On Sunday afternoon, Michelle and I left Lexington for Vienna, Austria. We will be part of a six person team from Broadway Christian Church that will be serving for the next two weeks at a place called Haus Edelweiss. It is here that TCM International Ministries operates their pastor training institute. They will be holding classes for approximately 60 pastors who are coming here from mainly Eastern European nations. Our role will be to serve meals, clean, and do other maintenance and grounds work while we are here. After our two weeks here, we will then be spending the next two weeks in France, Belguim, and Holland.
Our first day was to travel to Austria. We departed Lexington at 3:05 pm on Sunday, March 27th. Our day started well. We met our son Andrew in the Chicago airport. He is a commercial pilot for American Airlines and was coming from Cleveland to Chicago and was then on his way to catch a flight to his home in Tampa. It was really good to see him.
Our flight from Chicago to London was great. I slept nearly the entire time. Not so good for Michelle. A young girl sitting behind her kept kicking the back of her seat the entire flight. What started out as a good day, however, soon took a turn for the worse. On our approach into London the pilot told us there were some very high cross winds at the airport. After being placed in a holding pattern for 30 minutes or so, we finally got the go ahead to land. It was a pretty rough landing. Winds were about 50-60 mph.
Once we got on the ground I turned on my phone and saw that there was a message from British airways cancelling our next flight to Vienna. So, after we got off the plane (and after we caught the shuttle bus to our terminal and went through security again!) we went to the British Air customer service counter to rebook us on a another flight. The only flight we could get on sent us through Prague and then on to Vienna. But, we had a considerable time to wait. We arrived in London at 7:45 am and did not depart for Prague until 2:30 pm. We arrived in Prague at 5:45 pm and once again go through security before boarding our final flight of the day. After going through the security check we finally got to our gate at 6:10 pm just as the plane was beginning to board. I told Michelle that our luggage would probably not make it.
We actually arrived at the Vienna airport about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We were in the very back of the plane, so it took us a while to get off and head for the baggage claim, but when we got there our luggage was waiting for us at the carousel. Thank you Lord! So, we got our bags and headed to linkup with the TCM folks they sent to pick us up. Because we were early, we had to wait a few minutes on them to arrive. But, after about 10 minutes they came and we headed out for Haus Edelweiss where we got checked into our room, linked up with our other teammates from Broadway and then went to bed.
Today, we will be getting an orientation on the school and what our duties will be, and then we are off to visit downtown Vienna and do some sightseeing before the students arrive later today and tomorrow.
I plan on posting each day, so follow along with us on our European journey!