Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Trip to Austria

In May I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Austria and also do some touring of the country.  I know what you are thinking:  Mission trip to Austria??  Well yes, it was a mission trip, even if it was what someone teased was the "sissy mission trip".  I was serving at a Christian institute outside Vienna, TCM International Institute as a short-term worker.  TCMI provides seminary training to students from eastern Europe and central Asia, providing an education that otherwise would be out of reach.  TCM's short-term workers provide housekeeping, hospitality, kitchen and groundskeeping assistance to the full-time staff of TCM, who in turn are serving the students living and studying there.  It was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back.  It was awesome to meet the students and faculty of TCMI and hear about what God is doing in their home lands.  Our group was extra fortunate in that we were able to attend this year's graduation ceremony.  Here are just a few photos from my time there.

Haus Edelweiss - the "big house", which holds the kitchen & dining room, student and staff housing, and a large classroom.
Our pastor, Aaron Brockett, giving the commencement address.  Graduates are seated to the left.  Isn't this room amazing??  It is in a very, very, very old monastery just up the road from Haus Edelweiss. 
A very happy graduate and his family.  His name escapes me at the moment, but he is from Hungary.
Me and my fellow Hospitality peeps.
Another building at the Haus Edelweiss campus.  With the red and green door, it looks like Santa's cottage. 
A view of Vienna from most the way up one of the towers of St. Stephens cathedral.  It was 300 some small winding steps up to this point.  Notice the overcast day - this was order of the day most the time we were there.  Except when it was raining.
Coffee at a real Viennese coffee house!!  The stuffed animal is Hannah's, like a not so Flat Stanley.  Also note the huge piece of apfelstrudel.  Yum!
One of the never-ending amazing views from the train on the way from Salzburg to Innsbruck.  As a native "flat lander", I could not get enough of the mountains.  So beautiful. 
Looking down the street in old town Innsbruck.  Can you imagine having that kind of view everyday??  I don't think I would ever take it for granted.  (Did you notice the blue skies?!  God was very good to provide sunshine for the tail end of our trip.  I think I appreciated the beauty of everything so much more because I was so grateful to see the sun)

Okay, that is all for now.  I have billions of photos though, and will show you more later.  (I'm sure you can't wait!)

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