The Carpenter's Girl

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall Festival

Our annual Fall Festival was a smash-hit this year! Everyone had a fun time with face-painting, games, food, science experiments, and fellowship for the first half of the evening. Then we ended with a concert from the various choirs, and topped off the evening with a pie-in-the-face contest! Three lucky winners were pied by a student - it's the highlight of the evening every year. :) I think there were more people in attendance that evening than I have ever seen at VCS before. (Check out the photo of the crowd listening to the concert.) This is one of my favorite VCS events, because it brings together everything that is special about this school: the teachers, the students, the parents, friends of the school, fun and enjoyment of each other, and the practical living out of our faith which demonstrates the love and grace of God. I am so thankful and humbled to be called to such an incredible place.

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An Important Request

Many of you already received this in email form, but here it is for those of you who didn't. Vienna Christian School is facing a big challenge and I would like to ask you to pray with us. Below is a letter from our director explaining the situation in more detail. We serve a powerful God, who is more than able to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine. We at VCS are confident that His purpose will be fulfilled throughout this situation. Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us - it is truly the most powerful support you can give.
Your prayers are always important to us but we particularly need your earnest prayer with regard to our current situation.

Before the end of this school year - by June 2009 - our teachers need to gain a different residence status to be certified to continue teaching here in Vienna. Praise God for the time He has given us to work on this.

One way we are trying to accomplish this, is by working with the US Embassy to find a diplomatic solution. The second is by working with Austrian Government offices to find a status for which we can qualify. Please pray that God would work through these efforts to find a solution for us.

It is easy for us to focus solely on VCS finding a solution that will allow us to continue to operate here in Austria. Please don't forget to pray that we would have a great testimony through this process and that God will be glorified through the result of it.

Thank you for your support. We will keep you posted.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Card for my Grandmother

About six weeks ago, my Grandfather, my father's father, passed away at the age of 91. He is now singing with the angels, and is happier and more fulfilled than he could ever imagine. I can't wait to join him! Of course, along with the joy we feel knowing where he is, there is a Granddad-shaped hole left in the lives of those still here in the Shadowlands (as C.S. Lewis called this earth). I have been especially burdened for my Grandmother, who was married to her husband for 67 years. Wow. What a testament to faithfulness, commitment, and love!
In order to encourage her a bit, I had my class make her cards. Many of them said things like "I am sorry your husband died. But I know he is in heaven, so you can be happy." Or "I am praying for you. Jesus loves you." Or "Jesus will give you joy in your heart." They were precious. We took pictures of the class to send to her as well. The kids really enjoyed this time of focusing on the hurts of another person, and doing what they can to encourage her with the truth of God. I pray that she is encouraged when she receives that little package of love from Austria.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Vienna Night Run

Run, run, run! My second-ever race took place at night...doesn't seem too safe to be running through the crowded streets of Vienna with only street lamps to guide you, but
I did it, and it was great fun! We ran the 5K race through some of the most beautiful parts of downtown Vienna, starting and ending at the Rathaus (city hall), which is my favorite building in the city. Some of my favorite people were running with me, which always adds to the enjoyment (Leslie is in the picture with me, and the other runners are Matt, Melissa, Cindi, and Pearl). But my favorite part of the race was the running shirt that came with registration. :) It's really nice! Plus it has "Vienna Night Run" written on it, so it's a good souvenir too!
Running has become one of my favorite hobbies....and you never would have thought so if you knew me at all in the past! It started this spring with the Frauenlauf (Women's Run), which is a great way to ease into the world of running - it's only 4K (about 2 miles). So I started training with my roommate Elizabeth, who, up till then, had shared my opinion that the only time you should run is when you're afraid for your life. But we both really started enjoying it, so we've both kept it up since the race, and hopefully will continue for a while longer still. :)


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Who Knows?

I just couldn't resist posting this - it should be interesting to see what the actual results are!
Even in Europe, people are closely following the US Presidential Race, and my students - my seven and eight year-old students - have been excited about it, and they all have opinions about who should win! (If you know my class at all, you won't be remotely surprised to hear that they have opinions!)

So, to capitalize (no pun intended!) on the fact that today is Election Day, our class had a mock election. We wanted to know who would become the President if our class could elect him. You can see the results in the picture (sorry it's not more clear!)...I was actually quite surprised at the results! Especially for liberally-minded Europe.

What I found especially intriguing about these results are how they seem to line up with the general percentages in the least somewhat. Out of 16 votes, we had 6 for Obama, 9 for McCain, and 1 who chose not to vote for anyone. One of McCain's voters was a swing voter - very vocal about how great Obama is, and then at the last minute voted for McCain. It's not only adults who change their minds! :)

Now I know they're only 2nd-graders, but I was amused and intrigued by this whole process. I'll add that the 3rd grade class also held a mock election, and their results were: Obama - 4, McCain - 7.

I just have to throw this little comment in, for laughs. My swing voter, an 8-year-old Filipino boy named K.D., was talking to another teacher about the election, and here's what he said,"I know Rock Obama - he's the President!" (Not yet, says the teacher). "I know he's not yet, but he will be - he's got enough electric boats to win!" Gotta love childhood.

I guess we don't have to wait much longer to see what the actual American voters decide! Don't forget to visit the polls today! :)