Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bill Cosby quotes . . .

Hey all,

Upon pondering fatherhood I found some great quotes from Bill that are very appropriate.

"A new father quickly learns that his child invariably comes to the bathroom at precisely the times when he's in there, as if he needed company. The only way for this father to be certain of bathroom privacy is to shave at the gas station."

"Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry."

"Even though your kids will consistently do the exact opposite of what you're telling them to do, you have to keep loving them just as much."

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope."

"Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.

"Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home."

"I guess the real reason that my wife and I had children is the same reason that Napoleon had for invading Russia: it seemed like a good idea at the time."

"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right."

"My childhood should have taught me lessons for my own fatherhood, but it didn't because parenting can only be learned by people who have no children."

There hope that made you smile at least . . .smiling and jokes are still what help me through each day!:)


Our "Biography" . . .

Hey all,

We just wanted to provide all of you with an opportunity to help us in our continued support raising effort. We have long known that our own personal connections have been exhausted and in order for our support base to increase we need to get referrals from those that already support us in prayer and finances. We have seen the Lord work in really amazing ways this way before so it has become part of our "support raising strategy".

As a part of what we could ask you to do is simply this. Below is a text and a picture that you may use to spread the word of our need to your home churches. Its basically a simple description of what we do in ministry here in Vienna and a photo collage of us and some of the students we work with doing the many things we do here in Vienna. Please pass this on. You should be able to print both the picture and text from here so please spread the word of our need. You have our permission and blessing to use this as well as anything from our blog to further your spread of our ministry needs. Blessings! :)

Brian & Betka Reynolds are missionary/teachers serving with Resourcing Christian Education International (Wheaton, IL) at Vienna Christian School International. Their goal for their ministry is to get into the lives of their students sharing Jesus with them through relationship.

Currently Brian is teaching elementary and middle school art mainly. He is finishing his second year as a teacher/missionary at VCS. He is also volunteering extra time to aid the current building project at the school as well as helping to direct the drama club for elementary students. Brian has also been the 6th grade homeroom teacher for the 2007-2008 school year. The financial support raised by Brian and Betka is distributed out in a monthly "salary" to them through their sending agency, RCE International.

Betka is thoroughly enjoying her first year of teaching violin and piano before and after school throughout the week. The income that Betka receives from these lessons is supplemental to what their "salary" is.

Looking into the future of ministry and life here in Vienna, Brian and Betka are preparing to welcome their first child, a son, into the world in late July. The Reynolds have also recently committed to another 4 year term of service with Vienna Christian School. They would greatly appreciate your prayer and financial support as it is with these two things that the Lord keeps them on the field impacting students for Jesus Christ.

For more information on us you can check out our blog at http://brianreynolds.blogspot.com or email us at breynolds.art@gmail.com

We pray that you are blessed and hope that you feel led to aid us in ministry in some form or another. Thank you in advance for you prayers and financial support.

With Christ's love,
Brian & Betka Reynolds

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday walk in Wien and other Reynolds life things . . .

The following pictures are from our weekend that really kind of started last Thursday when our school had family fun day. This was a day where all the students were required to show up at the Danube Park for a fun day of relaxation, games, and food with their teachers and other staff. It counted as a school day and was a blast! I had three types of Kimbap, a korean sushi minus the fish and wrapped in seaweed.

Above: This is a view from the Vienna International Center stop on public. It shows, I think, how great the Viennese have been at installing public transportation over the river and through bridges. I just love how the train curves down and under the bridge.

Above: Another belly pic from our walk yesterday at the Schonbrunn palace. Betka is still very active as another of our pictures will show. She is walking alot and it is really hard to even believe that she is starting her 8th month already! :)

Above and Below: We went to the maze at Schonbrunn. Its only 3 Euro to get in and is really neat. Our favorite part was the mirror section.

Below: Betka had fun with this silly thing. When you rock the platform to the left it squirted water up really high. I think it was meant for kids, but we really enjoyed it! :)

Anyway, thats about it for pictures right now.

School is absolutely crazy right now due to construction going on in about 1/3 of our building. I was told today that I will more than likely have to move out of the art room and do that last couple of weeks as a mobile art teacher. Obviously this would complicate my life alot, but in these crazy times flexibility is key! Please pray for the Lord to give me amazing flexibility in the coming weeks as I will most certainly need it. This summer is going to be very out-of-the-ordinary so please, please, please have patience with us and our usual bloggings. We will try to keep it as regular as usual. It will take much more effort for me to check email and blog and so forth, but we will do our best. We plan on sending out a mass birth announcement through our regular newsletter provider so if you would like a hardcopy of the birth announcement, and you don't usually get a newsletter in the mail, please email or let us know your address and we will make sure you get one!:)

Until next time . . . .

Brian & Betka

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Vienna Christian School's current enrollment religious break down . . .

Country Elementary School School

Buddhist 3 0 0 3
Islam 3 3 5 11
Hindu 0 0 1 1
Miscellaneous 0 0 0 0
None, Not Listed 10 4 13 27
Orthodox 1 0 1 2
Protestant 40 31 54 125
Roman Catholic 10 3 17 30

TOTAL 67 41 91 199

Just thought you might like the above information of what our student body looks like. Please keep our school in prayer as we try to work out our differences and as a staff show the kids Jesus' love through all the differences!:)


Monday, May 19, 2008

End of the year is getting close . . .

Hey all,

Just a quick update and prayer request.

The next couple of weeks are going to be crazy. The seniors are done after next week, Wednesday, the rest of us are finished June 11th and teachers have in-service the 12th and 13th. We are going through a rough couple days now as a staff due to the fact that our principal and maintenance man were gone all last week on a mission trip to Romania and we are just now getting them all caught up on what has been a crazy couple of weeks.

Please continue to pray for the administration of VCS and the manner in which they continue to develop staff relationships and so forth. We want to finish the year strong and lay the ground work for the coming summer and following year. Our school is also becoming a construction zone so please be praying for the mass amount of construction that will be happening this ummer starting in the next week or so.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Missionaries Supporting Missionaries . . .

A while back I posted about one of our 6th grade girls and her baptism, well, her father is a pastor/evangelist to muslims all over Europe and in the middle east. Rev. Mashraki is part of a group that makes every effort to reach the Muslim people for Christ. Its amazing that by teaching art at this Christian school in Vienna we make it possible for this man to minister where he needs to. They are winning many souls to Christ each day. You can find their site in English and Arabic at http://www.arab4jesus.com/

I translated the arabic at google translate and got this to answer the question "Who we are" in regards to Arabs 4 Jesus.

رؤية وأهداف وخدمة إرسالية عرب ليسوع Vision and goals and serve the mission of Jesus Arabs
رؤيتنا : Vision:

الوصول إلى أبناء العالم العربي وتلمذتهم من اجل يسوع. Access to the sons of the Arab world and make disciples for Jesus. (متى 28: 19 , مرقس 16: 15). (Matthew 28: 19, Mark 16: 15).

أهدافن : Our goals:

تعضيد الكنائس المحلية ومشاركتها في الوصول إلى العالم العربي من اجل يسوع, وذلك من خلال التبشير, التلمذة والصلاة. Consolidation of local churches and their access to the Arab world for Jesus, through preaching, prayer and apprenticeships.

خدمتنا : Services:

1. حملات تبشيريّة Proselytizing campaigns

2. مؤتمرات تدريبيّة Training conferences

3. حلقات دراسية كنسيّة Seminars church

4. خدمة صلاة Prayer service

5. فريق تسبيح Team worshiping

6. وسائل الإعلامأ. And the media.رن

أ. A. الانترنت Internet

ب. B. الراديو Radio

ج. C. التلفاز TV

د. D. الكتب والمنشورات Books and Publications

Thank you again for all you do to help us support ministries like this! :)

Brian & Betka

Recent happenings . . .

This past week has been very adventurous and alot of fun for us so far. We are looking forward to a quite uneventful weekend.

On Wednesday night we were treated to a BBQ Country cruise on the Danube River. It was from RCE as an appreciation of what we do as missionaries. It was excellent to be pampered for once doing something that we would probably never ever do otherwise. The following pictures are a product of this great time we had from 7:30 until 11PM, quite late for a school night but so much fun and a change of pace.

Above: A nice view of UNO city the section of Vienna that is home of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Commission amongst other international organizations. Our school is a little ways past this complex and we pass this place every day on the subway going to school.

Below: Beautiful sunset on the river.

Above: I love this picture.

Above and below: Some pictures that Betka and I took on the front deck of our cruise ship to pass the time.

Hope you have enjoyed the photos . . .please comment if you want. We really appreciate reading them!:)

In Christ,
Brian & Betka

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

History . . .

We live a very historical district but I didn't fully graps how historical it was until I got the messages of these plaques translated. The first one, the one with my reflection in it, is in memory of the people that were taken from the very same apartment building that we now live in and they were murdered during the "Naziterrors". As I looked at this one I realized that there are two families of four and even a family of five that were all taken. The thing that got me most is that they were living possibly even in the same apartment as we do! Wow, thats history.

The one above is in remembrance of all of the literature that was burned right on this spot which is now on the way we go every morning to school. The history of this city astounds me.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Baptism . . .

Hey all,

Just wanted to let you in on something that was a neat little blessing to us this past Saturday. Betka and I were invited by one of our 6th grade girls to her baptism. Apparently she had asked her pastor if she could be baptized and had been trying to get baptized for the last couple of years. Finally her family set it up at a neat little garden in Vienna. Her dad baptized her in a little pond in the middle of the garden. Here are some pictures from their blog.

We were blessed to be part of Sophie's baptism. God bless you Sophie, you and your whole family! :)

Brian & Betka

Friday, May 09, 2008

Basic Altered Book Materials . . .

Hey all,

One thing that I have really gotten into is Altered Book making. Its basically where you take old books and save them from the landfill by "altering" the pages. Currently I am working on one that will eventually hold all the post cards that Betka and I receive from a friend of ours that keeps on faithfully sending us postcards from wherever she travels. It is a whole lot for me to do and I hope they turn out well. The materials that I will need to amass are as follows to be able to do as many different techniques as I can. The list was taken from another blogspot blog
Let me know if you can help with getting any of these things. Its possible that my mom could possibly help bring some of it over when she comes in August or you can ship it if you want. I have included only the things I still need from the list. Please notify me if you want to send some things.

But, most of us use many art techniques in our books. Here is my list of basic AB tools.

~Cutting pad, the self-sealing type.
~Glue Stick.
~Golden's Acrylic Gel Medium.
~Bone folder.
~Ruler with metal straight edge.
~Credit card (no, not for buying supplies, silly! It's for smearing and spreading gel medium and paints, and also for use with clamps so you don't mar your pages.)
~Sponge brush.
~Small spray bottle with water. Use to help keep sponge brush damp, and to do quick clean ups.
~Dorland's wax to wax over pages, particularly if there is a stickyness problem.
~Stencils of letters and numbers.
~Rubber stamps (I use them for text).
~Ink pad with permanent ink.
~Clamps for holding sections together while glueing or cutting.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ephesians 6:10-18

Ephesians 6:10-18

A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.

I really liked this passage of scripture that we had in our intranet daily news that I read every day to the 6th graders during homeroom. It is a way to reach all the kids as long as they are in homeroom and listening. I thought I might look at this scripture and tell you all what I think I do in my life for each of these ways to fight against the forces of darkness.

"Put all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies and tricks of the Devil." This is so true in life as we Christians know or should have experienced. It can come in numerous forms and many that might not even seem like a spiritual attack at the time. Some subtle ways that I see it happen is the way I relate to others. I find that whenever I am not daily in the word and meditating on His words that is when my relationships go down the toilet. If I am not relating regularly to the Lord Jesus that makes everything and is the most important priority then of course relationships with my spouse, co-workers, fellow missionaries, etc will go to pot.

"Stand your ground wearing the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness." For me this is so true like I said before whenever I am not in the word and listening to Him my spiritual pants fall down. Its a little hard to fight the enemy when your pants are around your ankles. Wearing his righteousness armor gives us a thing to be confident in. By no means am I righteous enough of my own accord to stand up to Satan's attacks. In God's strength I am weak but thats ok and daily I try my best to remember that and to walk in that Truth.

"For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared." Sometimes I can't even understand how the Lord brings peace in certain situations but I am very glad that He does. For example, when the stuff with my dad happened, the Lord provided peace beyond what I could ever have dreamed. I praise Him for it.

"In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan." Every time that I start to get depressed or sad that I am away from half of my family and I can't be involved in their lives I believe that Satan ven uses my desire to have good relationships with them to shoot an arrow at me. I am very thankful that the Lord has given me the faith that deflects those arrows or I would definitely not get through everything.

"Put on salvation as your helmet . . ." Salvation is one of, if not the most important things to a Christian living in this fallen world. Without it we are not protected from morally wrong ways of thinking or doing things. When we receive salvation from faith in Jesus we are protected almost by a helmet around our hearts . . . it blocks out the bad. ". . . and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." This allows us to discern what is truly good and bad and helps us to decide rightly which action to take. It acts as a heavenly discerner in our lives.

Thats my nugget for the day.


Elementary school is pretty busy! . . .

Elementary has been really busy as of late. We have had two big events recently that I would like to share pictures of. The first event was our elementary drama club's play Folk Tales for Fun. The play was a collection of folk tales from around the world and each "director", of which I was one, worked with a small team of elementary kids to practice and put together one tale. The one that I worked with was a Spanish folk tale called The Farmer and the Snake or La campesina y La Culebra. It is the story of a farmer that frees a snake from underneath a log and when the snake is free it wants to bite the farmer. The snake says it won't bite the farmer if the farmer can find one animal that the farmer is nice to. Basically it taught the idea that you should always do good deeds without expecting a reward. If you do good deeds expecting a reward then you will get tricked according to the Spanish tale where Coyote gets tricked by the farmer. The following are pictures from our performance that we had during school in the afternoon. It was a lot of work but we all had a blast . . .especially the kids. We even had high school kids doing sound and lighting!

The elementary P.E. teacher organized, and all the elementary staff assisted her, in having an elementary field day. Each class dressed in a certain color. Kindergarten (primary) was green, 1st grade black, 2nd grade brown, 3rd grade red, 4th grade white, and 5th grade was blue. It was a great time to see all different events. Scooter towing, softball throw, etc. The 5th grade and 4th grade combined beat the staff and it was very embarrassing.
Enjoy these photos!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Birthday weekend . . . .25 . . .WOW!

This past weekend was a great time. Basically we celebrated my birthday for three days straight it seems. The following pictures are what I would say represent our weekend the best.

Below is a picture of a building near the Vienna Film Archive. The lighting was wonderful and Betka and I thought the pink of the tree's blossoms was gorgeous.

Below is a shot from right outside of the film archive looking towards an incinerator that had its facade modified by the Viennese artist Hundertwasser whose work Betka and I really like.

Above my beautiful wife. You can't even tell she is more than 6 months pregnant! :)

On Saturday evening we had an all staff praise evening. It was a wonderful time and the following couple of shots show the praise team.

Below is the representation of my actual birthday "cake" and present from my wife. She woke me at 8AM on Sunday (I was going to wake myself up at 8:15) and had this "cake" lit with 25 candles. I say "cake" because it was actually a chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips!!! tasty! She also bought me the coolest little World Atlas. I felt so loved!!!:)

On our street there is this building with this statue on it. Vienna is a city of opposites and this is illustrated very well by the fact that kitty corner from this statue, which can be such a wonderful reminder of the Lord's presence in this world, is a house of ill repute, a sauna bar.

Below is a picture of the tram that runs very close to our apartment and is our way to get to the inner city within about 5 minutes or so above ground. Anyway due to the new part of the U2 line opening on May 10th they are going to take out this tram line. So the 21 will be no more. This photo is a tribute to the 21er (ein und zwansiger) as the Wieners call it.

Above: I took this great picture of the end of our street. The city of Vienna is a very growing city and these huge cranes can be seen almost anywhere in the city. This one is building new apartment houses a couple blocks down from us.

All-in-all my birthday weekend was very blessed for me. Not only did my wife do amazing things for me, but on Saturday evening I also got a free mexican meal, Mole (pronounced mol-lay) which was actually just like the Mole I had in Guadalajara. We also had the all staff appreciation dinner (free food and drinks) at a restaurant/wine cellar that is almost 500+ years old. Pretty awesome!:) I felt really loved and blessed this weekend!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Birthday and mother's day coming . . . .

Hey all,

This weekend marks my 25th birthday and honestly I don't feel a 1/4 of a century old yet. It seems like yesterday that I was 22 and graduating from college embarking on what was at the time thought to be just a year in Europe and has now through the grace of our Lord turned into an open ended journey through life. Never did I envision when leaving the US in July of 2005 did I think that I would be married a little over 2 years later and within 4 I would witness the birth of my first child. God's plan for our lives is sometimes unimaginable for us and incomprehensible for us, but it is without a doubt hands down the best possible route that we can take through life. Life with Jesus is sometimes very rough and by no means the easiest route we can take, but it brings the most peace to us as followers of Him.

Life, it seems, can be very routine. For us we get up, sometimes we thank the Lord for a new day, we don't always (We should), then we walk to the UBahn and ride it to the school's stop, then we go through our days pouring our lives into these kids that most of the time do not show appreciation for all we do. I have been thinking about that and have come to the conclusion that this is how our life can be at times. It is up to us to look at our lives the way they really are, a gift from the Lord, a new time to live solely for extending His kingdom. If you're anything like me you sometimes miss that point in the rough and tumble of everyday life. Thats fine and I think even normal in the human frame of mind. It is this mindset that I find myself coming out of at the present time. The only thing that can really help me out of times of doubt and depression is the caring of the body of Christ around me. I realize that there comes a time when spiritual maturity gets to the point where you can be brought out of these times by reading of scripture and prayer alone, but currently I am at the point where reading of scripture and prayer help but it is the added community to the rest of these things whose added strength brings me out of the depths of everyday humdrumnity (I made up a word) of life.

Some of you might be wondering what we do in our spare time here in Vienna. Mainly we like to take trips and get the most out of the city public transportation cards that we have. For 45.90 Euro monthly for 10 months we get a card thats good for a year. That includes basically every mode of transportation within the city limits. You have probably seen our recent entries where we have posted pics from our walks. Most of these "Hikes" have been within Vienna but on the outskirts. We also enjoy reading . . . . Brian's wanted books list will be posted soon if you would like to send us a "care package". The most recent thing that I have become almost obsessed with is called Altered Books or Altered Art. It is basically where you find a book, preferably hardcover that is going to be discarded, and you make art by painting, collaging, cutting, folding, etc the pages inside to create a new "Altered" piece of work. Again if you have any books that you are discarding and want me to use them in my new-found hobby then please send them our way.

Until next time . . .