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