Friday, 22 February 2019

Looking Forward to Spring...

This last couple of weeks has definitely become warmer here in Slovenia. I didn't realise how much I was missing the sun and warmth until it has started to appear again. I love Spring, the season of growth and new life and it is such a blessing here to easily go and see it happening close up. Last Saturday, my housemate, another friend and I took the opportunity to go on a walk firstly along a river and then on the way back we stopped at this lake. I can't believe how close they are to Ljubljana and how easy it could be to get there on the bus!
As part of our walk along the river we climbed up to the top of a pile of rocks. It was absolutely breathtaking. Recently I have been reading a series of books where one of the main characters likes to go on hikes and climbs etc. Every time he sees an amazing view he shouts out loud the beginning of Psalm 19 - The heavens declare the glory of God. I mentioned this to my friend and she decided to shout it out too. It was a surreal but amazing moment looking out at the work that our God has done! We then spent the next 20 minutes or so arguing whether a rock formation looked like a sheep standing on its hind legs or not...

Two weeks ago I wrote that nothing really changes, that I have got into a routine of sorts. Famous last words! The really big news is that the missionary family in my church from Australia have made the decision to leave the mission field at the end of the summer. This was for personal family reasons and is no reflection on the church here. This was a big surprise to many people as they have been here for a number of years and do a lot of good work in the church. The Sunday it was announced led to a lot of tears, many people are very sad to see them go. For me personally this will affect my work here although I don't know any of the specifics yet. Please be praying for this situation, for the family as they return to Australia and seek what God is leading them to next. Please also pray for the kids that they will be able to settle into a new culture and especially as they face going to school in English for the first time. Please also be praying for my church that wise decisions would be made as to how we operate next academic year. A few months ago I would have had no idea that this was coming but it is interesting how God works. By the time they leave I will have been here for a year and a half, I will be a lot more prepared both in the culture and the language to take more responsibility.

Talking of the language, that's the other big change that has happened this week. I applied to go to the language course again but I fully expected that there would not be a course for me and that I would go back to my tutor. To be honest that's what I was hoping for. I have a good relationship with my tutor and I have learnt a lot from her. The benefits of joining the language course though are that it's cheaper and also it's a chance to get to know more people and more non christians. Last time I applied for the course I was turned away because I was too good for the beginners but not good enough for the higher class. It turns out however that I've improved quite a lot in a semester and this time I was accepted to the advanced class. For the first forty five minutes or so I felt completely out of my depth. It was a shock to the system that not only did the teacher only speak in Slovene but that it was also the main means of communication between students! Everyone else seemed to have a much higher level of vocabulary than me, I was half convinced a mistake had been made. About half the people in my class are Slavic and it's obviously a lot easier for them to learn Slovene than it is for me. After the break though I was able to settle in a lot better. We focussed on grammar and suddenly I understood everything that was going on. It made me feel a lot better, they may know more words than me but I currently have a better grasp of grammar. Hopefully it'll all settle down and balance out. My housemates tell me that it's good for me and that I should be able to catch up quickly. I'm praying that that will be the case. In the meantime I now need to get used to the fact that my entire weekly schedule has been turned upside down...

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