Monday, September 8, 2014

Head over to joshhawaii.tumblr.com for regular updates!

You might have noticed that I haven't posted here in a while. That's because I decided to use Tumblr to bring all my updates together. Using Tumblr allows me to share what's going on in the ministry through pictures and blog updates in a way that's easier for me to update.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Radiate (Burn Bright)

Conference was great! I wasn't necessarily looking forward to it because it felt like bad timing, but God met me there. 

ra·di·ate  (our theme)
/ˈrādēˌāt/
Verb
Emit (energy, esp. light or heat) in the form of rays or waves.
(of light, heat, or other energy) Be emitted in such a way.

White Hot Faith that radiates to the people around me - that's what I want. We believe that as we are set on fire by Christ we will naturally Radiate his love to the people around us. We don't meet with Christ in order to Radiate, but in order to know him. 

I was especially struck by the reminder that God pursues us more than we can ever imagine. I've learned to better pursue God in the last few months, but even that is a byproduct of his pursuit of me. There are a lot of things I learned or was encouraged by, but knowing Christ, and meeting with Him (and reading a ton in the Bible) was the biggest takeaway. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jacob in Czech

A quick visit to see my place in Ostrava before camp
This summer I also had my first family member come to visit/serve. Now entering his senior year of high school, Jacob came to serve with our teams at first camp (Šumperk / New Hope, MN). Despite coming in with no existing relationships with anyone other than me, he did a great job loving Czech students, serving well, thinking intentionally about  ministry, and connecting with the teams. I loved seeing his love for people come out in the way he served at camp - something we've seen in him from childhood. I also loved introducing him to my Czech friends in Sumperk, to the EC Team, and to other friends here. We didn't have any extra time beyond when the US team was here, so we took some time in Prague together before he flew out. That was a hard goodbye, both with the US team and my brother.
Hike Day at Camp

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The best intern debrief since 2010…because I was there and healthy

Last summer ('12) I was in Serbia waiting for my visa; the year before ('11) I was sick & on my way to getting pneumonia…I've had some lousy intern debriefing times over the last few years. This year I was fully present, able to debrief team members, and spent time with all the interns talking about the summer. We got Mexican food, explored a castle hill in southern Prague, shared stories of how we saw God work, paddle-boated, found awesome Pho-Vietnamese soup (okay, maybe that was just me), encouraged each other as individual teams, and said goodbye. It was a great end to the summer. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Team Hawaii's (my team) English camps 2013 in a nutshell

Deeper Relationships - Šumperk
At Sumperk camp, I got to connect with some new people while serving with people I've known for years. It was a pleasure and joy to serve with the team from New Hope MN, and it was inspiring to see Jeremy and Jess lead their students well. Though some of the Czech team members that I've worked with in years previous were not able to be at camp, I loved working with the team of Czechs - both new and old. I even got to use more Czech language as the main leader of camp did not speak so much English. These deeper relationships before camp made serving with this group a joy.

Strak Attack Double Intern Goodness
Because the US team that planned on coming to camp couldn't bring together a team, we had two intern teams team up to put on camp. Our teams loved serving together, but what I loved most was seeing the solid Czech team serve well - they loved students with Christ's love, were selfless in their service, and they led students to Christ. Eight students put their faith in Christ, and the team is definitely seeing fruit in some of their lives. This camp was a stretch for me because for the first time I taught English while teaching the evening messages. It was so much fun to spend time with my class, and they were very gracious in receiving what I had to teach.

HOT Havlickuv Brod DAYS
Camp was HOT, really, and despite that we had a great week. The weather did make for some lethargy at camp; in general people were less active during those days and even after it cooled down. It was a pleasure working with Jonatan again - even though he's not the leader of youth group throughout the year and just focuses on camp, he's got a real heart for ministry and intentionally thinks through how he can lead best. There are a few key people I'd like to continue to connect with this year, either in person or online.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Encouraging relationships in July

I am loving the summer ministry with my team & Czech & US youth groups!

My brother came to our first camp of the summer. The first week in July was Sumperk camp. Some people I've known since 2007, so it was great to serve with them again. I also enjoyed being at camp with students from my English club. One of the best things, though, was serving alongside my brother. I really enjoyed having him here and serving alongside him for the week. He connected to the US Team (from New Hope, MN) and Czechs well. It was hard to see him leave. 

I made a quick jump from dropping my brother (and the team) off at the airport to second term training and our next camp. It was sudden, but I definitely saw God sustaining me through it. Our second camp, with Elim Strakonice was a blast even without a separate American team. We paired up with another intern team and worked with a very well-organized Czech team. 

For the first time ever, I taught English and the evening Bible stories. Normally I am part of an English class (1/2 time and not lead teaching) and do the evening talks. It was great to do both and it went well. I loved sharing stories of Peter and the Gospel from the front as well as have a personal connection with students in class. 

Tomorrow, English camp with Havlickuv Brod and a team from Eagle River, Alaska starts. I've done camp with these guys for years, though missed it last year because of my Serbian exile (which is still a little weird). Pray for students at this camp to experience Christ and respond to the Gospel clearly preached. 

Pray also for...
Students from our first two camps to still get plugged in to relationships with Christians
Christians at our first two camps to continue to serve and be "on mission"
Energy for our intern team, though we're doing pretty well!
A good debrief after camp. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

June has flown by, training starts tomorrow, camp Saturday.

I can hardly believe that the month of June is coming to an end. It seems like not so long ago my interns were arriving in Kiev and we kicked off our summer. Our visits this month have been a great way for us to connect with youth groups in Sumperk, Strakonice, and H Brod as a team. I also really loved time with my team last week....as we shared testimonies with one another I felt like we connected a lot better and know each other more. This is important going into camp service together.

Tomorrow the team from New Hope, MN arrives to do camp with us and Sumperk. My brother is also flying to serve with us and I'm pumped for these relationships. Sumperk is my longest-standing Czech church relationship, and I love the leaders of the US team.  Several of the Czech team members are different this year, but I am confident that God has prepared them for this service.

Pray for students to connect individually with the Czech team - relationships that will be built on the Gospel and lead to mature faith in Christ.
Pray for the details of camp to work out, and that I (and the rest of the team/organizers) always respond in a Christlike way to whatever difficulties await.
Pray for good time with students....I've tried to place myself in a position where I can love on students more are camp this year. 
Pray for a good time serving with my brother - serving alongside him is a first.

As always, keep track of camp and faces to pray for on instagram, facebook, or twitter
www.instagram.com/joshhawaii