Saturday, April 19, 2014

Good to be Home

On Tuesday, Tyler and Caleb dropped Dave and I off at O'Hare in Chicago.

Twelve hours later we landed in Krakow, Poland!

We're not done with our sabbatical/home assignment, but we're back in Europe for a few weeks.

Honestly, after six and a half months in the States it was so exhilarating to set foot back in our adopted homeland. I had butterflies in my stomach as we drove through Czech, seeing familiar sights. I have missed home, and everything about it (including Tesco!).

We headed off the next morning for ten days of study and rest before we come back to Czech for our JV spring conference at Malenovice. We're so looking forward to seeing our team and being with them for those days before we head back to the States and finish up our time there.

Oh how good it is to be back in familiar territory...back at home, the place we love and belong.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweetest Evening

Last night an event occurred that touched my heart so deeply.

It happened on an evening where a surprise snow shower covered the Chicago area. They said it'd been 73 degrees over the week-end, but that was hard to imagine as we made our way through snow covered streets.

Despite snowy conditions, dear friends gathered here for a beautiful bridal shower.

For our lovely bride-to-be, Haley!

It's been many years since I've been to a bridal shower here in the States. I'd forgotten the sweetness of an evening with the bride-to-be, celebrating and honoring her, and how meaningful it is to gather with women for such an event. Oh how tender of a time it was to share in that last night with women from our church here, who generously and kindly gathered around Haley to celebrate her upcoming marriage to Caleb.

Sarah, a long time friend who serves our JV family from the office here in Wheaton, gave Haley godly wisdom and beautiful thoughts on marriage during the devotional time, and read a letter and prayer from Amy, Haley's mom who lives in Slovakia (the Chase family serves with JV there). It really could not have been a sweeter time.

Another long time friend, Judi, asked questions of Haley that brought out much laughter and joy as she delightfully shared from her heart, the story of she and Caleb.

Claire, Lara and Allyson, Haley's sister, were able to come join in the evening as well. How I loved having them there to share in such sweetness.

And Caleb was invited too! So delightful to watch these two open gifts together, as a couple, just weeks away from their wedding day.

Precious. Just precious. I'm all out of words to express how much it means to me to see the Lord's goodness displayed in an evening such as this.

As the evening came to a close, my heart was full to the brim, running over with joy, love, and gratitude. How very good is the Lord, to let me taste this glimpse of Him on a snowy night in the suburbs of Chicago!

One last picture (they took a nice one but this one is so much cuter!), and then it was time to say goodbye so they could head back into the city.

I'm glad it won't be long before we'll be back together celebrating a wedding in Colorado!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Irrefutable Answer

This morning Dave spoke to the high schoolers at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. While I've heard him speak many times, this was a new and powerful talk.

As he spoke to a roomful of high schoolers in two different services, he asked "What convinces people of God's existence?"

From the passage in John 9 where Jesus heals the man born blind, Dave shared the irrefutable answer for God's existence.

A changed life.

During these past months as we've traveled throughout the States visiting friends, supporters and churches, we've showed a video that was made last summer in Albania during an JV English camp. Teenagers share their heart and what Jesus means to them.

You can hear in their voices, and see in their faces, the realness of how Jesus has changed their lives. They are like the blind man who answers the Pharisees after a long discussion with them: "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"

How can you refute a changed life?

We are so excited to continue being a part of what God is doing in Central and Eastern Europe through Josiah Venture - changing lives by the power of Jesus Christ.

Enjoy the video!

Albanian Testimony. Josiah Venture. from Daniel Reimer on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Always JV Family

One of the joys of being in Louisville this week-end is seeing friends who used to serve with Josiah Venture in the country of Estonia.

Catching up with Dave, Jen and Zach over breakfast this morning (their daughter, Abby, is spending three months in Turkey with her missionary aunt and uncle so wasn't there) was delightful! They moved to Louisville last fall as Dave began a new job on staff at Southeast Christian Church, the church we're visiting this week-end.

Although it'd been five years since Jen and I had seen each other, we picked up right where we left off and sure didn't lack for anything to talk about!

Once JV family, always JV family!

Being with them made me miss our JV family back in Europe too. So thankful it won't be long before we'll be back with them all for our spring staff conference at the end of this month.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Duck Dynasty in Person

Tonight some interesting guests came to town here in Louisville, KY. Ever heard of these guys?

While Dave and I are not exactly up to date on our Duck Dynasty episodes (watching just one probably doesn't count as being up to date!), there were obviously a lot of people interested in hearing them tonight at Southeast Christian Church.

Nine thousand people had tickets to listen to Willie and Si Robertson tell stories about their family, their show, and most importantly, their faith.

"The Almighty is directing this thing. He's going to take it where He wants it to go. The Robertson's are just along for the ride," Si told the audience.

When Kyle, one of the teaching pastors at SECC asked Si, "Why do people like you so much?" he replied, "I have no idea!" But later he went on to say, "Jesus can change anyone. He changed me. It's never too late."

I think there is something refreshing about this humble man admitting that Jesus has changed his life, especially as he added, "If you see something attractive about the Robertson family, we give all glory to God."

The evening ended with Willie's humble prayer: "We want to point people to you, Father." 

I prayed the same thing for myself; that's what I want to do too.

I pray they will continue to stay as humble and focused on the Lord as they seemed to be tonight, and that the Lord will allow their show to continue as long as they give testimony to their faith and love for Him.