It doesn’t feel real that we’ve only been here a little over two weeks – it feels more like months! The team and the church have been so kind and welcoming that we have immediately felt like we belong in Vienna and can truly call this city our home – which is crazy because, I mean, look at it. How does a city look this beautiful?
Stephansdom during Lange Nacht der Kirchen (long night of the church).
We’re settled but not settled
. All of the necessary tasks have been taken care of, like registering with the government, getting our transportation passes and setting up our Austrian bank account. We bought SIM cards for our phones but haven’t received them yet, so we’re relying on our temporary phone which is stuck on German settings (you have no idea how long it took us to figure out how to send a text message). We’ve had a mall and grocery store(s) tutorial so we know which brands to buy, typical kitchen staples, and how to buy meat in decagrams (which still doesn’t make sense to me). Now we’re focusing most of our energy on finding a place to live.
Some apartments have been…..interesting.
We started the apartment search this past Tuesday. I made a list of 13 or so apartments, Will called them, and we quickly learned the phrase “no longer available” in German. Our list grew to over 30 within the next couple of hours, and by the end of the day we managed to snag 4 appointments. We saw 2 on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, and added 1 on Friday. Unfortunately none of them were winners for various reasons – too expensive, too small, too “Honey, there’s no way we can make this bathroom and kitchen look any less ugly than it does right now”, or too “What, the club downstairs? No that’s not a Gentleman’s Club… it’s just a bar” (the realtor tried his best). We have full faith in the Lord and know He will lead to us to the right apartment, so until we feel especially led to one, we’re going to continue our search.
English Kids Club
Aside from all of that, we’ve been spending a great deal of time continuing to get to know the team and the church. We’ve observed English Kids Club, made cards at Kreativer Frauen-Abend (Creative Women’s Night – and I went, not Will), helped out with Sports Kids Club, and are now attempting to learn the do’s and dont’s of being an Austrian. For example, DO greet every person present when you arrive to an event or gathering; DON’T hug him or her upon the first greeting (That’s for you, Edda). Now I know to keep my arms to myself unless directed otherwise. But despite my hugging tendency, the church has welcomed us with open arms and Will and I have made so many wonderful friends already.
Yesterday was Grillfest, which is exactly what it sounds like – a full period of time dedicated to grilling, or as I like to call it, Almost Heaven (they grill cheese filled, bacon wrapped bratwursts). The Oklahoma Christian University study abroad students are here and attended church with all of us. Since they’re a pretty big group, we had church at the office followed by lots of eating and fellowship.
We’re so thankful for the encouragement you’ve been sending our way. Pray for us as we continue our apartment search. We have an appointment tomorrow so keep us in mind around 8 a.m. your time (if you’re awake by then). We’d also like to thank you for your support and prayers over our fundraising which is now completely fulfilled! This has been a huge blessing and source of encouragement to us and we praise God for you. Be looking for our first newsletter which will be out sometime in June, and as always, check Facebook and Twitter for our daily updates and pictures.