Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hradec Kralove - Our First Youth Group Visit of the Summer

Rainbow in the Square
The Cathedral and "White Tower" opposite
We got to go to Hradec Kralove this weekend as a team! This is my third year doing camp with the Hradec team, and I have been able to visit every year.  Friday we promoted camp in Czech schools and did a "Greater Than Night" as a preview of things to come at camp. We played games, sang camp songs, and of course had snacks. I also had the opportunity to speak on Mark 12:28-34, the greatest commandment. I encouraged students to look at what is most important, and showed that Jesus says loving God (as He reveals Himself in the Bible), loving others, and drawing near to Christ are of the utmost importance.
Camp Songs and Worship
Saturday we took a lovely hike up to the top of a mountain with a view of the highest peak in Czech on a clear day.  The hike down took a lot longer - Czechs really value the journey and to my knowledge don't ever return the same way they came up. We got drenched, but it was a fun experience with some of the youth group.
While waiting at the train station, one girl wrote out the theme Greater Th>n
Sunday we had church service, where we got to participate in the children's minute by sharing our experience with sunday school and our favorite games. We also encouraged the church to truly partner with us in camp through prayer.  We went out to lunch after the service and had a team meeting immediately following that. Megan, who will join us for this camp, was also able to spend the afternoon with us. The rest of the afternoon was supposed to be for sports with the youth, but rain kept us inside for card games and chatting most of the time. Ten of us went outside for frisbee in the rain, though, and had a tons of fun.
An Intense game of Dutch Blitz!
Card games inside during the rain
We concluded our visit with a packed 6 lessons of school visits on Monday, with several students expressing interest in camp. That afternoon we arrived in Podebrady to a BBQ/youth hangout celebrating the end of another school year and one graduation. Our team is now in Podebrady for rest, team time including a study in Jesus' ministry, and English lesson/evening program planning.

Hike group on the slain dragon!

Amazing Race and Intern Training

The last two weeks have flown by so quickly! The day after my last post the interns arrived, completing our team of five. The next two days were spent on a great Amazing Race through Krakow for the first half and a journey to Czech (with stops) for the second half. I was also blessed to visit H2O, the new training center in Poland. After the Amazing Race we had several days of intern training.
Our Summer Team: Bethany, Jitka, Rachael, Nolan, and Josh
H2O - What was so exciting about visiting this place and staying in it our 2nd night of the Amazing Race is that I have not been there since my first trip out with JV in 2007.  At that time it was not even owned by JV and they were in the purchasing process. Hearing their heart for the place to be used as a training center and a place for students to experience Christ was exciting, and we prayed for the purchasing process to go through.  God has answered that prayer and many more that the team has prayed since then. They've got a lot of it remodeled (except for the big meeting rooms) and ready for summer use, and we were the largest group to ever stay there. Please pray that Polish students would experience Christ there in a powerful way! Check out a video of the transformation below from H2O's Extreme Makeover Site

Amazing Race - God used this event to bring our team together, and the food challenge (blood sausage) wasn't even that bad. This was one of the best races to be a part of, and I've been involved in the last six.  My team did a great job, though on the last day we dropped from 4th to 11th place due to a decision to walk to our first destination. We arrived in Malenovice for intern training as a team ready to serve together all summer, and it's set a great tone for the summer.

Intern Training - Our days at intern training were a blessing. We had morning devotions and evening messages focused around the Holy Spirit, and I trust the Lord will use that to bless his ministry through us this summer. We also had a lot of seminars centered around the core tasks of the summer, and some of the practical things we must do together.  It was done under new leadership, but was still as great as it's always been for preparing our interns for service this summer.

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Making a model of the solar system out of food!
In the Krakow Square
They're here to give us another task - bingo
Treated to beautiful views at Malenovice all week