It’s been some time since you’ve seen us, but we haven’t been idle. We visited Ireland in October to assess our options about buying a house depending on where we will be moving. We travelled to some other cities and towns, met new congregations and made new and exciting friendships along the way.
Renting or Buying
In some parts of Ireland renting is more expensive than paying a mortgage. So depending on where we will move, we wanted to know if we’d even get a mortgage and travelled to Galway in October with a folder packed with salary certificates and account statements. Our attempts to get information from Germany turned out to be difficult. Responses to our Emails were rare and we were stood up with our skype appointments. When asking about a mortgage the information we got was about opening a bank account 6 months before moving. Communication was challenging and we quickly learned that Irish people like to do things face to face. So we did!
German efficiency in action
We arrived in Galway in October and displayed perfect German efficiency during the first 2 days and were done with all our errands by day three and joined the congregation in field service for the rest of the days.
Luckily all banks are located at one particular place in the middle of Galway. So we started at 9am, the folder in our tote bag and went clockwise around the Eyre Square. Since our situation is not standard, most of them had to go ask their superior, but they all came back with the same information. We can apply when we have at least 6 months account record with the bank, regular incoming salary required. Except one! We were pretty sceptical, because all others gave us the same information, but we tried anyway and gave our application and our folder in the trusted hands of Mary.
After 6 weeks back in Germany without any response we actually doubted she was an actual employee there. Maybe she wasn’t even working there? Calling and writing emails didn’t help either, but after a few weeks we finally reached her and she gave us the good news. They accepted our application and we will receive a letter of approval in principle within the next days. What an emotional roller coaster!
Since we’ve been so efficient and the weather didn’t disappoint us again, we had the time to finally drive to Clifden far our to the west. Fun fact, during our three times we have been to Ireland we had basically 2 days of rain. We are convinced the Irish tell everyone about the “rainy weather” to keep tourists out of the country. Either that or we will have a rude awakening after our move!
Connemara is just breathtaking, literally. I gasped driving over that hill and seeing the landscape for the first time. I might have gasped the second time as well. The orange and green colours of the grass paired with the rocks of the hills and the dark blue of the uncountable tiny lakes; this is how the Mr‘s paradise looks like: barren and uninhabited!
The congregation in Clifden was tiny and hospitable. We met so many lovely people in such a short time after just visiting once. Every Sunday after the meeting they turn the speakers stand into a table and serve tea and coffee with some cake and talk. How lovely is that? The hall is so small you wouldn’t even need a microphone. Each single person has his own unique story how he or she ended up in this congregation and they all have a vast amount of different and valuable experiences. We instantly felt home and it definitely won’t be the last time we’ll visit our new found friends.
Back in Germany we wrote the official letter to the Britain Branch asking for their help to decide where we would be needed. It took us 3 days to write, reread and rewrite over and over until we finally finished it. We did tons of research, what information should be in there. We were so nervous we didn’t touch the letter for several weeks before we took courage and gave it to the elders for their letter of recommendation. The following weeks our mind went from „They will tell us to stay put“ to „You’re not experienced enough“ and even further. 4 weeks later our hearts jumped when we received the respond.
We’re moving to Galway West!
Looking for an apartment
We’re starting to look for an apartment in Galway. We will be visiting in May during our 10 year wedding anniversary (What?!) and hopefully find a place to live and for the Mr to work in. A kind sister offered to take us in during our visit and were looking forward to get to know the whole congregation a little better!
So if you know a place that could work for us, please let us know; you might be the answer to our prayers!
“Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God;”Philippians 4:6