Monday, June 30, 2008


This whole raising support thing continues to really be an adventure. Before leaving for PFO I carefully didn't entertain many thoughts about how I was going to go about raising all my support. But being here has been an opportunity to see God work in the area of my budget. I have continued to almost daily receive more commitments (THANKS!). He's even provided by lowering my budget and therefore raising the percentage that I have "in the bank." But most of all I've enjoyed the general sense of peace that has come over me the last couple of days. One could attribute it to the increased confidence as I come closer to my goal. One could attribute it to being with my fellow future VCS teachers since they're in the same boat. One could attribute it to many sources I'm sure... but I choose to attribute it to a loving God who knew I needed a break. Even though I've had a couple of decisions that were "no", there is an overriding sense of peace. Doubt is under there and I'm sure it will pop up in future days, but He is enabling me to trust Him and not worry. Remember Romans 11:36--I can't but attribute it to Him.

It's not over yet feel free to keep praying!!!

Box Update

Today I spoke to a delightful man whose name I believe is Tom from the New Jersey Post Office. He had four boxes that were refused by a warehouse. They were a little confused about where to return them to, so I quickly claimed them and asked him to return them to me. He said he'll do that today or tomorrow and even keep his eyes open for the other three. What a relief!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Niagara Falls

Niagara River falling over the American Falls on the US side.
The American falls
Horseshoe Falls on Canadian side
Water falling over Horseshoe Falls
Niagara River tumbling towards the falls

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why you should always include a return address

As you can tell from a previous post I was able to pack up some of my belongings to be sent ahead on a container to Vienna. I happily went about the business of figuring out what to send, how big the boxes were, how much they weighed, enlisting my father to carry them to the post office, etc. Little did I know the drama, the angst, the fear, the uncertainty that was to unfold.

Apparently I neglected to include in the address the simple letters: MOT. Now this isn't my fault, I wasn't told to write this, in fact one of our contacts on the shipping end neglected to tell us. But when fellow future VCS teachers were getting their boxes rejected because it didn't have these 3 letters we all began to get a tiny bit worried. It has been a topic of conversation here at PFO (pre-field orientation) a few times. Suffice it to say that the container is being held back a week to get everyone's boxes that got sent back to their houses once again to New Jersey. Which would be find and dandy if 1) all my boxes traveled at the same rate, and 2) THEY HAD A RETURN ADDRESS!!! According to the tracking devise, three boxes have been refused and sent back to sender (which unless I forgot adding a return address or some miracle happens doesn't really exist), one has been attempted to be delivered and will be sent back if it's not claimed and two are still roaming the country hopefully to at least be found. I've talked to numerous post office personnel (some who forget they know Kristine and then conveniently remember the next time I've called) and others that try to be helpful, but don't really know anything. I called Consumer Affairs and the Georgia Recieving office for Dead Mail...not a very comforting thought. They said it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months for the boxes to get there!!! Which isn't too bad--but what if they get auctioned off before I can find them?!! What a nightmare!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Letchworth Park, New York

Grand Canyon of the East...what do you think?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can this day get any better?

Aside from the great flat news, I have other good news. I'll be teaching kindergarten next year!! I'm really excited about this because I have loved my kinders here in the States and was really hoping to be able to teach kindergarten overseas. But I knew they had already filled the position so I wasn't too hopeful. But today John, our principal, had us elementary staff sit down quickly and chat about what we would prefer to teach and lo and behold, Carrie would rather teach first and I'm overjoyed with kinder so it works well all around.

I have a flat!!!!!

When I woke up this morning I had a wonderful email from Judie saying she had my flat all arranged. Finally...something concrete about Vienna! Apparently it's four stops from the school and the best part...FURNISHED!!! Actually, this might be the best's 100 euro less than I had tentatively budgeted for! Isn't God good?

Monday, June 23, 2008


So my favorite thing about upstate New York is how green it is. I'm amazed everyday (all 2 of them-but it seems so much longer) how lush the land is. It's so refreshing for my California eyes that are used to brown, brown, brown. I even saw a path that was covered with grass. One would never see a dirt path with grass in Southern California! Logically I know that this is due to the fact that NY gets more rain than CA...but it's so weird to see. It's crazy to look out the window at dinner and see the rain falling steadily and the sun shining brightly. It's even stranger to walk into a store with some clouds and then to hear the rain pounding on the roof a half an hour later. Who knew something like this was possible?!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

College Flatts

Home for two weeks: left side, middle floor, middle set of four windows: Rm. 210

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Deja vu

I left yesterday/today for my pre-field orientation at Houghton College in New York. The trip was a saga in itself. Taking off at midnight, arriving in Buffalo at 11:30...kind of weird. It feel strangely familiar being back on a college campus. Meeting new people, eating cafeteria food (trying to decide what might be the healthiest choice, but really just wanting the pizza), having a new roommate, sharing a bathroom with 3 other girls... Not bad, I just never thought I'd find myself in such a place again. Of course the real fun begins tomorrow @ 3:00pm...session after session...I'm sure that will remind me of college in different ways. But my roommates are asleep and I'm off to try to do the same...although my body and computer still say it's not even 7:00pm yet...we'll see how that works.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Heading out to NY

I'm currently packing for two weeks of training in Houghton, NY. I haven't gotten too far, but it looks like my Moises wants to come too... I tried to tell him he couldn't. But he was having none of it. He just decided to settle himself right down and prevent me from further packing.

Finally after some negotiation and promises of future attention, he gave up his fight and retired to another location.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nickels are worth more than five cents

My mom's maiden name is Nickel and occasionally we'll joke about how she's worth five cents...that the original family was worth a quarter...and how my sisters and I are only two and a half cents...

But my Aunt Jackie is right. I have such a rich, godly heritage in my Nickel family. This past Sunday I was able to share with them my plans for Vienna and they were so supportive...showing interest and asking questions. I know without a doubt that they will be instrumental in supporting me as I'm in Austria, both financially and spiritually. Why, they sat me down right then and there and spent some time praying for me. They prayed for things I hadn't even thought of. But the icing on the cake was when Grandpa piped up right in the midst of the prayer, lifting me and my trip up to God. One might say he hasn't been on top of his game for a couple of years now, so it was especially sweet that he was aware enough to participate. Even better was that he made a special effort to wheel himself over and express his support.

Yep...those Nickels are worth a lot more than any number of cents could express.