Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Is Anyone Available?!!!

Feeling a bit jet-lagged tonight here in Toronto, my day is about to end.

Or at least I thought it was until I checked the JV Prayer Room calendar.

On this last day of the month, after having had every day fully covered in prayer throughout the month of January, ONE HOUR OF PRAYER JUST OPENED tonight! It was filled earlier today so someone must have had to cancel.

Is there anyone available to step into the gap and stand watch in prayer for our JV team tonight, keeping the fire of prayer alive without breaking the chain?

As you'll see on the calendar, there are a few more hours open this week so those need filling too. But I don't want to see our first month of 24/7 prayer for 2017 be broken on this last day of the month!

If you can step into the gap in the next few hours, click HERE to register and log in for this hour of prayer.

If not, I'll will my eyes to stay open and fill it, though my body is telling me I need sleep. But prayer is more important than that.

UPDATE: Within five minutes of me posting, someone filled it! If you are reading this, THANK YOU!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Just "See You Later"

I'm never fond of goodbyes, especially with our kids.

I genuinely love spending any time with our adult children that the Lord gives us. And in this case, it was with Claire for the past month.

It was a special privilege to spend everyday life with her again after four years apart while she was in college.

But if you don't say goodbye, you can't say hello!

So we receive the good of the past month, look ahead to what the Lord has for our futures, and only say "See you later" for now!

Claire leaves soon to return to the States where she will begin the process of support raising for her ministry with our Josiah Venture Kids. We are praying for a team of people to come around her in the next months, who will pray and stand with her financially so that she can return and begin to minister to them.

Would the Lord be calling you to be part of her team? If so, you can go HERE to share in the mission of caring for and equipping our JVK as the next generation of faith-filled believers!

Turning our hearts towards what's next for us, Dave and I took off early this morning from Krakow.

We stopped in Munich...

Crossed over Greenland...

Which looks more "blue" than "green"! HAHA!

Stopped over in New York for a layover...

Do you see the Statue of Liberty?!

And finally landed in Toronto, Canada this evening!

We're here for a JV Canada board meeting, as well as a few other things which I'm sure I'll write about later!

It's good to be on God's agenda, and we're excited about the next three weeks of being his ambassadors while in the States (and Canada!).

Sunday, January 29, 2017

An Extraordinarily Special Guest

On Friday a very special guest arrived at our house. Someone I've known since the day she was born.

Amy, on the right, is the daughter of very dear friends who served with us in Germany during our Malachi Ministry days there back in the late 80's, early 90's.

On a hot August day all those years ago, Dave and I raced down to Stuttgart after getting the call from Amy's dad telling us she'd been born!

Somewhere in my archive of photos I have the one of us standing at her mom's hospital bed, with Amy in her mom's arms, and us standing around her on the day of her birth. It was the first friend of mine who'd had a baby, and from that moment on, Amy has had a very special place in my heart.

Sadly, that photo wasn't easily accessible, but here's one that was!

Though we only lived near each other in Germany for a few years, we have seen Amy and her family a handful of times through the years, despite the fact that she and her family lived in Guam for twelve years! The above photo, however, was taken in Seaside, Oregon when her dad was a pastor there, before their move to Guam.

Now after all these years, Amy has come back into our lives in a special way. She was here visiting to see if God is calling her to minister with us in Josiah Venture. Can you imagine how this thrills my heart?!

It was extraordinarily special to have her in our home, especially while Claire was here as well. These two have known each other their whole lives...and now get to connect as adults!

Amy is a gifted athlete (maybe some of my long time blog readers will remember me blogging about her running in the Olympics several years ago!), and has been here checking out Edge Sports in JV.

We're all praying for God's clarity for her, if and where, she would serve.

But if nothing else, it was so purely delightful to have this time with her!

Thankful for God's gracious family connections to dearly loved people through the years!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Yes, This is About a Cat

On a day with a variety of things going on...preparing to leave for the States, doing Prayer Room work, hosting a dear guest, cleaning and packing...this little sight out my window this afternoon was what I needed.

This is not my cat! In fact, I'm not sure whose cat it IS! I've never seen it before, and it's certainly never sat on my window ledge.

But there he/she was today, just enjoying the warmth of the sun from a nice perch.

We're headed into a heavy season of travel tomorrow. I always look forward to trips...spending time with people, sharing about JV, being with Dave! But travel and being away from home can also be demanding.

With that said, I'd like more of it to have the feel of this cat at my window!

Soaking it all in...aware...enjoying...warmed by what's going on...and at rest.

Claire just leaned over and said, "Wow Mom! You're doing a cat post!" Yep, I am!

Friday, January 27, 2017

One Last Christmas Present

On Christmas morning as we unwrapped gifts, Dave suddenly pulled out his computer, typed in a few things, and then told Claire and I to check our emails.

Some happy squeals reverberated through the house as we saw the contents of the email.

He had bought tickets for us to see the European Figure Skating Championships...being held in Ostrava!

While I'd seen signs around town in early December for the championships, I never thought I'd get to GO! This was seriously one of those "dream come true" moments for me.

Like some of you who grew up in the 70's, my family rarely missed "Wide World of Sports" on ABC at 5 PM every Saturday. My mom made a little party for my dad, brother and I nearly every week as we settled in for an hour and a half of sports. It didn't take much to make it a party...some Coke and chips usually did the trick!

I watched my share of car racing, motocross, weightlifting and even arm wrestling!

But the best was always the figure skating events.

It wasn't that I was an ice skater, or ever even dreamed of being one. I just enjoyed watching the skaters do what they do! Elegant, skilled, athletic and talented, they brought the "thrill of victory" as well as the "agony of defeat" (a line quoted every week on Wide World of Sports!) while giving their all out on the ice.

And now, thanks to my dear husband, he made a dream come true and gave us all the opportunity to see skaters in person. And not just at any event...but at the European Championships!

We went in the afternoon and first watched the short programs for the ice dancers. Then went back in the evening for long (and final) program of the pairs. It was an absolute thrill to be watching them in person!

Our tickets had been for seats up at the top of the arena, which did allow for a nice, wide view of the whole event. But in the evening, I got a call from a friend who happened to be sitting down closer to the ice, and she said there were seats free in front of her.

So down we went for the rest of the evening!

We truly cheered for every nation that was represented, but you should have heard the cheers from the crowd when the only Czech couple competing came onto the ice!! They gave an absolutely amazing performance, and ended up in 7th place out of 16. Not bad for our relatively small nation!

We stayed all the way to the end of the evening, enjoying the whole program so very much. And all the better being close to our friends!

At the end of the night it was gold for the Russian pair, silver for the German couple, and bronze for France.

And we left with big smiles on our faces for having had the joy of being at this unique event held right here in our very own "backyard"!

"Thank you Dave for such a memorable Christmas present!"

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thanks Core Team for the Prayer Room!

I hardly know what to say about these amazing people who sat around this table with me today.

L-R - Peter, Sona, Connie, Geri, John and Brian - the Prayer Room core team

This is the core team that has given their time, heart, thoughts, energy, creativity, and...did I mention time?!...for the past year to making our Josiah Venture Prayer Room project a reality.

The two on the left side of the table (in the above photo) are Peter and Sona from KREA, a Slovak web developer/design team who created the website for us.

While it's true that we paid them to do a job, they were not simply business partners. They listened with their hearts, took our very embryonic ideas and put SO much time and effort into turning those thoughts into a reality. This website would not exist without them.

The other three on the core team for the Prayer Room are from our Josiah Venture team.

Brian carried the whole project in his head, start to finish. I don't have enough words to express my thanks to him for ALL the hours he's spent working on this project! His ability to track everything about it, from start to finish is the other reason this website exists.

John brought his brilliant artistic mind to the creation of the website's design. It is visually beautiful because of him.

And Geri joined me at a crucial point in the project where prayer, thought, time and a whole lot of hard work had to be done.

To each of these dear ones on the core team...THANK YOU with all my heart.

This has been an incredible experience to create something so special and significant with you.

And I believe we have yet to see what God is going to do through it!

I pray that it will bring much fruit for the Kingdom of God as people pray and believe him for big things in this region of the world.

May there be many people across this region that come to know, love and serve the Lord as a result of the thousands of hours of prayers that will be prayed using this amazing tool that this team has created.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Cafe in Town

On Sunday as Dave, Claire and I were out for a drive, we happened to notice something new in Čeladná, a small town nearby.

In an old brick building, before you enter the town (across from the old Pizza Coloseum for those of you who live around here!), it looked like a new coffee shop had opened. One that looked quite different than anything else in our area.

Claire and I noted it and said we'd go back to check it out later, which we did.

The next day we stopped by and thoroughly enjoyed the cozy, warm, friendly atmosphere of this new cafe called "Kovarna," which means "The Forge" or "Smithy shop".

While sitting there I heard the beep of a text coming through on my phone. It was from a friend that Claire and I were planning to visit the next day since it's been a year since Claire has seen her.

The text said, "Is is possible to meet tomorrow in new cafe in Čeladná?

With a big smile on my face I wrote back, "You are going to LAUGH! I am here RIGHT NOW with Claire!"

Seriously, what are the chances of that happening??!! Apparently, quite high since it DID happen!

And so the next day, we were back in the same spot.

To meet with my dear friend!

And share some delightful time with her and Claire in this wonderful new space.

You truly never know when God's little joys in life might be just around the corner!

Thank you sweet Ingrid for your friendship and gifts!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Next Generation

What do an American and a Brazilian have in common?

Well, in Bia's and my case, A LOT!

First of all, Bia was Haley, my daughter-in-law's, first roommate at Moody Bible Institute five years ago. It was there that she met her husband, Darius, a Romanian. They studied the Bible, fell in love, graduated, married, and moved to Romania.

And not long ago, joined Josiah Venture!

They are here at Malenovice this week, along with 34 other nationals from nine different central and eastern European countries, for our JV national orientation.

Along with the team leading this week's orientation, our office team who serves the JV family, came up for the first evening to meet everyone and share a little about ourselves so they know who we are.

When it was my turn, I took that moment to take pictures of all of these dear people from the front!

You are looking into the faces of people with BOLD FAITH!

I could not be prouder of these dear ones who are believing God for big things in their countries: believing him to bring redemption and transformation in people's lives that will literally change whole countries for the sake of God's Kingdom.

On top of that, they are trusting God to provide for their needs so they can work full-time in bringing the Gospel to the people of their countries.

(May God lead some of you reading this to support them!!)

For many, this is a huge sacrifice. They could be earning a lot of money, be successful in the marketplace, and live a much more comfortable life. But because they are committed to the Great Commission to make disciples, they are giving those dreams up and following passionately after God to do what he is asking them to do.

Dave and I are just SO very proud of these dear servants of God!

Will you join us in standing with these faith-filled, next generation missionaries?

Pray for God's hand of blessing on them.

Pray for their needs to be met.

Pray God uses them to bring about deep transformation across Central and Eastern Europe, that is rooted in lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This group of passionate servants of God are the young "Josiahs" that we have prayed for these past twenty three years!

We believe that God will bring about revival in this land through them. Join us in praying for that!

Monday, January 23, 2017


The word "Selah" appears in the Bible seventy four times, with the vast majority being in the book of Psalms.

Although it's used that many times, the meaning of the word is not entirely clear. Some versions of the Bible attempt to translate it, while others simply leave it in its original form without explanation.

However, one of the more common interpretations is that it is a combination of meanings that include "praise", "lift up" and "pause".

For that reason, our JV staff retreat house nearby in the mountains is called "Selah": A place where our team can come to put life on pause and spend time with the Lord, lifting him up in praise.

Which is what I did last night and part of today.

I woke up there this morning thanking the Lord for the kindness and generosity of people who have made this special place a reality for us. Even 24 hours away, on pause, made a huge difference in my outlook and perspective for what's ahead of me in the weeks and months to come.

I'm feeling refreshed, nourished and ready to dive into what's next!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Walk with Claire

Probably no one was more excited to take a walk this afternoon than this one.

But Claire and I were a close second. 😁

It was was one of those wintry fairytale afternoons, where the snow was still covering the ground, but the air not so deeply chilled as it's been.

We walked up to a familiar and favorite tree-lined road not far from our house.

And soaked in the view over to the village of Malenovice, off in the distance.

We actually hadn't intended to go this far. But how could we not when it looked like this?!

From here we continued on, making a big loop, heading onto the snowy runway of our local airport. I should have made a video of Kaylee frolicking through the snow. I'm pretty sure somewhere in the distance I heard her dog-giggling with joy over the fun of being able to be outside on this beautiful afternoon. 😂

Claire and I talked, laughed and enjoyed sweet time together, appreciating the kindness of the Lord to give us times like these while she's here.

We have just one more week with her here, and I'm treasuring every day of it.

With that said...she's got some really exciting, happy news about what's next for her.

Head over to her blog HERE to see what's in store for Claire in the months/years to come!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Reflection Wall

Both Dave and Claire came into Ostrava by train today, though five hours apart.

Dave had been at a conference speaking for the staff of an organization that reaches university students with the Gospel here in Czech.

Claire had been visiting a JV family on the western side of Czech.

Since Claire had made arrangements to meet some of her friends from high school for dinner in Ostrava, but needed to be picked up at the train station in time to meet them, I did that and then took her to the mall downtown.

While we waited for Dave to come in later, she met up with her friends for dinner, and I met up with my computer for dinner. 😁

Why have dinner with my computer? Because what's on there is something I love to do every day right now!

This week we activated a new section on the JV Prayer Room website called the "Reflection Wall".

This is a place where people share their thoughts after they've done an hour in the Prayer Room.

I've had the joy and privilege of editing this page every day, so get to have first eyes on what people are sharing.

I'll tell you...I am often in tears after reading what people are experiencing and sharing with our JV staff. It is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I'm so touched by people's words of encouragement, prayers for JV teammates, and their own reflections on how God touched them or spoke to them as they prayed.

The Reflection Wall is open for anyone to read, so if you have a few minutes and would like to see what I'm talking about, head on over HERE.

I hope it will bless you as much as it has blessed me!

And if you haven't signed up for an hour of prayer yet, I would love for you to try it! You can do that HERE.

After you've booked your hour and then prayed, I look forward to reading and posting your thoughts on an hour in the Prayer Room!