Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas 08, originally uploaded by JoshHawaii.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I am home in Hawaii and happy to spend time with my Family and friends. Please continue to visit my blog to check on updates, even though I'm no longer in Czech. I'll also be chronicling my return to Czech.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"A Symphony of Blase"

"A Symphony of Blase" by Anberlin is the song I always listen to when I leave people I love. I have listened to it for sad goodbyes from Moody, and sad goodbyes from Home. I feel like it goes with the feelings I am experiencing as I leave someplace, though the mix of feelings is always slightly different. As I leave the Czech Rebublic and my friends in Šumperk/Vikýřovice and all around the Czech Republic I am experiencing a lot of sadness in leaving. In the last 7 months, the Czech Republic has become my home. It even started when I first came to Czech in March '07 and fell in love with the people here. There is so much to do here and I really care about my friends here.

Please know that you will all be missed. I can't wait to come back!

(here's the song for your enjoyment)

On the way home

Well, I leave the Czech Republic in not too long. It's been a great time and I'm sad to go, but looking forward to seeing my family and living back home for a few months. Anyway, there's some new flight technology on the internet you might want to see. You can track my horrific journey to a beautiful place by going here (live):
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BAW283


And here's a little video of what the tarmac will look like around the time I will really be hating travel and before I get on another 6-hour flight from LA to Honolulu. Las Angeles flight path/landing timelapse:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What I listened to on my 23rd


I had some friends at Moody who talked about listening to Jimmy Eat World's "23" on their 23rd birthday and it got me thinking I should make a whole 23rd birthday playlist. I didn't spend a ton of time on it, so maybe there should be more/better songs on it, but I like what I came up with. Here's the playlist I listened to on my birthday, created a few days before:

Song - Artist
Map Of The Problematique - Muse
Prison Break Theme - FOX
23 - Jimmy Eat World
23 - Blonde Redhead
Are We All Forgotten - Paper Route
Wisemen - James Blunt
Beyond Measure - Jeremy Camp
Desire - Phil Wickham
Beautiful Day - U2
Youth - Matisyahu
Island in The Sun - Weezer
Shores Of Waiehu - Ekol U
Prodigal - OneRepublic

Extras:
9 Crimes Damien Rice
Far From Home The Classic Crime
East To West Casting Crowns
Easy Tonight Five For Fighting
Every Man Casting Crowns
Be My Escape (acoustic) Relient K
Falling By the Wayside People In Planes
Waiting For the Final Leaf to Fall Paper Route
Atmosphere Jeremy Horn
A Beautiful Lie 30 Seconds to Mars
Sweetness Jimmy Eat World
Fake Empire The National
Wholly Yours (B Collision) David Crowder Band
Let It Happen Jimmy Eat World
Realize Colbie Caillat
This Is Your Life The Killers
Let Go Frou Frou
Honey The Hush Sound
How To Save A Life The Fray
When Your Mind's Made Up From the movie "Once"
The Symphony of Blase Anberlin
Shake It Metro Station
So Here We Are Bloc Party
Disintegration Jimmy Eat World
Ah Ha Under The Influence Of Giants
Campus Vampire Weekend
What Life Would Be Like Big Daddy Weave
When the Saints Sara Groves

These are some of my favorite songs of the last few years (probably more from this year)

By the way, my birthday was great (probably even better since I don't have school) and I got to spend it with some new friends in Czech. I really enjoyed my time, and it was also Spiritually meaningful as we had 2/3 messages on idols that day.

Anyone Else made a birthday playlist like this? What would you change about mine?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Czech Turkeys Taste Good

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I had a great time. I am at the JV training center Malenovice in Czech with most of the American missionaries from all the Josiah Venture countries represented. It is a pretty laid-back conference, with lots of time to talk, rest, and hang out with friends, so I'm loving it (oh, and we had McDonalds on the way here Wed.). I think it's a good time to write a few things I am especially thankful for today:

~New JV Friends who have become my family
~My family back home who I got to talk to and who graciously supports me for a lot, especially here in Czech
~Friends back home who pray for and support me in my time here in Czech - they blow me away sometimes
~Great, Convicting teaching from the Word of God brought by D. Patty.
~That I am done with Moody and have by B.A.
~The blessings of ministry here in Czech as well as the tough times that have taught me so much.


Another great thing about this week is that I get to celebrate my 23rd birthday with everyone here. It's been great to be with friends all day, and to actually hear happy birthday a lot. I even got to see my family sing happy b-day to me on skype. It's so different from my first year at Moody without Facebook, as no one even knew it was my birthday. So I am really thankful for the past 23 years and all that God has brought me though in this time. There's been tough times and great times, but I have learned to depend more and more on God.

What better thing to do on my birthday weekend than to spend time with friends, being thankful for all that God has done, and learning more about Him through His Word. I truly have a lot to be thankful for, and God's work isn't finished!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

English Weekend


We had an English Weekend with some friends from Šumperk the last two days. It was a great time of fun. It snowed all weekend, so we got to play in it and stayed cozy inside in between. There were about 26 people there in total, and we shared God's truth clearly with them. Two things really stand out to me about this weekend that I really enjoyed:
1. Pavla, Vašek, and Babu all shared their testimonies, and it was SO encouraging. It was great to hear them share with their peers the joy they have in Christ.
2. Hanging out in the sauna with some friends before running outside to cool off in the snow. That's right, we did the sauna "finnish style" (not naked) and layed in the snow with only shorts on...twice.

There are some pictures on Facebook. You don't need to sign up or anything to see them. Just go here for pics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

3 Countries, 2 Capitals, 1 Day


Although Jerry has me beat (4 countries in one day - he stayed right across the Polish border), I went to 3 countries on Monday. It was supposed to be only 2.

We were going to Bratislava so that they could put our VISAs on our passports (basically affixing a sticker on it). This was already going to be an all-day event (travelling there is like 6 hours). Here's the problem: the train to Bratislava we were on split at some random time (I guess they do that, and the ticket-checkers usually tell us if we're on the wrong half) and we ended up in Wein (Vienna). The way we found out we were lost was that the towns seemed to have German names. The only thing in Slovak (Bratislava's in Slovakia) was this little pamphlet we saw on the train Back to Bratislava (I have no idea what it means, but it looks like a sweating chicken nugget).

It was definitely irritating to be in the wrong place when we were on a tight schedule, and we were not happy about it. It ended up that the conductor on the train to Bratislava understood our plight and said we could make the rest of our trip to Bratislava without paying an extra 10 euro (~$15, the price from Vienna to Bratislava).

So for that trip we left at 5:26am and got back home at around 8:30pm, most of that time was on trains (just over 12 hours). Not the most fun day, though there were some good things like more time with the other 7-month interns (ESIs) and some good discussions.

So, 3 countries, 2 capitals, 1 day:
Czech Republic
Wein (Vienna), Austria
Bratislava, Slovakia

THAT's NOT ALL!
We had to go back yesterday (Wed) to Frydek-Mystek, which is a 3.5-hour journey for us from Šumperk. So we spent the first half of our day travelling there, just to show the forign police that we got our VISA. Now, I'm no expert, but I've heard people tell me important things over email, phone, skype, SMS, and maybe other forms of communication. I would think that the Czech Embassy we went to in Bratislava could have made a phone call to the foreign police in Frydek-Mystek and told them about our VISAs.

All in all it wasn't too difficult, just a little frustrating to have to travel so much for something so simple. That does mean that we can stay until December like originally planned. We're NOT getting kicked out of Czech (and most of Europe now that the borders are down) on November 2nd! Praise God for working the VISA situation out, when a small mistake had made the forign police mad at us earlier.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Even Now, a Generation Waits



One Percent from Josiah Venture on Vimeo.

Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, they are white for harvest - John 4:35
The next generation waits...
...waits to hear the message of Salvation
...waits to see the Word become flesh and dwell among them
How long will they wait?
How will you respond?

JV is doing Vision Nights all around the country. It would be great to go to them, if even just to see what God is doing in other places. Check out 2x3campaign.com and go to one of the vision nights near you. I HIGHLY Recommend it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Generation Waits

Josiah Venture is coming to the States to share the vision for what God is doing in Central and Eastern Europe. This video below expresses my heart for this region:

Next Generation from Josiah Venture on Vimeo.

It would be great if you were in the vicinity of one of these vision nights and could come. They'll be in 11 locations. Check here for more information about JV and to see if they're coming to your area: http://www.2x3campaign.com/

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Facebook Usage by Age Group


So I found out today that Facebook has some sort of demographics information based on what people are talking about in their posts. It's got only a few different topics, which really comes down to 3 categories: Politics, Sports, and Music. This is the basketball graph, but it looks like all the other graphs for the most part. These graphs really only show me facebook usage/communication throughout the week based on age. This is for all facebook users.

I find it interesting that the most active facebook communicators are the 18-24 range, and they talk least on Saturday (the low point on yellow, must be a weekend party thing). the 13-17 age group is least active on facebook on fridays (low point blue), possibly due to end-of-the-week assignments. Usage picks up throughout the weekend. For the most part people use facebook least on the weekends and more throughout the week.

I found this info on http://www.new.facebook.com/lexicon/new/?demographics&topic=basketball

I just think this graph is cool to look at Facebook usage, you might find it extremely boring.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Radiant Bride

This year's JV Fall Leadership Conference is all about the Church. All this week we will be talking about the Radiant Bride that Christ has chosen to make His church into. What I have really loved so far was the Pre-Conference. All of the ESIs were in a seminar called Storytelling - The Gospel. Basically we went through the story of God in story format, which brought out some unique insights. The discussion leader/storyteller really made it clear to me that this is God's story, and that we focus way too much on ourselves in it. He also made it clear that sin is really a trust issue, and that Satan (as his main tactic) challenges our identity and twists what God says. I think I will look at the Bible and the Gospel differently in light of what I have heard, with a more complete view of God's plan. It's amazing that we didn't go over things like this at Moody the way we did in two short sessions.

I am very excited to see what other insights God has for me this week as we talk about the church.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Festival NaMax - To the Max

All this week during NaMax I was reminded of John 10:10. Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." This verse filled my thoughts as I spoke to students, sharing my life and the gospel. What we offer people with the Gospel is not only eternal life in the future, but a fulfilled life now (in Christ).

NaMax reminded me of why I do ministry. I really enjoyed the school visits (though many times I either dread or fear these visits), I got to connect with two students: Radek (pictured) and Jakub, and I met many other new friends in Třinec. It was a great week of ministry.

It was also great to spend more time with the ESIs, the group of Americans that are here for 7 months (including me). I really got to know Erin and Aubrey more, as we had not really had any time together (they weren't in Krakow). These two ladies are wonderful, and it was great serving alongside them this week and seeing their heart for Czech students.

Coming up:
Sept 19: Vysoke Myto English Camp Reunion Party
Sept 20-21: Weekend retreat with Vikýřovice BJB Church
Sept 21: Sport VOLANT
Sept 22-27: JV Fall Leadership Conference (Joining missionaries from all over Eastern Europe, including a lot of nationals involved in each country-specific organization...it will be SO sweet).

Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I serve here in Czech. I am learning a lot.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On the Way to NaMax

NaMax basically means "to the max" in Czech. It's a week long evangelistic festival where tons of Christians blitz one town and serve the community. All of us ESIs (Extended Interns) are going to help out with the festival by teaching English, Playing sports with these students, and hopefully spending time with them in the evenings at the tea houses (a great place to talk and have meaningful conversations). We'll be there from Today until next saturday (7th-13th). It's definitely going to be tiring, but I am looking forward to serving with these fine people and want to help in whatever way I can. I am also doing a "Seminar" on Hawaii. Did you know that although Hawaii is 1/3 the size of Czech that it has 1/10 the population (or the population of Prague alone)? I thought that was pretty crazy.

As to what I've been up to, this week we started some of our fall programming, which included our first English Club for beginners and intermediate students! It was a lot of fun and they were a great group. I'm sad to be missing the Advanced group this week because of NaMax, but I'll have time with them in the future.
Erica and I also met with Trevor and Cassie for dinner and fellowship. They are our supervisors, so we "have to" meet with them, but it is definitely a pleasure to do so. They are very encouraging, and it was a good time to talk out how things are going so far.

Here are some of my current prayer requests:
*That I continue to focus more and more on Christ as we enter Programs designed for ministry.
*For understanding and discipline in language learning.
*Strategic meeting with students.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Krakow Vacation


Peace, originally uploaded by JoshHawaii.

Our time in Krakow last week was a time of rest. There's not much to do in Krakow, and that's exactly what we wanted. The Square is a nice place to hang out it also. There were 6 of us there: Melissa, Erica, and Ray-Ray (Pictured), Jerry, Bonnie, and I. It was great to hang out with such wonderful people for a week without responsibilities.


The Busy Krakow Square, originally uploaded by JoshHawaii.


I read 2 books and really enjoyed both: Porn Nation by Michael Leahy (a look into one man's personal struggle and the development of the problem in American/Western society) and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (a work of fiction that is a commentary on Happiness vs Truth). I would recommend both, especially Brave New World as I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't have this much time to read since before I started High School.

This week I am preparing for the fall and getting things worked out before we go into a really busy schedule.

P.S. Czech out more photos by clicking on them on the left.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In Praha (Prague) for Summer Debriefing


Mustek, Praha, by JoshHawaii. This picture is indicative of many of the Metro Stations in Prague, with its modern design.

This summer has been one wild ride, but we are finally winding down. Our team arrived in Praha (Prague, Cz) today to begin our debriefing for the next few days. We want this time to be relaxing and beneficial as we prepare these interns to return to America. Our two main purposes of debriefing is to prepare the inters for reverse culture shock and how to tell others about their experience. We are also excited to spend our last few days together as a team.

We just finished our last camp on Saturday, and have been doing followup with these students. I think that Šumperk is the group I know the best, mostly because this was my third time doing camp with them (the first was when I was in Czech March '07 for a short winter camp). I really appreciated a few things about this group. First and foremost, this team was really prepared for camp. They have done camps for years, but I saw new people stepping into positions of leadership and excelling at it. It was encouraging and made leading the camp easier. Second, Radek is a great leader all around. It was both a joy and a light burden to lead with Radek: he had everything ready. Third, students were asking some great questions and really seeking the truth. (Keep searching)

God's really been doing something in my heart this summer: giving me an even bigger burden for the lost of Czech, the Šumperk/Vikýřovice region, and the specific students that I know. I really want them to know the power of Christ and the life they are missing. I hope that one day soon several students that I am praying for come to know Him personally as their Lord and Savior. I also long for these up and coming leaders to gain confidence in the Spirit's work and the gifts He has equipped them with.

A few songs that God has been using this summer: "God of this City" by Bluetree (covered by Chris Tomlin), "Hosanna" by Hillsong, and "Inside Out" by Hillsong. Maybe I'll post more details about that later.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Headed to Šumperk

[Welcome Grace Fellowship. I hope that as you read this blog I hope that you will pray for us in what we are doing here in the Czech Republic.]

Tomorrow we head to the Šumperk area to do our third camp. As I go into this camp I realize that I am running low on energy and the summer has worn me out. Today I was really refreshed by the Lord as He reminded me that all I need is Him. As I go into camp, He will fill me. As others have said, it's exciting when we have nothing and give the little that we have. We've heard it every time at US Team training (we're finishing our third), but this time it rings true for me. I hope that as I go into this camp, I depend more and more on the Holy Spirit. I really think this is going to be a great camp.

Monday, July 21, 2008

In Between Camps

Well, this summer has been an amazing ride. We are now finished with our 2nd/3 camps and are resting in Sumperk for the weekend. We leave tomorrow for Malenovice and US Team training. Our team is definitely in camp season. Basically after the beginning of the summer when we're meeting the different groups, the last half of the summer is all camp stuff - and we're busy constantly. We've felt the pull and pressure of this time, but have endured it with the strength of the Lord. We are loving our time here and can't wait for this third camp. All the same, we are resting so that we will be ready once again to pour ourselves out for those who come to camp.

This last camp with Vikyrovice had some definite blessings that made it easier. It was nice to arrive earlier to camp and have time for setup and rest. We were also blessed to be working with two groups who knew what our camps were like and were ready to get into camp mode. Also, having about half the students returning was such a blessing.

But this camp brought its own set of challenges. Most of the Americans got sick throughout the week. Some Czechs had it too, but I felt like we were all drained at different times. I actually got sick for the last full day and am just barely getting over the cold. I also found myself distracted by some of the things that are going on with one of my good friends back home - and I found out about it from other people. I must give God all the Glory, though. He worked through these difficulties. I was even able to share some of these things in the evening program, contrasting earthly love (which can cause so much pain) and the Love of God as shown in the story of the prodigal son. Though it was a bit awkward for me to share something that hit so close to home, I believe that God used it to open up the students even more.

We found that at this camp students were really open to sharing their lives and the questions that they had about God. Though no one put their faith in Christ, there are many that are asking great questions and are so close. Please pray for these students who are seeking to know the truth. The last night Tomas, the Vikyrovice youth pastor, shared about the benefits of doubt, and challenged the students to keep searching. As I work with this group in the fall, I am looking forward to the challenge of knowing how to best followup this experience.

As I said before, we are entering our final camp time starting Tuesday, and we need prayer for energy (though God has already been abundantly providing it). I am looking forward to meeting this group again and hopefully being more involved in an English Class and Discussion Group. Here's our schedule for the next 2 weeks:

Tues (22) - travel to Malenovice for US Team training, meet US youth group
Wed, Thurs (23-24) US Training, continued relationship building, unifying teams
Fri (25) Travel to camp and prepare for camp, rest
Sat (26) Students arrive in the afternoon for camp, first evening program, etc.
Sat-Sat (7.26-8.2) Camp. Please pray for the evening programs every night, where we challenge the students to consider truths of the Gospel.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Little Lesson in God's Work

I've been thinking a lot this week about how "my work" and "God's Work" (and Sovereignty) come together. As I asked the Holy Spirit to speak through me at the evening talks, I saw God move mightily. What is my role? If it's God working through me do I have to do anything? These are questions that entered my mind this week.

One thing I've come to realize is that God's purposes will be accomplished. As many have tried and failed, I cannot thwart the purposes of God - I am no better than them. So God's Will/Purposes will be accomplished. With that understanding, I believe my role in that work is to do my best to pursue Him and do what I feel He is guiding me to do. I should prepare lessons to the best of my ability and study as best I can, but all the while knowing that He will work. He will take any offering I give and do His work. As I "work" to accomplish His will, the more I strive to please Him and do the best I can, the more I get to experience His power flowing through me. I'm not sure if all these thoughts are correct, but they're some ideas that have been floating around in my head.

Another Czech Update

Here's a basic rundown of what we've been up to.

Last week was our first English Camp with a town called Vysoke Myto. A team from Bend, Oregon came to help out and it was the first time that these groups were coming together. As an intern team our role was to bring them together and my specific role was to be responsible for programming and all that stuff (making sure everything ran smoothly, etc.) At that camp we saw God working in the hearts of students. Though no one accepted Christ as their Savior (that we know of) everyone was asking good questions about God and what He's done, and all the small group discussions were headed in the right direction.

I can say that specifically for me God was teaching me so many things about leadership and how He works. In the past few weeks He has been teaching me dependence on His Spirit and showing me that the amount that I feel/sense this need now is just a small taste of how much I need Him every hour of the day. I needed to depend on Him at camp, and His Spirit worked through me as I shared the evening messages. I just learned so much that I will still have to unpack it, but it was good to have Trev and Cass (my mentors/"bosses") there to walk Erica and I through.

This week we have been at US Team training with a team from Peoria, IL (after a few days of rest). It's been great to catch up with them and get to know the newbies on the team. I also spent the first night hanging out with Jerry and some of the intern teams - sweet, sweet fellowship. Tomorrow we head to our camp (second for the intern team) and it will be so sweet. We will need increased pressure to depend on God, as it can be easy to think we know it all coming into it for a second time. There are also several returning students that we are excited to share our faith and our lives with as well.

This summer it has been my goal to empower Czechs to serve. The first camp was a place of training for me and I think our role was to start the training process for their team. Our last/third camp will have a heavy emphasis on this discipleship, as the team has been well prepared for this camp. The camp that we go into now will be a mix of the two, and I am excited to see how God will use these Czechs to reach out to other students.

I am excited to see what God will do in the rest of my time here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Czech (Check) out my pics

I have some Czech pics up on Chris's blog (most of the ones from this year), so check them out if you want to:
http://chrisinczech.blogspot.com/

Also, you can check out my general pics at flickr:
http://flickr.com/photos/xstaticbrute/

First Update - Sent by email

So below is the email I sent out to those who requested it. I've been in Czech for a month and have been co-leading an intern team with Erica.

Here's a Basic Rundown in a few sentences: (Skip if you want to read in more detail)
We hung out as ESIs and not only rested but also prepared for the summer to come.
The Interns arrived and we did the amazing race, getting to know each other better.
Intern training was great and encouraging, though my role at camp will be a lot different.
We are now visiting different churches each weekend before we doing camps with them.
We were able to attend the largest gathering of Czech Christians at the Hillsong worship "concert" - 4,000 worshippers
Camps start in a week! and will happen every other week with training in between
Prayer requests are at the bottom.

Here's the real update with more details:
ESI, Leadership
I have now been in the Czech Republic for one month, and it has been one wild ride. My first week here was just with 6/8 of the Extended Summer Interns (ESI) and the English camp team (Nate, Lucka, David, and Jitka). It seems that we have a really great set of Leaders/Interns this time around. Last time they had an intern for 6-months there was only one, and that was a few years ago. It is exciting to be part of the expansion of Josiah Venture in the Czech Republic. For the rest of the summer I will not be hanging out with this team, but we will be spending some time together later, and I am excited for that as well. The first week we had meetings, rested, and prepared to each lead our separate teams. Erica and I are co-leading a team, and one of the biggest stressors those first couple of days was that we almost had one less intern due to finances. It was stressful to wonder what we would do without him, but we were glad that we were not the ones to make the final decision (he ended up coming).

Amazing Race
We travelled to Praha (Prague), where we had one last fun time together as ESI's before our interns arrived the next day. That began the 3rd annual Amazing Race, which was a time to get to know our team more and generate conflict so we would know how to resolve it. Our team is very chill, mainly due to the fact that we are of similar chill personalities (Golden Retrievers, Steady (DISC), whatever your personality test described it as). We did try hard in the beginning, but after sleeping in a field by a bus station and too many trains, we decided to take the rest of the race easy and ended up joining another group. We arrived in Malenovice, where we had intern training for the week.

Intern Training and my role
At intern training, we learned about teaching English, leading small groups, and Dave Patty walked us through the Upper Room Discourse (in John). One thing that really struck me, beyond all the important biblical lessons, was that I am sad not to be teaching an English class. My role as a leader means that I will be doing the evening talks, and that takes me out of the classroom to prepare, etc. They really did a good job at training of reminding us of the sweetness of building relationships through English Class, and it will be difficult to change roles.

Vysoke Myto Visit
Since training, we have taken some time to prepare English lessons as a team and spent a few more days with Nate and the English Camp team. We visited Vysoke Myto (the group we will have our first camp with) and got to know the leadership and the town. We started off with a dinner with them and a 2-hour prayer meeting for the summer, which concluded a 3-day prayer vigil for camps that the church was already having! One of the distinctives of this group is that they have many unbelievers attending their youth group regularly. We also visited schools and promoted camps with them.

Sumperk Retreat and Hillsong
Last weekend we had a retreat with the main group I worked with last summer, Sumperk. It was great to get away with them and encourage them. We will be doing our last camp with them. We also went with some of them to the Hillsong/Matt Redman Concert. It was great to see so many Czechs worshipping God, especially with more energy than they would probably ever experience together in a Christian context. There were about 4,000 people there, most of whom were Czech, and this was probably the largest gathering of Czech Christians ever.

Trev and Cass
Yesterday Erica and I got to meet with Trevor and Cassie (our leaders from last year and supervisors/"uplinks" this year) and discuss the summer and our goals for the rest of the summer. It was encouraging and needed, as we did not get to do this earlier in our time here (they were in the states). We now have an even clearer vision for why we are doing certain things and what our roles are in the team and at camp - an answer to the first prayer request in some ways.

Upcoming Vikyrovice Visit
This weekend we will visit Vikyrovice, our second camp from last year. We will be staying in their homes and spending time with their church. Please pray that we would bond with them and be able to encourage their team for camp. Also, we were going to visit schools here to promote camp and that fell through, so they may not have as many students at camp as they wanted. The pressure is on the students to invite their friends.

Here's a brief schedule:
June 20-22 Vikyrovice
24-27 US Training
28-July 5 Vysoke Myto Camp
July 8-11 US Training 2
12-19 Vikyrovice Camp
22-25 US Training 3
26-August 2 Sumperk Camp
August 7-10 Intern Debriefing in Praha (Prague), Interns depart

A few prayer requests:
-That Erica and I would continue to learn our roles as co-leaders, and that I would honor her in the way that I lead
-That our team would grow not only closer to one another but to the Lord, including wisdom in how best to do that.
-Wisdom for our interns as they prepare their English lessons in the few free days we have left.
-Wisdom for me as I prepare the evening talks which are the basis for the evangelistic discussions at camp.
-Continued relational energy as we meet many students and move from one group to another.
-That our camps would be a time to empower, push, and encourage key leaders.
-For the salvation of Czechs in Vysoke Myto, Vikyrovice, and Sumperk

Thank you for your continued prayer support. It is so needed as we go into this crazy summer and depend on God for everything. I believe God is going to do something amazing as we plead with Him to continue to change Czech. If you would like to contact me other than by email, my Skype name is JoshHawaii, but we don't consistently have internet access (doesn't hurt to try). Thanks Again,

-Josh "Hawaii" Nelson

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blogging for the first time

Hey everyone, I decided to start a blog to keep you all updated on what's going on in my life, especially as I go to the Czech Republic for the next seven (7!) months. I won't update all the time, but at least a monthly update is probably expected. Please be in prayer for me as I go through this exciting and trying time of intensive ministry.

A few details about what I am doing. I have been to the Czech Republic twice before: last year Spring Break with Moody, and last summer for my official internship. Basically God has captured my heart with this little country of 10 million people, and I have felt Him calling me back there, likely full time. This summer and following months will be an evaluation time for the organization (Josiah Venture) and I to see what my future may be with them.

During the summer I am going to step into leadership as an intern leader, making sure that camps run smoothly and that our team is spiritually healthy. My co-leader, Erica, has been there for two summers, and will be backing me up as we go into this together. The summer will consist of three English Camps: two that I've worked with before and a whole new one. They are basically evangelistic in nature and are intended to facilitate interactions between Czech and American high schoolers and their peers. I really want to focus this summer on empowering Czechs to share their faith, passing the responsibility from us as leaders to them as students.

In the fall I will work with a Czech youth group and learn the language. I will also be able to start to understand what ministry in the Czech Republic full-time is like. This will definitely be a trying time (as the summer will be), but I know that with the Lord's help I will endure (and learn a LOT). I will also be attending some of Josiah Venture's fall conference and meeting stuff, whatever that may entail.

My time in the Czech Republic's gonna be one wild ride, so czech here for updates!