Thursday, March 11, 2010

Watch out world, here I come!

I have an awesome opportunity that I am quite excited to tell you about.

I am going to Austria!

For several years our church has sent a team to Austria to serve Training Christians for Ministry (TCM) at the International Institute they hold just outside Vienna. TCM International Institute trains Evangelical Christians from Eastern Europe and Central Asia for ministry in their homelands. The work of TCM fills a gap by providing the necessary training without the financial cost that would typically come with this level of education. (I encourage you to visit and to find out more.)

I have wanted to serve TCM by participating in their Short-Term Worker program for many years and am so fortunate to have this desire finally fulfilled! I will be working alongside the full-time staff, serving the Christians who have come to Haus Edelweiss to study and grow. Short-term workers perform a variety of tasks on-site such as cooking, cleaning and grounds keeping. I have been told that it is long days of hard work, but extremely rewarding.

I was drawn to this opportunity because I will be doing physical work in service to Christians in Eastern Europe. I have long had a heart for the Christians in this area of the world who have faced much turmoil and persecution while spreading the name of and answering the call of Christ. Our church sponsors several missionaries serving in this area and it is always encouraging to hear what God is doing in these countries. The specific trip I am taking (May 12-21) is an especially opportune time to visit TCM, as we will be serving at graduation time. We will be privileged to sit in on graduation ceremonies and hear updates from all the participating countries on what God is doing there. (How cool is that going to be?!)

The trip has always seemed out of reach to me due to cost, but when we were blessed to be able to send both Jim and Kaylie to serve in Mexico last year, I realized it probably wasn’t so impossible after all! We have been very fortunate to come up with much of the funding for the $1200 trip, but we still could use help if you are able to provide it.

More important than your financial support is your prayer support. Please pray for the men and women training at Haus Edelweiss – that God would provide for them, strengthen them, encourage them, protect and bless them. Pray also for the staff of TCM, and the other short-term workers. (A prayer calendar for TCMI can be viewed here.)

For me personally, I would appreciate your prayers for health, safety, and a steadfast frame of mind. As you know, I have chronic migraines. Please join me in praying that, despite the traveling, time zone changes, and other conditions, I will remain headache free during the trip so I may serve to my fullest ability. As many of you also know, I will be leaving my full-time job effective June 1 (just a few short days after we return!) and I pray that preparation for that life change will not take away from preparation for or focus on the trip.

Thank you for the privilege of your support, love, and friendship. I will keep you all updated on the trip and when I return I’ll send you a nice long report of all I experienced.

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