School wise we are getting ready to re-start school after our "energy break" which is sort of like a winter break that they have here in Austria and Czech Republic, maybe in other parts of the world, I am not sure. But anyway we observe it as well, being in the Austrian culture. So familes and sometimes school groups go out to the mountains and go skiing and/or snowboarding. It is really pretty nice to have this break. I guess itmwould be too difficult mainly because it would be like having two spring breaks. I was unable to go skiing but I was able to make a visit to Czech. Honestly I think that turned out being better than skiing would mainly because I can't get hurt as bad just visiting Czech.
While in Czech this time I not only had a good chance to really discuss wedding preparation issues with people, but I was also able to attend a concert and a funeral one right after the other. i took the bus from Vienna to Brno. On Student Agency you can get a one way ticket to Brno for 5 EURO which is a whole 1.50 EURO cheaper than getting a discount ticket to Breclav on the train. Amazing deal and I would urge anyone that is traveling around Czech or the surrounding countries to check out that site for great deals on travel if you have flexible travel times. So Monday after the superbowl I went to meet Betka in Brno.
Then the next day we went to Valtice because she and her classmates in Conservatory were scheduled to do a practice run of their final pieces in Valtice. It is kind of like the mentality that if you can do well for a group of a few people that know you the best you can play for a huge group of mostly strangers no problem. Let me just say, and my friend Dee can attest, that betka was really good. I haven't seen many performances, but she really knows her piece. my favorite part, and Betka thinks its silly, was when she was right in the middle of a very complicated part with lots of fingerwork and a hair on her bow broke on one end. The hair was flying around not necessarily affecting her playing but definitely hitting her in the eye and could possibly break her concentration. So, during a four count rest she quickly grabbed the hair on the bow and tore it off the other end and then continued with the complicated part of the arrangement. That was awesome! On with the show huh!? Betka I wish you the best on your Absolventum Concert April 23rd.
That was Tuesday evening. So I stayed in Lednice while Betka returned back to Brno to babysit the following morning. The next day, Wednesday, I attended the funeral for mr. Vaclav Hajek. His daughter Irena is a very good friend of Betka and me and we felt the need to be there. Pane Hajek was a very interesting man and I feel very honored to have known him and part of his family. He was a United Methodist Pastor during communism and was able to help direct the UM church through those difficult times. He was 89 when he passed. Please keep his family in your prayers. His daughter Irena has been an endless source of support and encouragement for me personally and I am sure that many people can credit her and her father for leading them closer to Christ through their loving examples of His love. It was touching to see how many people were there for the funeral of this Godly man. Many of Valtice's citizens turned out for the ceremony including many people from church and others that I remember from my time living there. I was really happy that I had the chance to be there for it.
Wednesday night I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up for tea with Jirka and Stepanka two of my really good czech friends in Brno while Betka babysat again. I finally understood at that moment that I had really missed their friendship as I moved away. I was also reaffirmed that they still want to pursue a friendship. They said that they want to try to visit sometime in March. I hope we will get the chance soon, they're a blast! Betka babysat late until like 2:30 in the morning then again from 8AM Thursday until noon. Then we met up with Jirka and Stepanka again to have lunch together at Jirka's cafeteria at school. After lunch we went to his place and watched the DVD of his sister's wedding. That made Betka and I really nervous. I guess it is all starting to become really real. Then we headed back to Lednice.
Betka knew that her parents wanted to meet with me and her together with Michal and Pavlina to discuss the weding details as Pavlina has agreed to help us pull all the ideas and started getting it truly planned out. Well, nothing is really how we think it is going to be and the meeting was strange and difficult, but Betka's parents have given their blessing and we really needed that time to get on the same page. Some things were brought to Betka's and my attention that we need to keep in mind, but nothing more.
Friday was a day of discussing what had gone on in the meeting and researching what we need to do as well as possibilities for our honeymoon. We had decided that we wanted to be in the high Tatras mountains in Slovakia. So Saturday we found a really good place near to the highest peak in the range. It looks really nice and not too expensive. Some pictures of Vila Aurora are included below as well as some shots of the High Tatras if you aren't familiar with them.
So we have part of our wedding experience planned, I sent the email for the reservation today, and we are working on the rest of the details. We hope to have the exact details out ASAP. We are checking on the availability of the place that we're going to have the ceremony and reception in and I have my tux reserved. I tried a few different ones on and believe it or not white looked the best. So I will be married in a white three piece suit/tux with shirt and tie to match whatever colors we choose for Betka's flowers. Should be nice. I really didn't think I would be wearing white though. :)
I am actually ready for school tomorrow and have planned almost everything for the week. It sure feels good to have things ready. Please pray for me and Betka these coming months not only as we prepare for our wedding, but also as we prepare to return to the States this summer to raise support for the next school year. Our month time "home" will be a difficult time as we will be required to travel often, not really staying in one place very long, and we hope to meet with as many people as possible concerning our support for my second year of ministry at VCS and our first year as man and wife. Please pray that the Lord would mold me and make me into the man He wants and that Betka and I will mold our family on Him and not on what we know. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support and I do look forward to hearing from you all. Please leave a comment or email me if you would like more information about any of the aforementioned things or if you just want to say hey. Love you guys!
Blessings in Him alone,