The last two weeks have been wonderful, intense, full of grace and the love of the saints. We have experienced many sweet times of prayer and words of grace. Truly you have loved us well. I pray that Christ will strengthen us and enable us to love our Czech friends even as you have loved us.
Tuesday morning found us stuffing pillows and pajamas into the suitcases as we prepared to leave the house we have lived in for over 33 years. We loaded 5 full sized suitcases, 2 carry-ons, a backpack and a large “purse” into the car. We headed over to Process-Barron to pick up Joel and meet Alan and Sally. With the cars full we drove to the airport, checked in and said quick good-byes. We definitely needed help with all of the suitcases! The flight was about 16 hours from Birmingham to Vienna and totally uneventful. That’s a good thing. We did have to go through customs in Munich, but did not have to gather all of our bags and recheck them. (Yeah!) We had an hour or two in Munich and enjoyed sitting in a café with a nice cup of coffee to help us wake up. I’m not sure that it was really effective because as soon as we were seated on the plane to Vienna we both promptly went to sleep.
Looking weary after our long trip
After our arrival in Vienna, we gathered all of our bags on a cart—they all were together on the baggage carousel! We walked through the “nothing to declare” door to meet our team members. Sid and Louise Anderson, Hans and Gretchen Deutschmman and Rene Drapala all met us and after many hugs and a few pictures, we headed to the cars and the road trip to Zlin. We arrived in the apartment around 6:30 p.m. tired and excited. The landlord has left all of the furniture in the apartment so we are not sleeping on air mattresses as we thought we would be.
With the team in our new apartment
We have spent the last few days getting settled in. The first order of business was to report to the foreign police, so Thursday morning Sid took us there and we were able to register. The gentleman was very gracious to us—they were actually closed but allowed us to enter and registered us anyway. Sid said that the man seemed very impressed with our papers and what we had done to prepare. We think that when we go to Bratislava to the Czech Embassy to apply for the visas that the papers will be sent back to the very office we have already visited.
The other events are not as exciting. We went to the OBI (kind of like a Lowes) to purchase a toilet paper holder. I’m not sure if it is customary here to have to buy your own for an apartment or not. We have ventured out to buy some groceries, gotten our internet connected, and walked through the local “farmers market” that is only two blocks from the apartment.
fresh produce from the market
The more exciting things of the past days (besides simply being here at last) have been in connection with the Zlin International children’s film festival. The first morning we looked out our window, we saw lots of animals walking across the street to board a bus. Well, actually they were people dressed as animals and other characters. We ran to grab cameras to take pictures. The next morning people in front of the auditorium were filling up a hot air balloon. We enjoyed watching them launch and sail into the sky. Then, Saturday night we were greeted by fireworks.
All the Animal Characters
Watching the balloon lift off
Thank you all for praying for our trip. We are truly grateful.