Kid’s Day 2018

One of the fun parts of living in a foreign country is having holidays that you did not grow-up with. One of those is Kids’ Day or Den Deti. Below is a celebration in the Cesky Tesin town square for all the kids. All of the bouncy-houses were free and…

of course there was a load of candy for sale.Beni (green t-shirt) choosing from all of the options.There was a man on stage stressed as a surf dancing around and leading children to a line dance to a surf song in the Czech language to the tune of the Barbie World song. I cannot make this stuff up…all the littles were into it!It was a lot of fun for Beni and of his besties from our neighborhood that we brought along. Fun times!

P.S. Casey and Caleb were in Ukraine, thus the lack of those 2 in the story :).

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Casey’s first trip to Moldova

Casey was in Moldova for a super short vision trip over the weekend and, although he is ready for a break (… and we leave for the States in just a few days 😬), he was super glad he went.

Since the summer we served as Josiah Venture Romanian summer interns in 2003, we have always wondered about this little country bordering Romania called Moldova. Moldovans speak Romanian but almost everyone in the country also speaks Russian. Moldova was a former member of the soviet union (thus the Russian). It’s a tiny country and very warm culturally.

Casey experienced a great deal of hospitality and enthusiasm from the church that JV Edge sports will be partnering with to start JV Edge Football.

Now to get some JV Edge Football trainers there to train their coaches. They would love to launch Edge Football in the Fall but, due to lack of JV staff to train their coaches, it may be later in the 2018/2019 school year. We’ll see!

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JV Edge Ukraine floorball tournament, 2018

As many of you already know, Casey travels a lot for his work. All that time away is super fun, exciting, interesting, and furthers the Gospel, but it is time away from home and family. That, of course, if the hardest part for all of us.

Fortunately, my husband, who frequently thinks outside of the box, came up with a great idea. Why not take Caleb with him? We got permission from Caleb’s school and away they went.

This trip was super exciting because it was the JV Edge Floorball 2018 tournament in Ukraine. There were approximately 500 players and many teams (as you can imagine). Casey got to be a part of the pre-game devotional and prayer for the coaches/leaders and was able to see how the teams were interacting and supporting each other. The energy was big and it was so astounding to see all of these teams that are doing devotionals weekly at their practices, have all heard the gospel, and are growing. It was a very long day (early morning until 11pm-ish) so a movie break was totally necessary.

Of course Beni was a little sad that he was not able to go because missing out is so not his jam. We’ll see what the future will hold for work trips that include Beni…

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The Royal wedding and my local community of friends

So this is a way delayed post but the pictures and memories are nice so…A bunch of us JV ladies that live near each other were excited to watch the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry to Meghan Markle ,so Jenny (works for JV Czech Republic) invited us all to an English tea at her house.

Below: Jenny (front) with Erin and Amy

Jess just moved on the field with JV and makes a mean cucumber sandwich!So lovely!To be honest, the wedding was fun but the best part was these lovely Czechs, Americans, and one N. Irish (our resident British representative)….and the excellent food. I love me some English tea!

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Josiah Venture Amazing Race and Intern Training, 2018

This is the first year that our friend Rachael (who Casey, as the JV International Camps director at the time, originally hired to be his awesome sauce second in command) lead the whole camps team in the JV Amazing Race and Intern Training as the new JV International Camps director! Although I was not able to experience the race or large chunks of the Intern Training, I have heard many a good thing and what I experienced was brilliant!

The Interns landed in Vienna, Austria and raced in Bratislava, Slovakia. Two super beautiful cities. Since we will be in the States this summer, we do not have a JV Edge International intern team and, therefore, did not have a team running the race. This was good news for people on intern teams that knew what they could have been up against (our Edge boys got 1st place last year). I hear that teams said things like, “Casey does not have a team racing? Oh good. Now our team has a chance at winning.” And, much to their happy, happy joy, Casey was a helper at the most physically challenging task. Well, it was most fortunate for those that were not super strong swimmers. On the second day of the race, Casey had to swim from the shore to the small boat and back about 20 times with people. Word!

Our kids even got to get in on the action a little. One of the tasks was to take a bag of broken-up Lego pieces, a picture of what the final product was supposed to look like, put on a pair of oven mitts, and build. Below are a few of the masterpieces that our kids came up with pre-race…

Below are a few pictures of the racers. Each year the JV summer camps have a different theme and design. This year’s theme is “Reign Forever”. It’s so pretty!

I feel like the Intern Training gets better every year and whatever I experience always makes me so thankful that the Lord has put the right people in the right spots of leadership to lead these young Josiahs to lead other Josiahs this summer.

Casey and Rachael were the main DJs for the training but there were many others from the JV family coming from various countries that lead workshops.  Some of the things taught were being culturally sensitive, understanding the 5 challenges of Christ (the steps from a not-yet-believer to obeying the great commission), how to interact inter-culturally, conflict resolution within each intern team, laying our sins fully at Christ’s feet, porn (kick its butt and get accountability, don’t just “struggle” with it), and many others. I really think that Intern training would be the best training for any Christian anywhere.

We were blessed to be able to attend a portion of Intern Training as a family and (sorry for the major blurry picture) Caleb even got to get up on stage and share a joke with everyone (on stage with Casey and Rachael).

I came back for a visit during a weekday when the kids were back in school and I shared on anxiety (above) to all the lady interns. The coolest part was that I asked for prayer from a few people about my anxiety about getting up in front of people to talk about anxiety (go figure) and God took the anxiety away. I was and still am not concerned at all whether my talk was good or not because I wrote it all out, practiced it, prayed over it, others prayed over it, and the rest is God’s deal. It is not about me. That felt and feels so good!

This summer, we will have camps running in Romania, Estonia, Germany, Slovakia, Czech (Czech Republic), Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Serbia, Hungary, and Croatia.

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Please pray for these teams this summer. Our interns are nationals (from central or eastern Europe), Americans, Brits, and Canadians. Not only are they learning to relate to the culture they are serving, in some cases, they are learning to relate to the culture of their own team that they are serving with!

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ECSU Health and Fitness Summit, 2018

As I write this, Casey and our friend Åsa are leading a European Christian Sports Union (ECSU) Health and Fitness Summit at the JV hotel in Malenovice, Czech. Below is a picture that we took last night when we took a walk in town after dinner. Åsa came early in order to nail down final details before the event with Casey and we had a lovely evening with her as well. Below is Åsa (far left) and us with Český Těšín, CZ in the background.

The ECSU is a network of partner organizations that work to spread the gospel through sports ministries run by local churches. The main branch that Casey and Åsa head up is Health and Fitness. Åsa’s church in Sweden is basically a gym and we have a garage gym that we use for evangelism through our local church here in Czech.

There are approximately 34 attendees from Sweden, Croatia, Czech, Serbia, Slovenia, and Albania. Some of the workshops being offered include how to start an evangelistic garage gym, how to turn your whole church into a gym, stretching and meditation, how to coach specific exercises (i.e. the dead-lift, the back squat, etc.), how to lead bible studies, and theology of health and fitness.

The attendees are all people that are already involved or are highly interested in doing fitness ministry through their local church setting and some of them just need ideas on how to begin. For others, it is great to learn from different people and network.

Casey will also be speaking over the next few days about the life of Peter, what can be learned from how he dealt with his personal mistakes, and how God turned things around.

I just texted Casey about his talk tonight (the event started today). He said that the group is super engaged and really easy to work with and his first talk went well. Praise God!

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Could you please move your frogs?

I said “hi” to my neighbor last week and after greeting me back, he proceeded to ask me if I could move my frogs. I never expected to be asked this question in my life.

“So, you have frogs?”, you might ask. Nope. We do, however, have a big very unkept pool in our backyard that beckons them to live happy baby-frog-making lives and be really loud at night.

Exibit A: Big unkept pool

Yeah, I call it the pond. I literally slept soundly and blissfully several nights to the tune of ribbit, but my neighbor had many sleepless nights due to my slimy green friends. So, I tried to move my frogs.

With the help of my kids, we tried 3 nights in a row. We got one out the first and second nights, those escaped, and we could not find the rest. Those frogs were super elusive! It seemed like they got smarter each night.

Of course Casey was out of town at the time. As soon as Casey got back home yesterday, he drained the pool, caught Fred and Ginger (yeah, we named the biggest ones) and they did not sing last night. So, I (well, Casey) moved my frogs in the end.

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