Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Camp Season Begins

I am currently back in Hotel Malenovice for our first US Team Training. The purpose of this time is to review a few things for the American Youth Group and for Czech, American, and Intern teams to come together as one team. Our team from New Hope Church in Minnesota should be arriving in the next hour or so at the train station, and I have the privilege of picking them up because I know how to drive stick/manual (thanks Dad), which is every car in Europe just about.

Our intern team will be doing camp with New Hope in Sumperk. I am so excited to serve with this American team. They always bring over such quality students, and there are many returning that I have seen really catch the vision of English camps and serve well. If any of you read this...thank you!

Sumperk is one of the two groups I've worked with in the Fall, and I love the students of Sumperk. I have a passion to see them come to know Christ, and for some of these Christian students to step into leadership.

Keep us in prayer for the next 12 days. Camp is from July 4-11, training from now until then.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Long Day of Travel

This picture was taken while we were on our "short" trip from Malenovice to Sumperk. We were in Malenovice for a work project on a guest house for missionaries for a few days, and this is a trip I've taken often. Well normally this trip takes just over 3 hours, actually a nice trip by train through Czech. There was apparently flooding throughout the region we had to travel through to get back to Sumperk, so instead it took us 7 hours. In that 7 hours we encountered quite a few rediculous situations that had us laughing about in confusion:
My first "Cancelled" train
Train > Bus > Train > Train > Bus > Train
Sitting in a train for 1 hour at a station with no warning
(see above) Crowded more people on the train than could fit - I thought I had seen it all, but people didn't get on the train and the ticket lady yelled at people from outside the train
Sat in the front seat of a Bus as a buddy driver
Went the wrong way on the highway in a Bus
Rushed to catch a train that decided to wait an extra 1/2 hour anyway

Let me tell you the story of the bus ride. So we get on this overcrowded bus (something common in Czech when they're doing this) and I'm standing by the door. The bus driver decides he wants to leave space for him to see past me to the door, so he throws down a seat in the middle of the bus (I think it was a ghetto tourist bus). I'm sitting there, enjoying the ride and we get to a detour. The driver opens the door and yells at the police man, then makes a u-turn instead of following the detour. The door is still open (and my huge hiking backpack is sitting on the steps as we head back up the exit ramp. I have a front-row seat to the whole thing.

As we get to the highway, the bus driver actually tries to block others from going down that same ramp! He gets right in the middle of the exit ramp and keeps waving them to say "no, don't go that way". Then he waits to make a u-turn for about a minute, and we never know when he's actually going to go for it. He makes it and some people clap, probably because we're actually alive. We make it to the train station later than a lot of other busses because of our detour.

Now the door was open for that whole u-turn/wrong way on the highway thing. My back was litterally perched on the stairs, and I had to hold it with my leg. Afterwards, we all talked about how the bus driver was insane, and we totally don't get why he didn't just follow the cops' detour.

Just one crazy experience with Czech travel and an insane bus driver. A front-row seat in a dangerous situation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Month in Czech

This post is definitely a few weeks coming. So much has happened in the last month, that I don't even know how to describe it all.

Arriving in Czech
I arrived in Czech on May 27th, after travelling for 2 days. During that time I felt really prepared, and it was really nice to be able to spend the plane rides thinking and sleeping. I arrived for our Amazing Race (Vienna > Bratislava > Budapest > Czech) quite tired and not really ready to lead, but God brought our team together through the "fun" [read: really tiring with lots of walking] experience that it was.
Intern Training
I was surprised to find myself very fearful about the summer at intern training. It was actually spritual attack, and we prayed through the experience. I think my eyes are more open to see spiritual attack when it comes this summer, so the experience was good. I have been really learning about walking by faith, and I think this is the first time I'm really walking blind (or at least the first time I can see it).Weekend Visits
We've been visiting different groups this summer over the last few weekends. These are the groups we're doing camp with: Vikyrovice, Havlickuv Brod, and Sumperk. All three visits have been so different, but have been a good time to connect with these groups. I am excited to do camps with each of these groups for different reasons, and I think God will use each church/group for something special.
School Visits
We have also been visiting groups throughout the weekdays. Our first visit was after our Vikyrovice weekend visit, and I really enjoyed it. In fact, school visits remind me how much I love Czech students and how much I love doing this ministry in Czech. It's been great to go with the Youth Leaders into these schools, and I think even in doing that we're opening their eyes to the possibilities of outreach in Czech even more.

Work Project
Our team is currently in Malenovice with Jerry's team, working on a guest house where missionaries can come to get care and counseling. It still has a long way to go, but we've worked hard on it over the last 1 1/2 days. Some guys were tearing up the second floor in a house and we've been moving wood, cleaning out hay, and building a small roof. Lots of fun to be together, but tiring in the mud, fog, and rain

Next week we return to Malenovice, and our first camp begins on July 4th. Please be in prayer for our camp with Sumperk. We are so excited for this camp (we've been staying in Sumperk, too), and I believe that God is going to really work through our programs and teams at this camp.

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