Thursday, June 23, 2011


 We're only together every three years...

But oh how we love it when we DO get together!!

Because we are "sisters" at heart!

We're in Oregon for our Patty family reunion this week, having such a great time together! And today we got to visit Sisters, doesn't get much better than that!

We are three sister-in-laws who live more like sisters, even though we don't get to be together very often! But our hearts were linked together long ago and we love each other like sisters.

And while these girls are cousins, they too have something even more special between them!

Kendra and Becca are sisters living in Slovenia...

Kyrie and Kerith are sisters living in Colorado and Indiana...

 But when we're together, in whatever's more like we're all just sisters!

I am so thankful for all of them...especially Joyce and Kristi, my precious sisters!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

From Eugene, Oregon

Too much fun...

Too little time...

Too slow of internet! It has taken me DAYS to get these pictures loaded...and even then, I can't seem to upload everything I want.

After a 26 hour trip from Czech, we arrived in Eugene, Oregon to see my parents late last Wednesday night.

Since then it's been a whirlwind of fun, conversation, delight and of!

My dad has been so patient, driving us around. He's such a great dad!

Claire has been intrigued by the fruits and vegetable sections in the grocery stores...we've enjoyed so many good tastes while being here!

And of course we've had a lot of laughs! Claire and I bought straw hats at a thrift store for costumes that we need at home. We came back to the car after looking around the Eugene rose garden and found my dad and Caleb like this. Funny guys!

We're headed out today to our Patty family reunion over in Eastern Oregon.

The great thing about today is that we get to see all our dads! My dad will drive us over there, we'll meet up with Dave who just flew in from JV board meetings in Chicago, and later this evening we'll see his dad!

Seeing all three dads in one day is amazing...seeing all three dads on father's day is absolutely incredible!

I have no idea about internet connection where we'll be staying...and most likely it will be the same story as it's been this past week...

Too much fun...

Too little time...

And quite possibly...too little internet!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We're Off!

Another school year is complete! Caleb and Claire finished taking their final exams today for 2nd and 3rd year of high school.

When school starts in the fall, Caleb will be in his last year of high school and last year at home in Czech. He'll head to the States for college after that. How did that happen so fast??

We fly to the States in the morning - excited and thankful to be going! Next post from Eugene, Oregon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Not only was it a day of celebration for KVZ in Brno yesterday, but it was a delightful day of seeing people we've known and loved for many years.

David was in Dave's English class in a Havirov high school when we first moved there in 1993. Today he is a pastor in Brno, serving with his wife, Lydia and their three adorable children!

Josef and Danka Pavlinak are the founders of the KVZ ministry. They are a dynamic, faith-filled, godly couple whom we greatly admire and respect!

Radka was in our internship program years ago, and then was Dave's secretary until God called her to Nepal! She's been there for five years, faithfully serving. She is back on a three month furlough, and brought this young woman with her - the first believer in her people group in Nepal!!

There were a ton of other people there as well...I just didn't get pictures with all of them! But it was one of those little peeks into what heaven will be like, meeting together with believers that we don't see often, but will spend eternity with!

Dave gave the afternoon message at the a photo on my phone as he was preaching!

Then he left for the States this morning! I put him on a bus in Brno at 8 AM and he was at the Prague airport by 11, and flew out a couple hours later. He'll be in Chicago for JV board meetings, as well as other meetings, and then fly to Portland on Saturday.

Caleb, Claire and I leave for Portland on Wednesday, will meet up with him on Sunday (good thing, since it's Father's Day that day!) and head to eastern Oregon where we're having our Patty family reunion for a week.

We're doing other things while we're in the States as well, including a visit to my home church, Laurelwood Baptist, on Sunday the 26th. Dave will be preaching there, and sharing about the ministry. If you live in or near Vancouver, WA, come see us there! The service starts at 10:15 that morning.

Hope to stay connected here on my blog while we're out and about, but we'll see how that goes!

Friday, June 10, 2011

In Brno to Celebrate

Dave and I are in Brno tonight, about two hours from where we live.

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of KVZ, an indigenous ministry to university students across the Czech Republic. We have known the leaders for almost as long as we have lived here and have great respect, admiration and love for their ministry.

Along with other aspects of the celebration, Dave will be speaking tomorrow afternoon on looking into the future. It's going to be a special day, looking back at what God has done through this ministry, and looking forward to what else God has in store.

They were so kind at putting us in a pension (a small hotel) near the city center. When we drove in this evening we couldn't help but notice all the people out in the streets, and wondered what was going on.

We were even more curious when we walked to the pension and people were just standing alongside the path!

A few minutes later, the reasoon for the crowds became evident.

Not only is KVZ in celebration mode, but so is the city of Brno! Tonight was the end of a week long city festival.

That might not have been so interesting except for how they chose to end it.

Standing just outside the door to the hotel, we watched a display of fireworks shot off from the castle overlooking the city, that was undoubtedly the best display I have ever seen!! It not only left me speechless, but even teary! It really was that beautiful! This photo from Dave's phone absolutely does not do it justice, but at least it's something!

Do you think we will have fireworks in heaven? After seeing that tonight, it makes me hope so! I want to see that again!

I am posting this from my phone and it won't let me go back and make corrections. So thanks for enduring any mistakes!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Interns are Off!

All the summer interns are gone from Malenovice now.

The teams have headed to their places of ministry with our JV staff throughout Central and Eastern Europe for the next 9 weeks.

How can you pray for them? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Spiritual growth with the Lord, despite crazy schedules and little personal space all summer
  • Physical and spiritual protection over each of the teams, our staff, and the young people they will be working with
  • Boldness, courage and sensitivity to sharing the Gospel at camps
  • Spiritual FRUIT! We desire to see many put their faith in Christ this summer
Most of the teams will spend the next 2 weeks working with each of the churches they'll be partnering with this summer. They'll be getting to know students, inviting them to camps and connecting with the ministry teams from the churches to plan and coordinate with them.

After that, camp season begins!

Thanks for your prayers for our interns...including this one!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Year Old Theology

There's nothing like a two year old to set you straight.

I've been seeing a lot of Cece lately, the 2 1/2 year old sister of the twins that were born to one of our JV families recently.

Today while I was over helping her mom feed the boys, we were having a conversation with her.

Mom: "Cece, would you like to draw a picture of our family?"

Cece: "Yeah!"

Me: "Whose in your family?," assuming she would name off the boys, mommy, daddy and Chloe, the dog.

Cece: "Jesus".

Aleisha and I just looked at each other, hardly knowing what to say! Then one of us said, "Well, yes...that would be that right Cece!!"

End of theology lesson!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family photo day

It's a busy day around here...but we found time to do some family photos today. You might see more of them in the coming days, but for we are!

We're off to the last night of intern training, and tomorrow will say good-bye to Tyler for the summer.

These have been sweet family days!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Favorite Teacher

It's no secret. My favorite teacher is my husband!

He's been up at Malenovice for the past three nights, teaching through the book of Ephesians at intern training.

This is the same book that he taught through my first summer in Malachi, 27 years ago! (Gulp!)

It changed my life back then.

I'm praying that there are some interns whose lives are changed this summer by God's Word and by my favorite teacher.

PS. Shout out to Martina and Jess, both at intern training, and regular readers of my blog! Hi ladies!! Thanks for taking time to read all my wandering thoughts!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Surprise Ending

Last night at intern training, Dave shared the JV story.

He has easily shared it hundreds of times over the past 18 years. But it never had an ending like it did last night.

Seven years ago there was a teenager in Slovenia that the team reached out to and began to pray for. They met her at a school where they were inviting kids to an English club (the beginnings of a youth group). She started going to that English club at Josh and Kristi's house (my brother and sister-in-law), and later to English camp.

Over the next several years she moved in and out of belief in God. She was drawn to him, and to the believers that she met, but never put her faith in Him.

Josh told me that the team banded together and began to pray her out of her dark clothes, literally and figuratively (she never dressed in anything but black during those early years). I can remember praying for her as well during those years.

She graduated from high school, still not having put in her faith in Christ, and went to England to nanny for a family. It was not a good experience and she ended up coming back to Slovenia three months later.

One day after she'd returned, she met with one of the JV team members who suggested that they get together with several others from the team to pray with her. She agreed, though was nervous as she didn't know what to expect from that time.

That night, after many hours in prayer (she said it felt like one hour!), she put her faith in Jesus. Six years after she'd first heard about Him.

A week later, she called Josh and said, "I think I'm supposed to be a missionary. How can I train to become one?"!!

They found a Bible school in Hungary for her to go to, and she just finished her first year there. God has put a particular city on her heart in Slovenia, where there is no evangelical church, nor has there ever been in known history. It is her desire to bring Jesus to the people there.

Dave finished the JV story last night with a letter that was written years ago to one of the JV girls in Slovenia, who had shared it with him all those years ago so we would pray for this girl:

"I really enjoyed when we were at Cajna Hisa (a tea shop in Ljubljana) and you were telling me the story about God's chosen people. I have never known the story about God..."

"The first time I came to English Club I realized that God is trying to find me. I think that with your help I will find him and he will find me."

"I have a lot of questions, But if I put all of those questions in just one question, I'll ask: What's the meaning of life? Why do I live? Why was I born? What is my "job" in life? Can you help me find the answers? Mana"

As he finished reading it, a small voice popped up from the packed meeting room at Malenovice.

"That was me".

Unbeknownst to Dave, Mana was there! She is serving as a JV intern this summer in Slovenia! She is next to Dave in the picture, along with Johnny and Brooke Stevens, JV staff who are her team leaders this summer.

You NEVER know the impact of your prayers...or how long it will take for someone to believe. But we do know that God is in the business of calling his sheep to Himself.

What a delight it was to meet Mana last night, one of God's sheep that He pursued for many years, and finally brought home.

Would you pray for her? That God would use her to draw more of His sheep into the fold, not only this summer, but for years to come!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Full Circle

As many of you know, Dave and I served as missionaries in Germany years ago. During our years in Malachi Ministries (with Cadence International), God brought some amazing people to serve with us. We're still serving with some of them today in JV.

Others we were only with for a short time.

Tonight, up at Malenovice, where our JV summer interns have just arrived, God brought one of those people full circle back into our lives.

Only it wasn't an adult who served with us. It was a missionary kid!

Recognize either of these two little people? Probably not!

One is our own Tyler (the little guy holding the Sesame street book). The other was a sweet girl named Brianne. Her mom and dad were with Malachi Ministries, serving in Stuttgart for a few years. Tyler and Brianne are just one month apart - I think they were 11 months and 1 year old in this picture.

Tonight they were together for the first time in a L--O--N--G time! Both of them are serving as JV interns this summer here in Czech (though on different teams).

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined on that summer afternoon 20 years ago, sitting at a lake in Germany with Brianne and her mom, that one day God would allow them to serve together in a ministry in the Czech Republic as adults.

But here they are! What a huge blessing to see God's faithfulness in both of their lives. There is no greater joy than seeing our children walk with Him.

One other very cool full circle thing...

Our nephew, Justin, is here serving as a summer intern too. And he's a Malachi missionary kid too!

Happy days around here!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Streams and Springs

Three years ago when Caleb and I were in the States during his trial of stomach pain, my dear friend, Michelle, and her mom, Jan, gave me two invaluable books:

"Streams in the Desert" and "Springs in the Valley", both by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman who was a missionary in Japan and China with her husband from 1901 to 1917. It was after their return from the mission field, and her husband's untimely death, that she wrote these devotional books.

Time and time again her thoughts and insights into God's Word have ministered to me over the years.

But there is a particular day that always speaks to me, every year that I happen upon it. Her entries in both books on June 2nd are profound.

An excerpt from "Streams" today says:

We shall never forget a remark that George Mueller once made to a gentleman who had asked him the best way to have strong faith.

"The only way," replied the patriarch of faith, "to learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testing." This is very true. The time to trust is when all else fails.

As I wrestle with yet another migraine today (yes, my head is pounding as I type but when I read "Streams" today I just had to post about it as I feel certain it is a help to someone reading today), the truth of this calls out to me.

Friends of mine are enduring much greater trials right now - mine is very small. But the truth is the same for us all...our faith is being strengthened in the midst of our trials, as we unload all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).

Dear one, you scarcely realize the value of your present opportunity; if you are passing through great afflictions you are in the very soul of the strongest faith, and if you will only let go, He will teach you in these hours the mightiest hold upon His throne which you can ever know.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Den Dětí

I was sitting in the chair at my hair salon just across the border in Poland this morning when all of a sudden I heard a commotion outside.

Police cars were slowly driving down the street with their lights blinking, the smell of fireworks was in the air, and the sound of a crowd was in the distance.

All of us in the salon couldn't resist looking out the window to see what was going on. Covered in my cape, with my hair dripping wet, we stood at the window watching.

It was the festivities of "Den Dětí"! I'd forgotten that on June 1st International Children's Day is celebrated here! Hundreds of children passed by us, dressed in costumes, on their way to the town square for an afternoon of celebration.

A few hours later when I was finished, I wandered into town to see what was happening.

Such fun for the kids!

I remember one time when I was in elementary school, a friend of mine asked her mom why there was no "Children's Day" like there is for mothers and fathers. Her reply was, "Every day is children's day"!

That may be true, but there is an official Children's Day here!