Munich Adventure

Nathan, Rada, Anya & Aleksa's move to Munich…

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Calling All German Students!

We are beginning to gather a Core Team that will be the beginning of the Church Plant here in Munich.  One of the no-brainers to gathering a Church Planting team is that if you have students in the city then they can be invaluable when it comes to providing the energy, creativity and hardwork required to get a Church Plant off the ground.

Do you know anybody studying German as a foreign language who will need to do a year or six months in Germany?  Maybe Munich could be an option for them?

Or do you know any native Germans who are in their last year of school and planning to move to Munich for further studies?

If the answer is yes to either of these questions they might be interested in getting involved in a pioneering ministry in a beautiful and exciting city then PLEASE do put them in touch with us.  Drop them a message NOW before you forget.  You don’t know what difference the contact could make to us, to them, to Munich…..

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We have had a great Christmas in Germany hosting a good number of friends for a Christmas Day Brunch, as in Germany the main Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve night.

We then spent New Year in the UK where we attended a special wedding and spent precious time with family.  Now we are back in Munich and the temperatures are plummeting with -18 degrees forecast for overnight this weekend.  Our location really is beautiful though and it so pleasant getting out and about.  Every day is different but there is a sense of routine building with the most regular activities being language learning and job searching.

 

Catalyst Video Blog

We are really privileged to have been featured on Catalyst’s social media today.  We were asked to put together a video of our journey so far.  See the video below and the text from the Catalyst Facebook page:

“When God calls people to new towns, cities and countries it can all sound very exciting. And most of the time, that’s exactly what it is! We often forget however, the challenges that our friends who move away may face once real life sets in. 
We caught up with Nathan Adams and Rada Koprivica-Adams who moved to Munich from Wolverhampton in Summer this year. With their first term nearly over, and their first Munich Christmas in full swing, we wanted to share how they have been getting on. Have a watch of this video! Thanks Adams for sending it, and good luck for the new year!”

We are very grateful to be part of such an inspiring network as Catalyst.  There are so many churches and individuals within Catalyst who have been so supportive, thoughtful and generous.  Thank you to all of you!

Video Credits:  Camera – Janet Johnston, Child Distraction – Andy Johnston

Work in Progress

A blog post from Rada:

View from our new loungeWe have been in our new flat for five weeks now! It’s a big place, full of light and warmth, set back from the main street in a quiet pedestrian area, full of playground segments, paths and trees.
It’s particularly beautiful in the evening as the neighbours decorated their bushes and trees with Christmas lights. We are really close to beautiful parks and the Isar River, less than a mile from a zoo and ten minutes away from the city centre on the Underground.

Yet, the last five weeks have been full of challenges, from broken beds to a washing machine flood, to walls that can’t be drilled, to language difficulties, to troubles with health insurance and kindergarten spaces…to mention just a few.

As humans we would always opt for an easy life, void of challenges and difficulties, but I believe that would leave us quite empty and shallow.  It comes as no surprise that life is a synergy of hard and beautiful.  If it was just beautiful, we would not appreciate it.  If it was just hard, we would give up.  If you are older than 16, you would know what growing pains are, a necessary ingredient in order for our bodies to achieve full maturity and make us ‘fully grown’ (apologies to anyone under 5ft 5in!)

img_1331So it is with the pains of everyday life, obstacles, disappointments, relationship difficulties; without them we cannot grow properly and be who we are – special, beautiful altogether with our scars, limps and bandages.  But these difficulties can also teach us about what we think about and cherish the most – ourselves! When you squeeze a tooth paste, the only thing that can come out is what is already inside.  At the moment I am learning, probably more than ever, about what my values are, where they are coming from, where my security lies, who do I trust in, etc.   Some of the things I’m finding out and realising about myself are great, others range from slightly disappointing to plain ugly!  There should be a huge ‘Work In Progress’ sign on my head and on yours probably as well!

You know that feeling when you read something that you wholeheartedly agree with, but the person who wrote it is much more eloquent and smarter than you, so you just point and say ‘that!’.  So I will leave you with one such sentence that I don’t only agree with, but am so desperately trying to make it truth in my life and wish the same for you….because life is hard but it’s also beautiful!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.    James 1:2-4

 

Church Planting update from Calais Shuttle Freight Terminal

Apologies for the dishevelled look, barely comprehensible jabbering and sloppy camera work – this was 1am on Saturday morning after about 1600 miles driving and lots of loading and unloading!

 

Housing news…!

A lot of people keep asking us about our housing situation here in Munich.  As we were unable to secure anything permanent before we arrived we booked an Airbnb apartment for the first two months.  We knew that finding 3 bedroom apartment in Munich is tough but we hadn’t anticipated just how challenging! To say we have been consumed with the task would be an accurate description….100s of enquiries, dozens of visits and full applications…sometimes hope dwindles but you just have to keep faith that God has the right place for you and his timing is perfect.  We had become reconciled that we might not have anywhere by our 1st November deadline and further temporary accommodation may need to suffice.

This was immensely frustrating as we are eager to set up a great home that we can use for family life, hospitality and ministry.  Without a place to call home it feels like a significant part of this venture is on hold.  Not to mention that we miss all our belongings that are still in storage in Wolverhampton!

However, yesterday morning, we received the seemingly elusive email that we had been longing for.  We had been accepted for an apartment!  And not just any apartment.  This is bigger than we should be able to get and is in a fantastic location for us.  The feelings these last 24 hours since we got the news have been a bit crazy – relief, excitement, exhaustion and maybe a bit of hyperactivity for one or two of us!

View from our Airbnb Apartment....but only for two more weeks!

View from our Airbnb Apartment….but only for two more weeks!

We still need to meet the owner to sign the contract but we wanted to share this news as so many people have been so supportive and we just want to continue sharing this journey with you.  We are so grateful to God and thankful for the challenges in this aspect of moving as it has forced us to rely on him in a more tangible way than we have often previously known.

Next three main tasks:  Searching for jobs, finding an awesome Kindergarten for Aleksa and pressing on with the language studies.

When being in Narnia feels mundane…

A blog post from Nathan

It seemed to Lucy only the next minute (though really it was hours and hours later) when she woke up feeling a little cold and dreadfully stiff and thinking how she would like a hot bath.

I came across this whilst reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with Aleksa the other night.  Narnia fans may be able to work out where Lucy is….

She is in the beavers’ hideaway hole and it is just before the children meet Father Christmas and receive the gifts which were to go down in Narnian folklore.

It is fascinating that Lucy’s mind was on such physical and mundane matters just before such a mysterious encounter that was to pave the way for the salvation of Narnia and was to go down in the nation’s history.

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We have been in Munich just over 3 weeks now and so much of our time and thoughts seem to be taken up with the mundane.  Although, unlike Lucy, we are fortunate enough to have access to hot running water we do often wake up with our thoughts are crowded by matters of physical comfort, food, budgeting, bank accounts, health insurance, registrations, schooling, haircuts, language learning, recycling, broken appliances, jobs and, probably most pertinent for us at the moment, apartment searching.

It is so easy to get caught up in all of this.  However, we have a God who intervenes and encounters us right in the middle of the difficulties of everyday life.  Lucy, Peter and Susan did not ask for the gifts that Father Christmas gave them.  They were gracious provision.

Father God knows what we need and provides it at the right time.

Yesterday we took some time out and had the privilege of a family day out in Salzburg.  This week we will visit Oktoberfest and enjoy a friend’s gig one evening.  The sun is still warm in Munich and the afternoon’s still feel like summer.  We have received such a warm welcome from the Christian communities that we have encountered so far.  There is much to be thankful for.

And yet we feel the pressure of these mundane but important needs.  Please pray for us to know God in the midst of the ‘everyday’.  And please pray specifically for a wonderful apartment that we can make home that will enable us to love living in Munich and be able to serve God here.

Journey home from Salzburg

Journey home from Salzburg

Home, Sweet Temporary Home

A report from Anya on our first few days in Munich

Progress has finally been made! Victory at last! We have figured out how to use the coffee machine!!! Now as some of you may be aware, we don’t possess a coffee machine. Or this hammock that I’m sitting in. Or the flat that we are living in. That’s right, you’ve guessed it, we have made it to Munich and are staying in an Air BnB! (Basically just a furnished flat.) But at last we’ve got somewhere to live until we can find a proper, more permanent place.

We’ve had a chance to explore a bit of Munich today, tracing my school route on the underground, then going into town and buying Aleksa some long awaited Lego City toys, before stopping off in MacDonald’s for lunch. And the simple fact of it is that none of us have ever experienced the feeling of actually being full after eating MacDonald’s. And it is a wondrous, if not slightly weird feeling.

We have also explored some of the surrounding streets and parks and plan to go swimming tomorrow. We look forward to exploring more of Munich as well as its culture, cuisine and many other things too.

The Day After…

By Rada

Sadness is a peculiar thing, it catches you unawares and leaves an unmistakable trail in your day, popping up its head at the slightest encouragement, reminding you that it’s never far away.  I was happily packing up our belongings yesterday, often distracted by things I forgot we had, pictures of loved ones that are not here anymore, invoking all sorts of memories, mainly happy ones, although tainted by dull pain coming somewhere from deep within.  The news of a mass shooting in Munich provided a rude awakening from my somewhat dreamy state, and the sadness of life loss and the brokenness of our world achieved that sharp edge that causes tears and compassion.

Messages flooded in from the loved ones and friends wondering if we were already there.  We were pleased to hear that our friends in Munich were safe.  The frantic internet search for any more news followed, looking for a reason of this senseless act, as if that would make things easier.  This is the city where we are moving to in few weeks, the streets we’ll be walking with our kids, the shopping centres we’ll be shopping at,a the underground we’ll be taking.  The mind starts racing, arranging many different scenarios of how to best protect the ones you love.  But then, in the chaos that only one’s mind can create, a still small voice places a gentle reminder that He is in control, that our lives are secure with him (either here or in heaven), that our job is to love people wherever we are.  So we are going to Munich to share this love, to offer hope in this world void of hope, to comfort those who need comforting and to laugh with those laughing.  As the darkness of this world becomes darker, His light is getting brighter!

“Last Times” and “Goodbyes”

Nathan’s reflections on the leaving process.

We are entering a season in our journey to Munich that is full of things that we are doing for the last time, and lots of goodbyes to special people.

Some are trivial but mark the ticking clock to our departure.  For example, next Monday will be the last time I put out a ‘Garden Waste Bin’ in England!  Others are extremely poignant, such as saying goodbye to my brother yesterday morning.

Some just make you think about how different the detail of life will be…I realised Euro 2016 will be the last major football championship where I enjoy the banter and coverage provided by British broadcasters.  I have no idea what German punditry is like!?  And enjoying talking politics and making jokes around the table at a work meeting makes me wonder how long it will be till I can fully take part in a conversation where I understand the nuance of language and implication of local culture.

Our plan is to move out of our house on 31st July as we go and visit Montenegro for a couple of weeks.  Exactly what will happen after that is a little uncertain but we will be in temporary accommodation for a period – we’re just not sure if this will be in England or in Munich.

But till then the “Last Times” and “Goodbyes” will continue.  Please pray for Anya and Aleksa as they leave their respective schools.  And please pray for all of us as we make the adjustments we need in order to leave well and move on to the next part of the adventure that God has called us to.

BREXIT and life’s ups and downs

Life is full of ups and downs.  When you are involved in some sort of pioneering ministry it can feel like the impact of these ups and downs is somewhat magnified.

On the surface this week has had some big ups and some big downs for us as a family….

  • Monday morning my wallet is stolen out of my bag
  • Monday afternoon we receive news of an incredibly generous gift from a stranger
  • Tuesday we are painfully let down by someone
  • Wednesday we make some great progress with a big practical issue related to our move
  • Thursday we make some great progress on potentially renting an apartment in Munich
  • Friday morning we wake up to the referendum result which, regardless of political opinion, throws many aspects of a move to Germany into uncertainty.

The temptation can be to ride the highs with exultation, and a pinch of pride. But of course this means the impact of the lows is also significant. You can find your sense of worth and identity is wrapped up in external circumstances. The news of Britain’s vote to leave the EU this morning has certainly shocked us and emotions of fear and anxiety can lie below the surface.

However, the truth is that our worth and identity has nothing to do with getting your wallet stolen, how others treat you or what your immigration status might be after you move to Germany.  Nor, thankfully, is our sense of worth anything to do with how ‘successful’ a church ministry might be.

Our identity is quite simply that we are created by a loving Father God and that  he loves us unconditionally, despite our choice to sometimes turn away from him and try to negotiate life’s rollercoaster on our own.  God loves us and in that most profound of truths we find value, peace and purpose – no matter that Britain is leaving the EU and whatever affect that might have on our own lives.

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