I wanted to give you a quick update on our family and arrival back to Slovakia.
We arrived last Friday evening around 9 pm. The van that was coming for us broke down on its way to get us from the airport (a 3 hour drive) and so when we came from the gate we only received a text message about the car problem 🙁 The kids were so completely exhausted at that point (it had been just over 24 hours of travel) they just collapsed there at the arrival area and slept. Hampton even slept on top of the 14 suitcases! (Soundly I might add) This was really a blessing because it could have easily been a very stressful situation trying to figure out this transportation problem. It was however resolved fairly quickly and we were able to get not only a rental van, but a driver that came for us from nearby capital city of Bratislava. We waited only 3 hours and he drove us all the way to our city (3 hours) with all of our luggage! What a blessing!
Speaking of our luggage, that is another huge blessing! We were only “allowed” 1 piece of checked luggage per person and was prepared to pay the 60$ for the second piece per person. However, at check in, I overheard the person next to me explaining how they were going on a mission trip and so their extra baggage fee was waived. So I asked if we were able as well to have waived fees since we too are missionaries. After a long discussion with her supervisor, our ticket agent arranged that our extra fees were completely waived! We all were so excited and thanked the Lord right there at the check-in counter! Later I was so happy to have the cash in my pocket (literally in my pocket) to pay the driver who took us from the airport that next evening. I am certain it was no coincidence it was the exact amount I needed!
The kids were excited to settle in to beds in the dormitory at Kompas. and we decided to leave the 14, 50 pound suitcases on the first floor, since their was neither an elevator or space for them on the 3rd floor with us! After a long sleep we were excited to wake up to snowfall the next afternoon (yes it was afternoon when we woke up)! Being New Year’s Eve, all the stores were closed! Thankfully, our friends in Poland called us and invited us to their house for the evening, so we drove 1,20 to their house just across the border and was well cared for (and feed) and celebrated the new year together! It was the easiest New year’s eve I can remember! We didn’t go to sleep until after 4 am!
The next day was Zac’s birthday and we were able to go to the Czech Republic (just one hour away) to a new cabin our mission has for it’s missionaries. It was vacant and so we were able to stay 3 nights there. What another huge blessing this was to have a fun place to go and celebrate Zac in the midst of all this chaos. It was only about 1 hour from where we were in Poland. It was a beautiful place, lots of rooms, in the mountains, beautiful views, etc. Finally, we were alone just our family after a very long time. No TV, no internet. Just lots of talking, laughing, reading, hiking and games.
We made it back to Zilina on Wednesday and started house hunting. Friday was a holiday here (3 kings day) and so many people were off from work. We were able to see only 2 houses. The first house, the “blue house” is under reconstruction. It is a little on the small size, but with a few changes, could be made more conducive for our family. We spoke to the owner and he is willing to make some changes. A few downsides are it’s location, it is on a VERY busy street. Also, the earliest he predicts it could be finished and ready is the end of January. So it would mean a good month here at Kompas in the dorms. Positives are: everything will be very “new” after the reconstruction. another very interesting fact is that the owner of this house is the BROTHER to the family we used to rent from (not our last house, but the house before). We didn’t know this until we went to see the house. This family is a very nice family, we have a great relationship and they were extremely kind to us during our 4 years renting from them. A family that we pray for already and live out the Gospel of Jesus to; so it’s exciting to think about an extension of that.
The second house we went to see turned out to be a “dud”. In fact, it was not even the same house advertised. We have written about and inquired about several others. We have many realtors and friends looking for us as well. We are praying for God to give us just the right house for us; one that will have a 4th bedroom for the future guests we expect to keep over the many days we are living there. So far we have not walked into a house and said “this is it”, “this is the one, we just know it”. We are waiting and praying.
In a very short time we have managed to meet already with at least 4 families/friends. Today i went for coffee with a friend. She was quite surprised our family returned to Slovakia, she admitted she was expecting us not. She listened intently as I told her how God has given me peace and contentment for living in Slovakia, even more, a love for it. I loved speaking so openly about my faith and my testimony of my God in my life.
Many of our friends think we are just crazy to have our family in a 2 room dormitory at the top of Kompas, no kitchen, no living area. Tonight, one friend just said he didn’t believe me when I said i was “spokojne”-content. Again, I told him, “I can’t explain it, it’s from God, I am not lying to you. It is real”
We are so happy to be back in Slovakia with our friends here. Tomorrow we return to our home church and Monday the kids return to school and I will discuss my teaching schedule for the new term (starting in Feb.). Thank you in advance for your continued prayer for our family, our house, and the people of Slovakia.
Sorry this wasn’t so short after all (but what a joy to write it all down)!