Saturday, 29 June 2013

29 June - Milestones

I cannot believe that we've been here a month, that the 29th May I was locking up the flat, saying goodbyes, driving out of PMB, having coffee with family, sobbing goodbyes, and leaving South African soil. It sounds quite dramatic.
I'm not sure if everybody reading this knows what a drama it really was getting here. If you do, skip ahead, otherwise, read on - it's like an action movie ;)

So last year September Malcolm applied to DAAD for a scholarship to do his doctorate here, after years of praying and dreaming about it. We'd been engaged for 9 months and we finally decided that we just had to set a date and have some faith that things would be ok. So we went ahead and set our wedding date for the 23rd March - at this point Malcolm hadn't finished his masters yet, he was unemployed, we didn't know if and when we'd leave South Africa, I was working mostly part-time and our parents were still supporting us. It really was a major leap of faith but we knew God was with us.
In November, Malcolm heard that for his DAAD application he needed proof of his master's submission by the 31st December, which meant that in a week and a half he had to finish up the writing and get everything read through to submit it before Varsity closed on the Friday the 15th. On the Monday Malcolm went to faculty to find out if everything was on track for his submission on the Friday, only to find out that the office was closing on the Wednesday at midday. It was a crazy two days, but Malcolm managed to submit his thesis in literally the last hour.
sleep-deprived Malcolm about to
submit his thesis :D 

DAAD was quiet for a long time and wedding planning went on. Malcolm heard he needed his marks by a certain date but they were still unavailable and his application was reviewed without them.
In February Malcolm got a job with Talbot after about a week of job-hunting. I think it was also in February that we heard that he got the funding to go to Germany! What a roller-coaster!
We also found out then that we'd need to be in Germany in June (though there was the possibility of it being December). The whole Germany-thing was put on the back-burner a bit during March as we were preparing for the wedding - the most magical day of my life- until we found out on our last day of honeymoon that it was definitely June.
What ensued was a rush of getting police clearance, sorting out accommodation, getting biometric photos, looking into health insurance, researching tickets, etc etc etc. Every time we thought we had things under control something would go wrong, and each time we submitted it to God and trusted that this was His plan for us, the situation turned around. Generosity in our wedding was incredible (both in the actual wedding and in gifts), people were so generous with helping out as we prepared to leave. Documents came in the nick of time, authorities were strangely kind, doors opened.
our reception venue in progress, which we used for free.
 And tables, chairs etc etc etc were also free.
Looking back at the last 9 months I am astounded at how far we've come, how God has sustained us and provided for our every need in one way or another. It's mind-blowing just thinking of all the things that have happened, the favour that we've had. I'm terrified to forget it all and to become cold to what God has done. It's truly a miracle that Malcolm and I are sitting in our home, in Germany, happily married and taken care of.

So although we miss home and our friends and lives there, we're so excited to be here and to see what we're here for. It's an adventure, and we're so blessed to be in it together :)
Anyway, so today we didn't have much planned and (stuck record alert!) it was cold and miserable. However, we picked up a brochure about Dunnwald and set off determined to see some of the things featured.

one of the "hochkreuze"... we must have walked
 past this many times but only noticed it today! 

The wheat in the fields is growing and
looking really beautiful. 

this is the entrance to the "Kloster"

St Nikolaus. The oldest grave there is
dated 1572 for Joha Halfma" 

It was really nice, walking around the town seeing things we didn't know were so significant, there seems to be history in everything and monuments all over. 
We spent the afternoon at home and then after supper we went for another walk around. Usually in the evening when the sun comes out we walk in the forest, but today we decided to rather head into town and see what was going on. It was nice to hear people laughing in their homes, see people gathered out on their balconies, braaiing in the garden, meeting in pubs and restaurants... It was a really nice atmosphere and it was amazing when it would hit us "We're in Germany!!!" 

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