After a very long trip (two plane rides and a train ride) I arrived in Klagenfurt, around 7:45 pm. The train schedules are amazingly accurate. I was worried I might fall asleep and miss my stop…fortunately that didn’t happen. It is always a challenge traveling in a foreign country, nothing is really familiar and once again I embarrassed myself by not being able to get the door open to get off the train. After a couple of attempts to pull the door open, the passenger waiting behind me reached over my shoulder and pushed the green “OPEN” button…duhhh?
Alex was there waiting, obviously quite aware of the accuracy of the train schedule. One of the great things about these trips is hanging out with the families. I always come away reminded of the sacrifices they make, living in a foreign country, all for the cause of the Gospel. It inspires me to give more of my life in service to Christ.
I was able to spend almost two days with the Lindsay’s, a great part of it talking about how their ministries were doing, how they were doing personally and what were some of the challenges they were facing in ministry. I don’t think there is anything that I enjoy more that sitting around and talking about our mutual love for Jesus and hearing how these saints trust Jesus with every part of their lives. I realize that we are quite spoiled in the U.S. I never grow tired of hearing about how faith in Jesus can transform a life.
Alex took me to the Pyramid Tower, one of the attractions in the area. The view was spectacular as you could see the Alps and all of the towns surround this massive lake. I admit I was quite disappointed that the tube slide to come down from the tower was closed…it looked like quite the adventure to slide from the top in this rather unconventional way. It was very steep and I am sure would have been great fun.
I love hanging out with the children of missionaries, and their greaciousness in letting me stay in their home gave us opportunity to break bread together, laugh together, and throw in a couple of games of ‘Bananagrams.’ I always appreciate it when the younger ones pay me a little extra attention…which doesn’t always happen. I found a friend in Emily, a little over two years old, very animated and very loving…she was my little buddy throughout my stay. I loved how much she loved Peppa Pig. We shared a mutual love for those characters.
On Wednesday evening, I attended a Home Fellowship Bible study with some people from the church. It was in a nearby town, some 20 minutes or so away from Klagenfurt. What an unexpected blessing to be able to sit in, and participate in a discussion on verses from the book of Jude. I am so impressed with the seriousness by which Alex takes his preparation for all of the ministry that takes place in the church. Again I was blessed to hear people just take in God’s word, like a sponge. We got there shortly after 7:00 PM and left around 10:30. I was reminded of how often we can rob ourselves of the blessing of fellowship, because we have so many other “important” things to do. I was abundantly blessed that there wasn’t anything more important to do…than what we did…and look forward to more times like that. How nice to be freed up from the pressure of the clock…just abandoned to what the Lord wants to do.
Another one of my favorite things to do is take the family out to dinner. We returned to the Mexican restaurant, Salud! We had shared a meal with them there this past summer. It is one of the favorites of the family and what a great time we had…that is until I realized I was eating a paper napkin. Both Alex and I had the chicken taco salad and for some reason they put a paper napkin underneath the shell. I supposed it was to keep the shell from sliding around on the plate. I didn’t notice the napkin, until Alex pulled his from his plate. At that very moment, I realized that the lettuce I was chewing on was taking rather long to chew up…only to realize it was the napkin. Unfortunately, I had already eaten half of it by the time I realized what was going on. Fortunately, the napkin was immersed in enough salad dressing that it really didn’t taste that bad. Needless to say…we all had a good laugh about it.
Shortly after dinner…it was off to the train station for the next stop of my trip…Salzburg!
You can check out some more pictures here…