If you saw these words on a sign, it might appear to represent an established street or pathway. Our desire, however, is to share the path of our lives as we respond to the Lord’s direction in these days, to present a work-in-progress to our family and friends (known and yet unknown).
Our lives have been shaped and molded separately and then together by God’s hand. Here, however, we will specifically address our steps through this time of life called “retirement.”
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Eurasia week 1 - adjusting to life in Busingen
We arrived at the Zurich airport on Monday, August 26, and
were amazed at how quickly we were able to get through Customs! Brad and Nancy
Firestone were waiting for us on this gray day and the 45 minutes to Büsingen
passed quickly as we enjoyed the countryside on our way. It took very little
time for us to unpack our things in our nice apartment. We took a look at the
groceries already stocked in our kitchen(!) and made a list of additional
things we’d like to have on hand. After
walking back down the main street past the Eurasia Regional Office building and
about another block, we arrived where Dan will work with Brad. The back of that
building is the Firestones’ apartment.
Piling into their car, we crossed the border (as we’ll do many times
each week) to shop at a store called Lidl (similar to Aldi, lots of those here
too!) to get additional groceries. Then, the Firestones treated us to dinner
out at a German/Italian restaurant. We
rode around through several small towns – in both Germany and Switzerland; all these towns are
close together but with beautiful, rolling, farmland between.
Tuesday, we met the rest of the staff and were invited to
join them for lunch out – at the Goldener
Drache (Golden Dragon), an Asian restaurant right across the side street from
our blue office building with a “running sushi bar”, definitely NOT something
we expected to encounter in Germany!I
returned to our apartment for a nap while Dan walked back to visit Brad in
their office. When he returned, we went to Judy’s apartment next door; she’s a
long-term volunteer who was also entertaining 5 MNU students for dinner –
they’re in Europe for quite a few weeks of study (some online), touring, and ministry projects.
Wednesday, we slept well enough that we felt like we could
get to work mid-morning. I was placed in a large, sunny, corner office and learned
what projects I’ll be helping Nancy with. We enjoyed our first weekly staff
devotions at 2PM, as our friend Cezi led a time of devotions and prayer.
Thursday, we began work in earnest, later going out to
dinner at a Turkish restaurant with Nancy and Brad. We loved the kebap (very much like Greek gyros) and
stocked up on more groceries at Real (their version of Wal-Mart Super Store) in nearby Singen.Interestingly, if you shop in Germany and
take your groceries across the Swiss border, it’s necessary to get your grocery
receipts stamped at border in order for the taxes to be credited on your next
visit to that particular store.Some
border crossings are not open after 8PM, so we had to take a longer way back to
go through a border stop that is open 24 hours.
We’re sleeping better about every other night; almost
over the jet lag!
Brad and Nancy started us out with our first Saturday
adventure – to RheinFall, biggest river
waterfall in all of Europe. It's beautiful! Back home to pack a lunch, we then walked back to
Firestones’ to meet up with Gina and Andrew, a missionary/volunteer couple.
plan was for Nancy and me to investigate a couple of brocki (second-hand stores, say “BRO-kee”) while the other 4 ride
bicycles the 9 miles to Stein am Rhein,
where we would meet for lunch. Nancy and I explored the filled-to-the-ceilings
warehouses, then met the 4 cyclists with the lunches. After we ate, 3 of us
rode in the car up the steep hilly roads (Brad rode his bike) to Burg
Hohenklingen, a castle that we explored and took lots of photos of.
Stein am Rhein
down to the town a while later, we met Andrew and Gina in the village for
gelato! This town is unique; the houses and buildings were built side-by side,
attached, in order to make a fort. We walked the historic cobbled streets and
onto a bridge over the Rhein River.
Nancy and I rode back in the car,
stopping for groceries, and got back to the house at the same time as our
Sunday, Büsingen International COTN is right across the quad
from our apartment. We were welcomed and we so enjoyed the familiar music
(Nancy sings with the worship team and Brad plays bass). Our Albanian friend Cezi (say CHEH-zee) preached,
in English, about mercy. Fellowship
follows the service, every Sunday, in the lower level with coffee and home-baked treats,
enabling us to meet people from many countries. We had a late lunch of minute steaks and small
potatoes, then I baked cookies to take to the Firestones’ for a
God certainly provided for our every need this week, especially
fellowship and friendship, as we adjusted to the time zone, the culture, and
the rich-in-history landmarks in this beautiful part of the world!