After over 3 years of dreaming and planning and preparing and a year of raising support, we are finally in the Czech Republic! Saying our goodbyes Wednesday was really hard, but we were so encouraged to see our families be excited for us in the midst of the sadness that came with us leaving. God has made it so abundantly clear to us and those closest to us that this is His purpose for our family, and we are even more confident of that reality now that we are living in the land to which He has called us. We are so grateful to be back with the Váhalas as well. The kids are already thick as thieves, and it has been so good catching up with them (and being in the same time zone as them). We have a lot to do before we’re “settled,” but at least we can work through our list of to-dos here instead of trying to do it from the US.
Since this is our 2nd newsletter in 3 days, we wanted to keep it brief, but we also wanted to share several praises from our trip and prayer requests for the days ahead. Please take a second to read through the many ways God provided for us during our travels:
- When we got to the gate in GSP, they told us we could check as many bags as we wanted all the way to Vienna, so we ended up checking all 3 carseats, my guitar, and an extra bag. It was great not having to carry them through the DC airport on the way to our connecting flight.
- After we landed in DC, a girl named Ashley who had been on our plane asked if we were missionaries moving our family overseas. We’re not sure how she knew (my “I’m a missionary moving overseas” shirt was in my suitcase), but we’re so glad she did because she helped us get through the DC airport and sat right in front of us on our flight to Vienna. She was on her way to Iraq to help women who have come out of captivity, and she is also a worship leader hoping to help Iraqis write worship songs in their heart language. The kids took an instant liking to her, so much so that we were able to leave Lily with her while we checked in and took Micah to the bathroom in the DC airport. She was a God-send!
- The kids did unbelievably well on our 8-hour flight to Vienna. Jack cried for a total of 3 minutes, and that was only as he was getting settled for his 4-hour nap. Lily slept 3 1/2 hours, and Micah slept 2 hours. None of us got anything close to a full-night’s sleep, but praise God the kids slept as much as they did. We had several people in very broken English tell us our kids did a great job.
- All 15 of our checked bags arrived and were on the belt as soon as we came out of customs. It took a while to find my guitar, but we found out they had put it on a separate belt to keep it from getting messed up (a novel idea!).
- Although we were offered assistance with moving our bags for the nominal fee of 70 euros (~$80), we were able to very slowly get all our bags out of the airport for the $0.25 it cost to rent a small cart.
- Despite not having cell service, we connected with Anthony a block from the airport and got all our stuff loaded and were on our way to their house in Klenovice within an hour of our plane landing.
And here are some prayer requests for us as we transition and get all our documentation in order:
- Please pray we will catch up on sleep. Jack was really gassy, possibly from the flight, and did not sleep much last night. Thankfully the older two did, but we’re praying the rest of us will get a full night’s sleep tonight.
- Pray we will be able to get the visa process rolling and that we can obtain the documentation we need quickly. We can only stay in the country 90 days as tourists, so getting our visas will be our top priority in the coming months.
- We finally got word that our crate is in transit and scheduled to arrive in Germany March 5. We’re not sure exactly when we will get it, but we are praying it will not get held up for an inspection, which could potentially cost over $1000.
- Pray for us as we set up cell phone plans, bank accounts, etc. We have a lot of little things like that to do as we settle, but thankfully we’re with Anthony and his Czech is pretty good 🙂
Thank you for journeying with us up to this point. This is really only the beginning, and we need your prayers and support now more than ever. Please let us know if you have any questions about our move and how we can be praying for you. We love you and thank God for your partnership in this work!
|Micah and Lily with Joshua and Isaiah||The whole crew in the Váhalas’ living room|