Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday in Stockholm

After a long week here in Uppsala, we all headed out for a Saturday adventure in Stockholm! It was a great and exhausting day....tons to fun, and TONS of walking. Here are some of our favorite shots from our day in that beautiful city. Enjoy!

Stephanie enjoying a huge coffee at a famous cafe in Old Stockholm....they take coffee very serious here!

The staff women in front of the famous red and yellow buildings in Old Stockholm (called Gamla Stockholm) The cafe was in the first floor of the red building.

Reece enjoying one of his favorite Swedish foods--KORV! ...from a street vendor of course!

This is a pretty view looking over the Stockholm bay...the architecture here is so beautiful!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Uppsala student life

It's day 9 here in Sweden, and already we've seen God do cool things.

This week we've jumped right into ministry which means ALOT of initiating with students and building relationships. Everyday we go out to different "nations" which is basically where everyone hangs out all the time-- at the nations we eat lunch and meet different people. It's so easy to meet new people here because you just tell them you're an American who has only been here a week, and they want to know about why you're here and what you're doing.

Through eating lunch at the nations I've met 4 friends who I've gotten to have significant talks with about Jesus, their beliefs (of lack thereof) about God, and so much more! It's been great. There is a great cultural thing called Fika, which helps us build relationships with the friends we meet here. Basically Fika is something friends meeting up for coffee/tea and pasteries. It's anytime you meet up to eat and hang out outside of a normal meal time. Someone going to Fika with you is a big deal because they commit to spending at least 2 hours with you when they plan to fika.

2 days ago I had my first Fika with a student here, and it was GREAT. It actually was a student from Finland, who is here studying in Sweden. Her English is beautiful and she also fluently speaks Swedish, Finnish, and Spanish. The students here are amazing. Uppsala University is comprable to the Harvard of Scandanavia if that gives you any idea who we're dealing with.
here are a few of us at our very first fika at a local coffee shop back to Fika. My Finnish friend Nadia hung out with me for fika the other day and we had a 2 hour conversation about who Jesus is to her and how that can and does transform our lives. Nadia is unusual for most students in Uppsala--she calls herself religious, which is very taboo here. There is a terrible stereotype here with being a person of faith. People assume you are brainwashed and stupid really. It was so interesting talking with her, and I'm excited that I was able to introduce the truth that not only is Jesus a good person, but he is God and Savior. Please pray for Nadia--that these essential truths would become real to her in the coming weeks.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Learning the City

It's our 2nd full day here and we are surprised to have seen much of Uppsala and learned a lot about this great city! Already, today we have moved out of one housing location and into our more permanent residence. The picture above is an attempt to capture the hilarity involved in our move. Imagine 20 people walking with all their stuff to the bus stop, loading onto a public bus and moving across the city was a highlight of my day today.

Another really fun highlight has been seeing this beautiful city we're living in! Above, is Reece and I in front of Domkyrkan (pronounced: Dom Shirkin-- it is the HUGE church in the middle of Uppsala). It's amazing and really helpful for us as we try to navigate throughout the city--you can see the awesome steeple from almost any part of the city!

In the last couple of days we've also gotten to tour the campus of Uppsala University, where we will spend so much of our time. We visited the Economikum building (Economics) where Agape Sverige (the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry here in Sweden) had a poster where students could tell what their thoughts of God were. It was an encouragement to the local missionaries that anyone even wrote on the poster...let alone filling it up!

Tomorrow we will experience our first church service here...It'll be interesting considering it'll be in Swedish. We'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We made it!

It's 10pm our time here in Uppsala, Sweden and we're finally nestled in our beds at the hostel! After a whopping 12 hours on the plane and numerous layovers we are exhausted and very ready to sleep!

When we arrived, some local missionaries with Campus Crusade here in Sweden invited us to their apartment for dinner--which was such a blessing on so many levels. We were sick of airport food over the past few days and also needed some company to stay up so we could adjust to the new time zone. Above is a picture of me (stephanie) and some of the girls! ...And yes, those are scarfs we're wearing. The high was in the 50's today here, so we were bundled up as soon as we got here....quite a surprise to me. I quickly noted that I didn't pack nearly enough "wintery" clothes, so I'll have to grab a warmer coat in the next few days.

It was great hanging out with the local missionaries and picking their brains about what ministry is like here. We can't wait to tell you about that firsthand in the next few days!

Thanks for the prayers...we are SOOO glad to be here finally!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Heading to Sweden tomorrow!!!!!!

Tomorrow at around 3 pm our team (pictured above) boards the plane to Sweden! For the past 2 days, we have been in Greensboro getting to know our team and the country we'll be serving in this summer. It's been so exciting and we're thrilled to finally leave tomorrow! The picture above is from tonight, at the commissioning service we had. Teams heading to locations all over the globe gathered to pray and celebrate with anticipation what the Lord will do in and through us this summer. It was awesome!

For me (Stephanie) this will be my first overseas mission trip and also my first time overseas! I'm a little nervous--especially about the plane flight because I tend to get a bit motion sick when I fly, so please pray for me tomorrow.

Just FYI, our blog will be the main way we keep in touch throughout the summer since we won't have access to phones. We'll probably get sporadic internet access as well, so we'll update as soon as we can! Thanks so much for your prayers and for keeping up with us this summer!