Greetings from Slovenia!
It's been a while since we've given you all an update, and to be quite honest, it's because of... life!
We are really settling into our new home, and getting used to our new normal.
We were delighted to get to spend our first holiday season in Slovenia, and our first "real" winter in a long time - this Florida-transplant family forgot about the cold!
So, we just wanted to give you all a short update on what we've been up to in the past couple months.
We were so excited and honored to be a part of the Christmas program at the local church we attend, here in Ljubljana! Aidan played the part of a wiseman, and was part of the children's choir! It was extra special to hear him singing Christmas carols in Slovene!
On Christmas Day, we were so thankful to have Christmas dinner at the church with a few other families. One of the families from the church hosts it every year, especially for those who don't have family nearby. We loved getting to spend Christmas day with our new church family!
We also delivered cookies to our neighbors in our apartment building. With the help our language teacher, we wrote each one of them a note, wishing them a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year. Then, we went to each door and introduced ourselves - in (broken) Slovene! It can be difficult to get to know one's neighbors, especially in an apartment building, but we're hoping that through interactions such as these, we'll be able to build meaningful relationships with them!
This is definitely NOT the glamorous side of missions, but it is the foundation, the groundwork without which we won't be able to truly reach Slovenia. So, we have been working hard at our Slovene language classes. Here are some examples of how much we've learned in the past few months:
We've had language classes for about 3 1/2 months. We have learned how to introduce ourselves, talk about the weather, give directions, talk about motion, conjugate verbs, express possession of nouns, describe our families, lots and lots of grammatical rules, and we just started learning the past and future tenses.
We could not be more pleased with our tutor - she is very knowledgeable (she teaches at the university), patient, she loves her language - which in return makes us love her language, and she has a wonderful way of tying in what we're learning about Slovene with the culture.
Our teacher is actually leaving for 3 months, for a job outside of the country. Please join us in praying for her, that she would be able to adjust well to her new surroundings, she would enjoy her job posting, and would... come back!
In the meantime, we will be taking a course at the university for the 3 months that she is gone. We took a placement test earlier this week, and classes start at the beginning of March. Please be praying for us, that we would make new friends at our courses, that our Slovene knowledge would deepen, and we would have a good time doing it!
We were so excited to visit one of the other churches in the Pentecostal movement, a church in Murska Sobota. In the type of coincide that only God can bring together, the pastor of that church was actually a friend of ours from college, at Continental Theological Seminary in Belgium. We had a wonderful time sharing with them! We introduced ourselves in Slovene, as well as we could, and then Dan shared his testimony, and how the Lord orchestrated everything for us to be able to come here. We look forward to being able to visit more of the churches in the future, and building relationships.
Speaking of relationships, we've been very excited to get to know some of the children and parents from Aidan's school! In the afternoons, we all seem to pick up our kids at the same time, which has been a great way to meet. These pictures were taken on a hill near Aidan's school, where we got to have some fun. In the next few months, we're hoping to meet some of the parents for coffee, or arrange play dates, so we would appreciate you praying for those relationships as well!
As always, we appreciate your prayers, your love, and your support! Thank you for making it possible for us to minister in Slovenia, we couldn't be here without you!