Arriving in Germany: Is this real?

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Can you believe this is 510lbs of luggage?  How about that this doesn’t include our carryons in the trunk of the other car?  🙂

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Our first stop was Boston’s Logan International Airport.  You can see the sign above the kid’s heads, but it’s a bit hard to read.  Frankfurt, Germany, 3671 Miles.

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Faith was very excited to change some left over birthday money into Euros.

 

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Shortly before we boarded the plane, Faith asked me, “Daddy, is this real?  Because this happens to me all the time, and then I wake up and it wasn’t real.”

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This is as real as it gets.  Somewhat the worse for wear after 15 hours of travel, we arrived in Basel, Switzerland, our luggage trailing endlessly off into the horizon…

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We looked a lot better the next day after a little bit of rest.

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Day two in Germany, after some settling, setting up a bank account, and registering with the town, we took the kids to see the storks in Holzen, a near by village.

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One of the most incredible blessings God has provided for us as we arrived here, has been the tremendous support we have received from the Greater Europe Mission staff people.  In this picture, you can see Brandy with Sara Meyer, wife of my supervisor, Jim, admiring the storks.  Because we’re such a large family, the Meyers have been driving us everywhere in two cars, which since we’re running many errands trying to work out school for the kids, navigating the German buerocracy, and get heating oil for our house (which is preventing us from having hot water) the Meyers have been a tremendous help.  Not to mention they’ve been acting as interpreters for us.  But they aren’t the only ones!  Our neighbors down the street, the Bonhams, put us up in their home for several nights, and they and the Meyers have been taking turns feeding us since we got here.

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Saturday morning, GemStone Media had our first team building event, as the whole crew traveled to nearby Switzerland to view some Roman ruins.  It was a nice time, allowing the kids to get a sense of Europe’s rich cultural history, and giving us a chance to connect with our new colleagues.

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For Isaac and Faith, it was another great excuse to have an ice cream.

In so many ways this is such a surreal experience.  We wake up each morning and look out at the farmer’s fields on the other side of the hill, and the mists make everything hazy and dream like.  I keep having to remind myself this isn’t a dream.  Part of our training was to prepare us for culture shock.  We’re in the tourist phase now, where everything is charming and wonderful.  But lingering our there in the distance are the language barrier, all the little cultural snags we’re just beginning to learn, like always saying hello and good bye, and not calling people you see in the distance.  Little things we don’t think about, but which can be very rude here.

Because I’ve been here on several short trips the last five years, I keep having the same problem Faith had in the airport.  I keep forgetting we’re not leaving in a few days.  This is home now.  It’s an awesome feeling.  After five years of working, it’s finally real.  I can pinch myself and not wake up.  🙂  Our God is so incredibly good.

Over the next several months, we have to balance the demands of language school, setting up our household, helping the kids get acclimated, and building working relationships with our team.  Unfortunately, it’s way too easy to make language our bottom priority, but we need to stay focused.  I hope you’ll pray along with us, that God will keep us focused.

Bless you all, and thanks for all the ways you have prayed us here!

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