We’re finally settling-in to a smooth rhythm here in our new apartment after a month of hustle and bustle. During our first week, we gathered pinecones from the back yard, it’s a shared garden space for all the apartment blocks that we are connected to, then we painted them bright colors, and Daddy wrote a note (in german) for all our neighbors saying who we are and that we hope to get to know everyone. As it turns out, people love pinecones painted pink and turquoise! Every neighbor came to say hello, some even volunteered to share their laundry days with us! (we get one day to wash per week, so offering to share that one day is a big deal.) Word must have spread to the other buildings beside us that a new family had moved in, because a few days later we were playing in the garden and an older woman leans from her balcony and calls down, “Are you the new Americans here? My son lives in San Francisco! I’m sending him a picture of you!” (takes picture of us on her phone) Then, another time we were out in the garden we noticed a girl, teenaged, obviously special needs of some kind, rocking and kind-of moaning on her balcony. So the girls and I walk over and call to her, “Hello! What’s you name?” she didn’t answer but she smiled and rocked a bit faster, so we told her our names and waved. From the day I saw her I prayed, ” Oh Lord, I see what your up to around here. You’ve got all sorts of threads and weavings going on. Well, you brought us here, just show us what to do.” Later I made it a point to take the girls and walk to where she sits on the balcony to say stuff to her everytime we noticed that she was outside. Finally one afternoon her brother, also some sort of special needs, was on the balcony with her, he speaks english and he told us their parakeet is named Sam, they are half African and half swiss, and that his sister is Meredith and she likes to give high fives. (high fives Meredith to prove it) Sure enough, she grinned and stopped rocking or moaning to give a solid high-five. That night I was filled with gladness, we’d made friends with Max and Meredith, and Sam the bird, for the timing and nearness of this precious family just a few doors down from us, knowing God had placed them and us into just the right spot.