Blessings Upon Blessings

Mini-kickoff

Mini-kickoff

In the post Töchter des König der Könige , we introduced you to the new women’s ministry that kicked off in Vienna last week – and what a blessed experience it was! We began last Tuesday for the women who couldn’t make it to the “official” kickoff and gathered together in the Rybinski’s living room along with the visiting women from W.E.E.M. We circled up, ate breakfast and drank our teas and coffees while we listened intently to the words God spoke through Dana Grubb’s heart. She took us through her book, Changed By Jesus – why she wrote it, ways to study it, who she wrote about. Dana discussed how each of the ten women she wrote about in her book impacted her in different ways – some expected and some a surprise. She found herself relating to women she hadn’t before, or didn’t at first realize she could relate to in the first place. She emphasized the need to see these women through a different lens – as women who truly existed and walked this Earth instead of as characters in a story; as women who felt and experienced similar trials as women do today; as women whose lives were changed forever by the touch of Jesus. Once Dana drove home that point, she summarized the lives of each woman as if we were hearing about them for the first time. And in a way we were thanks to our new found lens. By the end of her talk, women around the room beamed from ear to ear with a smile and had tears in their eyes. The new lens had also impacted us in ways we weren’t expecting, and it was a wonderful blessing to share in together.

The kickoff took place in our Kreuzung office the following day and was just as much a blessing as the mini-kickoff. How can one even rate blessings after all? We decorated the place with various shades of purple and hung scriptures on the wall. We placed candles on every table and set out tasty snacks. Dana gave the same talk she gave the previous day only this time we had a translator, Karina, who did an awesome job! We also live streamed the event for the women who couldn’t make it to either one of our kickoff days, as well as for any women anywhere who wanted to listen in. The video has been saved and you can watch it here: Women’s Ministry Kickoff 2013

Ladies from the Oklahoma Christian University Study Abroad group love their new totes!

Ladies from the Oklahoma Christian University Study Abroad group love their new totes!

We ended the night scouring through the beautiful handmade totes sent to us from W.E.E.M. If I heard right I believe there were 50 totes of every color and design on our table! Everyone who was able to attend was so excited to pick one out, and since there were so many to spare, those women were able to not only get one for themselves, but get one for someone else – daughters, mothers, friends, etc. And there are still plenty to go around! We are so thankful for all of the women back in the U.S. who took the time to make such gorgeous totes. They’re a huge hit and have already blessed so many women – with no end in sight! Each woman was also able to take home a brand new, free copy of Changed by Jesus. What an amazing two days of women’s ministry.

We will begin studying Changed by Jesus at the beginning of the year in order to leave plenty of time for translation and other preparations. We see big things happening through this study and pray that God will walk each of us down the right path in order to learn more about Him, about what He did through the women we’re studying, and about what He’s doing through each of us.  Thank you for your prayers over this new ministry! We’re excited about it and glad you are too, and we pray we are all changed by Jesus.

Women's Ministry Kickoff 2013

Women’s Ministry Kickoff 2013

Video Blog 1

Here’s our first video blog, detailing our first couple of weeks here in Vienna, including settling in and getting to know the church and team, as well as showing off some of the scenery. There will definitely be more in the future.

Incidentally, this was shot with my iPhone 4S, hence the sometimes sporadic shots (even though I have a mini tripod for it). I’m trying to learn how to use it better as my main video camera. I’m also looking for suggestions for a good microphone that would work with the iPhone.