So we have been here for a day. God really blessed us with an uneventful trip. Our biggest worry was the quick connection we had in Amsterdam, but as it turned out, our flight arrived in Amsterdam early so we had no trouble making it to our connection. We flew to Vienna from Amsterdam, were picked up at the airport and were at Haus Edelweiss by 10:00. The hardest part for me at that point was staying up until bedtime—critical for me or I knew that I did not have a chance of getting a good night’s sleep.
We spend some time unpacking and putting together goody bags for the staff. It was fun delivering all the things we bought from the states. The staff is always so grateful and that makes it a huge blessing for us. We had lunch and then went on a long walk through the beautiful Vienna woods and through a neighboring small town, all in an effort to stay awake until our meeting at 5:00 PM. Pat and I also spent some time in the kitchen helping put dinner together while others took a short nap before dinner. At 5:00 we met with Haus Edelweiss staff to learn about table hosting. Everyone gets a little nervous when they first learn about all that is involved but it really is an ingenious way for getting short term workers to interact with the students who will be coming to take classes.
Dinner was delicious as usual. The cook here, Theo, does a marvelous job of putting together wonderful meals. It is such a treat to see how much the students who come here enjoy the meals and the fellowship we see at every meal. For us, it is a chance to hear wonderful stories, a chance to ask about the work that they do, a chance to pour into folks whose lives are often much more difficult than ours.
After dinner, all the volunteers and the staff had the opportunity to introduce themselves, tell where they were from and articulate what they expected from their time here. I loved hearing the many reasons that individuals come to Haus Edelweiss. Everyone comes to serve but people also come for other reasons: to grow in their faith, to have an opportunity to experience other cultures, to learn about the work that is being done to advance the kingdom in other countries, to fellowship with other believers and most importantly, to see what the Lord has in store for all of us. It was definitely a bonding experience and an opportunity to get to know some folks alongside whom we would be working for the next 10 days.
So we are all looking forward to our work here. Our time here will be filled with hard work, laughter, always some tears, joy and God’s work.