Austrian Alps – June 29, 1978
Since my Eurail Pass was valid on boats as well as trains, I took a boat down the not-so-blue Danube River to Linz, Austria. I met two American ladies and two German ladies on the boat, so I translated for them, much to my amazement and delight. From Linz, I took the train to Salzburg, site of the Sound of Music film. I enjoyed staying in an Austrian guest house for $6 per night which included breakfast. I had fun chatting with a Swedish girl who was spending the summer there while studying music. I took a fabulous “Sound of Music” tour through the Alps, enjoyed a chamber concert in Mozart’s house, and toured Old Salzburg, my favorite town by far.
After two days, I took the train to the Innsbruck region. I met two American families who are sharing God’s Word with the people high up in the Alps. Several Swiss Christian believers have joined them for a week of fellowship. They all meet together every morning for Bible study, singing of hymns, and prayer and then go out in the afternoon to share the gospel in the various neighborhoods. I was so blessed in going with a Swiss nurse door to door. She shared the gospel as I prayed silently for each person to open their heart to the Lord. I learned so much from her. I can comprehend more German than I can speak.
Mrs. G., one of the American ladies, told me about a single American Christian man who is working with them. His fiancee came to visit him at Christmas time, but when she saw the difficulties of living here, she broke their engagement and went home. They do things differently here than I am used to in my home church, but their fellowship has refreshed me. I shed a few tears when I left Austria because I have such a burden for the people of Tyrol to receive Christ as their personal Savior.
France – July 3, 1978
After twenty hours on the train, I arrived in France at 2:30 on Sunday morning. The Pastor and his wife graciously got out of bed to walk with me from the train station to their apartment. I felt horrible waking them at that hour. We slept a few hours and then arose for the church service held in their living room with about twenty people. We had such a precious time of fellowship as they shared with me the joys and heartaches of starting a church gathering from nothing.
Mrs. K. and I talked many hours about my options for returning to the German-speaking people. She said the nurses work 12-hour shifts in the hospitals, archaic compared to American ones. She said I would be so exhausted, that I would have little time after work to minister to people. The other option is to work with a married couple, but this also has drawbacks. Mrs. K heard of an older couple who totally ignored the younger single lady who joined with them. If it is a younger couple, jealousy could develop. The only other option is to wait for God to give me a godly husband who is led the same way as I am.
And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all they that WAIT for Him. Isaiah 30:18
I spent the third week of my journey in northern Germany visiting a cousin of my friend. Weary by then of sleeping in different beds every night, I longed to return home to the familiar and speak English. It was also anticlimactic after the sweet fellowship with the believers in Austria and France. When I arrived back in the USA, I continued with my job as a diabetes hospital nurse on the evening shift.
The Lord has continued to use me as a single lady over the years and has taught me to simply be content with Him and live in the moment. I used to wonder why He never chose to give me a godly husband, but now I simply concentrate on enjoying Christ and growing in His grace. I can only see my little corner of the world, but He has the grand picture for all eternity. I take great comfort and delight in knowing that His ways are so much higher than my ways.
“….for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content.” Philippians 4:11
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9