Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Good times courtesy of the daily news again . . .

Todays quote of the day was really neat and I thought I would share it. Enjoy!:)

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark:

  • 1.) Don't miss the boat.
  • 2.) Remember that we are all in the same boat.
  • 3.) Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
  • 4.) Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
  • 5.) Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  • 6.) Build your future on high ground.
  • 7.) For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  • 8.) Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  • 9.) When you're stressed, float awhile.
  • 10.) Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
  • 11.) No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.
Have a great day guys! :)


Monday, November 27, 2006

Our God's grace is sufficient . . .

You know those days when you feel like nobody wants you around, or maybe it is that you don't want t0 be around anyone? Those days when you feel that God wouldn't even be able to love you because you screw up so much and are so unworthy of everything that He has ever promised us.

This past weekend for me was alright. Thats what most people hear from me. What it really has been is one big weekend like I described above. Yes, Happy Thanksgiving. I did have a fairly good time with people at the Williams' for the feast and I am sooo very thankful for their hospitality and willingness to accept Betka and me as part of their family that day. The rest of the weekend for me was spent reflecting on how much I need God's grace just to function in this world.

I don't know if it is by my fault or others, and I do not mean to place blame, but here in Vienna I feel like I belong in the sense that I have a job to do, but as far as relationships go I really have no really solid friendships in place. I am not trying to belittle the friends that the Lord has put in my life, all of you at VCS are wonderful and are so willing to be there. The fact of the matter is that I have nobody that really really seems to care about me as a person, no one that I can truly be real with. It has been my prayer ever since I moved to Vienna that I would have at least one person that I connect with on a spiritual level, someone to keep me accountable. Why? I guess because I know that I am not all that spiritually mature even though I have been walking with the Lord now for the better part of half my life.

One thing that God has beeen teaching me, and I am not one to learn lessons easily, is that I place too much faith in man, and not in Him alone. Through all of the occurrences of the past few months I have realized just how much I rely on man. I was looking forward to being in Vienna before coming here because there would be many more PEOPLE there to care for the needs that I would have. I have been praying for a PERSON to show up and connect with me in a very reall and spiritual way. Sometimes I only think that if I could be in a Bible study with PEOPLE, things would be better. Well, at this point in time I am in a small group that has actually met twice. It doesn't seem to me that there is a bond there yet. I went on a men's retreat and nothing has really happened so far. I guess I don't really know if it is my problem, or just circumstances. I am not asking that this be solved, I am just really trying to learn what the Lord might possibly be trying to teach me here.

So far all I can come up with is that I need to trust Him in times when I feel alone and that nobody cares. That's a really hard thing, for some one that gets energized from being around people, to do. Slowly though I am finding that His grace is sufficient, that He is enough for me in these times. Sure it would be nice to have a small group to really be real in, to share the hurts that I have attained in life, but for now and really always God's Grace is sufficient.

I didn't mean for this post to sound too traumatic, but it is where I am now. As Betka said just yesterday when I was describing this to her, "Well, guess you're really in the second year of God's school." Amen sister. Sometimes I wish I could get a report card to see how I am doing in this course of life, but I guess we only get that when we finish the race and are with Him in glory. God bless you guys.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Finances . . .

Hey there everyone!,

Just thought I would let all of you know what it looks like right now as far as the financial aspect of things goes. By the grace of God and the immense support of certain individuals the past few months the needed support was provided with a couple exceptions. My "salary" from RCE is about $1100 a month. Thats what I take home to pay for rent, utilities, food, etc.
The inflow and outflow from my RCE account is as follows by month:

Inflow $2,191
Outflow $1,519

Inflow $1,305
Outflow $1,448


Inflow $2,805
Outflow $1,471

(To date, not all of it yet.)
Inflow $555

Outflow $121

Year to date
Inflow $6,856
Outflow $4,561

So as these numbers show it is very much up to the Lord and what He decides I need that month. Thank you so much guys for your support and prayers. Without them I really would not be here. Those figures are really amazing to me that I can continue to be here. Just keep in mind that my salary is supposed to be about $1600 monthly to uphold the new visa laws, which I have come to find out are very inconsistent. I hope for you money people out there this will suffice for now. I am not a money man of Christ. I know that in order to do the Lord's work you must have money and that the Lord provides it to those that yearn to serve Him. Thanks again everyone. God's blessings on you all that have stepped out in faith with me to reach these kids' lives for Jesus.

In His grip,

Monday, November 20, 2006

American visitor!!!!! :) Its been a while ok? :)

The following pictures are from a weekend that was alot of fun for me. Basically I had a house invader for a weekend, just kidding. Ray Wilck visited with me all weekend and we had a blast! :) We watched as the city workers put up Christmas decaorations on the Graben, a popular walk downtown. We walked by and under the balcony where Hitler stood to give one of his crowd riling speeches. It is the balcony in Vienna where he did this with Ray standing in front of the building that it is part of, now the national library. How's that for irony? We also saw all of the statues and different architecture that there is to see in Wien.

This time of year there city is putting up the Advent Markets. These are special markets where the Christmas spirit of things is very prevailent. We went to the markets at Schonbrunn, Rathaus, and Spittelberg. Next weekend the one at Museums Quartier. The shops and huts at these markets sell everything from cheese, to wine, mittens, and children's toys. It was a great time. Ray, you will be missed . . . until next time! :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Alles ist gut . . .All is good for you non-deutsch sprechers.

Yesterday was a day that was extremely interesting in that it was really long and I was stressed out for which, in hindsight, was nothing to be worried about at all.

I asked for your prayers yesterday and the Lord must have heard them because when I went to turn in my visa application things went smooth as silk! :) God is good! :) I left school a bit early with my packet of papers for my visa that Geraldine had prepared for me and my bank statements preparing for the most interrogative moment of my life in Austria, or so I thought. I figured I would wait for hours and I did for one hour. When it was my turn to go into the office the scary looking man beckoned me in with the German equivalent of "ok, next, what do you want?" The he rattled something off in German that I didn't understand so I replied, "tschudigung, sprechen sie englisch. Sorry Sir, do you speak english?" To which he replied sternly, "Nein, kein englisch. Nur deutsch. Nope, no english, only German." At this point I was really worried because my German isn't that great so I continued to explain why I was there in mixed German and english. I gave him my application, but before looking at it he said, "Ach so, du bist Amerikaner, no problam." I guess the visa thing is much easier than I have been told. Anyway, praise God that it is all worked out now and I am praying that it will continue to work out.

A friend of mine, Ray Wilck will be visiting me in Vienna this weekend. It will be good to have someone visit me here because it seems that I haven't shared this part of my life in person to anyone except Betka so far. I hope we have a good time. We should because the advent markets in Wien are opening this weekend and they are supposed to be really neat.

Tahts all for now guys. Thanks for being so faithful in your prayers and support as well as your continued reading of whats happening in my life here. Love you guys alot! :)


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Prayers please!!!!

Please be in prayer today around 3:30 my time thats 7 hours ahead of Chicago time. I will be going to the visa office at that time to submit my visa application. I am really praying for a miracle because my income is not high enough to fulfill the new law of $1600 a month. Please pray that they would allow me to stay in Austria even with a slightly lower income. I am really nervous. Thanks guys! :)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stone sculpture. . . .

The above picture brings me to talk about something that I do not have, a hobby. The rocks in this picture were painted so that they appear to be a woman and child praying. I think that as a missionary I tend to feel somewhat burnt out. Not that I feel that what I am doing is not worthy, because it is, more so than I will ever know, but I get tired of just the teaching aspect of life. Sometimes I just want to have something that I can go back home to, something to do that doesn't require me to be entirely organized or together in my thinking. I want to go home and chip away at rocks. I would very much like to resume my study of stone sculpture. I did some in college and realy loved the process and how close to our Lord it made me feel. I guess I just miss the ability to go and create. Yes, I can draw, and I do, but there is just something about creating out of solid stone that is magnificent. Unfortunately stone carving and sculpture is very expensive. Not only for the stone itself, but also for the tools. I know that some day I will be able to take part in this art form that I have a passion for. Please ask the Lord how you might be able to help me with this. I cannot afford to do something like this at the present time and maybe God will move one of you, my faithful supporters to make this possible. Maybe, but also maybe not, we will see.

Its funny how I revert back to the way I was in college when I get really busy. If I have something to do at home when I am really busy at school I tend to stay busy at school and I stay on task. If I don't have any outlet for my creativity, some way to stay close to Jesus through what I am physically doing, I feel distant from Him. I guess that has been my problem of late. I haven't found ample outlet for my creativity. Please pray that He would show me a way. Thank you guys so much for your interest in reading my blog and I pray that it might uplift you at times and inspire you too, to live by faith and not by sight. Thanks for your prayers and financial support. I miss you all. God's blessings! :)


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Continuation of pictures . . .

The pictures above are from fall festival. It is kind of like a celebration of the harvest, Thanksgiving, and Halloween all rolled into one night of fun with teachers, parents, and students alike. Those of you that are supporters of this ministry at any level, prayer, financial, etc. you all have help impact these children's lives in ways that we all can't even imagine. Thank you on behalf of the students at VCS.

The above pictures are just a sampling of what chapel is like here at VCS. The praise band is student run, but supervised by the high school music teacher. We also have a teacher that serves as the chaplain and arranges guest speakers and so forth for the chapel schedule.