Today was our Orientation Day and the information is given to us in small bits and pieces. For someone who likes to see all the cards on the table, this can be a little frustrating. But there is definitely a method to their madness. The staff know that tomorrow the students will start arriving and the information they have given us will be put into use. Will we get everything 100% correct? Pretty sure not. But there are plenty of experienced hands that will guide us along.
This is my second time at the Haus (and one of the things that brought me back was this group of people). They are always willing to help, always able to answer a question and all with a gracious smile, no matter how many times they may have been asked the same question. There is much laughter and talk flowing around you and you can’t help but be uplifted.
One of my favorite parts of the day is drying the dishes after the meals. The professors, staff, long term workers (LTW’s) and short term workers (STW’s – that’s us) gather around the working station in the kitchen and wait for the the loads of dishes to come through the opening from the dishwasher. There are no boundaries or pretensions or grandiosity, because some people have a Doctorate and we may not. It is “many hands make lighter work” and we might as well have fun doing it! There were many rounds of the Australian (no, not Austrian) folk song “G’Day” sung by staff and professors alike. So much fun!
Today while the first timers were getting a tour of the campus, I was able to meet with Kevin and Paul, who are over the Maintenance of the Haus, and begin my duties. I was given the task of shaping up a few trees that had overgrown and were causing issues for people cutting grass, as well as people pulling out of the driveway onto to heavily traveled road with fast-moving traffic. Then this afternoon Pat Pickering and I also weeded out an area near the road.
When I thought about coming in August I have to admit that I was a little nervous that it may be too hot. I found myself in the hottest part of the day (okay, warmest part of the day) under 3 beautiful Evergreen trees. That’s when it hit me, I should never have doubted that God cares about even the little things. Here I am, in the shade, in Austria, and it was even a little overcast and I am under an Evergreen. Wanna guess what one of my favorite scents is? Evergreen! We even got a refreshing little rain to cool things down even more. And finally, while weeding, the cars going by kept the air moving like a giant fan. God is good!
Lastly, we got our first prayer cards that the church wrote to us the weekend before we left. I was so humbled to receive them and to know someone took the time to pray for me! We are all looking forward to meeting the students as they start arriving tomorrow. Please pray that we will be able to serve them as graciously as we ourselves have already been served!