Monday, October 30, 2017

Preschool Halloween Party

I don't know if anyone else misses when I post on my blog, but I DO!

This past week has been an all out sprint, as Dave and I have been on many airplanes, on three college campuses, in people's homes, out for meals with others, at two churches, and with our family.

I promise (mostly to myself!) that I'll go back and blog about those things because there were so many times I saw the Lord "show up" and I don't want to forget those times. **I've now caught up HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE!**

But for now, I'm just blogging about today!

If the last post you read of mine was on Saturday, October 21st (right now, that's the last time I posted which is nearly a record for me...sadly, of NOT posting), you saw Claire in that post.

Well, we said goodbye to her that day and have been on the go for the past nine days. But today, we met up with her again in Jackson, Wyoming!

While Dave had meetings with our dear friends here who are pioneering an incredible classical Christian school, Claire and I had a different place to be.

We had the fun of joining our sweet little friend, Sarah, at her preschool Halloween party!

Claire has never been in a preschool in the States so it was yet another new experience to gather before she makes her move back to Czech! What a fun time we had having preschooler snacks and activities with Sarah.

The teachers had put together fun stations with different activities for the kids to choose from. The three of us spent the most time at the sticker and card station. There is just something about putting stickers on a piece of paper to your heart's content, making it into a fun Halloween card, that makes it a good day!

While my kids had different kinds of neat programs and fun parties at their preschool in Czech many years ago, it was just great to experience one here in the States today!

We'll be here all week, loving on our dear friends and their kids, and sharing in life together for these days.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Charlie's Special Event

A few weeks ago Caleb sent a message to confirm the days we would be in Fort Collins to see them. When I replied with the date, he told me that of the two days we'd be there, Sunday was the day of baby dedications at their church.

Who would have ever imagined we would get to part of this special day? I love how the Lord arranges those things!

The pledges that Mountain View Community Church has them commit to were precious.

And it was very meaningful for our whole family to come up and stand with them while they were prayed over.

Do you see who else got to be there for this event?! Dave's mom, dad and sister from Denver!

And Haley's brother, Ian was part of this special event as well!

Dave and I are so delighted by God's work in our kids' lives ... "...(we) have no greater joy than to hear that (our) children are walking in the truth! 3 John 1:4

And how thrilled we are to see them loving each other well, and delighting in their own son!

And what a gift to have some of Charlie's great-grandparents there for his dedication!

 Oh and Charlie got to meet his great-aunty Joyce for the first time that day too!

"Thank you Lord for letting family be together for such a special event!"

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Enjoying Charlie

In the midst of all the other places we've been and people we've seen, God carved out a little window for us to come see this fellow!

This is Charlie, son of Caleb and Haley! Born in August, he is now two months old and growing like crazy. It felt so good to hold him again after not seeing him for six weeks.

But honestly, the best part is watching Caleb and Haley as parents!

They are loving and caring for Charlie in the sweetest, most caring way!

Is there anything better than watching your son make HIS son smile?!!!

This little fellow has such a dear disposition, happy and satisfied, with a gleam in his eye as he connects with you!

And when he fell asleep on me for an hour, I couldn't have been happier! How we delight in him!

You might have taken note of something in one of the photos above...something rather large and orange!

That is a 180 pound pumpkin from Grandpa Patty's garden in Denver! He brought it up to Caleb and Haley last week, and Dave helped him carry it in the house so they could enjoy it for a long time.

Given the gardening gifts of the Patty's, it was fitting to get a three generation picture of Dave, Caleb and Charlie in front of it!

Oh how good it is to be here, enjoying Caleb, Haley and our dear Charlie!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Radiating His Presence

We woke up to this sight this morning!

Up in Golden, Colorado to see some new friends, we spent the night and woke up to a fresh covering of snow. Of course it didn't last, but it's my first sighting of snow this season!

Our friends invited over their neighbor this morning to share breakfast with us. He has quite a story!

A Jewish Czech, he and his family fled to Canada in 1939, leaving behind his grandma who was later sent to Auchwitz and gassed. He told us many stories about his life, and showed us one of the only things that he brought with him as a five year old...this Czech book of fairy tales.

Sadly, he doesn't know the Lord, but is regularly being ministered to by our friends, and I prayed for him as we were together, that one day he would know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Do any of my Czech friends recognize this story?!

After saying goodbye to them, we drove back down to Englewood to have lunch with Dave's mom and dad.

We treasure every time we get with them!

And then we were off to Vail, Colorado to see more friends for the evening and night. Since all the golden leaves on the aspens are gone already, I had to comfort myself with a painting at their house!

I'm thankful for all these touches with people that we are having while in the States - both with believers and non-believers. I pray our lives always radiate the presence of Christ, no matter where we are or who we are with!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On Campus at CCU

Dave and I arrived bright and early this morning onto the campus of Colorado Christian University!

While various ones of our team have been at 25 campuses in October, doing recruitment for JV summer interns, this was Dave's and my third and final campus to be on. We loved meeting up with different teammates, like Lina Miller who serves with her husband in Germany.

We gathered for prayer with the worship team before chapel, praying together for some of their needs as well as for Dave as he prepared to speak.

For the past month I've had one song in my head every day: "Spirit Move". It's been my anthem, my prayer for God's movement across our region of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as for spiritual movement in the lives of dear ones that we've been seeing along the way during this trip.

How fitting that it would be one of the songs this morning during our last chapel while we're in the States!

A long time friend of ours who used to be on faculty at Multnomah, but who is now on staff here at CCU, introduced Dave before he came up to speak.

He spoke on how to know God's will - a timely message for these college students as they try to sort that out!

While he spoke I got to sit with some very special family members!

David and Joyce Schroeder, Dave's sister and husband, came to be there with us!

David serves as president of Cadence International, located here in the Denver area, the ministry to military that Dave's dad was part of founding, and that we served in prior to Josiah Venture. How we love the fact that we're in the same business of bringing the Gospel to those who need it!

After lunch with students, Dave and I dropped by the office of CCU's president to say hi.

The funny thing about this is that the night before, just as I was going to bed at midnight, one of our JV missionaries in Czech texted me to say that Christina wondered if I'd be on campus the next day. I told her that we would, and gave my phone number so she could pass it on to Christina.

Christina and I texted the next morning, making a plan to see each other later in the day. She wrote "I'll be at the President's office preparing for a meeting so you can stop by when it's convenient".

Here's the funny part...I didn't know her husband was the President of CCU!

I met her a few years ago when she came out to see my JV missionary friend, but somehow had missed hearing that they had relocated from Orlando to Denver to take this position a year ago!

We had a good laugh about that over coffee later on!!

Our JV team had a great day on the campus, and we know of several students who are planning to apply for a summer internship in 2018. Our prayer is that we'll have 150 interns to serve in 14 countries. Knowing that they're coming from such great schools like CCU, they will no doubt have great impact for the Lord on the youth of Central and Eastern Europe!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

At Moody Spokane

Dave and I know the campus of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago very well. All three of our kids graduated from there.

But did you know there is another Moody campus?

Since 1993, Moody Bible Institute has offered classes in Spokane, Wash., first as an extension site known as Moody Northwest Center for External Studies. In 2005, Moody Aviation—Moody's program focused on training missionary pilots—was relocated from Tennessee to its current site in Spokane.

What a joy to be on campus today, sharing about Josiah Venture and the opportunities there are for college students to parter with us in the summer!

After a few hours of talking with students, Dave spoke in chapel.

Yes, he likes to use props to get his point across!

After chapel we hurried over to the Aviation Center for another chapel with those students.

When Dave asked how many are planning to serve in missions, I don't think there were any hands that weren't raised. This is a serious bunch who are planning to serve in jungles and difficult places, reaching as of yet, unreached people. That's why they're studying aviation - so they can get to them.

While our day was short at Moody, we deeply appreciated the seriousness of all of these student's faith and willingness to give of themselves for the Gospel. We hope a few of them might join us in that Great Commission!

We were off on yet another airplane this afternoon, headed for one more college campus to share the vision we have of reaching young people in Central and Eastern Europe, and discipling them to maturity in the Lord!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

They Made a Difference

After an early morning meeting with the president of Multnomah University, Dave and I were back on a plane again, headed to another college campus for JV summer intern recruiting.

Given typical rain and clouds in Oregon, it's a rare day to see this many peaks in the Cascade Range! I'm so glad I was on the left side of the plane to enjoy those views as we flew.

We landed in Spokane, Washington - the very first time I've ever flown into that airport, even though I went to college nearby (NO ONE took planes back in those days!).

Eastern Washington University is in Cheney, but I had classes downtown Spokane during my senior year so it was special to get to show Dave the downtown area, and stay in the oldest hotel there (it was built in 1899!).

I have even more memories of Spokane as it was the site of Expo '74, a world's fair held down here on the riverfront. I remember my parents bringing us there when I was 13, and it was first time I saw an IMAX movie!

But the real reason for being downtown was dinner with these very special people in my life.

Kay Walker was my high school choir teacher, the most influential and impactful of all my high school years. She opened up so many opportunities for me, believing in me as a budding musician, and fanning into flame my gifts and talents. She was more than a teacher - she was a mentor, friend, and a great encouragement to me through those years.

She had contacted me a few months ago to say that she'd be in Prague with her husband, Louie, who I knew well back in those days too. I couldn't meet them in Prague, but asked if they'd be in Spokane on this day (as I knew they lived there) and they said yes!

I hadn't seen them since my college graduation in 1984, so it was high time we reconnected! What an incredibly special evening for me to introduce these dear people to Dave, ones who made such a difference in my life.

While the evening was over far too soon, we did pack it full of reminiscing and catching up on 30+ years. And we left saying, "Let's not wait another 30!"

What a highlight to this trip in the States - reconnecting, but also telling them what a difference they made in my life!