Shortly after we were married in May of 2002 we were blessed with an incredible opportunity to move to Austria where Ian played professional basketball.Â Ian quickly received a phone call, a contract was faxed, and he was on the plane to Austria a week later.Â Three weeks later, Beth joined him for this great adventure.Â Shortly after arriving there, God allowed our paths to cross with a German pastor and his wife living in a neighboring village in Austria who took us under their wings and helped us learn to become better students of the Austrian people and culture as foreigners. After a few more months, we met another couple from Texas and our lives were forever changed.
The combination of these meetings and our love of the Austrian people started us on a path towards a life of serving in ministry full time in Austria. During our first year we found it extremely difficult to find a church community with people in similar life phases and ages and we found North Point Community Church on line and began ‘virtually’ attending every Sunday. When we came home that summer, it became clear to us how much our church had greatly impacted our faith, and we became passionate about bringing this type of environment to a country that weâ€™d quickly grown to love.Â
During our second year in Austria (2003), we continued to build friendships with Ianâ€™s teammates and our neighbors as well as beginning a small group using some of the resources from our church. Â In late summer of that year, Ianâ€™s basketball career came to an unexpected endÂ but since that time, Austria had never left our hearts and over the next 8 years we continued to pursue going back. This pathway spanned a long time including the birth of our second and third child but we consistently found that this Â burden on our hearts for this region of the world was not leaving.
In March of 2012, after having released all our contractual liabilities in the US and having moved into the basement of some dear friends for over 5 months we received word from the Austrian consulate that our visas were denied. At that point we reached out to a community of pastors and took up an offer to move to Augsburg, Germany to begin the language learning process.
Weeks turned into months and we began to settle into our Bavarian life. Now almost 7 years later, the burial of a still born in 2013 and the birth of our fourth child in 2015, we now call Augsburg home. We enjoy the many partnerships that we are involved in such as the Projext X church community, the Kangaroo basketball family, Da Funk dance/fitness studio and of course the BÃ¤renkeller and NeusÃ¤ÃŸ neighborhood, schooling and sports communities.