Thursday, June 26, 2008


I have finished uploading most of the photos to our SmugMug account.  You can browse and download the full resolution photos here.  If you need help on how to download them, check here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We made it home safely.  Air travel is always an adventure.  I am working on processing the pictures and I am going to try to start uploading them tonight.  I will post again when they are ready.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gloriette behind Schonbrunn Palace

It is quite the hike up to here, but has a great view of Vienna.

Fountain at Schonbrunn Palace

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Marionnetten Theatre

No shows today, but they have the puppets in here.

The grand fountain in the Mirabell Gardens

Maria & children had fun circling the fountain in Sound of Music

Jeff in Dwarf Garden

Mirabell Gardens

Do Re Me steps in the background

Pegasus Fountain

Maria and the children marched around this horse. It is in the
Mirabell Gardens.


In Austria, the farmers open up their homes as Bread & Breakfast
places in the summer. They call them Zimmers and supposedly only cost
about 25 Euro for a night. Sounds like a great deal, but need a car
to get to them since they're in the country.

Town of Mondsee

Mondsee Church

Inside Mondsee church

Basilika Mondsee

The Sound of Music wedding scene was filmed at this church in Mondsee
where the Baron & Maria were married. Mondsee is east of Salzburg.

Jeff at Frauenschuh Cafe

Mondsee, Austria

Lake Fuschl

Gate to Abbey in Sound of Music

Sound of Music Gazebo

Sound of Music house

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg Cathedral

St Peters Cemetary

In Sound of Music this is where the Von Trapp family hides.

Jeff at top of fortress

View from the fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Salzburg, Austria

Train to Salzburg

We have arrived in Salzburg. We had a slight language barrier
problem. Apparently we were sitting in reserved seats at first so had
to lug all our baggage to front of train.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Men's room at Stockwirt

Little boy's room at Stockwirt

Women's bathroom at Stockerwirt

Diane at Stockerwirt

Lisa at Stockerwirt

Authentic Austrian Restaurant
They gave us an English menu with the food returned in German. Made
things fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Students Leave

Today most of the students left after they had taken their final exam and eaten lunch. They had a short closing ceremony with them and we exchanged small gifts with our prayer partners. This was something our team was not aware we were supposed to do so we gave our prayer partners chocolate. Jeff's prayer partner gave him a crystal fish dish and Sandy's prayer partners gave her an angel knick knack and a doily. They were very sweet gifts. We hope they make it home without getting broken. It is now very quiet here. A few students are staying over for the next session(s) and some will leave tomorrow or Saturday based on their departure times. For students who were traveling the Food Services team made sack lunches.

We started final clean-up today and Debra got to join Sandy & Dick in the Horse Barn. We've had fun with Duvet covers and making bunk beds. This evening the staff had a short appreciation reception for us. We have one more full day here and we depart for Salzburg bright and early Saturday morning. We will go to an authentic Austrian restaurant tomorrow night.

Food Services Team

Back: Lisa, Karen, Anna, Leah, Ruth
Front: Sunny, Lela

Oreo Cookie Dessert

Oreos and vanilla ice-cream

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Benevolence Center & Fireside

Yesterday the students had an opportunity to come to the Benevolence Center for 45 minutes. The Benevolence Center has gently used clothing, over the counter medicine and vitamins, and various donated items. This time they were such things as donated Avon perfume sets, Coloring books & Crayons, sugar free butterscotch pudding, first aid kits, combs, chapstick and misc items. The sugar free butterscotch pudding was not a big hit, but everything else was pretty much gone. The Adult Multi-vitamins went the fastest and then Children's vitamins. They seem big on Ibuprofen, but not Tylenol or Aspirin. The Center also includes several used books. They take whatever they want from the center for free, it is all donated.

In order to control it a bit they only put a little bit out each session of the clothing and medicine. This keeps them from being completely depleted and the next set of students from not getting anything. Sometimes they get donations from the short-term workers who come each session and sometimes they don't so they try to spread it out a bit.

In the evening, they had a bonfire where everyone could come. They had asked Debra to speak about the reason short-term workers come and her experiences on other mission trips. She was very nervous, but did a great job. Then two of the Ubekistan students gave their testimony. Both testimonies were extraordinary. It would be way too much to reiterate in the blog. The main premise is that in Ubekistan, the primary religion is Muslim. If you are not Muslim, then you are a shameful person. The conversion from Muslim to Christianity is very traumatic experience, but God has done great things through the Ubekistan students. It is difficult to imagine that about 8-11years ago these same individuals would have killed a person who converted from Muslim religion to Christianity. I will have to share more about them when we get home. It started to rain towards the end of the evening and most people ran back to their rooms. Some of us decided to stay and still roast marshmallows. No Smores, but burnt marshmallows are always yummy!


Tuesday was a busy day for us. Everyday starts pretty much the same. Getting the coffee ready and cleaning up after each meal. The second Tuesday of the session allows the students to come to the benevolence center to get donated items, and a campfire with testimonies and marshmallows after dinner.

Before we left, we asked people if they wanted to donate from a list of needs for the Haus. The list includes a wide range of needed medications, food supplies and clothing. Last week, Sandy and some of the other people on the Guest services team went through all the donations supplies and organized and disposed of the expired medications. Once everything is setup and prepared, the center is open for 45 minutes to the students to come and collect the items they need. A line forms at the top of the stairs about 30 minutes before it opens. The most desired items are the vitamins and medications. We are told that one months worth of childrens vitamins would cost an entire month's salary in most of the countries that the students come from. A bit of crowd control is needed to keep the medicine cabinet from being overrun. You could see that the students waiting in line were nervous that there would be anything left when they got up there. It is truely amazing how important these items are to the students. They are so excited to have such an opportunity to get these medications and clothing. Books of all sorts are donated to TCM. The books are sorted and put into the stacks in the library by the resident librarians. Any extra books or duplicates are also put into the benevolence center for the students to take. I helped pass out boxes to hold the books that the students selected.

The other tradition for the students and staff is to have a campfire up on the hillside above the Big Haus. Debra was asked to say a few words about why short-term workers give up their vacation to come here and serve the students. I think she did a great job and all of the stories revolve around the same theme. That we all serve the same God and are bonded by a common belief. There are five students from Uzbekistan here. This is extremely important and the testimonies given were the most amazing one that I have ever heard. Uzbekistan is a Muslim country and it is illegal to be a Christian there or to teach the Gospel. One of the testimonies described how this student was a devout Muslim who was very proud of their religion and their country. It would be a great shame to a person's family and country to change to a different religion not to mention it could cost you your life. I am not sure how much I can capture here or is safe for them to say here, but this student is now leading a school to teach others how to be missionaries and to start churches in that country. If you are interested in the whole story, I would be glad to re-tell their story. I don't think that I am going to forget it any time soon. These tesimonies were so compelling that everyone stood for probably about an hour and then in the rain and cold to hear the whole translation. There was no way we were leaving until both testimonies had been given. They normally have a bag of marshmallows to roast because the students have never seen a marshmallow before. After the testimonies were finished most people went in to get out of the now heavy rain and skipped the marshmallows. Some of the short-term workers stayed in the rain to roast marshmallows. I am sure you can guess some of them. And some students stayed to try this uniquely American cusine.

Other than that, more of the same. We are all getting pretty efficient at cleaning bathrooms and I can clean coffee pots in my sleep now. My habbit of peeking in garbage cans to see if they need emptied may be getting worse.

Guest Services & Support Services team

Faye, Amy, Jerry, Diane, Sandy & Jeff

Name that cave

This is where they put the short-term workers who don't follow the

Euro 2008 Futbol Coca Cola Can

Special table setting for tonight

On the last night the students are here the tables are decorated more
with placemats and candles.

Diane putting out napkins

Tonight is the final night with the students, they take final exams


Last night we had a fireside get together. Karen, on the left, is a
short term worker on the maintenance team. She is also the wife of
one of the professors. Turns out the professor used to teach Pastor
Storms. Lisa is on the right.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amy helping in Benevolence Center

Amy is an ICU nurse from Atlanta, Georgia. She's part of the short-
term worker team and with Guest Services.

Jeff & Sandy working hard in the dining room

Lisa working hard on the kitchen

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Roses on trellis

More Roses

Mexican Girl Roses

Debra & Faye at Rose Garden

Baden, Austria

Rosarium Doblhoff Park

Rose Garden in Baden

The garden features over twenty thousand rose plants representing six hundred varieties.

Sunday Service & Baden, Austria

This morning we had worship service with the students. It was an interesting experience since the Ukraine students led it and then what they said was translated to English. One time they had all of singing Amazing Grace in our own native tongue, which sounded neat. Then, they had those who knew English sing another song and then they sang it in Russian.

The service was a bit emotional at one point as the Uzbekistan students reported that one of their brothers had been arrested yesterday for professing his faith. We do not know yet what will happen to him. The neat part was one of the Uzbekistan students received his certificate today and he was very proud. He told us he comes from a very small village and did not have money to come, but God provided the way for him.

For communion, they broke actual bread, no crackers and had juice like usual. We then had a group picture afterwards. The funny part is they said if we wanted a group picture on our own camera to put them on the ledge, so there was this whole line of cameras.

After lunch we were able to go to a town called Baden, which is about 15 minutes from the Haus. It is a cute town with lots of pretty landscaping and walking paths. We had yummy ice-cream at Ice Peter ice-cream parlor. Jeff and Sandy both tried the Tiramisu and Sandy also tried the Banana. We saw the Beethoven house and walked through the Rose Garden.

Parish St Stephen Church in Baden


Baden, Austria