Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I know, I know this is a little late but our Internet has been down for the last week and after spending 2 hours in a line at the Internet store we have it back!!! We are so excited to be back in contact with the world! We hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and is looking forward to ringing in the New Year.
We have been off of school since December 19th and then we were off to the airport on Saturday to pick up my parents and Steve and Sarah!!!! We spent the week together touring the city and eating lots of great food. Sarah's brother and his wife, Mark and Kirsten also came from their ministry in the Middle East to spend Christmas with us! We had an amazing time together and were just so happy to have family here for the holidays. Everyone left on Monday so we are now working on getting back into our normal routine before school reopens on January 7th. Not to much planned for the rest of our vacation, just spending time with friends and eachother as well as a lot of rest. Having 6 visitors can be very busy but very worth it :)
Oh and I think one of my New Years resolutions should be to keep this blog better up to date, we'll see how that all works :) More to come!

Waiting for the U-ban on their first night here

Their first Sunday eating out after Church in the basement of a very old restaurant.

Mark, Kirsten, Josh, Me, Sarah and Steve outside the National LibraryOur Christmas tree!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Thought

So I'm sitting here the day after Thanksgiving, still very full from all the eating that took place yesterday, and decided that I would share with ya'll some of my new thoughts on Thanksgiving. Being that this was our first year away from home for a holiday and being out of the country the whole meaning of Thanksgiving took on something new. I am very thankful, but when you are out of your comfort zone and with people who are not "family" God really starts to show you what being thankful is.
Well, it all started in the morning when we were woken up by the loud construction going on across the street from our apartment. I was a little confused when I first heard them because I could not figure out why they would be working on Thanksgiving...but then it hit me they are not celebrating today! So as we got our food ready to take over to a friend’s house I began to think about how thankful I am and what I am thankful for. Then that turned into, do I show my thankfulness daily, or do I forgot when life gets a little hard how much God does really care for me and how much He has shown up when I needed Him most.
So after spending an amazing day with four other GREAT couples from our school I sat back as I watched Josh enjoy some American football with the guys and heard sounds of laughter coming from the kitchen table full of girls gabbing about anything and everything and said a little prayer thanking the Lord for all the many blessings he has given us even in this country that does not know what Thanksgiving is.
We hope you and your family had an amazing day thinking about all that God has given you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Festival

We are back!! So sorry that we have not updated this in a while. I really need to get better at this but life is just crazy, as you all know :) We just started our fifth masters class through Liberty University and that keeps us very, very busy. But enough apologizing lets talk about life here. As I have said it has been very busy but very fun. On October 31st our school had their annual Fall Festival. It is a night that the school opens up their doors for families and friends of students. We play games, give out candy and then the musical choirs have a little performance. Since this years Fall Festival landed on Halloween the students were allowed to dress up and enjoy the activities. It was a lot of fun getting to interact with the students and their families throughout the evening. One of the fifth grade parents e-mail our fifth grade teacher and had this to say about the night...

It was my first time to attend such an occasion at Vienna Christian School. I very much admire the closeness and the family like atmosphere upon entering the building. Much to my galore the friendliness and the great costumes that Friday night added colors to the main event. The programs were great and very entertaining the pie throwing, WOW!

Here are some pictures of the night :)

Josh and the Student Activities Director Nick dressed up as refs.

The Arm Wrestling station

Two of my fourth graders sword fighting :)

The third through fifth grade choir, singing their little hearts out!

Josh being a good worker and manning his Penny Splash station all night :) Everyone loved him because he gave out candy whether or not they won :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I know many of you probably already know this by my Poppop passed way on September 27th. We are now in the process of packing up to head to Florida for a week to attend his funeral services and be with family. It is a very weird thing to be so far way one someone dies, but we are thankful for the amazing communication we have had with the family during this time. My parents and my Uncle Steve and Aunt Liz were able to be with him during his last days and my mom was able to hold his hand and sing with him as he passed and went into the arms of Jesus. His last few days were the most beautiful story I have ever heard. He spent time with loved ones, read scripture and sang hymns to Jesus. He told my mom while they were there that he had been praying a lot since he went into the hospital two weeks ago and my mom asked him what he had been praying about. He said he had prayed that Jesus would take him home. He was ready to be with his father and we are blessed to know that we will see him again.
Although all this is very comforting it has been a hard process dealing with this. I have been so blessed to have him in my life for so long that it is weird to think that he will not be at our next family gathering. He was such an amazing man and I hope he knew how much I loved him and looked up to him.
Thank you for all your prayers, words of encouragement and for those that are here at VCS your hugs. Although being away during this time has been hard, our new family here in Austria have surrounded us with more encouragement and love then we ever expected. I just can't wait to see my Poppop in heaven one day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Staff Retreat

We are finally home and starting to get back into our routine. We spent the weekend at a soccer school complex about an hour outside of Vienna. All of the faculty and staff of VCS went for a time of seminars and just some good quality time together. The theme for the weekend was "Stick It" which was off of what the speaker was speaking on which was staying on the field long term. The best part of the weekend was getting a set of Post-It notes to use as encouragements throughout the weekend. We stuck notes on people’s doors, windows, Bibles, chairs, faces, anywhere and everywhere. It was so great to come back from a seminar and find a new sticky note on your door telling you that you are a treasure from heaven. I mean where else do you hear things like that. All in all it was truly a great weekend to deepen our relationships with the staff and for God to show us once again we are here because this is the exact place He wants us for this time. Now though we are back in the grind of teaching and working daily but the sticky notes live on and I am still getting them! We really have an amazing group of people over here that love the Lord and love these kids; I learn something new from them daily on how to live for the Lord. Thanks to all those who prayed for us while we were at retreat, everything went great! Love you all!!!!!

Some of the Sticky-Notes on our door!

We love our Sticky-Notes :)

Meal Time...also known as feeding time at the zoo :)

Our fearless director during the talent show being a Beatle!

Talent Show!!! :)

Worship Time...best times all weekend!
Worship Team

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our Flat!

We are finally done unpacking!!! A few more little things to pick up from IKEA before it is completely done but for the most part we are all done :) So here you go...photography done by Josh :)
Our kitchen

Our front door and foyer area

Our guestroom/study

Our bedroom
My dresser :)
Our huge closet that was given to us for free!

Dining room table all ready for our Taco night with the Stocketts

The foyer looking into the living room

The living room

Living room

Hallway to the bedrooms

Now that you have seen it I bet you are all booking tickets to come visit us :) Just kidding but now you know there is always room for you, we would love to have you visit!

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Great Is Our GOD!

Well, one week down and we are both so excited to be here. The students have blown us away this week by how respectful and responsible they are. We have our problems with students that do not speak English but it is something that we will work on and soon be able to reach those students as well. Just wanted to share a little story that happened today at the end of the school day.My students were in Art class so I was running around trying to get things ready for Monday so I do not have to think about it over the weekend. I had just finished planning and was getting ready to run upstairs to the copier to make some copies when everything just started to hit me. I started thinking about this weekend and all the work we have to do to finish our apartment and how we are having friends over but we have no food to feed them so I need to go to the market Saturday but we do not have any cash on us (everything is done in cash over here) and we can't go to the bank to get cash because by the time I realized all this the bank had closed (it closes at 3 here). (I know this is a run on sentence but it will give you the effect of how fast my brain was going). So needless to say I was having a little bit of a panic attack, not a bad one but just a little one, and Josh did come along after he was done with classes and explain to me how we would get everything done (thanks darling!) After almost being on the verge of tears I gathered my things to get the rest of my work done. I also just needed to be around people and the Elementary secretary and I are close so it would be good to "run" into her. So as I started up the stairs I had no idea that middle school chapel was going on and as I rounded the corner to head up the stairs all I heard were about 50 middle school students singing the song "How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God!!!!!" I almost hit the ground. It was so beautiful listening to these students sing about how great the God they serve is. It was also a great little reminder that our God is GREAT and He is bigger than any little panic attack I have :)So I guess that is a little longer than I thought but wanted you all to know how we are doing and what is going on in our everyday lives.

Love ya :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two Days Down :)

All dressed up for the first day :)
The sign outside my door!

So we are two days into the 2008/2009 school year and so far so good. Josh's first day was slow with only one middle school gym class because elementary gym does not start till Thursday. Although it was slow class wise he was able to get a lot of work done with planning and enjoyed walking around the halls meeting the students. He also had to do 9th grade homeroom because we are the sponsors of that class. As for me my days have been really good. I now have a class size of 15, a new girl was added to my class after school on Monday. So far the class has been really sweet. It is a big difference between VCS and the other school that we taught at because these kids never talk. During snack time these last two days I kept telling the kids they may talk to their neighbor in a low voice and not one said a word. It was a little weird but I bet in a few weeks I will be wishing they were quite again :) So I have had half days these past two days and I will have another half day tomorrow and then will start full days on Thursday. I am excited to start with the full days because I will then be able to get working more on the curriculum part of it all. I think my kids are enjoying class, which is a good thing. I can always get them smiling and their little hands are shooting up like rockets to answer questions that I ask. The few parents that I have seen after school have all said that their kids are enjoying school. These comments bring a smile to my face because they let me know that I am doing the right thing :)Not much more to say about school but I am sure all that will change when we are in full days and a few weeks into school. Thanks for all your prayers about our first days, we really felt them :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Day of School

Tomorrow is the first day of school!! We cannot believe that it has finally come. We are so excited to start but there are also a lot of nerves that come into it. I (Beth) have a class of 14 4th graders. Three of them are non-English speakers and three are moderate English speakers, so that will be interesting to deal with. I also will have a student who is Islamic and three that are Roman Catholic and a hand full of students that do not claim a religion. What an amazing opportunity I will have this year to tell them about our great God! But it can also be intimidating especially with those students that do not speak English. Josh is very excited to start teaching gym. He has had his fair share of obstacles to work around like the fact that there is no gym, but that will not stop him and he is ready to start. Tomorrow he will have one middle school class in the afternoon because elementary students do not start special classes until Thursday.We have also found out that we will be the freshman class sponsors! We are really excited for this opportunity to form close relationships with the students of the freshman class and then stay their sponsors until they graduate. Another opportunity is that Josh and two other guys from the school have found an Austrian basketball league to play in twice a week. They are really excited because this will be another opportunity to share Christ to those on their team. This is a group of Austrians that have not been reached through our school because of the high competitiveness that has not been able to be reached until the three of them came along. We and our school director are really excited about this chance to win some more souls for Christ.Our house is almost set up, I know I promised pictures and they are coming but not quite yet. Below are pictures of my classroom, there are none of Josh's because as we said earlier he does not have a room :) More to come soon...............

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm 24!

Oh right, today was also my birthday. A little weird waking up for your birthday in another country but also really cool. So here is how I spent my day for all of you that are sitting on the edge of you seats :)
We finally got to sleep in this morning and get some much needed rest :) Then we spent the morning shorting through some more boxes and Skyping my parents which was great! Then in the afternoon we went to one of the other teacher’s house who lives on the river and spent the day eating cake and hotdogs, and playing games. They even gave me a Burger King crown to wear in honor of my day :) We also got to watch the Olympics which was fun, we cheered a lot :) It was really a great day spending time with our new family and really seeing how much they cared to make my day special. We love them all and are so blessed to be apart of the team. This will go down as one of the better birthdays :)

Me and my Burger King crown :)

The Container Has Arrived!

Praise the Lord! The container with all our belongings arrived this week and everything is in perfect condition. We are so thankful that God protected everything on its long journey. Now we have the fun job of unpacking everything and putting it up in our apartment. With each box that we open it seems like Christmas to see all of our pictures of family and friends and all of our decorations that we have collected over time to make our house a home. I promise once we get everything in order we will out up pictures of our new home.
Here are some pictures of the container arriving :)

All hands on deck to unload the container :)

Josh bringing in one of our bins

All of our boxes in the hall of flags at school :) :)

Here comes our bed!!!!! Everyone says we are so smart for bringing the bed :)

A much deserved cookie, brownie, and drink break after unloading everything :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Week In!

Well, we have been here for a week now and it seems like we have been here much longer...but in a good way. We love everything that we are experiencing and love all the new people we are meeting. God continues to be faithful to us in so many ways that we can't even describe.

Yes we miss you all but by the grace of God we have found a new family here that has welcomed us with open arms and we are excited for our time here with them.

Soon I will be posting pictures of our apartment but at the present state there are boxes everywhere so it is not picture ready.

Ok funny story, well maybe not funny but this is one of the new things we are learning while here. Austria is very into recycling and each apartment has about 5 different bins to throw things out in. They range from bio, glass (dark and light), plastic, metal, paper and then everything else (ok so that is way more than 5 :)) So because we have not figured out what they want in the bins like for instance what they consider plastics we have not thrown anything out. I know that sounds really gross but we have been told that if you throw items out in the wrong bin they will stop picking up the trash at the apartment. So Josh and I have decided that we do not want to be the reason that the garbage is not picked up. Long story short we now have made tonight our garbage night and have set aside the whole evening to figure it all out. Sounds kinda sad I know :)

Well have to head back to another meeting but will work at keeping this more up to date, love you all!

Friday, July 25, 2008

6 Days Left!

So we are in our final count down till we leave, but let me just say we are so so so ready. All our bags might not be packed and all our goodbyes might not be said but are hearts are ready for the next chapter in our lives. There are still nerves and little bits of sadness with leaving all those that we love but we are ready and excited!
A support update :)
We are almost there so a BIG THANK YOU to all those that have supported us! We still need $125 a month to be coming in but we are so blessed with all that has been donated. If you are still looking to support us or know anyone that is looking to support a missionary let us know so we can go over 100% supported. That has been our prayer since day one and we know that God has the power to make it a reality. Once again thanks to all those that have supported, we are here because of you!
Well, not sure if we will be able to get another update out before we leave but if not we love you all and will update you from the other side of the pond :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Liberty University

Right now we are sitting in our History and Philosophy of Education at Liberty University. We are going to be here for a week going to class from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Its so funny how God works everything out for His good though, we came to find out while here that we really do not need to be here so we were a little bummed. But God is bigger than that and we found that there is a lady in the classroom next to us who lives about 4 hours from VCS and we are going to have lunch with her tomorrow to talk about different cultural things as well as give us another contact over there. Please be in prayer for us as we complete the class and finish up our final paper and final exam over the next two weeks after we return home. There is much to be completed before we head out in 2 1/2 weeks so pray especially for discipline to finish up everything with excellence.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

T-Minus Two Months :)

God continues to be faithful. There have been many ups and downs over the past few months but in the end God reminds us that He is in control of all this and we are just being used by Him. So lets see, what has been going on. We found out where we would be living when we get there. It is a two bedroom apartment with beautiful windows that let in a lot of light. There are two girls from the school living there now and they have sent us some pictures and are selling us a bunch of their furniture. We are so excited to be able to look at our new home and plan how we will make it our own. Above are some pictures of our new kitchen and living room :)

In May we were able to send a bunch of our belongings and my parents stuff up to Josh's house and his mom and aunts put on a garage sale for us. It went very well and not only did we make money off our belongings but we were even able to bless a few people in the process by giving them items that they needed and may not have been able to afford. It was a great day, and everyone involved had a lot of fun.

So we are in the final countdown with two months till we leave. Much to be done between now and then like finishing packing and sending all our stuff to the shipping yards, as well as going to a two week training session and a week intensive class for our masters course, but we are so excited we can hardly contain ourselves :)

More updates to come!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Well, it is nearly the end of March and time has just been flying by. God has continued to show Himself to us and we are enjoying the ride He is taking us on. We have been working on raising support through contacting most of you (and if we have not contacted you yet, don't worry we will soon!). I think the most important thing that God has been doing for us is teaching us to really rely on Him. Other than fully putting our trust in God (which is very important) we are also starting to pack up our first apartment, which we will miss dearly. We have decided to move in with the Jackson's for the rest of our time here in America. We are excited for the opportunity to spend time with them and save a little extra money. Other than that we are trying to keep life as normal as possible and continuing to enjoy the rest of the time we have with family and friends.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Josh and I are excited to announce that we have been officially accepted to teach at Vienna Christian School in Vienna, Austria! We received the news Saturday morning January 5th at around 9:30 am. Josh has been asked to teach 6th grade English and History and I have been asked to teach 4th grade. We do know that working in Christian schools means you need to be flexible and those positions could be changed before we get over there.

As of now we are planning on leaving sometime in the beginning of August in order to have enough time to settle into our new home there before school starts. We will have two weeks of school orientation once we get over there and then start teaching at the end of August. We will also be traveling to Houghton College in upstate New York at the end of June and beginning of July for a two week pre-field orientation.

We thank all of you that have upheld us in prayer as we went through this process and we countinue to ask for those prayers because now the work begins :)

As most of you know we will have to be raising full financial support before we go over and if God is leading you to partner with us in our ministry we would love to talk more with you and show you how you can become a vital part of our ministry.

We love you all!