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

Tag: God

Rhine or Danube?

The Rhine/Danube Watershed Marker

The snow that falls on the left of this sign will, when it melts, eventually make its way into the Rhine and out into the North Sea.  The snow on the right of this sign will, when it melts, eventually make its way into the Danube and out into the Black Sea, and maybe even get to the Mediterranean. 

Each flake of snow was powerless as it fell from the sky and is no less powerless as it sits waiting to melt and then to make its way back to an ocean somewhere.  Is the same true for us?  Do we have a destiny that we are powerless to affect?

I do not believe so!

I do believe that:

  • God loves us and knows everything that has happened and will happen.
  • God gives us freewill to make our own choices
  • God sometimes chooses to intervene
  • All of this is a complicated mix of paradoxes and mystery

We are not snowflakes that have no control of our actions or future yet there is a real sense, as we look back at certain moments in our life, that there is something guiding our actions and decisions, I really believe it is the Holy Spirit. I sometimes wonder about this when I think about how we ended up in Munich but it is so helpful to remember that God’s hand was visible in so many moments:

  • The years of influence from family, friends and leaders that inspired our hearts to grow with international mission at the core
  • The key conversation at a random conference in October 2015
  • The wisdom of leaders who counselled us and advised us
  • A phone call with a friend whose wife worked in a Munich grammar school that had an integration course for Anya
  • The generosity of many friends and churches that enabled us to cover the moving and living costs
  • The openness of our current landlord who gave us a chance to live in Munich when so many others had turned us down
  • The jobs that opened up at the right times to enable us to survive financially and contribute to society here

Maybe if things had turned out slightly different we could have flowed down to the Black Sea instead of stopping in Bavaria (true story!) but what we are certain of is that God has loved and guided us while allowing us the free will to make our own choices, experience our own mistakes and enjoy the successes.

Why Djoković is more useful than Federer

Rada outlines why Novak Djoković is more useful in life than Roger Federer!

If you saw our little video from yesterday, you will know that we have been on a weekend away with a church near Basel, Switzerland.

It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of Novak Djoković.  So this weekend I have largely avoided any tennis references because I just don’t think my good friends from Basel (home town of Roger Federer, the Moriarty of Nole’s fans!) would have seen my point of view and also because my love for Nole might cause them to disregard anything good I might have to say. My friend Becky, the world’s number one Roger fan, certainly would not have taken anything I had to say seriously!

Life is a little bit like a tennis match.  Most of the time it is fairly mundane, just passing the ball over the net, plodding along, fighting for every point, every game.  Sometimes it even gets exciting. An occasional slide across the court for a fantastic return, sometimes a brilliant point at the net and other times just an amazing finish after a long rally…you get the picture.

Anyway, back to Djoković. I just love his passion for the game, his skill and determination, his fighting spirit and not giving up when it’s hard. When the game doesn’t go to plan, he mutters to himself, shouts at his coaches, hits himself on the head, throws a racket in frustration etc. He also has a head coach who is closely watching his every move, rejoices with him with every won point, sympathetically nods when it’s hard going, knowing ultimately that he taught him everything he needs to know to play a perfect match.

What I love the most about Djoković is his fist pump! It usually happens after a particularly difficult point or when he gets back from behind, and finally when he wins the match!!  His coach and the team would do a fist pump in return.  I also give God, my head coach, a fist pump every time I manage to get up after a fall, every time I remember what he taught me, every time I pick up the racket I threw down in frustration and carry on playing, and every time I win a game. When times are hard, I look up to my box and see him nod at me in approval, sometimes gently shaking his head when I mutter and shout but he is always there, always looking after me. So, my life is like a game of tennis, the only difference is that I know that I will win this match, not because I’m so amazing, but because God has won this game for me already.

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.

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