August Update: Greetings from Lithuania!

Dear Friends and Family:

Greetings from Lithuania! We completed the 24-hour journey from Perkasie to Newark to Copenhagen to Palanga to Klaipėda, across 7 time zones.

MOVING

After a two-hour drive to the Newark Airport (in a 14-passenger van, courtesy of Chelten Church), we said a tearful goodbye to Corrie’s parents.

Our flights went about as well as could be hoped. The kids did great on the eight-hour transatlantic flight to Copenhagen—both slept some, and when they were awake they were well-behaved. A very helpful SAS agent in Newark rearranged our seats so that we could all sit in the same row (the best I had found was two-and-two), and we had to pay one fewer extra-bag fee than we had anticipated, so I was happy!

After a five-hour layover in Copenhagen, we had a one-hour delay for mechanical difficulties once we boarded the plane for Palanga (Lithuania). But after switching to another plane, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon flight across the Baltic Sea. My first impression of Lithuania is that it looks like northern Wisconsin: mostly flat, with lots of evergreen trees.

Some LCC colleagues had kindly stocked our fridge with some essentials, so we had food when we arrived. My mother (who has been invaluable) went to the local grocery store and made us a tasty, healthy dinner. She flew in from San Diego to accompany us, so it’s a ten-hour time difference for her; she is still asleep as I write this at 11am EEST—poor thing!

We are gradually putting all our things away, and learning about the campus. Our apartment is beautiful and larger than we had imagined, with nice furnishings, lots of closets, and a serviceable kitchen. Daniel was particularly excited to see the garbage dumpsters and recycling receptacles. He also likes his loft bed with room underneath for his trains. This evening, one of our neighbors (the wife of one of my theology dep’t colleagues) will show us how to get around on the bus, to the bank and the store, etc.

You can see pictures of our journey on Facebook (I’ve attached a few as well).

MINISTRY

Please pray for us as we settle in and get to know new friends and colleagues. Pray for me as I begin to prepare in earnest for my classes.

SUPPORT

Right before we left, we received a support commitment that put us at 98% for the first year! We are only $500 short of our budgeted amount—Praise God! We are so grateful for all your prayers and your generous gifts.

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Thank you all for your prayers and support. Stay tuned for further updates; be sure to follow us on the web and join (and share) our Facebook group. To receive monthly updates about happenings at LCC, you may wish to sign up for the university’s newsletter, Transformations.

In Christ,

Benj Giffone (for Corrie, Daniel and Elizabeth)

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(If you would like to unsubscribe to these email updates, please respond to benjamingiffone and let us know. No hard feelings—I promise! We get lots of email, too.)

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About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, exiled to the land of Phillies fans…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Josh and Hannah…uncle to Marshall.
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