Monday, October 24, 2016

The Dad Whisperer

After arriving in Portland, Oregon at midnight last night, Dave and I headed out early this morning to a breakfast appointment.  But not before I noted this familiar sight: the I-5 bridge.

My junior high and high school years were spent in Vancouver, Washington, just across that bridge.

During those years this bridge across the Columbia River was the only link between Vancouver and Portland. I can't tell you how many times I've been across it in my lifetime! There was something oddly comforting about seeing it this morning in the dawn's early light.

After a delightful breakfast over in Vancouver with the pastor and a few others from my home church there (bummer that I forgot to take a picture!) I sent a quick text to say hi to my friend, Michelle, who I met at that church thirty six years ago.

She texted back, not from Portland but rather from the Denver airport!

And told me that her new radio program was on KPDQ in Portland at 2:30 today!!

Dave and I happened to be in the car right at that time, so got to tune in and listen to "The Dad Whisperer" as we drove! Want to tune in as well? You can find her HERE!

How very cool to speed down I-5 and listen to my long time best friend talk to dads about how to be the heroes their daughters and sons need!

I'm so proud of her, and hope this show goes nationwide. It's such an important topic, and she has amazingly helpful and practical things to say to dads, to help them be successful at that most important job.

It's a good day to be in Oregon!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Refreshing Week-end

Over the years the Lord has connected us to many wonderful churches across the United States who have chosen to partner with us in reaching young people in Central and Eastern Europe with the Gospel.

One of those churches has been Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL. They came alongside us nearly twenty years ago when Josiah Venture was in its early stages of growth. They have sent teams to camps, work teams to help with renovation projects, people to pray, staff to come and encourage, their pastor to speak at a conference for us, and generous financial resources.

They have not only invested people and resources, but prayer as well. And that was evidenced again this morning.

After Dave shared a short update about what God is doing, these dear people stretched out their hands to pray along with Eric who led prayer for Josiah Venture.

Can you imagine how this felt?? I felt like crying! It was simply awesome to have all these dear people standing with us in prayer for God to do even more than He's already doing! SO thankful for this body of believers.

And speaking of dear believers in this body: Harold came to say hello, reminding us of the time he came to help with renovations at Malenovice fifteen years ago! This kind, servant-hearted, loving man of God has been on SIXTY FOUR (or was it 84?? It was A LOT) missions trips in his lifetime! He even wrote a book to tell about them, which includes stories and photos of his time in Czech.

He and I exchanged books! I felt like I was in the presence of one of God's saints.

While it has nothing to do with an awesome church or wonderful believers, I can't end this post without saying...THE CUBS ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!!! This is big news for all of our Chicago friends!

We'll remember our refreshing week-end at Christ Community with much fondness.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Special Breakfast

This morning, at a beautiful location on another gorgeous midwestern fall day, we arrived here for a special breakfast.

In the past year, one of our partnering churches, Christ Community Church in Batavia, IL, sent out over 25 groups of people on what they call "Go Teams". Over 300 individuals from this church traveled to six different countries all over the world, to share the Gospel, build relationships, and serve ministries in a myriad of ways. Their commitment to missions is awesome!

This morning's time together was a thank you to all of the leaders who led those trips.

With about 40 leaders gathered, we fellowshipped, enjoyed good food, worshipped together, and then listened to Dave teach! They asked him to bring something from the Word that would further equip, as well as encourage, these committed followers of Jesus.  It was such a rich morning together.

I didn't get a picture in the end since I was enjoying lots of different conversations with many people! But it meant a lot to me that the church leadership gave everyone a copy of my book, No Less Than Yes, as their thank you gift to end the morning.

It's a joy and privilege to be partners together with this church in reaching the world for Christ!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Bit Like Heaven

It was still dark as we traveled down the freeway this morning, headed towards a restaurant for breakfast.

Although we were only going to be in Indianapolis for 24 hours, I contacted some longtime friends to see if they had time to see us. Not only did they have time, but their sons as well! The last time we saw them was when they were 3 and 5. They've changed a little bit since then. 😉

But oh my, the fellowship with them and their parents was so precious as we caught up in person for the first time in ever so long.

At one point Rob, the dad, commented, "Isn't it crazy how we can be apart for so many years, and yet within two minutes it's as if we just saw each other. Don't you think this is what heaven will be like?"

Tears fill my eyes with that thought. YES! I do think heaven will be like that (and no doubt so much more!). We'll be reunited with people who love Jesus, who have lived their lives for him, and who we'll get to spend eternity with in worship of Him and catching up on all we didn't get to experience together on earth. And I think it will feel like we were always together.

We wish we could live life with so many of God's children that we know and love. But I'm glad we have eternity to look forward to in spending with all of you dear ones.

Thank you Rob, Cricket, Caleb and Joshua for years of loving us, partnering with us, and for living your lives for Jesus! You inspire us and we're blessed to be your friends.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Evening of Blessing

It's not much of a picture, but it represents a lot of our life these days.

Among other things while we're here in the States, we're having many meetings to share the vision of expanding our training center at Malenovice. We're praying that God would raise up His people to give towards this significant project. See HERE to read more about it.

Tonight we're in Indianapolis, having just come from one of our sweetest meetings with a group of businessmen who love the Lord and share our passion for reaching young people with the Gospel in Central and Eastern Europe. How I loved hearing about their lives, and we loved sharing ours.

While some might consider our current travels "work", it's actually been such a blessing to travel these days. Tonight most certainly was nourishing to my heart and soul.