We prayed a lot about our future home when we were still in Omaha. For some reason, a place to land felt like the difference between “visiting” and “living.”
When we were here in April, we came with the tentative goal of finding a place to live. However, we realized it made more sense to wait until we’d actually moved to find an apartment. Thankfully, we have amazing friends and church family who offered to host us in the meantime, so we had the freedom to take our time and find the right place to call “home” for the next year or two.
Turns out, finding a three bedroom apartment in Novi Sad isn’t as easy as hopping on Zillow or Apartments.com. We were instantly overwhelmed by the process. Our friend called a few leads, but they were either fake numbers or numbers for agencies, not the specific apartments pictured. Bethany, our friend and fellow Lifegate Global Worker, recommended a Facebook group for “Novi Sad Foreign Visitors,” which led me to an “Apartments in Novi Sad for Rent” Facebook page, where I posted, “We are a family of five seeking a 3br apartment near Telep” (the part of town where Lifegate Church Novi Sad is located).
Much to my surprise, Andrej messaged me right away, in English (!!), and said his family had an almost-finished apartment a 5 minute walk from where we were staying with friends. I was floored.
We went that evening and looked at the apartment, and I fell in love. It all seemed like a God-story… Andrej didn’t seem hesitant to rent to foreigners, he spoke English, the apartment was going to be finished, but things still needed to be purchased, meaning we could request bunkbeds for the little girls’ room and things like that. On top of that, Andrej’s mother has an artist’s soul and the details and finishings in the apartment were soooooo beautiful.
We spoke with our friends Ivan and Aleksandra, as well as Pastor Kiki and Cveta, and they agreed that the apartment would be worth the wait.
It was hard to be patient, but they were right. In between our initial walkthrough and signing the paperwork, so many amazing details were added that we weren’t even expecting. There’s still more to be done, but I’m just in awe of God’s kindness to us in giving us such a beautiful place to call home.
So, we’re here! A “permanent address” means we can apply for a longer-term visa (6 months as opposed to a 90-day tourist visa), and Kurt was able to register his firm with the hopes of connecting Serbian programmers with jobs around the world.
We really are beginning to settle in, even though summer is in full swing, so schedules are a little bit crazy. Today, I went to the gym for the first time, I figured out how to get my Serbian phone plan to work, and even bought some plant babies.
This process is unlike anything we’ve ever attempted in our lives. I know people move to new cities/countries all the time, but saying “yes” to God in this way has been such a surprising adventure. We are so grateful, sometimes a bit weary and homesick, but overall, we know we’re in the center of what God has asked us to do, and there’s no other place I’d rather be.
The fall promises some new rhythms for life and ministry, so I’m looking forward to filling you all in on those things soon! In the meantime, we’re soaking up the last few weeks of summer and looking forward to our trip to Croatia in 2 weeks!
Love you all. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. I know this part of the journey can seem “fruitless” by certain metrics, but this is the part where God is laying the foundation in us and as a family for the work that lies ahead. He’s so patient and gentle and caring and generous… we are leaning into Him for every moment, and we are undergirded by your faithfulness.
Blessings from our home to yours! 🙂
Kurt and Emily and Family