Life happens so fast. Do you remember when you were a kid and thought that 20 sounded so old and that 40 meant almost dead? I remember it so well, maybe because I work with kids who think I am old at 24. But getting older is so great -- I would not trade anything to have to be 10, 16, or 20 again. I would not because while life is flying by us we are learning so much. Through pain, through joy, through births and deaths, through others stupidity, and worse through our own...but we are learning. I have been reading a series called "The Secret of the Rose" about Nazi German and the Soviet reign; about how Christians and Jews dealt with those times. It has been such a spiritual balm for me to read stories of such incredible faith. One of the major themes or questions asked in the book is "How can this happen...how can God want this?" And of course we know that He does not want it, but I love a quote that I read about trials that come. "God uses our trials, he doesn't send them. His using them is why we are to thank Him for them. The soil of circumstance, as I like to think of it, is capable of producing much more fruit when it contains manure than when it contains nothing but lifeless sand." And how true that when we look back we see that the manure we sat in, spurred us into our biggest growth times. :-) That exact growth is what I am hoping my present troubles are spurring me towards. My own stupidity in choices has spiraled my life into problem, after problem -- but our God is a good God! I pray that the dumb things in my past will be used as a fertilizer to make me more into a woman that God can use, a woman that I am proud. of.
I flew back from Germany almost three weeks ago and it has been an adjustment. I was so excited to get back to Vienna and work; yet was let down. Let down because I had grown so much and learned so much in Germany, and came back to my old life where everything was semi-the-same, except me. But things are working themselves out. I am spending more time focusing on the youth group here (one on one time + activities) and scheduling in my personal God time. I am also excited to tell you all that our church celebrated two baptisms last week! Both were kids from the church and youth group here. It is always such an amazing opportunity to watch someone be baptized -- to confess Jesus as Lord and proclaim His power to all with such a simple element as water. I get goosebumps every time without fail! :-) The two other bigger things in the youth group is that we are raising money to get an LCD projector to use at youth group, church, and camp; and this week is our first ever lock-in. They are all super excited and I am just kinda super nervous that something important will break...like a window, the elevator, or me. (if you are from liberty, you might know my luck with lock-ins -- hee hee)
We are also doing lots of special things at the shelter as well. May is the month of holidays in Austria -- we have 4 state holidays. State holidays mean that everything is closed -- just like Christmas Day. On first one we took the kids to a huge, huge fenced in park. They liked the huge part and I liked the fenced in part. All of the 13 BOYS had a great time and the girls didn't because there were none. (weird, huh) This week is another holiday and we are taking the kids to a park to play American football. :-) It should be fun and hopefully done without broken bones.
My other great news is that God answered a prayer of mine. Since I got here I have been praying for a friend, someone to talk to, hang out with, etc. Finally God sent one in the form of one of my old college roommates, Anya! She is here doing an internship at the United Nations and she lives with me! It is wonderful to have someone to just be with and laugh with and we even went exercising together. YEA! GOD!!! YEA!
"Father God, I pray right now for myself as I write this blog/update, I pray for the people that are going to read it, and I pray that you are Lord of my heart and all the hearts checking this page. Thank you for your promises, thank you for Jesus, and thank you that we woke up today! You are a great and giving God."