Our fall semester is off to a strong and encouraging start. The Oklahoma Christian University students, 19 in all, arrived in Vienna safely just a few days after both my parents and Will’s mom arrived at the beginning of the month. With the start of our programs quickly approaching, we spent the first two weeks of September confirming plans, checking details, talking with students about their upcoming opportunities, and of course, showing my parents all over this city we love so much. It was hard for my parents to leave as they quickly made new friends and fell in love with the daily coffee breaks all the while being romanced by elegant Austrian architecture, but they made it home safely and definitely hope to come back soon (Christmas…hint hint).
Last week we sat down to our first Team Business Meeting of the new year with our newly formed team. Amanda made us some extraordinarily tasty pumpkin muffins and after a few story swaps, we got down to business and talked about the fall: programs, bible studies, new and old ministries, future plans. It was a good meeting and we’re looking forward to what God will reveal to us this fall.
After an intensive planning and preparation session at our office with the OC students last Tuesday, Sports Kids Club (SKC), visits to June in the nursing home and babysitting for our missionary families all began on Thursday of last week. As we’ve said a few times – and as you may have read in our latest prayer requests from our newsletter – we’ve been a little nervous about our program’s numbers, specifically for SKC and EKC due to last spring’s large graduation. But as God always shows us, there was no reason to worry, because He provides. There were 8 kids at last week’s SKC, when this whole summer we were projecting there to be less than half of that number! The OC students made a huge impression with the kids as they always do, and everyone had a great time together. We breathed a sigh of relief to have the first SKC of the semester checked off as a “close to 10 kids” success.
But we haven’t even told you the most exciting part yet. This summer we projected that 3 of our regular, non-native English speaking EKC kids would return this fall, plus the help of the Haskew girls, bringing our EKC total to 5. We prayed and prayed for God to send new kids our way, and because God provides, He answered our prayer with SEVEN new kids, bringing our total for this semester to 12! As we watched new kids hop into our office, crafting butterflies and eating apple-sliced-Nutella-covered ladybugs, all we could think to say is How GREAT is Our God! We now have so many children and parents to get to know, and the OC students were able to witness firsthand God’s answer to prayer in our home field. How Great is Our God.
Coffee & Conversation also began this last Tuesday, and the report back was one with enthusiasm and gladness for the chance to meet up and talk over a cup of coffee. These particular few are already planning to get back together sometime soon – we love it!
There is so much more you need to know about – KFA, EFA, tutoring, a new women’s bible study, visitors, visitors, and more visitors – but we will save these topics for more upcoming posts. We hope this update has got you smiling as much as writing about it has got us smiling. May you find peace and answers to prayer this week!