A way to turn 25!


Hello all,

Sorry been a while since I last wrote anything, time has just whizzed by and I can’t believe there is now only 3 weeks left of the season! Its been such a wonderful and crazy journey and I am starting to reflect on everything that has happened and that I’ve learnt over the past few months.

Since my last post, I have:

  • Flew home for a whirlwind 24 hours
  • turned 25
  • Sat in a Austrian Police station
  • Been a girrafe
  • Cooked pancakes
  • Worn shorts!

It’s certainly been an eventful few weeks.

I had a wonderful surprise last week, Mum and Dad came to stay for my birthday! I was not expecting it at all, so it was so exciting to see them.

My birthday was such a fun filled day, with a few surprising events to make the day extra memorable. I certainly will not forget my 25th birthday!

A giraff and a unicorn toasting marsmellows

It all started with a wonderful cup of tea in bed made by my lovely room mate Amy, and tucking into some scrummy shortbread sent by the lovely Davies Family. (Thank you!) I then headed into work to meet Mum and Dad, and was met with happy birthday music and the team dancing around the kitchen. I opened a very fun giraffe onsie from the team which is then proceeded to wear up the slopes! Myself, Mum and Dad had a lovely breakfast in the village bakery, I then came back to get changed for an afternoon ski, whilst Mum and Dad kindly agreed to start a “Rowe Styled” BBQ in an old wheelbarrow! Classic! Skiing was really fun, until unfortunately I was involved in a skiing accident – I must quickly add I was not hurt at all, but was sent flying down the mountain skis and poles flying everywhere (in a giraffe onsie!) sadly the women I crashed with did not come off so well and we had to call the rescue helicopter to take her to hospital, and I was then escorted down the mountain by the skiing policeman! (as I said, a birthday to remember.) It was all a bit of a shock, especially as my German is still very limited so I was not able to communicate very well. But luckily, Praise the Lord, after staying in hospital over night the lady will be fine, with a broken nose and slight concussion.

After all this, I was very pleased to return to the chalet for an amazing BBQ and then some volley ball in the sunshine. I then spent the evening in the police station making a statement (just like a car accident).

It was one crazy day, but in-spite of the crash, It was very lovely, and I was very pleased Mum and Dad were around. What a way to turn 25!

We’ve had some glorious sunny days here, and the snow can now only been seen on the slopes. Everywhere else is a luscious green and walking through the village there is a subtle hint of farming/cow smell wafting through the air and the fields start to prepare for planting. (feels just like home!)

Starting to wind down, and come to terms with the fact that this incredible journey is coming to an end and I will soon be retuning to Oxfordshire soil.

Thank you for all your continued prayers and messages over the past few weeks, It has really kept me going. Much love… xx

Amy and I on my birthday
A visit from the Gills
Fun in the sun with Harley
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Deafening Silence.

“Christ alone can bring lasting peace – peace with God – peace amount men and nations – and peace within our hearts.”

Billy Graham

Hello to all. Writing to you from the gorgeous sunshine here in Haus, Austria. We’ve had blue bird days for about a week! It’s been very lovely getting some vitamin D to lift the spirits. Although everywhere is already starting to get a little bit drippy, and I saw the first patch of green grass peeping through the snow yesterday and I’m looking forward to seeing the Edelweiss popping out when spring arrives. Although maybe not quite yet, there are rumours of the very last dumping of snow next week!

I’ve really been trying to appreciate the peace and silence these past couple of weeks. 

I’ve had a couple of lone skiing days, which has been very lovely, and I was lucky enough to catch a couple of chair lifts on my own! Personally I love this rare and gorgeous occasion! As you sit slowly ascending up the mountain, looking down it’s like seeing jewels glistening as the sun beats down on the fresh snow, reflecting into your eyes. All you can hear is the deafening silence (along with the odd twittering of the birds in the evergreen trees) peace at its purest. In these moments, all I want to do is chat to God, like having my own perfect pocket of time with our glorious father. 

If you’ve spent time in the mountains, I know you’ll understand this, however I would say if anyone hasn’t experienced it yet… GO or alternately COME and see me! There is noting quite like it, and I appreciate how incredible fortunate I am to spend 5 months here. I am determined to make the most of every single day, and experience as much as I can! 

I have a really lovely week last week with Mum, Dad and Emma coming to stay, my first visitors! There trip was short, but lots of fun. Ems spent the morning helping me with my morning shift; I got her to work straight away, cleaning the windows and wiping tables! 

We even managed to get Mum and Dad into an old Gondola to head up the mountain, and although they both looked quite pale, they kept there eyes open the whole time! 

Once up the mountain we enjoyed a glorious walk through the trees and stopped for Vienna schnitzel! 

The best moment was when Dad took a big handful of what he thought was grated cheese… turned out to be the strongest horseradish he’d ever had – this caused much laughter from us and huffing and puffing from him! It was very lovely to be able to share a bit of this place with them. I am looking forward to my God Mother, Virginia and her kids coming to see me end of Feb and then Jos and Sally coming middle of March. 

This weeks highlights: 

  • Giving some ski lessons to Duncan’s Hungarian girlfriend. 
  • A little worship session one evening 
  • Making heart biscuits for all the guests on Valentines Day. 
  • Receiving some lovely tulips from all the team! 
  • watching The Sound of Music in Austira!
  • Getting first lift on my morning off and be the only person on the slopes! 

Much love to all, see you soon. xx

Strength

“Where our strength runs out, that’s when God’s strength begins”

Strength. Something I’ve needed in abundance the past few weeks! Strength to wake up, strength to work, strength to ski & strength to do it all over again day after day. 

But I’ve learnt something awesome… alone; I have the strength of a fly, but with God, it’s more a bear…Grizzly (haha not really) just being able to get up, give my day over to him, this helps me to get through any problem I face, whether it be feeling too tired to function, or getting up after face planting the mountain – which happens in average at least twice a day! 

Waking up with him makes me feel more alive, refreshed, reenergised everyday. I have learnt to FROG (Fully Rely on God) like never before. 

God is my rock that I can cling onto, and it’s awesome. I am so lucky to know a true God that will always be with me through all the trails I face and I think that’s pretty swell. I’ve also been loving worshipping as I hoover, chop and clean, you really can worship doing anything, anywhere! – I challenge you to give it a go! 

I’ve been expanding my vocabulary with lots of new ‘mountain lingo’ which has been quite amusing; just to name a few: 

  • Swell
  • Fresh
  • Peak (this means something bad apparently)
  • Shred
  • Gnarly
  • Hard out (this means really cool!) 
  • Blue Bird (a very sunny day)
  • Send it (just to go for it!)

All in all, I am having a great time. Learning new things everyday, this week we have been having a go at snow boarding, which has been hard but good fun. 

Watching Johnny English!
Village Snowman competition – like our scarecrow competitions!

We’ve had a week of Berlin school children all week, which has been different, but its been nice to shake things up a bit. They all eat so quickly that sometimes we’ve been finished by 7.30pm which will never happen again, so been making the most of that!  

We’re looking forward to having the Oakhall groups back in a couple of weeks, to enjoy some evening bible meetings again. 

We’ve had plenty more dumpings of snow, up the mountain off-piste in some places it’s been up to 2 meters deep. An avalanche fell into a hotel up the road; luckily there is no risk of that here. But the power of nature is amazing and scary. 

Just before I totally wiped out!


Snow never gets less beautiful.

Thank you everyone for your ongoing love, support and prayers. Much love back to everyone. Please drop me an email or text if you want to catch up more. 🙂

Sliding into 2019

Hello everyone!! Its 2019 and I’ve nearly been here a month already! Can’t believe how quickly these past few weeks have gone.

I had a very fun New Years Eve, watching all fireworks in the valley from up the slopes, and racing down on sledges at midnight! A fun experience and a memory I will not forget.

We’re lucky to have lots of snow falling at the moment, from no snow and 6 degree temperatures, to knee depth snow and minus 6 over night! We’re getting used to waking up to the sound of tractors shovelling snow and clearing roads, it’s amazing how everything to carries on as normal.

I’m getting on well, trying to enjoy even the mundane jobs, which is helped by the amazing view all around. It also helps being able to get into the fresh air up in the stunning mountains. I have reached new levels of tiredness, showering with socks on, and watering a plastic plant are two signs that more sleep is needed!

Thought I would just give you a rough plan of my day to day routine so you can see what I get up to.

  • 6am wake up – cold shower!
  • 6.45am walk to the chalet (carefully trying not to slip over!)
  • 7am – start work, get breakfast ready, bake the bread rolls, pour the milk, pour the cereal.
  • 7.30am – eat our breakfast (usually porridge!)
  • 8am – hoover and mop floors downstairs
  • 8.30am – make any salads for the evening and help clear away breakfast, fill jams, empty butter etc. Help with washing up.
  • 9.30am – wipe tables, clean, hoover and mop dinning room, bar, stairs, boot room and hall ways. (with uplifting music!)
  • 11am – help Duncan the chef with any finishing off, help Jack with drying up and washing cutlery.
  • 12pm – Finished work, have some lunch, make a plan for the afternoon.
  • 12-6pm – ski, nap, eat, walk, watch a movie, sauna – any of these are possible!
  • 6pm – start evening work
  • 6-9.30 – make salads, prepare desserts (pipping, dusting icing sugar, drizzle sauce), help Duncan serve food, dry & put away dishes, generally help with anything needed.
  • 9.30 – eat dinner!

So this is what I generally get up to day to day. We get one day off a week, and one morning to lie in until 8am (which is actually a much needed lie in!) We try to do things as a team in the afternoons, and when anyone’s family are here they often try to meet with them as well.

We had some fun tobogganing through, what looked like Narnia, although I did tumble off many times!

I am constantly surprised by God’s amazing kindness and constant protection over me whilst I am here. Prayers are being answered all the time and it’s so amazing to be part of something like this.

Let is snow, let is snow..please let it snow!

Our village Haus – melting snow!
The Team
Jack (18), Ben (18), Archie (18), Duncan (23), Amy (19) & Me

It’s been a week already and what a week it has been. We’ve made 60 odd beds, dusted, wiped, mopped, swept and I am certainly starting to build a good relationship with a certain hoover, with 3 floors to hoover everyday!

Having arrived to -12 degrees, it has now jumped up to nearly 6 degrees and now snow is not falling all around unfortunately, instead… rain. But let’s hope the snow will come again soon.


We’ve been thrown together as a team and getting to know each other quickly. It is strange to think we only met 7 days ago! But we make a good team and each have our individual roles as well as working together.

My specific role is to help Duncan with cooking, preparing vegetables and salad. I also help Jack with drying up, wiping and cleaning the kitchen. I also hoover all the stairs and mop all the floors.

“Snow flakes are one of natures most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together”

Vesta M. Kelly

Last night we were able to get to the evening bible meeting which was great to receive and have some worship time. Just hoping we can do it often.

Hope to do some carol singing this evening, and will head up the slopes for some skiing on Christmas day.

Being surrounded by such wonderful mountains is such a strong reminder of Gods awesome power, strength and creativity.

Thank you for all your amazing prayers and support.

Godfidence

“she walked with God and that was the game changer.”

Confidence is a word that has come to me repeatedly through out my preparation time. Confidence to travel into the unknown, confidence to be myself, confidence to meet new people and try new things. I do find it difficult in most situations to be confident – however, I know that my confidence will only come from God. Only with him all things are possible.

So I stride into the unknown with him by my side, my rock, refuge, anchor and shield. Armed with his strength and…Godfidence.

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At the airport 
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Off we go!

I arrived safely on Saturday evening in the dark, had a lovely evening chatting with a couple of the older members of the team; Thomas who is the owner – a very jolly and loud Austrian and Harley – an amazing Kiwi who taught me to ski!

Myself and the other 6 team members, (Amy, Ben, Jack, Duncan & Archie) are staying in a chalet 5 mins up the road, so we will walk to work every morning around 7am.

It’s -12 today and started snowing 4 days ago, so a beautiful sheet of white surrounds us. Have had a pretty chilled day to prepare for the mayhem that will begin tomorrow. 

Get started with work tomorrow, not really sure what to expect, but will find out more as the days go on. The first 25 guests arrive on Friday ready for Christmas. 

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. I will try to keep you updated with all that goes on here in the mountains. 

“how can we trust the next chapter?…Becuase we know the author”

Jeremiah 29:11
Where I’m staying – small black circle is my room, big black circle is work.