Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grand Canyon and Other Great Relationships

Between programs in my missionary training trip we had a long weekend, which ended up being such an awesome time to deepen my relationships with other missionaries.


A 3-day weekend is enough time to drive to the Grand Canyon and back, 12 hours each way, right? Alright, so there were three of us insane people that drove through the night to get from Palmer Lake, Colorado to the Grand Canyon for sunrise. Then we drove up to Zion National Park in Utah in the evening and through the night again to get to an area North of Denver to rendezvous with some other missionary friends for two nights. Yes, Ashley, Katherine and I were crazy, but I had never been to the Grand Canyon and now was my time to go. It was great to spend time with them connecting and sharing our stories/testimonies with one another. Katherine is headed to Fiji to work with women coming out of prostitution, and Ashley is headed to Czech/Eastern Europe to work with the Missionary Kids (aka TCKs) of Josiah Venture.

The next two nights (well, the rest of the morning after we got there, then the next night) in Winter Park, CO with some other missionaries with us at training. One family knew some supporters who allowed them to use the cabin for rest and rejuvenation and allowed us to join. We enjoyed the winter scenery, hanging out in the park, sipping coffee, and lots of rest.
We also stopped for "Colorado Style" Pizza at BeauJo's in Idaho Springs. Great stuff with a great group of people.

I'm looking forward to time with these people in the future (Most of them are with Josiah Venture) and to hearing of the work God is doing through the others around the world.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Missionary Training Trip

It's been awesome to spend the last (almost) two months with an awesome set of people. First on the trip was JV Orientation, which was awesome to increase my vision of what God is doing in E. Europe. Then I got to visit Autumn, Sarah, and Patrick from my intern team. After that was my best friend's wedding in FL, and it was great to spend time with them for the week. The last 5 weeks have a been a whirlwind of great relationships at MTI (Mission Training International) doing the SPLICE (Cultural Adaptation, Spirutal Prep, Interpersonal Relationships and more) for 3 weeks and PILAT (How to learn "acquire" a language) for the last two.

SPLICE was an especially helpful experience for me, and it's hard to boil down all that God did in me through this program. We learned about adjusting to culture while seeking to understand it as well as addressing interpersonal issues and spiritual growth. The people in these pictures are headed to the four corners of the world, and several are headed to E. Europe with JV. They really are a great group of people. Here's a few things I learned: My conflict style and how to handle conflict, how to observe a culture and withhold judgement, how to rest better, handling grief/loss, and how to properly say goodbyes.

PILAT (Language module) helped me to gain a renewed excitement to learn Czech and taught me new strategies in learning. We spent two weeks in this program with many of the same people as in SPLICE, and a few new couples and families. While I initially went in not expecting to learn much, those expectations were blown away after the second day. Though it was less relational than SPLICE, it was still a great time to continue those relationships and mix things up a bit. I've learned how to direct my own learning in Czech and to make some of my lessons fun. I've got a simplistic foundation in Czech that I now know how to build on. I'm pumped to go to the field!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Best Friend's Wedding

I had the opportunity to couple my training trip with visiting my best friend in Florida and being in his wedding. It worked out perfectly as I had a week between Josiah Venture Orientation in IL and Missionary Training in Colorado.

Jerry and Melissa are great friends. They're a great couple and fun to be around, and both love Jesus immensely. They're both ministry-minded, and interested in missions. Jerry's been to Czech with me several times and the team would love to have him back. I hope that in the coming years Melissa can experience the ministry in Czech and that they can move over to work with JV!

I wish Jerry and Melissa all the best

Monday, October 11, 2010

Josiah Venture Orientation and Visit with Interns

I spent the last week in Chicago, IL for Josiah Venture's missionary Orientation. My love increased for the vision of JV, Eastern Europe, Czech, and my future role there, and I got fired up for the future. There are some really great people (singles, couples, and families) "in the pipe" heading to Europe with JV over the next year. There's even a couple gathering a team to start our (JV's) first ministry involvement in Eastern Germany, which shares many of the same characteristics as the rest of Eastern Europe. Also, the very small team we have in Wheaton are a great group of people dedicated to making Christ's name known in Europe and at home, and they support us missionaries well.

JV Singles

I also had the opportunity to visit three people from my intern team this summer. Autumn was back in the states for some medical stuff and she lives near Chicago, so we went to her parents' house for a few days. Sarah came up from Grace College in Indiana for the weekend, and Patrick took some time out of his busy schedule to hang out with us for one night. It was a weird feeling connecting in our home country rather than serving as a team, but it was an awesome weekend. I'm looking forward to serving with them again in the future!

Update: Check out a few pictures on Flickr:
End of a Season Grain Southwest Sunset

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back Home in Hawaii

I've been back for a month, and have been spending a lot of time with the college students of our church. A lot of it's been fun, random things, but we're just getting started on two different Bible studies, and I'm hoping there are more. As you can tell, they're a fun crew.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Prague Debrief

Here are a few shots from Prague our last week in Czech. What a beautiful city it is.
Wenceslas Square
Prague Castle

Last Team Picture
On the Subway
National Theater and Castle
Charle's Bridge at Sunrise
A Lonely Departure at the Airport (4am)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Vikyrovice Camp

We finished Vikyrovice camp almost a week ago, and it was a blast! Things weren't always easy, but God worked through the Peoria team, Czech team, and our Interns to do a great work in the hearts of Czech students.
I was especially pleased with the Peoria team in their flexibility throughout the week, and for many of these students stepping up and teaching during the week.
The Czech team was also quite solid this year. They were ready the night we shared the Gospel to talk with students and pray with them. They also really served well throughout the week.
One major hiccup that God really worked through was us forgetting to plan our Thursday night activity, which stemmed from a miscommunication between teams. Through this I personally grew closer to the Czech leader, my friend Tom, as he worked hard to make the event better and clearer to Czechs. I am so excited to work with him again.
Please keep these students in prayer as they spend time back home, that they would continue to spend time with the youth group throughout the year.

Our next camp starts now! Pray for the students of Havlickuv Brod as they arrive and hear the Word of God this week.

Location:Puste Zibridovice, Czech Republic

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Camp in Krkonoše - Hradec

Our camp with Hradec Kralove and Missio Dei from AZ was a great opportunity. The team from AZ were all capable young adults, and the Czech team has been doing camp for the last 4 years. Though we experienced some difficulties in scheduling and weather, it was a great camp.

At our camp we saw most of the students move closer to Christ through our conversations, God's Word, discussion groups, and relationships. We also had a tactile, contemplative experience called the labyrinth, which students went through after hearing the Gospel. Students could take their time or rush through it, and most took their time as they thought about their relationships with others, their priorities, forgiveness, and their relationship with God. Please continue to pray for these students to take steps of faith this year, especially in their continued interaction with the youth group.

It was great to connect with students through games, meals, and other activities. I really enjoyed afternoon soccer with the guys, and I loved hearing about how God worked in some of their lives through the programming.

Keep them in prayer as they continue the relationships from camp. Also keep us in prayer as we just started training for camp #2. Thanks.


Sword fighting

Waiting for English testing




Downhill trikes - Matt

Downhill trikes - Klara

Hike day...rain wind cold

Discussion groups

Futbol (soccer)

Location:Dolní Alberice, Czech Republic