Thursday, February 07, 2008

My Latest Favorite Thing

About Our European Flat:
The radiator in the bathroom is designed to be a towel-warmer and dryer. You hang several towels over it at a time, even.

You can also lean against it for a quick back-warm-job. Ahhhh.

Ok, I know this is a lame post to make after a week of no word about our move. Forgive me. Here's the skinny: we arrived a week ago in the Netherlands and set to work legally registering our presence (beauracracy is the true international language). We also started arranging our new apartment (or "flat" as they call it on this side of the pond). Right now, the Europe Church office is still in our livingroom (we're living in what used to be the Europe Church HQ), but I hope to soon be able to move the stuff down to the actual "office" across the hall so we can start distinguishing between work and home life (always a problem with church work).

But all in all, we're LOVING it here. The work is a bit stressful, and living out of a suitcase and trying to do your job on the run is a pain. But for all the stress and trouble, we haven't doubted our decision to come and start this new life and step into this new ministry. The neighborhood is as cute as we remembered it from our visit in November - and we're now able to have short, halting conversations with the natives (if we can keep them from replying in English, that is).

And just to make sure we know why we're here - surprise! - we're preaching this weekend. Christie is the "PJ" (preach jockey) for a Solid Rock Cafe tomorrow night. I'm speaking at church this Sunday. I'm tempted to at least introduce myself in Dutch. We'll see.

It is strange to be an immigrant worker. Even with all the support and relative guarantees I enjoy here, there is still so much uncertainty. I can't imagine what it must be like for an undocumented worker in the States, facing so much legal and cultural persecution. My heart goes out to them even more, now. (And perhaps those xenophobic white Americans ought to try living abroad for a while, to give them some perspective!) :-)

At any rate, while I miss the USAmerican Northwest, I'm excited to be here in the European Northwest. From Seattle to Rotterdam... at least the weather's not a big change. Hey... is that sunshine out there? Ach, must've been my imagination.

Peace and Blessings, everyone! (I'll try to make a more insightful observation soon.) :-)

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  • Having lived in Brazil, a U.S. citizen in a "foreign" land, I know what it's like. Though I was legally in that country through marriage, I was unable to obtain most of the documents I needed until gaining a permanent visa, and the visa took until two months before I moved back to the States to be issued (it has long since expired as I never returned there).

    Now I minister bivocationally to Brazilians in the United States, and it isn't easy for them. Many have been here for years, have property, jobs and American-born children who barely speak Portuguese. The hatred or at least fear of neighbor exhibited by many here in the U.S. terrifies them. Can you imagine leaving your home in the morning not knowing whether you'd return home that night because you might get picked up and deported? What about your children at school? Your home and belongings?

    Anyway, glad to see you posting and adjusting to life in Europe. Keep it coming!

    By Blogger Adam Gonnerman, at 8:05 PM  

  • I personally am extremely impressed by your radiator/towel dryer/back warmer, keep sharing amusing tidbits like that and I'll definitely keep reading!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 11:29 PM  

  • The radiator rocks. Glad to hear you guys are making out well. I knew you would. It's downhill from here, the hard part was deciding to go! I sure hope to visit you there. Keep up the great work, hugs to Christie.

    By Anonymous Tim Salam, at 10:57 PM  

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