From a sunny patio

The weather here is predictably unpredictable: party sunny/cloudy with spurts of rain every couple of hours. Of course we get rained on whenever we leave the umbrellas at home.

Graeme & Enie, the cat in Marnie's backyard

We rode our new bikes to church this morning and got to see the Jordaan area of the city. We’ve been slowly exploring the different areas—first on foot and now on wheels (relief!). We will get our residence permit and work permits validated next week and move into our new place on Friday. We discovered a few great design, food and expat fairs that we’ll attend in these next couple weeks: there’s always something happening in this city. What amazing flower shops we’ve already seen! And from what little grocery shopping we’ve done, food seems to be much cheaper here. We’ve eaten meals on $10/day for the pair of us. Marnie provides bfast but lunch & dinner is on us.

We got away from Toronto OK. The good Lord Jesus went before us to get our 5 very overweight bags on with only having to pay extra for 1 of them..YAY IcelandAIr. We learned Icelandic all the way over the oceans—did you know Iceland is only the size of Kentucky? We arrived in Amsterdam, took a cab to Marnie, our host’s house and tried to keep ourselves from falling asleep for a week. We’re just now feeling a bit better waking up before 10am; jet lag has never hit so hard.

We are excited to move into our new place and stop living out of suitcases. I am glad and sad to be moving into a furnished home. I kind of wish it only had bare bones furniture (built in?) and then we got to stock it with furnishings. But then Graeme reminds me that we should be thankful to not have to spend our money on things like that. It’s just that there’s so many BEAUTIFUL homewares here…just found an antique studio today that had lights, bar stools, tables, all sorts of things I have been dreaming about out of my Marie Claire Maison magazine.

At church this morning the pastor and his wife (only been here 2 years having been sent from Ohio Vineyard church) described the Dutch younger people in the learning/exploring phase having parents that rejected religion and them being in a place of never having thought about God before. We get the sense that this city is hungry for established Christians and that every church will have simple sermons and simple messages. We might experience growth and greater community within the small groups and perhaps be part of the teaching/leading efforts. The whole service is English/Dutch which means that the worship songs were in English with Dutch under each line on the power-point and the sermon was translated in chunks by a Dutch-native. Great way to learn Dutch, too bad the only words we learn are things like “majestic” and “hallelujah” ahha! It makes for a super long sermon, but more inclusive…it will be interesting to compare how other churches approach a similar challenge.


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