Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

Hey everyone,

Frohe Weinachten und Prosit Neu Jahr, or Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We found this picture on our friends blog, fellow missionaries here in Wien. Enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane . . .

Hey all,

Just thought I would give a quick update as to what life is like here at little ole Vienna Christian School the week before our Christmas break.

Truth be told we are enjoying the Holiday season, but not without our own stress. VCS runs on an academic schedule that means students take finals before Christmas but there is still a week and a half after break that is included in the first semester. For my elementary classes this doesn't mean anything but for my 8th grade classes it means that we are not fully done before break although the students seem to act like it is the end. So as you can probably imagine things get pretty hectic here. High school has final exams this week and the whole school has a half day on Thursday and we fly out to the U.S. on Friday morning early.

When trying to figure out how to get to the airport in Vienna Betka and I realized that there were many others from VCS flying out the same morning so we got together and found someone to drive us out to the airport. So, in order to accommodate the earliest flier we are leaving at 4:15am for the airport. Should be an early morning, let me tell you!:) So Betka and I are going to go to bed early on Thursday night and make sure we are packed ahead of time so we can just take our bags and go meet our driver.

Some of you might wonder . . .are we both excited to be home and the honest truth is yes, we are but we are also anxious about it as well. The source of our anxiety is not only my father's health, which is outstanding given the circumstances, but also our current financial situation in Vienna. To be honest the outlook right now on our support level is that we don't have enough monthly support. As it stands right now we would continue to go into the negative throughout this year. Our monthly salary, right now, is supposed to be at least $1550 monthly due to Visa requirements in Austria. My current salary is set at $1400 and I can raise that as soon as we have enough funds to support it. The amount of $1550 monthly is income that the Austrian government requires for a single person to obtain a visa to live here. Because of the situation that Betka and I are in it is a little different than most couples at VCS but it is still a dire situation. Since Betka is an European Union citizen she is allowed to only live in Austria. Therefor we only have to raise support for one of us, but she supplements our income by teaching violin and piano lessons which, if you would like to be extremely technical, is actually illegal. If she ever became unable to teach lessons we would not be able to stay in Vienna without first raising our support level. So that said we are constantly on the look out for others that might be interested in supporting us in ministry in Wien at VCS. If you know someone or a church that wants to find a missionary to support please LET US KNOW!!!:)

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about us or our ministry. Our upcoming trip to the U.S. is mainly to visit family but we would also like to raise some more support on our trip as well. Please join with us in praying for more financial support for us as a missionary family this holiday season. We are very much looking forward to "being home" and sharing our lives with you all. Be blessed this day.

In Christ,
Brian & Betka

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December Newsletter . . .

Ok so we just sent out our December Newsletter and we are very happy with it. Producing the newsletters is something that is a real joy for me. Not only is it a great outlet for sharing our lives with all of you but it is also an outlet for my creativity. It is something that I can't foresee getting away from even after leaving VCS someday. I will add the newsletter as two JPEGS in large format. If it doesn't turn out well on the blog just email me and I can send it to you and put you on the list for our future mailings. Also if you would like to receive a hard copy let me know and we can add you to that list as well.

























We also made Christmas cards that we will send out in the mail to friends and family. If you haven't gotten one please let us know!:)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Holiday season . . .

I was thinking the other day how amazing this time is that we are coming upon. The CHRISTmas season is a very important one. It is amazing to think that before Jesus came into this world people still had to sacrifice burnt offerings to get in touch or to seek the favor of the Lord. Nowadays because of Jesus' extravagant love for us, we no longer need to win the affection of the Lord . . . WE ALREADY HAVE IT!!!! :)

As Betka and I are still reeling from the amazing blessing that the Lord blessed us with being financially able to "be home" for Christmas this year, we acknowledge that He is Lord over everything in our lives and it is our job to remember to keep turning things over to Him. I was reading a book called "A Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins. Even though it was written in the 1970s and is about a young man finding "himself" it also has some really interesting points about God and how great He is and how amazing His love for us is. One specific part that I have in mind right now is the part where Peter starts to realize that what he has been searching for as he walked from upstate New York to New Orleans was the God that people he had met along the way worshipped. He writes about an Evangelist he saw named James Robison that was preaching in Mobile, Alabama as Peter walked through on his way to New Orleans and the Gulf. Mr. Robison was preaching at a stadium venue and Peter was drawn inside by the billboards around town. One thing that Peter wrote that Mr. Robison said struck me as so undeniably true, " From the day you were born you wanted to 'do your own thing' and you were rebellious against God. If you want to really know God, you have got to repent of this rebellion, which the Bible calls sin."

As I was saying we need to keep turning things over to Him, because really it is our desire as humans to "do things our way". As Jame Robison so pointedly put it, every time we do something even a tad rebellious and seek to do something our way we are sinning and that requires repentance. Every time we say "I can handle our finances, I just need to get a promotion." or we think "Lord, I think I can handle this, not a problem for ME." we are rebelling against God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean not on YOUR OWN understanding; in ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight."NIV Every time that I say that "I can do it alone" I am rejecting what the Lord has done for me. I challenge you all to keep asking Him for help and to surrender the ability to do things through you to Him.

Now some of you might say that Jesus died for our sins and that He knows our repentant hearts even before we pray for repentance. I believe that this isn't enough that we must confess with our hearts and lips that we are repentant. I also have come to realize that we are all rebellious against God no matter what our personality is like and that this must always be repented of. A faith walk is learning more and more to submit to the Lord's wants and needs for our lives. It is something thats extremely hard for all of us, but it is possible with the Lord's help and something that brings you great joy when you learn how to run to the Lord with EVERYTHING. Its really freeing.

Well, I have to go now. Just remember that Betka and I will be in the States in 2 weeks and 2 days, see you then!!!! :)

B & B

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pictures finally . . .

Here they are:


Above and below: Portrait at the Weinachts Dorf (Christmas Village) at Maria Theresa Platz/Museum Quartier downtown Vienna. VERY COLD!!!



Above: Brian looking a little lost . . .
Below: Betka and her favorite stall at the market, glittery things.

Below: I don't know the exact name for these guys but they are all over the city selling fresh roasted nuts, and potatoes in many forms. Great warm snack in such cold weather!:)


Betka and I wanted to take some pictures of us doing what the Lord has us doing right now. The pictures with students learning is actually during our classes or lessons. Lunch time is a really blessed time for us where we can forego eating at that time and can pour our lives into the kids. We get all kinds of questions from the kids and really enjoy sharing our lives with them. Just the other day one 5th grader was asking me questions like "How can you be REALLY SURE that Jesus is real?" and "If you parents tell you to do something and it breaks a commandment does that mean that you should break the 'honor your father and mother' commandment?" Jesus please help me to give the answers that you would have me give!:) Enjoy the pictures of our ministry.


Above left and right: Brian helping the 2nd graders understand their project and sort through their ideas.
Below left: Betka with 1st graders at lunch.
Beow right: Betka's most conscientious violin student from Korea.



Below: Betka and an Austrian violin student.


So I had better get going for now. Enjoy and make sure to comment or email us if you have anything you'd like to say. Blessings!:)

B & B

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pictures coming . . .

Hey there everyone!

If you have been reading along with us you might notice that recently we haven't had many of our own pictures to share. That is mainly due to the fact that we haven't been taking any due to our camera being broken. Fortunately we were able to borrow a camera from a fellow teacher so you will see a few more pictures of Betka and I doing what we usually do here in Vienna.

Life keeps going here in Wien. This morning Betka and I arrived at school earlier than usual, 7:30 to prepare to lead staff worship from 7:50-8:10. Last night we had our weekly Bible study with 7 of our colleagues and friends in attendance. It was a wonderful time enjoyed by all but needless-to-say Betka and I were a little tired this morning. Whenever I am tired I tend to not be as joyous in "service" as I could be. I found myself thinking "Whew, I'm glad that's over (worship)." That thought then sickened me right thereafter and it hit me that this is my attitude for many things. Although I really am blessed to be serving here it is just really hard for me to be peppy and joyous everyday. Doesn't God's word tell us that we need to be joyful in all situations? I am finding that I have to continually ask the Lord to make me feel joyous because on days like today it is just downright hard to "feel" joyous. Please pray for me (Brian) as this is something I want to change but really need Jesus' help to do so. Leading worship shouldn't be a burden to me but a joy to do once every month.

In other personal news . . .my friend Thomas and I are restarting our training for the Vienna City Half Marathon 2008. Exactly 5 months from today we will attempt to improve our personal times for the run from last year. I'll have to beat 2 hours and 14 minutes. It was a joy to restart running with Thomas as it provides a vent for both of us. Its a great guy time together almost in a fellowship together. I'm looking forward to many more "training runs".

So yeah . . .until we have more pictures, please continue to have us in your prayers to stay strong in the Lord. It seems it is so much easier for the enemy to get a hold of missionaries and we constantly need prayer warriors fighting on our behalf against the enemy. Thank you for your prayers in advance.

Yours in Christ,
Brian and Betka

Monday, November 26, 2007

And the decision is . . . . .

Hey there everybody,

I thought I would blog a quick update on Thanksgiving and what has transpired since last Tuesday.

On Wednesday of last week Betka and I finalized our decision to stay in Vienna for another 4 years after this school year. That would put us as a family here in Vienna until the summer of 2012!!!! Betka and I are really excited about having time to really set down some roots here and invest into the ministry here at school. We hope that you have been able to see that what we do here is worthwhile, and also worth supporting. It has been one heck of a ride so far and we are looking forward to the rest of the time the Lord has planned for us to stay here. Even though we aren't ever really sure of the future, we are committed to the ministry here and following what we believe to be the Lord's will for us, at least at this time. We also continue to look forward to our growing relationships with each of you, our faithful prayer warriors and supporters. Without you, this would not even be possible. Please continue to seek the Lord as to how you can continue to help us as we continually seek to help here in Wien. Be blessed this day!:)

B & B

Friday, November 16, 2007

SNOW IN NOVEMBER!!!!!

Hey all, just thought I would write to tell you what this morning was like.

We woke up to about 4-5 inches of snow and thick snowflakes falling from the sky. Vienna is beautiful under a coat of white snow!:) I don't have any picturess of this snowfall but here are some picturess from around the city of Wien that I found elsewhere!:)







It really is a beautiful city under snow and I can say from experience now as this is my first time seeing it with this much.

Also on a totally random note, the following picture is one I found on the internet the other day. It is a humorous reminder of what can happen when we follow the wrong kind of leaders, when we follow leaders that take us in non-scripture based directions . . .we can end up in the muck!:)



I know the poor ducks, but hey they could have thought to go around and not follow their momma. Ahhh the realities of this world. Try not to hate me!:)

Brian

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Very Scary Halloween"

The first weekend in November we went to a "Halloween" party which was really just and excuse to dress funny and attend a get-together with other VCSers. It was entitled "Very Scary Halloween Party". It was a fun time of food and fellowship and activities that centered not around the "spirit of Halloween", but the theme of "scariness". The two women that put it together were very creative with what they had to offer. The distorted pictures are from my friend's Sara's mac computer that had a program that did that.

Above: Betka and I went as Boris and Natasya, a Russian couple. Our story was that Boris immigrated to Russia from Sweden and that he met Natasya who has Gypsy blood and instantly fell in love and were married in red square. Boris however was unable to shed his viking roots and that is the reason for his cap which he has had for ages. The real story is that I dressed as a viking because it was all I had to wear and Betka was a gypsy for the same reason. My awesome beard is actually my wife's mascara lathered upon my chinny chin chin. We look wonderful!:)

Below: Distoted pic of Boris, AKA Brian.



Above: Sweet Natasya made of rubber.

Blessings!:)

B & B

Thursday, November 08, 2007

On the road again . . .

So this weekend Betka and I will be traveling to Prague, Czech Republic and then on to Lednice, Czech Republic.

we are simply just We are leaving tonight to go to Prague to visit the Christian International School of Prague and to meet the staff of the school. We will stay with a friend of ours in Praha who is serving as a missionary there. Our reasons for visiting this school are many. My initial contract is up this year at VCS as many of you already know, and CISP is in need of a K-12 art teacher and librarian. Now for those of you that know both Betka and I, you would probably guess that this could be an opportunity for us. We are by no means unhappy with what is happening in our ministry at VCS. We are just exlporing our options in Betka's home culture. I have been emailing on and off with the director, the secretary, and one of the teachers at the school, who are all the same person and it appears that CISP is like VCS used to be 10-12 years back. You can check out their website at www.cisprague.org We are very interested to see what this opportunity might offer to us as a missionary couple. As of right now we are leaning towards making a commitment of staying at VCS for another 4 years. We are required to make the decision by the 23rd of this month so please continue to keep us in your prayers as we visit tomorrow and make our decision in the next couple of weeks. Please pray that the Lord's will would be crystal clear and that we would have wisdom in deciding where to be into the future.

Friday evening we will head south again to visit with Betka's family, to celebrate her birthday. Her grandma was going to be with us but she has fallen and hurt her leg again so she was unable to travel right now. Please keep our Babinka (Grandma) in your prayers as well. This time should be a much-needed time of relaxation and retreat away from the city that we have both learned to live in and somewhat feel at home in, but have not ever really felt relaxed here. We love Vienna, but South Moravia, Czech has a special place in both of our hearts.

We will update later to let you all know how the visits go. Blessings!:)

B & B

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Diversity . . . .evidences of the Lord at work!:)

So we have whats called the T-drive here on our network at school and on this we share files that we need everyday at school. There is a picture folder where staff can share pictures from school events, places staff traveled together, etc. It is a wonderful thing and I was looking through a folder of pictures from the elementary's Jump-Rope-for-Heart event that they did this year and I found a great picture that illustrates the diversity of our student body.


















Nationalities from left to right: Mexico, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, India, and Philippines.

Praise the Lord that these kids, that are so different and come from such amazingly different backgrounds, can become friends and get along so well together. It is truly the evidence of the Lord working in our school.
,

Monday, November 05, 2007

1st Sixth Grade Fellowship and Betka's 23rd birthday!!! :)

Hey there again everybody!

This past weekend was pretty good and we had a few things going on . . .


On Friday evening Betka and I hosted our first ever 6th Grade Fellowship Night!!! It was a wonderful evening. We had nine 6th graders, 4 boys and 5 girls, attend our the event at our apartment. Our purpose to opening our doors was to reach out to my homeroom students, the 6th grade class, and to celebrate Betka's birthday. We had been advertising this evening for about a month now and the kids were really pumped to finally be able to go. It was a great opportunity to hang out with the kids outside of school and to build our relationships with them. Many of them brought games with them to play while they were there and we had hot dogs and snacks to fight off hunger. We played all kinds of games including Twister, Cluedo(the German version of Clue), and Mafia (a really fun game that the kids loved). Overall a fun time was had by all. The kids were still talking about it today in homeroom.

Sunday we celebrated Betka's birthday as a family, Me and her. I prepared her breakfast in bed and then gave her the present that I had for her. It was a really colorful piece of pottery that a couple teachers from here at school got in Hungary when they were there. It was a good morning. Then, we went to Vienna House Church and led worship. We finished the day with Super-Size Me, the documentary about McDonald's and how unhealthy it is. Very interesting, I recommend it.

Just a quick update before teaching my 3rd graders today . . . as of last week . . . .WE HAVE THE NEEDED FUNDS FOR AIRFARE!!!! Due to a few people answering the call to help us get back for the holidays we have received exactly $1700 which is just enough to pay for both Betka and I to come home for the holidays. Praise the Lord!:) He really does work in amazing ways!:) Thank you so much to those of you that gave, and for those that read this that gave anonymously thanks for being faithful to our Lord. We are really excited about our return for Christmas and New Year's. If you or your church, small group, etc would like to meet with us while we are in the States please get in touch with us ASAP. We look forward to "being home" soon!

Blessings and love from Wien,
Brian & Betka

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another update . . .

Hey everyone! :)

The Reynolds household here in Wien has been pretty ill the past week and a half. First Betka had Tonsillitis and then I got a cold from that, a really bad cold. Anyway . . . we are getting over that and I am beginning to get better, Betka is practically back to normal, and we are surging ahead towards the end of our first school quarter and our fall break.

A few things that have happened the last few weeks are Spiritual Emphasis Week and fall festival . . .the following pictures are from that fun-filled time. They might also be the reason that my body protests and why we are ill now. Guess its just part of the game! :)


Above: Betka and I volunteered to paint faces for Fall festival a time where families can come and get exposed to the school and have a great time. Its also the fall choir concert as well.

Below: The staff and 8th graders took on the high school boys soccer team in a fight to the finish soccer match . . .yeah . . .the boys were faster . . .they killed us . . .3-0!!!! :( But it was tons of fun! :) Pardon the blurry pictures I was running really fast and the camera couldn't keep up! Hahaha.


I am not in the group picture because I left early for Bible study.

Below: Our team that came to serve the students for S.E.W. were very effective not really with the message that they brought but by the wonderful ways that they related to the student body here at VCS. The things that they stirred in the secondary school is still being dealt with today in classes. Since that week we have had one sophomore girl come to know Christ, and there is rumors of another guy getting close as well. Praise God that this week impacted kids so much! :)



So yeah another month, October, is coming to a close in this school year and its amazing what the Lord allows us to do here. November 2nd will be our first meeting for 6th Grade Fellowship. We will have the 6th graders over for Betka's birthday party and have an evening of fun and fellowship. We are really looking forward to getting to know our students outside of class! Please continue to pray for us as we find more ways to do that. God bless you all for your part in supporting us in finances and prayer. Without you all we would not be able to do all of this. Be blessed! :)

In Vienna,
Brian and Betka

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We're coming for Christmas!!!!!

Hey good news everyone that was praying that we would
be able to be in the States for Christmas . . .

I (Brian) purchased the tickets this morning
(evening for most of you). Our itinerary is as follows:




SERVICE FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE
--------- ------------ --------- -------- -------
Flight OS 0625
FRI 21DEC VIENNA AT WARSAW PL 0815 0940
VIE



LOT POLISH AIRLINES - LO 1
FRI 21DEC WARSAW PL CHICAGO IL ORD 1200 1515

LOT POLISH AIRLINES - LO 4
SUN 06JAN CHICAGO IL WARSAW PL 2155 1405
07JAN
ORD



LOT POLISH AIRLINES - LO 5223
MON 07JAN WARSAW PL VIENNA AT 1515 1640
VIE

OS 0624 FLIGHT OPERATED BY OS AUSTRIAN


So as we are planning right now we will be in the
United States from December 21st 2007 until
January 6th, 2008. This trip is mainly to visit
family and especially my father, but we are also
looking forward to visiting our supporters and their
churches. Please let us know if you would like to
meet with us so that we can schedule times to
hopefully meet with each of you that want to.
We would love to see you all while we are back,
but it is a very short time and will be very busy.
So Lord willing, we'll see
you in a couple of months! :)

In His grip in Wien,
Brian and Betka


Friday, October 12, 2007

Our God is a great big God . . .

"Our God is a great big God, our God is a great big God, our God is a great big God . . . and He holds us in his hands . . ."

Those are words from a song that our kids sing in elementary chapel and they are so very true . . .Betka and I have been experiencing that first had this past week as we have seen the Lord work in "Big" ways in our life. We are starting to see a little bit of direction as to where we should be going after this year and it looks like we are leaning towards staying here, but the FINAL DECISION has NOT BEEN MADE YET.

In regards to whether or not we will be returning to the States for Christmas and New Year's . . .it seems that the Lord might be bringing in the funds. We had a colleague contribute to getting us back, and have had some good responses from others as well. We hope to get the tickets ASAP, meaning as soon as we have the funds. We're getting there, almost halfway and it has really only been a week since we first made it known of the need. Praise the Lord for how He is bigger than this whole thing and that He offers immense peace in all situations. Thanks to all of you that are contributing to help make this happen. We will update when we have the funds and order the tickets. May all of you receive a special blessing this day for your acts of faith.

B & B

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Spiritual Emphasis Week 2007 . . .

Hey there again everyone!

I just thought I would let all of you prayer warriors back home know that this week is our secondary school's Spiritual Emphasis week. A team of three from Lubbock, TX have come for the week to minister to our students in a new and refreshing way. Duke, Joel, and Mary Anne are driving the gospel message in this week with messages every day as well as spending the rest of their time visiting students' classes and hanging out with the kids. Yesterday the high school soccer team played the staff in a re-match of last spring's first annual student/staff soccer match in which your truly (Brian) played. We got really pumped to be out there and played clad in old VCS soccer jerseys from way back. Unfortunately the high school guys outmatched us in speed and finesse and knocked us off 3-0, but a fun time was had by all. One of the Spritiual Emphasis Week guys played as a staff member and was a real help to us. Its wonderful all of the awesome mentoring/relational ministry time that one has here at Vienna Christian School. This coming Sunday at 3 we will have a staff/student mixed game of ultimate frisbee. Please pray for us as we continue to find new and innovative ways to reach our students for Christ. Especially this week pray for the SEW team that they might reach the hearts of these kids and that our students might respond positively to these "strangers". We believe that it is the Lord's will to save some of our students this week and with your prayers it is possible. To God be the glory! :)

God bless ya'll!
Brian & Betka

Friday, October 05, 2007

And the wheel keeps turnin' . . .

Hey everyone.

Just another quick note for the end of this very eventful week . . .

Betka and I fasted on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to really seek after the Lord as to what He wants for us to decide in each of the aforementioned things and we are beginning to see clearly what He wants us to do. We have really just been seeing that He wants us to rest in Him and trust in His provision. As the husband and head of the household I tend to want to take control of things and while in some situations that is a needed thing most of the time that desire can result in worry and stressing out which, I have come to learn, is the exact opposite of faith. So right now at the end of this week I am relaxed and trusting in the Lord to help us in this and I realize that He will make things work out for good and that He has nothing but the best in mind for us. So even though the Lord hasn't told us exactly what to do right now, I have peace trusting in the One that created us and this amazing universe.

Thats said, we are trying to get all of our supporters and friends and family totally updated on where we are in this process in seeking the Lord's will in our lives. It is a life long process and one I believe that we should never stop seeking from Him. He can re-direct us at any time.

Currently with the possible trip home over Christmas and New Year's Betka and I are of the mind that if the Lord wants us to go that we will have the funds above and beyond the monthly support that we have to be here. If you want to see us this holiday season and feel that the Lord is urging you to help us get back, please send the money to RCE with a separate note saying that you would like it to be set aside for airfare. If we don't have enough for airfare to return for this holiday we will save it and use it for next summer when we planned on being back anyway.

As for the decision of whether or not to stay at VCS into the future we are still not totally sure of our decision. Vienna Christian School is stepping out in faith and the board has decided that if a staff member would commit to 4 years at the school that they would offer many more benefits than they currently do. So as we are thoughtfully praying about the decision of staying or not we are thinking if we stay we would stay for 4 years or we would leave after this year. Please keep us in your prayers as this is quite possibly the biggest decision of my life next to the decision to get married. Thank you in advance for standing with us in prayer for this decision.

Currently Betka and I are enjoying and always standing in awe of how the Lord is using us in this school setting. It seems to fit us like a glove. We are having a blast getting to know these kids. The picture below is of the middle school praise band. All of the kids I have in class and Betka has a few in her music lessons. The 4 girls on the right are in my 6th grade homeroom and the girl on the left and the two guys in back are in my 8th grade art classes. Betka teaches violin to the girl on the right. We are really excited about getting to know the kids better this year and possibly even a few years into the future. Thanks for helping us be able to be here ministering to them.



Thanks again for your prayers and support. We love ya'll! :)

Betka and Brian Reynolds

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Growing pains . . . .

Just thought I would jot a quick note telling how the Lord is working right now in my (Brian) life right now.

Today was really tough mainly due to the fact that many decisions are on my plate right now, and a couple of those are ones that need to be made soon. One of those is the decision of whether or not Betka and I will be returning to the States for this coming holiday season Christmas and New Year's. This is a tough decision for me because I really feel the need to be back with my family, mainly my dad, for this Christmas which could be his last with us. I can't decide what to do as the cost of getting Betka and I to the States and back will be between $1600-1700. Obviously on our budget we don't have the funds to afford a trip over the holidays as we were originally hoping to get back for a month next summer and that would cost around the same amount. We both are at a loss as to what we should do. I feel that we should definitely go but I am having a really hard time justifying the amount of money we would have to spend to get back seeing as how we really don't have it. Anyway . . . Betka and I have decided to search for the best price and pray for the Lord to make our decision a little clearer to us. Please, please, please get in touch with us ASAP if you believe that the Lord is urging you to help us figure this out.

So other than that we are still praying about what the Lord wants us to do and where He wants us to be in the future. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to seek His will in our lives.

Blessings and love,

Brian & Betka

P.S. This entry is entitled growing pains because this entry is a result of those, spiritual and physical. Growing into a marriage relationship is really hard too, I am sure almost impossible without God's hands involved daily. Love you all! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Update . . .

Hey everybody,

Just wanted to update here right after experiencing our 2007 staff retreat here at Vienna Christian School. It went amazingly well. The worship was really well planned and really touched some hearts, the small groups with peers was very valuable. I learned that I am encouraging to those around me and that I appear to have a real joy for life. It was just a very great time overall. Below are some pictures and a video from the event. Enjoy!








Just as an update as to what Betka and I are planning for the future . . .

*Holiday U.S. Run?-We are thinking about returning to the US for Christmas and New Year's because it is urgent that I spend this holiday with my family. If you want more information please contact me by email.

*Future Planning- We aren't sure where the Lord is leading us to be the year after this one. We are really happy here but the financial situation is always really tough with the economy here doing so well and the value of the dollar so low. We are exploring other opportunities including the Christian School in Prague, and job opportunities in the States. The job in Prague would still be a missionary support salary-type job and we would still need support. THIS IS NOT FOR CERTAIN JUST PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR DECISION MAKING. The Lord's will be done.

*6th Grade Fellowship- We are planning on having the 6th grade class her at VCS over for a game/fellowship evening at our apartment. Please pray about how you can help us in this endeavor. One thing that we need is this . . .STRATEGY GAMES< FUN GAMES< CARD GAMES, WHATEVER GAMES YOU HAVE AND DON'T NEED. Send them to us so we can bless these kids through board games.

*Keep on praying for us- We continue to "live life here" in Vienna. That entails many things to do ministry effectively and to remain focused on what we should. Please feel free to email and ask what we need specific prayer for at the time. We love encouraging emails. Hope to hear from you soon! :)

Love all of you! :)

Brian & Betka

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Praise the Lord, He will be seeing another soul in heaven!!! :)

Hey there everyone! :)
I received this email today and it is an example of why our school is so amazing and how the Lord works so wonderfully through our staff and students. This happened in 3rd grade class. The subject of the email was "Fishers of men" in this case a little boy from India named Navish . . .

Just wanted to let you know that one more' has been caught for Jesus!!! This week in 3rd grade we're learning about Mark 1:17 and being fishers of men. Yesterday in class we made paper fish and wrote the names of people that we want to "catch for Jesus." One of my students put his name on his own fish. Today he and I had lunch together and I asked him why he wrote his own name,"Because I want to be caught for Jesus!" Whoohoooo!!!! This precious soul comes from a Buddhist background. We discussed what it means to be a follower of Jesus and he said that he was ready to make that decision and ask Jesus in his heart. I was privileged to lead him in prayer. Whoohooo!!!! Rejoice with the angels and me and congratulate Navish for making the biggest decision of his life.

So in a nutshell thats why we are here at VCS, Betka and I. We rejoice with this teacher that Navish has come to know the Lord and pray that each day will bring us other opportunities to share the gospel with our students. Thank you for supporting us as we seek to help make this happen more often. Rejoice with us, another child has chosen life. :) Please continue to pray for us and him and the rest of the students here at VCS. Blessings ya'll! :)

Brian and Betka

Friday, September 07, 2007

Things are starting to get back to normal . . .

Hey there again everybody!

Things here in Vienna are starting to get back to "normal" as we wrap up our second week of school. It is hard to believe that two weeks has already gone by so quick. As far as teaching goes this year it is shaping up to be a much better year because I don't feel so pressured to perform like I felt last year. It is also a wonderful change to things to have my wife here. Betka adds a whole new dimension to my life here. She seems to be adjusting well to life here in our "American bubble". The rest of the staff is very welcoming to her. She went to Brno yesterday to finish her exams for conservatory and she passed all of them with honors. Everyone at school was asking Betka how her exam went and were as excited as I was to hear that she did well.

Meanwhile here in Vienna we are experiencing our second straight day of rain. It has stopped momentarily but the ground is really really soggy and we received an all staff email this morning to be on the look out for parts of the roof that are leaking. The roof of school is about 15 years old and is in need of repair.

As Betka finished her exams she is getting ready for the start of music lessons. The way the system works here at VCS is that each student that is interested in having a music lesson specifies the instrument and how long they have been playing and leaves their phone number usually the parents' number for elementary. These sheets that are filled out are then sent back to school where they are distributed to the teachers that have the time to teach them. Betka has the market cornered with viola/violin because there are not any other available teachers. So as of today, the last day to sign up, she has 7 kids signed up. They range in ages from 6-13. Please pray for Betka in these coming months as she will be new to these kids' lives and could still impact them for Christ and teach them a little violin/viola as well. She is looking forward to the lessons and they will provide just a little financial help for our budget.

While I am at the point of the budget, let me clearly state that we are living on the salary that I lived on as a single guy for the past year. As you can guess it is very very tight. Currently we would like to be fully supported for 2 people and that would be at about $1900-2000 monthly. Currently with the support we have now we are at $1300 on a good month. We are very very thankful for the many ways that the Lord is working in all of you to keep us here in Vienna. Honestly without any of you all we would not be here doing what we're doing and if VCS were not here in Vienna there would be many missionary families and international families that would have no other option for their children. We do continue to ask you to pray and ask the Lord how you or someone you know might be able to help us to be more effective in ministry.

To close out this entry I would just like to make mention of the many ways that we have seen the Lord at work in our lives and in the lives of the staff and students around us. Recently we have been blessed with a few little God-incidences. These are mainly for domestic things that we needed around the house or things that would make life a little brighter but we wouldn't have the funds to make them possible or we had something that worked well enough. The first was an iron. We had an old iron that came with the apartment and it worked, but it wasn't very good. A day after discussing it with Betka there was a relatively new iron sitting on the "free table" at school, the following day we picked up a fairly decent electric mixer. We had even been pricing one in hopes of finding one at an inexpensive price. Isn't it amazing how God provides!? The most amazing thing that happened that was totally orchestrated by the Lord was our acquisition of a matching set of living room furniture. There was some old furniture sitting in the garage at school and it was going to just be thrown out. among that set of furniture was a perfectly good set of leather sofas, one full sized sofa, a love seat, and an easy chair. We were sitting on them waiting to take them to the dump when someone asked me if I would want them. My first answer was "No way, I have a full living room full of furniture already." Then someone said that maybe I could get rid of some of the furniture. Then that got me thinking . . .Betka and I both were not overjoyed by our current furniture so why not trade it in for a free set of leather furniture!? So to make a long story short we switched what we had with the new stuff and Shyam, the maintenance guy had reserved another of the "junk" sofas and that sofa "just happened to" match the sofa we would need to get rid of to have our new stuff. It was amazing how we were able to replace our old stuff with newer and pass the old one on to someone that really wanted and needed it. We never even would have though to pray that our "annoying" chairs would get replaced, God just happened to make it work. It was an awesome day.

There are many other ways that the Lord is continuing to bless us here in Wien and we hope that you are blessed by our sharing with you. We hope that this post reaches you all well. Please email us with any prayer requests that you might have regarding your own lives. We do like to stay in touch. Blessings ya'll! :)

In His grip,

Brian and Betka

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Lord sure knows what He's doing . . . .

Hey again everybody.

One thing has been on my mind alot lately. Just about how must I really don't get anything with out Jesus' help. I really have no idea what I am doing and the only way that I will end this school year with my sanity in check still is if I continue to turn to Him for understanding and answers to everything. He is the one who knows my heart best, and as a result knows me the best. I feel it is a great honor to be serving Him and through this all He is surely molding me into the vessel that He wants to carry His word of life.

As some of you might know we as VCS staff are now going through our week and a half "orientation" of sorts. Much of it is the same as it was this time last year, but a few key changes have made it really really different. One of those main changes is the fact that we only really have a director and 1, thats right, 1 principal. VCS consists of 3 schools, Elementary, Middle, and High, and we have an amazing man in place now mainly for high school, but he has assumed the role of Principal of all three schools. Nels has graciously taken on the really strenuous role of principal of the entirety of Vienna Christian School. That stress mentioned, I feel really good about this coming school year. even though I really have no idea what it must be like to be a principal of three schools, I do know that NELS WILL NEED OUR PRAYERS THIS YEAR. Please join with me in prayer as he takes on this Gignormous (sp?) task. I feel that there is an amazing amount of unity this year so far and we can seriously use prayers that it would continue that way so that we can reach the students as effectively as possible.

I am also excited about this year for a few new reasons. Firstly, because we have no band teacher the 6th and 8th graders will all be required to take art for a half year. That means that I will have the entire 6th and 8th grades this year in art, the 8th graders this first part and 6th graders the second. I have also volunteered to be the 6th grade homeroom teacher. Not knowing it at the time I volunteered, but this person is very important to the students' settling in to the life and routines here at VCS. This also means that I will have an excellent opportunity to hang out with the kids doing things like announcements, report cards, etc. really, it is 7 minutes each day after first block that I will have to get to know these students and build relationships with them. I am excited to see how the Lord will use me in the lives of these, our youngest middle schoolers.

I also wanted to mention here really quickly the value of the Aldersgate Renewal Ministries' conference every year. Betka and I had a chance to go and attend the workshops available there this past summer and it was a really awesome experience. Instead of explain everything about it here I will connect you to their webpage
The Holy Spirit showed up there in a really big way. We really enjoy going there every year. This year it was held in Rogers, Arkansas and Betka and I drove down there with my grandparents. My grandparents got involved with this organization a few years back and then took my little brother and he was saved 4 years ago at the conference. I had my first Aldersgate experience in Overland Park, Kansas 3 years ago and have been blessed to be able to go back each year, usually with my grandparents. I know that for me personally I would not be able to minister as a missionary with out this yearly "fill-up" of the Holy Spirit. It has become a huge part of Betka and my life as she has been to the last 2 Aldersgate conferences. Please feel free to email me or comment with any questions as to what in detail happens at each conference and what the ministry there is all about. I would be overjoyed to share with you.

Anyway . . . I must get going . . . I have alot to plan and not alot of time to plan it, so until next time . . . do be blessed and walk in the Spirit daily. Blessings and love.

In His grip,
B & B

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's been a long time and for that I am very sorry. . .

Hey there again everyone. Again I am very sorry for how long it has been since our last post. Its been almost an entire month and no update and there is no excuse for that other than I was extremely busy this past month, but then again who isn't right? Anyway I just wanted to post this newest entry to let y'all know that Betka and I are still alive and kicking and safely back in Austria from after our wonderful visit to the USA.

This past month we had a wonderfully blessed time visiting many of our faithful supporters and other friends and family. Betka and I were still whirling from our recent wedding that happened in her hometown, Lednice on June 9th but were able to spend a very restful and splendid time "back home" in the States. Now we have been married for a little over 2 months and it hasn't even seemed like that long! :) I think I shared a few pictures online a while back and those of you that we had the blessing of seeing on this US trip got to see some, but here are some more pics from our wedding as well as from our honeymoon.


Above are two pics from our wedding. The three guys are me and my brothers, Chris on the left and Matthew on the right. Notice the flower on my lapel and the little greenery on the guys' shirts? Czech tradition. The flower signifies the groom while the greenery signifies each member of the "wedding party" meaning everyone that is invited to the reception. The czechs do this as sort of a discreet way to let people know whether or not they should stick around afterward. Kind of neat I think.


My dad made it to Europe and got to see where I work each day. It was a blessing to share "my "European world" firsthand with them.


To the left is a favorite picture of mine. I like how it almost portrays Betka and I "starting the steps of life together". Oh so romantic . . . (insert sarcastic cough here.) :)
The picture on the right is after our reception when we hurriedly got changed and were swept to the train station headed to Vienna, then a couple days later we headed off for Northern Slovakia on our honeymoon. Wow, our wedding day was a wonderful whirlwind of busy-ness. A really blessed time. We will have pictures of our honeymoon later just haven't uploaded them yet. Some of you saw them because we had some printed just haven't "blogged" them yet.


Above,Grace Community United Methodist Church's hospitality committee and my parents organized a "state-side reception" for myself and my new bride. We enjoyed it very much as it gave us a chance to see people we had not seen in a long time and it gave them a chance to celebrate with us. Grace, we really appreciated your effort in making that event a success.

Our summer was pretty busy but very restful at the same time. Our objective was to relax and get ready for the upcoming school year first and foremost but to also spread the word about Vienna Christian School and the need that Betka and I have as missionaries here. I believe that we succeeded in that goal. We have been blessed with the addition of a few more individual supporters as well as finally adding a church congregation to our support base. Betka and I would like to thank Calvary Bible Church in Bradley, IL for its wonderful hospitality and desire to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We thank God for your dedication to not only feeding and nurturing your flock back in Bradley, but also supporting others that are doing the Lord's work in Vienna. We look forward to sharing our ministry with you.

We have been pretty busy this summer. In addition to talking about VCS and looking for people that are ready, willing, and able to support us in missions at VCS, we were also blessed with a great amount of time to devote to visiting my family, immediate and extended. My brother Chris moved out to California at the beginning of July but we were able to spend some time with him before he left. Thanks Chris for hanging out with us. For that matter we really spent some quality time with many members of my family. Matthew, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, Paula, Jessica, Christine, Reynolds clan, thank you all you guys for making this summer most memorable for us. We look forward to it every year or as much as the Lord makes it possible.

The first week back we really just relaxed and got used to being back in America. It was a great time to get caught up with family again. Betka had a chance to play a couple of songs with my dad at church. This was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by the church members and was truly blessed for all present.


We also went up to Glen Ellyn, Illinois for their Independance day parade and fireworks. This is an event that we really look forward to each year and, though the weather was incredibly hot and humid, we enjoyed our time with my dad's side of the family immensely.



Above: we met up with my uncle Ed, my mom's brother, and his family at the Glen Ellyn parade. It had been way too long since we had last seen each other so it was a huge blessing to see each other again even if only for a short time. Can you believe that the tall guy next to grandma is only 14!? Crazy! :) Anyway it was awesome to see you guys and we hope to see you again soon!

Well, I knew that there were way too many things to mention in this entry but I figured to give you an over view this was the best I could do right now. So, yeah, that was our summer in a nutshell. Right now I am getting geared up for a new school year and have to get back to organizing my classroom. Betka is busy studying for her exams that she will be traveling back to Brno for come this September. It is only a one day thing but she has to stand in front of her professors and they randomly pick a topic and she has to expound on whatever she knows about it. Please remember her in prayer as this transition is much more difficult for her than me seeing as how this is her first year ever without school save the year she spent in England. Life changes and we all need the Grace of God to keep on going.

Thank you each and every one of you that keep checking on this blog. Without your prayers and support I am almost certain that we would not be serving here in Vienna or any other place for that matter. God bless you all and until next time. Peace, Love, and . . . . mullets? Anywho, have a really blessed day in the word and be blessed walking with our Lord.

In His grip,

Brian & Betka

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We are back in Illinois!!!

Hey everyone,

Just thought I would update here from my parents' house in Bourbonnais, IL my hometown. It is really nice to be back here 5 airports after leaving "home"/Vienna at 7:40 AM Tuesday morning Vienna time. So we are now back here. Betka and I have a few days here in the beginning where we can relax and slowly adjust to being back here in the States. It is amazing how hard it is to get used to being here after spending a year abroad. Europe makes alot of sense to me sometimes even more sense than the US does, but hey I guess that is the way it goes. We are really having a good time hanging out with my family in a slightly less stressful situation compared to the wedding week. I'll check back in later. Blessings ya'll.

B & B

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Brian Reynolds . . .

Hey there ya'll! :)

We, thats right, we, Betka and I thought we would update you all as to how life is right now for us. Thank you for those of you that keep us accountable on this blog thingy. The main reason why we haven't updated in a while is because the last three weeks have been insane. The first week my whole family was here was the week after my bachelor party in Munich with my buddies from VCS and my brother Chris and the last week of school and my last week of "freedom" as some put it. Despite the craziness I and Betka are really happy and getting by with God's grace. Thank you all for your continued support and well wishes. They are greatly appreciated. Many things in our lives have changed and we are looking forward to yhet more changes. This road of life that we have embarked on together is going to be an awesome ride trusting in Jesus all the time.

So . . . because the past few weeks have been a blur so I will post some pics to give you all a little better idea of what we have been experiencing the past few weeks. First the Bachelor Party put on by my best man and brother, Chris Reynolds. Thanks bro, it was great! :)



Above Left: My initiation as we left Vienna for Munich involved a ski mask and pantyhose you can use your imagination. Above Right: One of the outrageous tolls on our route to Munich (west) by going almost directly south first (just ask our driver if you are a little puzzled I was too). Below Left: We got a little bored on the long van ride there alright? Below Middle: A little creative parking to gas up. Below Right: 1, 2, 3, skip! Alpine lakes rule!





Above left: A view from the van on "the scenic route". It was awesome! Above right: I love the Alps. Below left: A group pic of the guys in attendance. Thanks to you all this was a bachelor party to be remembered for a lifetime. Thank you all. Below right: Thanks Chris. You did a wonderful job as my best man! :)



Now on to the wedding and the week leading up to it . . . It went really well and many of our friends and family were in attendance. Here are some pics from the festivities. Betka's father was very much responsible for everything going as they planned. He did a wonderful job. We even had our own cow slaughtered for the occasion. Sorry for you vegetarians out there. It was really good food though! :)



Above left: Right after the ceremony up on the altar. Middle: On the steps of the chapel on our "picture taking walk". Right: In the greenhouse connected to the chapel where we were married in Lednice. Below: Posed pics in the greenhouse. It had to be over 100 degrees in there! :)



Well, thats it for now. Betka and I are getting ready for our Stateside run. We hope to see you all there. Blessings! :)

B & B, Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds

P.S. We will post more pics at a later date. God bless! :)