed that if he was in Budapest this year that it would be because the Lord was providing, and not because of his own work. To make a long story short. Our school, VCS, plays his school in soccer, our middle school and high school teams do. He was going to be the coach of the middle school boys team. Well, I found out from the senior team coach here at VCS that went to Budapest last week that Austin was there at the game in Budapest and that their middle school team, Budapest's, will be coming to Vienna today! Awesome! So I will be reunited with a guy, that I met in New York and had a great two weeks with in a small group setting, here in Vienna, Austria, when he is working in Budapest, Hungary! Praise God for keeping his followers in contact. That continues to amaze me how He has His hand in everything.

Thanks guys for your continued prayers and I will opefully keep you updated as much as possible.

In His grip and amazed by His power,
Brian

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The riddle of Grace . . .

At school every day we have the school news on our "intranet" and it ahs a bible verse or inspirational quote and I think I will share these each day. Here goes. . .

"Grace...is the power of God, rooted in his abiding love, by which God forgives the sinful, accepts the unacceptable, revives the spiritually dead, and so enables a reunion between the Creator and his wayward creatures. Grace is inherently unfair...for grace lets off the hook precisely those who otherwise deserve some kind of punishment."

The Riddle of Grace


Hope it impacted ya! :)

B


Need for encouragement . . .

Hey again,

Just thought that I would implore all of you that read this to be praying for me right now. I am struggling with juggling the new work load. I don't want to be lazy or even to appear lazy, but I am not keeping up with the amount of planning that I have now and I HAVE 2 CLASSES! It is really freaking me out that I am having trouble with this. I mean I will have an extra 6 classes starting in January and I can't even keep up with 2 now! I don't think that I need to cut my load down, but if any of you have experienced this sort of feeling when you first started your career please let me know. I want to do well and I know what I need to do to get to that point but I am having trouble actually getting there. Also please be in prayer for my ESL class because right now the government is deciding if I can contnue to teach it and I am really having trouble finding the desire to teach that well.

On another note. If any of you have good recipes for pasta dishes please send them my way. I want to find ways to use the various meats they have here but I can't identify them all yet so I feel that I can survive on pasta recipes right now. It would be best if you could transfer the measurements to metric for me because my math skills are a little lacking.

On the professional development side of things I am currently seeking accreditation with ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International.) and to get this accreditation I have to read some books and write my philosophy of christian education. Please pray that the Lord would grant me unheard of understanding and wisdom to learn from these books that I might otherwise never even pick up in the first place. I am reading a book right now that is all philosophy and not much else. How is that a problem for me? Well, . . . if you know me at all you will probably notice that I am the worst person at Philosophy quite possibly out of this entire world. My worst grade in college was in philosophy(D+). Anyway . . . I have alot on my plate so be in prayer for that, but alo that I might be able to impact these students even though I feel like the world is spinning out of control. Praise God for putting me through these character building experiences.

Thanks so much guys for what you continue to do in my life and in Betka's life. We look forward to becoming one in life and to partnering with you in months and possibly, God-willing, years to come. God bless you all! :)

In His merciful grip,
Brian

Monday, September 18, 2006

Soccer and Softball

Hey guys!

Just thought I would update here with some pictures from this weekend. On friday I went to the middle school boys' soccer game against Bratislava Christian School. We lost 3-1, but we played really well. Unfortunately we scored a goal for the other team, one guy shot into our own goal. Bummer but they did play really well and the other team had some older larger kids on the team. Below are some pics that I took during the game.





Please let me know what you guys think about this site. Is it more effective than livejournal? Which do you prefer? I like it. Have a wunderbar day!

In His grip,
Brian

Friday, September 15, 2006

I am a survivor!

Hey just thought I would let all you prayer warriors know that I survived last night. Yesterday was quite possibly the longest day of my life, but I came through it unscathed. Thanks for the prayers that you guys lifted up for me as well as the rest of the teachers. It went fairly well and when I was there I realized that I didn't have anything to worry about, but then again I guess I had to really go through it so I now know that it really isn't that big a deal.

So yeah one new experience in teaching under my belt . . . I am starting to feel somewhat professional. Thanks guys for all the prayer and fnancial support that you send my way. It might sound silly but I wouldn't be able to do this without all of your guys' help. So Danke das ist ser gut! :)

In His grip,
Brian

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Back to School Night

Well, I guess this is the day of reckoning . . . Back to School Night!!! Dun dun dun . . . Well, it probably won't be too bad, just nerve racking to me because I have never done anything of this sort. I am probably worrying too much about all of this, but it is really tough when you meet the parents of the students you are teaching. Some might call this back to school night, others, parent/teacher night, others parent/teacher back to school night, but I call it heart attack at school night! Just kidding it probably will not be that bad, but please keep me as well as the rest of the teachers in your prayers this evening from 6:30 until 9:00PM Vienna time. Should be a blast! :)

In His grip,
B

New Discovery

I am not sure if you guys have figured this out, but you can click on the little pictures on my journal entries and it goes to a new page with the picture bigger. Then you can click again and it makes it even bigger. I believe that you can even right click and save those pictures as well. I wonder if I can disable that function . . . might be a good idea if I want to keep my pics copyrighted because I would trust that you guys would ask me before copying any pics on this site. As a semi-pro I would greatly appreciate that. Enjoy! :)

B

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More pictures





This guy is one of many statues in the city. He looks like he is in thought about a composition that just won't work for him. -->






<-- This picture is in the park not far from my apartment. Green Vienna.









<---This is an anti-aircraft battery that the germans put in during WWII and afterwards the Austrians tried to break it down, but it was so well built that it wouldn't break apart. So there it sits 10 mins walk from my apartment.



<---This huge ferris wheel called simply "Prater" is, I think the oldest ferris wheel in Europe and is part of an amusement park that is right next to my nearest subway station.






This sunset is typical of Vienna downtown. God's beautiful creation! He is such an awesome painter! :) --->


This is a building in my neighborhood that I tweeked a little bit. I love the contrast of colors! -->






This pathway is part of the ring system that circumnavigates the downtown of Vienna. Yeah for biking!


Vienna Scenery





Hey there everybody! The coolest thing about this new journal site is the ability to post pictures right there on the journal. So I will periodically post pictures from my time here in Vienna for your viewing enjoyment. I hope it gives you a good idea of what kind of environment I am living in. A way for me to share my world with you my faithful supporters.

This building is called the "Rathaus" or city hall. It is my favorite building in Vienna so far.


I have had some spare time and with that rare time I have walked around the city of Wien as we call Vienna here.

Now that I know that this works I will surely be posting more as time goes on. Let me know what you think! :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Change of Journal site

Hey there everyone! Welcome to the new site of my journal that I have up until now kept at livejournal.com. I chose Blogger.com mainly because one can post pictures here easier. There are also more choices for layouts. I know it is definitely a change and it looks much different than you and I are used to, but it will become my new place to keep track of thoughts and stuff. The title is currently "The Reynolds Wrap" and this comes from a nickname that I totally hated in middle school, but it also means like a report on my life here, you know . . . thats a wrap, Reynolds' Wrap. I think it will be great because when I marry Betka we won't have to change this at all. It will still be the Reynolds Wrap. So I guess first of all I would like to get any feedback that I can on what you like better or what is worse about this site. If you can leave a comment on here do so and I will find it. If not then leave a comment on the livejournal site and that will be emailed to me. I think you can do the same here but I am still getting used to it. I hope you enjoy keeping up on whats happening in my corner of the world. God be with you all! :)

In His grip,
Brian