Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Year

We can't believe it has been almost a month since we've blogged!! It has been a very busy summer: Cadence Conference in Wisconsin, Mission trip to Hungary, Cathy's parents 50th wedding anniversary, friends visiting, excursions with folks, and other various ministry opportunities. It has been a fun summer.

What's even more crazy is that we have been in Germany for over a year now. We arrived on 11 August 2009 and had our first ministry event on Labor Day last year. In our first year, we have learned so many things.

First, we are enjoying the relationships that we are developing with our German neighbors, our Chapel colleagues, and the wonderful folks that hang out in our home. We have walked along side folks through some fun and exciting things: promotions, new babies, getting married. We have supported people through some difficult challenges: break ups with boy/girl friends, problems with supervisors, moving and leaving people, teenage drama, deaths in families. Through each of these situations, we have grown as individuals and as a couple.

Second, this year has shown us how much we have taken things for granted. There is so much that is different here and, although it has been an exciting year, it also has been a year of loss and grief. We do miss the States and some of the comforts of home. We miss our daughter & families, our friends, our church, reading road signs in English, being able to navigate with a map and not needing a GPS, and so many other things.

This year has stretched us in our marriage almost more than any other year. We are realizing that we are madly in love with each other, and cannot imagine doing life without one another. Yet, we also have realized that we still have unique personalities and talents that we have been taking for granted. We are learning to cherish those differences - even though they sometimes drive us nuts - we are being reminded how important it is to respect how we are created. We are truly good for one another and are grateful for that!

We must confess we do enjoy our jobs and the perks that living in Europe brings with it. We have experienced travel to several towns and cities close to Kaiserslautern: Trier, Heidelberg, Worms, Baden Baden, Stuttgart. We have explored a little of Europe in this first year: Venice, Paris, Switzerland. We have been on two mission trips in Hungary, Cambodia/Thailand. It has been a whirlwind year!
So, as we get ready to celebrate our first year anniversary this weekend, we are wonder what is in store for us as we move into our second year of life and ministry in Germany.

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