Our conference in Vienna !

Hi girls !

I am sitting in our hotel room right now in Vienna and I thought I would share some pictures and happenings in Austria. I’m going back to University next Friday God willing, and I have a lot of things to finish before my internship ends… so now is the perfect time to write before life becomes busy again !

We were blessed to spend a week or so in a Christian conference that started after a fun encounter. My parents and my sister, two years back, spent the New Year’s Eve in Vienna and it was in Church that they met a Christian Arabic family living in Israel. Together, they decided to start a conference that would gather, every summer for a week, Arabic speaking believers. It is the second year I come to the conference and I have been enjoying a lot and, this being the second conference I attend this summer (the other one was in Pennsylvania) I was really blessed by the things I have learned.

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Posing with one of those famous horses in Vienna !

Two preachers/missionaries from Egypt preached during the whole week and one of the topic was the justice and the salvation of God in the book of Romans. A lot of things impacted me. I learned that often, when we talk to people about the Gospel, sometimes out of fear and maybe shame, we tend to hide the name of Jesus under a vague, generic name of God… to make it less scandalous and more “acceptable” to people. But as Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” We should never be ashamed to present the gospel as it is because though we are privileged to carry the Word of Life, “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor 4:7). The power comes from the Lord, and there is no salvation apart from Jesus !

 

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The legendary Austrian cakes ! Yum !

I was also deeply, deeply encouraged by the love and the work of some brothers and sisters toward the lost, especially the Muslims. Being Arabic, they have that unique opportunity to help Middle-Eastern people, especially the refugees. Some Muslims attended our services, and it warmed my heart to see the brothers at the conference doing everything in their power to help our Muslim friends to settle in Vienna and to assist them both materially and spiritually with a loving heart. I pray that their heart would be opened to the Gospel and that they will come to know Christ who loved them and died for them. We heard testimonies of how some of our brothers and sisters came to know the Messiah, and, while I was playing with a 14 year old girl, she told me that the Lord knows how to refresh our enthusiasm and rekindle our courage by such testimonies. How true !

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Some sisters singing hymns

Also, the conference was a beautiful occasion to spend time with younger sisters and little girls. I noticed that sometimes, I think I am the only one to not have an assembly or Christians friends in the area where I live. I learned that I was not the only one and that from now on, it was important to encourage one another, even if we are a thousand of kilometers apart. Even as Young women, we have the ability to encourage and nurture younger ones (Titus 2:5) in various areas, and to be a good example to them. As we sat in Subway, I really enjoyed sitting with two 18 year old and one 21 year old as we discussed struggles, thoughts and encouraged one another. Pray that the Lord would help you in the life of another girl !

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That gentleman Lazarus caught all the ladies attention ! Can I have an “aww ?”

The last night of the conference, the same brother who explained the book of Romans wrapped up the week by preaching… on the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. Everyone was all ears while we heard the Word of Life preached on the things to come. The imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The urgency of making the Lord known. And I want to say a few words about this…

I feel like the Lord Jesus is at the door. We all see it and feel it, in view of the events in the world. Even unbelievers can sense something is going wrong with this world. We have been blessed, we sinners, to hear the saving, Healing, powerful word and Gospel, the GOOD NEWS that Jesus-Christ came to die for sinners, horrible sinners as we were. Let us not faint. Let us not be afraid. Let us spend more time in the Word, and less time in things that would make us afraid of what people might say about us. If we are spending lots of time in social media and trying to look cool and to please people, and not to offend anyone by “watering down” the Gospel of Christ, we are making a great mistake. Let us get on our knees, for we have no power in ourselves. The power comes from the Father. Christ’s return is soon. very soon. Watch and pray. I learned that we are not going to change the world by being conformed to it. If today you lack courage, please- go on your knees and in the Word, and ask the Lord that your will would be aligned with His, and that He would give you what you need in order to honor Him: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 jn 4:4).

Becoming a homemaker: an introduction

 

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A few definitions from the dictionnary to start off…

Frugality:  the quality of being frugal, or prudent in saving; the lack ofwastefulness

Homemaker: A person who manages the household of his or her own family,especially as a principal occupation.

These few years of university, spent on my own/ with my brother for a few years taught me a lot about homemaking. Not only I learned that domestic skills such as cooking, cleaning and washing your clothes were important- sure they were, but something I have learned is that a homemaker has this unique ability to “set the tone” in her house. I have learned that you who are and how you manage your home will without doubt have an impact not only your immediate sphere of influence, such as your family and your guests, but beyond that, that will influence society. Home is the theatre of family, marriage, motherhood, fatherhood, interactions with siblings, quality time. It tells a lot about who we are really.

It is where you can extend hospitality. Where your husband, children, or friends, can find comfort and love and acceptance and a listening ear and loving hugs after a day where, maybe, things were not easy. Where things did not go as expected with the boss, where school was a burden, where temptations were constantly threatening your family. Where uplifting words are a rarity, and spiritual encouragement is clearly not a priority.

I am, as you can see, convinced that we women have this unique capacity to nurture others and use our creativity and talents to serve others, so that, for them, coming back to home will not feel like a chore, home will not be a place to be deserted and to escape as soon as possible but a place to which they will run because of the spirit of love they will find there.

When I was sixteen, for some reasonn I had to care for my siblings and I had zero knowledge of how to run a household. I clearly remember not knowing at which moment I had to throw pasta because I did not know if the water had to be just hot or boiling. Eventually I learned. Though I am far from being Martha Stewart, there are some things I learn every day that I thought I could share with younger girls.

Just a remark: as single young women, I realized that we have no idea of the impact we can have on younger girls/teens. By mentoring them, we are caring for the next generation and they are in great need, in this world where role models are rare, for an older sister, a mentor that will teach them godly things and at the same time, sympathize with them because they will have gone through similar things. Let us not waste that precious time called singleness ! It is not a time spent of the bench, but something to be used for the glory of God, and for others.

I have learned that homemaking does not necessarily imply being the perfect hostess, a gourmet chef or something that surpasses other. I will come back to that in a future post, God willing, but it is a way of life that aims at loving God and serve others through our skills.

I shared a definition of frugality because I believe frugality is a must as a homemaker: for lots of reasons I will detail later, I believe that a household cannot function efficiently if money is not well spent and if we are careless in the way we buy things and use them.

Grab a cup of tea, make yourself home, and join me as we talk and discuss about ways to make our home a place where godliness can flourish, and people can be loved.

 

Stéphanie

N:B: I want to thank every person who came to visit my blog since I start blogging. Reading your comments make my day !