Has it really been 2 years?
That question is all I can ask myself as I sit here on my parent’s porch after finally making it to Atlanta. Knowing we were in Vienna two years is a strange thing to comprehend. So much has happened yet it feels as though we’ve only just gotten started. I think back to when we first landed in Vienna on May 17th, 2012. We were excited and completely nervous as we walked through the airport not at all prepared for our special greeting outside the doors. We were greeted by the bright, smiling faces of who we now call our family. Our church family, our Vienna family. They held up a colorful poster with “Willkommen in Wien” (Welcome to Vienna) written in big, bold letters, surrounded by signatures and loving comments from everyone in the congregation. That poster still hangs in our bedroom so we never forget how we were welcomed, and who we came for.
That summer, the summer of 2012, was a mixed bag of emotions. We were thrilled to finally be underway in our mission, but we had no idea how God planned to use us. We were uncertain of a lot of things like where we would live, what our specific ministries would look like, how we’d fall into place with the church, whether or not we’d make any friends, how (or if) we’d learn this crazy German language. We had so many questions, but all were answered in God’s perfect, faithful timing. He provided us with a home, he provided us with work according to our gifts, he opened the church to us and introduced us to so many wonderful friends around the city. And he even gave us the ability to speak German. He provided us with courage and with confidence to move forward in our mission and become part of the city of Vienna.
Through our HIM Worker experience, we’ve been able to be part of so many good works the Lord has put into motion – a church coming together and supporting one another in a time of transition; the rebuilding and thriving of English Kids Club; the lives and hearts of Oklahoma Christian University and Lipscomb University students transforming before our very eyes; the beginning of a youth group; the naming of a church; new friendships, new Bible studies, new citizens of Heaven. We’ve done some transforming ourselves as we’ve learned and continue to learn how to work with one another, how to live abroad, how to have joy in trials of all kinds, how to make friends in another land, and now most recently, how to celebrate new life in two worlds at once.
On Thursday, May 15th, our chapter as HIM Workers came to a close, but our desire to work for the Lord does not. We are reminded in Ephesians 2:10 that God already has work waiting for us, and it is with that hope that we boarded our plane and headed for home.