As 2018 is coming to a close we are looking back on an exciting and eventful year. Some of you might have gotten a glimpse of our renovation adventure over at http://zuhause.saltoftheearth.de, (German only). Our renovation was indeed an emotional rollercoaster – starting with a hand-over of keys that almost didn’t happen in time, to a floor layer who ghosted us and ending with water damage just a couple of days after we moved in. We want to thank our friends & family again for the great support in this time – we couldn’t have done it without you! There will be a housewarming party next year with and for all those who helped, as a small token of our gratitude.
All in all we spend April through August not only getting the new place shipshape but also packing all our stuff and prepping the move.
Besides all that renovation craziness we still found time for some short trips. The first one took us to London to meet up with Katie & Reza (Nate’s godparents). We still miss them so we were really happy that we got to see them again. Unfortunately Noam got really sick on the last day so our flight back was everything but pleasant. For those who haven’t flown with a puking toddler – I hope you will never have to experience what we did. In that process we almost missed our flight, but after a last minute sprint through the whole airport we were the second to last people to reach the gate. Also another experience we do not want to relive. If we hadn’t made the flight we probably would’ve had to spend a night at a hospital.
In July we spend two weeks at the Lake Constance. We had already booked this the previous year and couldn’t cancel it anymore. But we were happy to be away from the chaos of the renovation and to exchange the dust & power tools for a stand up paddle board and lots of warm water.
In fall we let a gardener remove the jungle in our backyard and sow some gras instead so that our boys have a little lawn to play soccer next year.
The view from Noam’s rooftop window to the other side of the house is also not too shabby:
We were also really looking forward to the Christmas season this year. Not only do we finally have room for a tree, but Diana also had a special assignment for this year’s Christmas market in Vaihingen: She was responsible for the KAINOS booth. KAINOS (https://kainos-ev.com/) is a non profit ministry that works against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, especially in Stuttgart, as this is one of Europe’s hottest destination for sex tourism. They go into brothels to build up relationships with those women and to offer support and encouragement. Another aspect is the prevention program in which teams go to local schools and congregations to educate and bring awareness to young boys and girls. Diana’s job for the Christmas market was to raise 4000 Christmas cookies that were sold in order to raise funds for the ministry.
Despite some rain we had the most successful year so far at the Christmas market. We were able to talk to a lot of people and had good conversations. We hope that more and more people learn about what’s going on and help us do something about it. If you want to know more please feel free to contact Diana.
We are curious and excited to see what the next year has in store for us. Mike will start a new job within Daimler in January 2019, meaning that he’ll have to travel to Asia again more frequently. Noam will start Kindergarten in summer – but everything else we’ll just have to wait and see what God has in store for us, while we “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34,14, bible verse for the year 2019)
Here are a few more pictures that were taken this year: