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