Thursday, March 17, 2016

Celebrating Amy

Someone thinks we're coming to pick her and her husband up and go out for dinner, to then talk about and debrief our recent JV trip to Israel.

What she doesn't know is that her husband has been sneaky, and has a very different plan up his sleeve.

These dear and familiar faces greet us at a restaurant in Ostrava as we walk through the door.

Dan and Laura, long time friends, teammates and vacation buddies, drove over from Poland this evening to be part of a surprise for our friend, Amy Ellenwood.

Why? Because her 50th birthday is coming soon and this was our time to gather for a surprise party for her!

At this point she thinks it's just the six of us (Dave's taking the photo!) who will be celebrating.

But there are more guests coming!

Greg and Heidi, also long time friends and JV teammates, arrive from Poland, and there are big hugs and exclamations of joy as Amy greets them.

Ah, but there are still more surprise guests!

Brian and Aleisha, another pair of dear friends and JV teammates, come to surprise her too!

At this point, our table is filled and we begin our evening of celebration together for Amy.

But what we don't know is there are more people coming! Who should arrive just minutes later to celebrate another JV staff birthday at the very same restaurant?

It was Jonathan's birthday (second from the left in photo below) on Tuesday, so he's here with Daniel, Josh and Tomas, more JV friends, who are there to celebrate him as well! Had to get a picture of Amy with her real surprise guests!

We proceeded to have an absolutely exquisite evening of joy together, all in honor of Amy.

What a special group of long time friends!

All this for a truly beautiful lady, inside and out, who is loved by all of us. But none more than her husband, Mel!

We all headed over to their house afterward to enjoy a special bottle of wine that Mel bought for Amy this summer on Hvar, the island in Croatia that we love.

And then we sat in their living room, as if time stopped for a while, sharing funny stories and memories we have created together through the years.

But best of all, we continued our tradition of "giving words" to the birthday girl.

This meant telling Amy all that we love about her, what we see of God in her life, and telling her how she's blessed us over the years.

What a truly precious evening honoring, celebrating and blessing our dear friend, Amy who we love, appreciate and enjoy so very much!!

We all love you Amy!! And happy *almost* 50th birthday!!


  1. Absolutely beautiful. What amazing friends and a sweet, sweet time of fellowship!

  2. How wonderful! Love you Amy!