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