Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Special Arrival

Even after all these years of traveling, I still get a thrill when I go to the airport!

While today was not a traveling day for me, I still enjoyed a two hour drive to Krakow this morning to pick up someone arriving from the States.

With a bit of a delay (a half hour late from Berlin), I didn't mind a quick morning cappuccino and some people watching out the window. When I'm at airports, I always wish I could know where all those people are coming and going from, and what their stories are!

Finally the plane I was waiting for arrived and a very special person came out through the doors!

Our daughter, Claire, is here for two weeks to get a jumpstart on her ministry with the JV Kids!

Every year since 2002, our JV staff have put on an incredible camp for the JVK.

Claire used to be one of those kids and went to camp for many years. But now that she is finished with college and in the process of raising her support to come on our team to work with those kids, she gets to be part of the staff at camp for the first time!

While she's still raising support (she hit 75% of her monthly just a few days before she flew), she gets to go to camp and begin building those relationships that will be the foundation for her ministry.

And in the meantime, we get to see her for a few days at home!

Just as we arrived (hadn't even gone in the door yet), our neighbor stopped by to have her first chat with Claire.

Our neighbor dearly loves Claire and prays every day for her so was very happy to get to see her and talk with her today. I'm sure she'll be back every day while Claire is here.

Someone else was happy to see her too!

She'll be here until Sunday when she leaves for camp. And we'll soak up all the goodness of those days with her between now and then!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

At the Office

Another day, another walk to the office!

Dave and I have been sharing his car for the past two months while a mechanic has searched across Europe for transmission parts for my car. Not wanting to put in a new transmission, or even a used one, we've waited for him to find the right parts that would work to fix my car.

And in the meantime, I've taken some really great walks!

It's just a twenty minute walk from our house down to the office, which always makes me smile as I come up to this building where so much background work takes place for the JV family.

About thirty people come to work daily in this building, keeping KAM, our Czech JV ministry administratively cared for, as well as the greater JV team across Central and Eastern Europe.

There's a lot of creativity, thought, plans and prayer that takes place here. And I'm jumping in to add my piece today!

I walk all the way upstairs to the top floor where Brian works in his office, and we get going on more refinement of the Prayer Room together.

I find problems, and he finds solutions!

What I love about Brian and our whole office team is that they are all committed to God-honoring excellence in whatever they do, and they do it with a happy heart. It makes coming in to the office a pleasure!

I'm thankful to be part of such a great team here at the office in town.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pure Joy Moment

I was in a parking lot this afternoon, talking on the phone while watching the comings and goings of people in Frýdlant from my car window.

I snapped a photo because it was just such an idyllic moment.

All of a sudden, the man seated on the bench in the picture above, stood up, grabbed some leaves off the tree and started tossing them in the air.

Apparently he knew what his dog would do!

It absolutely cracked me up watching him toss those leaves so that his dog would literally FLY into the air, by the power of his own legs, trying to catch them! That dog could JUMP!!

There was such pure joy in the moment, watching these two have an extraordinary amount of FUN!!

Their play lasted maybe five minutes, and then the owner sat down on the bench again. With his dog in his lap, he buried his head into its fur, obviously giving the dog some love. And you could see the dog soaking it in.

I wish you and me some moments of pure joy like that!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Church in the Park

Every summer our Frýdlant church heads outdoors for the month of August.

The worship service is held each Sunday in the lower amphitheater at Malenovice, our training center.

It is so delightful worshipping outdoors, even with a few sprinkles falling and the temperatures cooler than normal. You just wrap a blanket around you and soak in the beauty of God's creation as you worship.

We typically have a lot of guests during the summer, people who are in the area for a variety of, conferences, visiting family in the area. It makes for the best kind of atmosphere on a Sunday...the family of God joining together from all corners of the world.

Continuing in our summer series of teaching in Psalms, Dave preached yesterday.

Speaking from Psalm 3, he talked about the Lord as our shield, the lifter of our heads, the One who hears our cries, and the One who fights for us. As always, it was a powerful message!

After the service, we were all happy to go inside for a warm lunch and sweet fellowship!

I sat with one of our JV summer interns who has just finished leading an intern team here in Czech. How I loved hearing what God did in him this summer, and how God used him in the lives of many Czech young people. This is what we pray for our interns! That God transforms them, as he uses them.

Photo credit for these amazing photos goes to Honza Kabut, one of our amazingly talented JV communication team members! When I saw him taking photos, I knew they would be so much better than what I'd capture on my phone. And I was right!

Thank you Honza for sacrificially using your skills and talents to capture memorable moments like "church in the park"!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Best Part of the Day

After 90 degree temps here in Czech this past week, it dropped drastically today after an unbelievable thunderstorm for hours through the night.

The clouds rolled in and cool temperatures descended, ending the day with a beautiful sunset.

But the best part of the day? When Dave surprised me by coming home at noon instead of late tonight!

After finishing the JV country leaders week-long training in Croatia last night, he and three other guys decided to leave at 1 AM and drive home through the night to beat the heat and the traffic. Dave said that the border crossing INTO Croatia was bumper to bumper for 30 kilometers! Thankfully they sailed through on the other side and he arrived at noon!

No kidding, the sunset was every bit as beautiful as it looks in this photo. But the best part was watching it with Dave after nearly three weeks apart!