Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dave's Travel Adventures

Dave left home on Sunday the 21st and since then has been in Poland, the Ukraine, Hungary (after an all night train from the Ukraine - that's a story!), Croatia and Slovenia.

In the Ukraine he visited our JV team there - the Hughes family, and Ben and Kristy Williams who had just arrived to join them. He had a great time with all of them, as well as experiencing some of life in the Ukraine...full of surprises and adventure!

After a cancelled flight and many attempts at figuring out how to get out of the Ukraine, he and Mike Sullivan, who was traveling with him, (a JV missionary) got on an all night train to Hungary where they were then met the next morning by Mel Ellenwood, another JV missionary, who picked them up in Dave's car (which had been at the airport in Poland the day before and was retrieved after a long drive in the snow by Dave's assistant, Lucie, since he didn't make it back to the airport to pick it up!) and they drove on to Croatia. 

If you have no idea about distances, get out a map and take a look at all the kilometers logged in getting from one place to another! And I'm only telling you a thumbnail of that story!

Over the week-end in Croatia Dave spoke at a conference for 150 Croatian and Slovenian young people. Dave said he loved it, and that they were very responsive!

After that it was off to Slovenia where he led the JV Council meetings for three days - this is country leaders from the 10 countries where JV is working who gather to pray, think and talk about the JV vision for reaching young people in Central and Eastern Europe...I think there were around 20 there for those meetings.

Tomorrow Dave will get in the car and drive from Croatia through Austria and home to Czech where he'll have a few hours "off" before heading up to the hotel Friday night to teach through Saturday for 150 Czech young leaders on "Spiritual Warfare". The boys and I will be part of the worship band for that conference.

Sunday is our only day to be with just family - pray for sweet connection with each other that day! Dave leaves again Monday morning for the US where he has JV Board Meetings in Chicago, as well as a mission's conference at our home church in Wheaton through the week-end. The week after that is filled with various meetings with people. He'll get home on February 17.

This is a heavy season of travel for Dave. We've been praying for physical and spiritual strength for him, for leadership wisdom and skill, and for blessing on all his interactions and conversations along the way. He says God has been answering!

Please remember to pray for him, and for us, throughout the month of February as we spend a lot of time apart, but doing things that we love and know God has called us to!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Part 2 - Caleb's Birthday

I don't know why I couldn't get these pictures to publish in the other blog post - who knows what happens out in cyberspace sometimes! But I decided to try a new post and see if the photos would come through and "Ta Da!" It worked!

These are happy family days for us! Great to be able to enjoy each other and the gift of relationships the Lord has given to us in our own family.

Caleb Turns 14

We had a happy week-end at our house celebrating Caleb's 14th birthday.

Here are 14 things I like best about Caleb right now:

1. He's got a great sense of humor
2. He's thoughtful
3. He's doing great at playing his sax and the bass guitar
4. He's a hard worker
5. He cares about school and is diligent at studying
6. He was really sensitive to his sister when her hamster died last week
7. He writes fun text messages to me on my phone while he's at school
8. He says "You're the best mom in the whole world and universe and all of time" every night before he goes to bed
9. He can fix nearly anything
10. He doesn't complain
11. He is respectful
12. He loves to give
13. He is a good friend
14. He loves God

Happy Birthday again Caleb! I hope you have your best year ever!

Love, Mom

PS. Will post pictures later - Blogger must be having problem tonight because I keep getting an error message when I try to load pictures. I have some great ones of Caleb and look forward to getting them on here!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Girl's Conference at Malenovice

On Friday and Saturday 136 women of all ages gathered at Malenovice for the 3rd annual women's conference led by four of our JV/KAM missionary women...Katka, Leah, Radka and Agnes. What a beautiful time it was! They prepared such a special time for these women: a main speaker, seminars, personal ti
me, worship, time to talk with friends, yummy desserts and a gift at the end for them to take home. It was all so meaningful!

Claire came with me to the conference - her very first one as a real participant! We had such a great time talking about the topic of true beauty in God's eyes, as well as many other things we heard there. It was a delight to watch her engage and be so
full of interest and questions about it all!

One fun thing that happened there: She and I were on our way to lunch in the restaurant at the hotel when we saw Lucka and her mom. Lucka was Claire's very first babysitter 12 years ago! Lucka, who was in our youth group and hadn't yet trusted Christ at the time,
was just twelve when she started babysitting while I went to class to learn Czech. Several years later she put her faith in Christ and has walked with the Lord ever since then. Now here she was bringing her mom, who to my knowledge is not a believer, to a women's conference! So neat! Wish I'd taken a picture of her and Claire together!

It was a special week-end!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year 2007!

As I type there is a spectacular display of fireworks out of my office window! The hotel's fantastic display just finished (watched it from our bedroom balcony!) but the neighbors are still going! If you've never seen Europe on New Year's Eve it just might be worth saving up to come for. What a fireworks show it is all over the valley! You've never seen ANYTHING like this!

Tyler and I stayed home tonight for our own private New Year's celebration, while Dave, Caleb and Claire went up to the hotel for their big party - I think there are about 150+ people there tonight. They say it's quite a party! Tyler and I were more in the mood for a quiet night at home together which has been fun. What 16 year old wants to spend New Year's Eve with his mom? I'm honored that he did! Thanks Tyler!

Happy New Year to all from our family!