As we approach the 4 month mark – officially next week – we feel September has brought a bit of a freshness to all aspects of the work here. For starters, the church is back together again. Now that fall is on its way and school has started, all of our friends have come back from their various vacation destinations and are settling back into routine. Second, we have had so many visitors – most importantly, of course, Will’s mom. Though we like to think of ourselves of being independent, strong, homesick-less people, we are glad to admit that having a mom around to share stories with and who surprised us with bags of popcorn, gum, brown sugar, and other items from the U.S. we had been missing was a wonderful blessing.
We were also visited by Don and Donna Millican, a fantastic couple who have a heart for missions and a love for travel. They were only able to spend just a few days in Vienna, but we cherished the time with them very much. Our more long-term visitors, Oklahoma Christian University’s Fall Euro Study Abroad students, arrived last Friday and we cannot begin to express how thrilled we are to have them here. They will be here for nearly 3 months, traveling in and out of Vienna as part of the program. The students worshipped with our church this past Sunday, blessing us with their amazing voices and love for the Lord, resulting in more than a few teary eyes in our church. We look forward to getting to know them better as their semester begins.
Third, our programs begin this week! This is something we’ve been looking forward to since our arrival, and it’s finally here. We kicked the semester off today with Sports Kids Club, which is a time for kids to let loose and play hard for an hour and a half every Thursday through the end of October. OC students will help lead the program, rotating in and teaching new games to the kids every week. Our other program, English Kids Club, makes its debut next Tuesday and will take place every Tuesday until the end of the fall semester. In case you missed it, this semester’s theme is “All About Me” – a theme we’re confident the kids will enjoy and will provide excellent English speaking opportunities. Our curriculum includes word games, self-portraits, “Me” books, creative snacks, new songs, and puppet skits. The OC students will also play a role in planning parts of English Kids Club.
Lastly, we’ve had a break from German. Not the language itself of course, just the class. Our first class began back in July where we came in at not the lowest, but the second lowest class available, A1/2, a feat we were very proud of. That class consisted of 3 other students which provided us with the great advantage of learning fast as well as learning more than the level required. We moved on to the next level, A2/1, in August, learning alongside 11 other students but with the same teacher, Johanna, whom we absolutely love. We really could not have been blessed with a better teacher. August went by faster than expected, and before we knew it we were in our last week of A2/1, preparing to move on to A2/2. However, our teacher pulled Will and I aside and encouraged us to try to test out of A2/2 in order to move up to an even higher level, B1/1. We did and we passed! Our teacher is currently on holiday for all of September, so since we tested out of A2/2 and want Johanna to be our teacher in B1/1, we took September off and will begin again in October. In order to keep our German fresh, we’ve been in search of language exchange partners – people who speak German but want to learn English. This way we’re forced to speak German for a good half hour or so at least once a week. We’ve also been doing flashcards, worksheets, reading newspapers, and talking with church members in order to stay on top of what we’ve already learned.
September has been fabulous so far and it’s not even over yet. The rest of the month is sure to be just as fruitful. Be looking for our newsletter on October 1st as we will have quite a few updates to add. Hope your September is just as beautiful!