Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Denn euch ist heute in der Stadt Davids der Retter geboren, welcher ist Christus, der Herr.  Und das sei für euch das Zeichen:  Ihr werdet ein Kind finden, in Windeln ge wickelt, in der Krippe liegend.
Luke 2:11-12

"Jesus comes as a traveler and if we follow Him, this world
is not our home, but heaven is our destination, and we put
on our shoes and go out into all the world, so more will hear
of Him and journey with us to the cradle of the King."
Ann Voskamp

Thank you for your gifts of encouragement, prayers, and financial support which allow us to serve in Vienna.  Please take a moment to watch the video below to see many of the students we interact with daily and how God is working at ICSV!!

Link to ICSV video 

This Christmas and always, may you share the hope and
grace of Christ wherever God leads you!
Love, the Wiisanens

To receive our email and prayer updates, contact us via email at:  billyandada@wiisanen.com
To give financially, click HERE or the "How to Support" at the upper left of this blog page.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Visas, Taxes, and a Birthday!!

 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world,  from everlasting to everlasting you are God. - Psalms 90:2

I thought I would share a quick update as we have had lots going on the past 2 weeks.  We are enjoying a beautiful weekend here in Vienna, it is sunny and cool.  Our visit to the Visa office went smoothly, they only requested one additional document for Mitchell and Lydia which we were able to quickly provide.  Now we just wait to hear from them and hopefully will be called to pick up our visas soon.  We will keep you posted.  In addition to applying for our visa, we also had to file our Austrian taxes.  Thankfully there is an accountant that works with many of the school staff and he helped us tremendously.  We only had to go to his office to sign the papers!  Very glad to have that taken care of until next year.

  October 2nd we celebrated Mitchell's 16th birthday!!  It's hard to believe he is 16, how time
 flies.  We enjoyed an evening with a few of his close friends.  I was glad I found everything to make his requested dinner, "shrimp and pasta" along with a cookie cake.  Mitchell was very excited about the gift from one friend, "American" bacon.  Apparently there was an earthquake in Vienna during the birthday celebration, the 2nd one in two weeks.  With six teenagers in the apartment, we didn't feel anything!:)

Lydia is enjoying soccer and her team has won 2 of their 3 games! In addition, the middle school students had a photo scavenger hunt around Vienna and her team also won!  Her free time is spent hanging out with friends and babysitting.

This past week we had several events at the school.  Wednesday the Korean Ambassador came and spoke to the high school students.  He was welcomed by the elementary students who sang "Jesus Loves Me" in Korean.  He was well received by the students and was very personable.  He said in his speech he is a Christian and gave a brief testimony to the school.  How cool is that?

(Korean Ambassor, center front)

Praise Night for the high school students was also this week. It is a time for the students to come and worship God together.  Mitchell is part of the praise band and said it was an "awesome" night of worship.  Please pray for these Christian students as they grow in their faith and relationship with Christ and witness to those around them.

Because it is the weekend, it means that I went grocery shopping.  As a matter of fact, I went to 3 different stores yesterday and got some special treats!  A friend told me about a store that has some "American" products, so I got some pop-tarts, syrup, barbeque sauce, and Bisquick yesterday!  In addition I stopped by the Mexican store so we can have enchiladas tonight!  Well I guess I better go for now and get cooking! 

Love and blessings from Vienna, 
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Year 2 begins......

Sweet sign in front of Lydia's friend's home with Austria added.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,  always offering prayer with joy in my very prayer for you all,  in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:3-5

We returned to Vienna on August 8th and look forward to seeing what God has planned for year 2!!  We can hardly believe the first year is behind us!  We are thankful for how God helped our family transition into another culture and serve at ICSV.  The opportunity to share the gospel daily with children who may otherwise not hear is incredible.  We are also able to disciple and mentor other believers as they grow in their relationship with Christ.  In addition, God has allowed us to be part of a church plant (Crossway International Church) that ministers to the English speaking international community in Vienna.  We head to the Visa Office on Monday and are praying our application process goes smoothly and our visas are renewed without difficulty.

During most of summer break, Billy stayed in Vienna to work on graduate classes and renew his teaching certification which will expire in December.  Ada and the children were able to be in Florida most of the summer.  Mitchell had a wonderful opportunity to go to upstate New York and serve at PFO (Pre-Field Orientation) for families going to International Christians Schools this year.  He worked in the children’s program with 2-3 year olds.  Lydia enjoyed being home with friends and attending church camp where she got to minister to children in a youth center and share the gospel. 

We enjoyed our time in the Florida sunshine!!  While home we were blessed to see many relatives and friends, but were sad that it is impossible to see everyone! 
The beach and swimming were the kids favorite activities!!

 Upon returning to Vienna, classes began on August 22nd at ICSV.  Billy is teaching 7 different classes this semester, not all meeting daily.  His classes include Bible (8th, 10th, and 12th grades), physics, current events, 6th grade math, and 6th grade life skills.  He is also part of our church leadership and is helping lead a men’s Bible study.  Ada is not be teaching this year, but is working four days a week at ICSV in the school office.  In addition, she is hosting the women’s Bible study for our church.  Billy teaching new classes and Ada learning a new job at the school has kept us quite busy these first weeks back to Vienna.

 Mitchell, now in 10th grade, has jumped into this year with both feet.  He is playing soccer, in the praise band, part of student union, and has a part in the upcoming school musical.  We were also excited that he was asked to go to the Student Leadership Conference in Budapest this week.  Our 8th grader, Lydia, is playing soccer this year and really enjoying hanging out with her friends from her class.  They can often be found laughing and dancing and making music videos.  We were so grateful that both Mitchell and Lydia were excited to return to Vienna. 

It is starting to look like fall here with the leaves changing.  The cooler temperatures feel wonderful!  We are excited about all God has planned at ICSV this year!  We welcomed many new students and currently have 56 countries represented at the school.  We cannot thank you enough for your faithful support of our ministry at the International Christian School of Vienna (ICSV) and Crossway International Bible Church in Vienna, Austria.  Your prayers, financial support, and encouragement are so appreciated!!

Love and blessing from Vienna,

Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break!! Woohoo:)

There are signs that Spring is coming, but the snow has lingered!
Psalms 115:1 - Not to us, Oh Lord; but to YOUR name be the Glory. 

Last week we enjoyed Spring Break and I wanted to share a little about what is going on at ICSV and in our lives.  While you may not recognize the couple below, rest assured, we have not changed jobs!!  We are still teaching and serving at ICSV!!    

Our costumes for the Talent Show skit - Life Guard and Rock Star!!

ICSV Staff Skit - Countries and states represented in the skit:  Florida, Colorado, Massachusetts, Canada, Slovakia, New Zealand, and Nigeria!  God has brought staff from all over the world to serve at ICSV!!

Middle School skit, Lydia is to the far left, seated at the table.

1. Romanian Mission Trip:
We had a lot of fun back in February participating in the ICSV Talent Show. The Romania team threw the Fundraiser Event at our school, The International Christian School of Vienna, titled ICSV's Got Talent.  Over 120 people showed up to the event and the team raised approximately 1.200 euro.   It was a lot of fun and the students did a great job organizing the event.  They not only set up and cleaned up, they served the dinner and washed dishes.  The Romanian Mission team consist of 31 ICSV students as well as 10 adults for a total of 41 people!   During Spring Break, they served at the River of Life mission for abandoned women and children in  Cornesti, Romania.   The money raised at the Talent Show was given directly to the mission along with other donations from our school families.  They reported that the mission used the money to buy bikes for the children.  The mission children had been praying for bikes and our team got to be God's answer to their prayers!! While in Romania, the team worked laying the foundation for some elderly homes and building a secure fence.  In addition, they put on a children's program.  It was hard work but they did a great job  helping these missionaries.  This year they chose a theme for the trip titled Not to us,  inspired by the verse in Psalm 115:1 that says...

Not to us, Oh Lord; but to YOUR name be the Glory.  
They wanted this trip to be about Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ
The 2013 ICSV Romanian Mission Team
Jessica and Becca, ICSV staff who lead the Romanian Team.

  2. Billy's Family Visits!!:
Billy's parents, Judy and Erik arrived on March 27th!!  We were excited to see them!  They spent several days in Vienna, sight-seeing and visiting the school.  Michael, an ICSV History teacher took us on a great tour of Vienna along with visiting several of the Easter Markets.  On Easter Sunday, we woke to snow and all flew to Paris!  We enjoyed more sight seeing and visiting with Billy's cousin Danny and his wife Claire.   It was so special to be with Billy's parents over our spring break! 

Judy and Erik in front of Rathaus (Vienna City Hall)

Judy, Erik, and Billy in front of Karlskirche in Vienna (St Charles Church)

Eggs at one of the many Easter Markets in Vienna

Sight-seeing in Paris, chilly, but sunny!
Mitchell, Billy, Lydia, and Judy in front of Sacre Coeur

3. Finishing Strong:
We returned to Vienna after a fun visit to Paris and had a few days to rest before retruning to school.  It was good to hear Mitchell and Lydia say they enjoyed Paris, but were glad to be "home".   God has grown them and stretched them in so many ways this year!

It's hard to believe we are in the last 9 weeks of the school year!  The year has flown by so quickly.  Please pray that we would all finish strong and finish well!!  Warmer temperatures and sunshine this week are a welcome change, but it also means "spring fever"!   Already the students come into the classroom asking if we can go outside for class time.  :)   We are more tired lately it seems and there is still much work to be done.  Pray we can stay focused on God's calling here and not looking too far ahead to the summer!   

Fun in Paris, Billy trying to look French!:)

Lydia in front of the Eiffel Tower, a dream come true!
Mitchell playing in praise band during chapel at ICSV.

Speaking of summer, I'm excited to share that we have our plane tickets home to Florida for the summer to see many of your sweet faces!!  Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers!!  We are so grateful for the support we get from friends and family that make it possible to serve at ICSV!!
Love and blessings from Vienna,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's February Already!!!

Psalm 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Wow, I can hardly believe it is February and we are in the second semester of the school year already!  We enjoyed our Christmas Break, especially getting to visit with my Mom (aka Nonnie/Peggy). While my Mom was here, Taru, our former exchange student from Finland also visited us.  She lived with us in Orlando when I was in high school. We did some site seeing around Vienna and also spent a few days in Prague after Christmas.  Prague was beautiful and only a 4 hour train ride from Vienna.  We were able to apartment swap with a family who teaches at the international Christian school in Prague.  It worked great, they got to visit Vienna and we got to visit Prague.  Following a wonderful Christmas Break, we returned to school to finish the first semester with semester exams, grading tests and projects and report cards to complete.

Fireworks display just out our windows on New Years

With the start of the second semester, we have had a few schedule changes.  I am now teaching 2 health classes each day.  Health is only a 1 semester class.  I had half of the 9th graders the first semester and now I have the other half of the 9th graders (Mitchell included) this semester.  In addition, I have a class of 10th, 11th, and/or 12th graders who need the class to graduate.  These are students who entered the school after 9th grade.  It's nice to be repeating the class I taught last semester.  I don't have to spend as much time on lesson planning, but I am teaching an additional hour each day.  I'm enjoying getting to know more of the students and experiencing teaching my own son!:)  I continue to ask God for ways to integrate the Bible into the class.  Recently as we discussed character and its relationship to health, the students were asked to define "good" and "bad" character.  One student then asked how you define "good"?  This lead perfectly into a conversation about God being good and that He sets the standard for good.  Otherwise, if man defines "good" it is all relative.

At the Prague Castle
Billy's schedule is full this semester.  He continues to teach 10th and 11th grade Bible, Physics, and monitoring an online Spanish class.  In addition, he now has a ELL (English Language Learner) Science class with only one student and a high school Current Events class.  His day is quite full with 5 classes per day.  He is especially enjoying the Current Events class, but it does take some time to lesson plan as there is limited curriculum.  This class has allowed him to discuss sensitive and current topics such as "human trafficking" plus ways that God is active in the world.  For instance, he discussed the Elysee Treaty and how grace and forgiveness overcame past hatreds and allowed France and Germany to reconcile.  From there they discussed how God works thorough grace and forgiveness and how that matters to us.  He is challenged with questions from students such as "why does God allow human trafficking or evil in the world?".

Mitchell has transitioned well to Vienna!  He said just the other day that it is hard to believe that we are actually living here.  He has made friends and enjoys hanging out or talking with them via Oovoo!  What is Oovoo you ask?  It is a way to talk to multiple friends at one time and also see them via the internet/computer.  The picture below is Mitchell (lower left corner) chatting one Friday night with 4 other friends.   He is quite the social teenager.  It's not unusual to have 4 teenage boys sleeping in our family room on a weekend night.  He is especially grateful to have the German A1 exam completed.  This means getting to have study hall with his class two days a week, no extra German classes, no missing normal school classes, and no extra homework! 

Cooking breakfast for the boys!

Lydia is growing into a beautiful young lady before our eyes!  She regularly helps out with children's church at our home church here.  The children love her and she is a great help to the teachers.  She was recently in the Middle School musical, Seussical Jr.  She had lots of fun and did a great job as a "Who".  The entire production was wonderful!   Following the last performance, the cast members enjoyed a fun cast party of food, drinks and games!  The parents at the school were wonderful in helping create a fun party for the children!   She is learning lots living here in Vienna and is a great help to me at home.  For Valentines Day, she cooked dinner (grilled cheese sandwiches) for the family, she also helps by going to the grocery store for me and helping with the laundry!  What a blessing!

For my "foodie" friends out there,  I must share what's cooking in my Vienna kitchen.  I have learned to make Italian meatballs from scratch and found a recipe that my family really enjoys and works well with ground pork.  Ground pork is readily available and reasonably priced.  Ground beef on the other hand can be quite expensive.  I did venture out to a Turkish market/grocery store the other day and bought ground beef.  As I approached the store, I prayed God would help me find what I needed.  This may sound silly, but going to a Turkish store means that I can't read most of the food labels/names which are in Turkish, not German or English.  Also I appear very out of place from the other women in the store with my light colored skin and uncovered head.  My main purpose for going to the market was to buy beef and chicken which is much less expensive there than in my local grocery store.  I approached the meat counter and found what I wanted to buy, now to communicate this to the person behind the counter.  The first gentleman I approached did not know English, but thankfully directed me to a kind young woman.  She spoke broken English and I spoke broken German.  While she helped me get the chicken and beef I wanted, she engaged in conversation which is not always common here.  She asked where I was from and I shared that we were here teaching in Vienna and discovered she had a mechanical engineering degree like Billy.  The conversation was limited, but it made me wonder about her and I hope to get to see her again.  By the way, we enjoyed hamburgers made with real ground beef that night!

Well I have rambled on, but hope this gives you a glimpse into our life here and what God is doing.  We are ever grateful for the love, prayers, and support we get from everyone!  If you are new to the blog, you can view previous posts by clicking on the "blog archive" to the right.

Love and blessing from Vienna,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)