Benaiah’s Karneval 2018

Every Spring, kids celebrate Karneval in Czech schools. Sometimes children just dress up in costume at school for a day. Other schools have big celebrations where the whole family is invited. This year, Beni’s little village school decided to do a big celebration where the whole family was invited. 

The boys helping out with set up…

Beni (George Washington), Caleb (Starlord mask) and friends at Karneval. They did not have a costume contest at this Karneval but there were loads of games and candy so our boys were satisfied.

The kids got to “fish” for prizes.Caleb has Karneval in just a few days and Dad (the great costume-maker) is in Bulgaria. Caleb has received first and third place for his costumes the last two years…so much pressure! We’ll see how Mama does in Dad’s absence :). Stay tuned….

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Bulgarian football training days 2 and 3

Mark teaching strategy (above and below)I am not gonna lie…Casey is good at this. I am not there but I know these things. Wifetuition.Coffee breakIsabel (below) helping carry balls. She is the daughter of Gabe and Melissa (JV Bulgarian country leaders).Every day that Casey has written, he has been really happy with how everything is going. He’s exhausted but really happy. 

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I took my Czech driver’s test

In Czech, you need approximately 40 hours of theory and driving to be able to take your Czech driver’s test. Don’t I have a California driver’s license, you ask? Why yes I do. According to the Czech law, however, after living here for a certain period of time (and I have already lived her for that period of time), you technically are supposed to get a Czech driver’s license. I went with a friend to see if I could just hand in my CA driver’s license and get a Czech one. No go! I had to take the whole class. So, I took the class.

I am actually glad that I took the class because I learned that there are a lot of differences in the laws for EU driving than for U.S. driving. Where an American driver would never yield to cars crossing their road from the right, EU driver’s must yield unless there is a sign specifically stating that they do not have to. You cannot ride a bicycle with any alcohol in your system or else. It is also illegal to ski with alcohol in your system. So many laws and rules. They make sense to people here and I suppose as long as everyone has the same understanding of things, it does make it safer. Some of the laws were written because many of the roads were made for horses and carriages, not cars, so where we do not need as many rules in the States to know what we need to do, in the EU, it is necessary.

On test day, I barely passed the theory test (I swear with all the practice tests I took, I never saw anything like some of the questions that I had). I also barely passed my driving test. I did everything well except for I treated a two-way lane like a one-way lane and got in the lane of opposing traffic to turn left. Not long before I made that turn, my lane was a one-way lane but I did not notice the intersection that I passed (negating the previous sign). In my defense, I took my test in a big city with bus lanes, tram tracks, varying speed limits, one-way and two-way roads, very odd intersections, narrow roads, construction sites, lots of distracting people, and signs. Oh Czech driving. I will learn….maybe.

But I passed!!! After 24 years of driving with a CA driver’s license and 40 hours of instruction, I passed by the skin of my teeth. I prayed a ton on the day for the test. God helped me out….a lot.


On the left is Aleš (my translator for the test) and next to him is Lukaš who was my one-on-one English-speaking instructor for the course in Ostrava, Czech with Autoškola Šimáček. We took this picture right after the driving examiner said I passed. The visor is in the picture because it kept falling down in front of me and eventually fell out of the car ceilng on to my lap during the exam. Lukaš felt so bad about it but it actually calmed me down during the exam because I thought it was funny and it made me laugh.

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The first night of football training in Bulgaria

Casey and I talked on the phone after his first night of training was done for the day and he was so jazzed because the Bulgarian coaches are all decent soccer players and some of them are exceptional players. This will sure make training them to be soccer coaches much easier….EditNote the awesome green Bulgarian uniforms :).Tsvetan (above) translating into BulgarianThe hotel that Fanny, Casey, and Mark are staying at. The coaches and Gabe are staying in a nice church facility.Look at all this great Edge Sports gear!Casey, Mark, and Gabe ready for the coaches to arrive (all my pictures loaded backwards…the coaches obviously already had their uniforms in the pictures above)These are the “goody bags” for the coaches with their new Edge Sports brand uniforms, training notebooks, coaches handbooks, and water bottles. Yeah!

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Josiah Venture 2017 year-end report

I am so excited for you to see this report. The word “report” makes it sound boring but, believe me, this reports is nothing like boring. Please click the link below to see what I mean…

2017 JV Year-End Report_DO NOT PRINT_FOR SCREEN AND WEB VIEWING ONLY

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And they begin

Today Casey and I have been texting back and forth about the coaches’ training that he, Mark, and Fanny are running in Bulgaria for the next few days. 


Above: Fanny and Gabe (the Josiah Venture Bulgarian country leader) getting everything ready for the coaches’ arrival.

The last time that Casey was in Bulgaria, he met with around 5 churches to talk about their involvement in the Josiah Venture football league. Casey said that he was not sure if all 5 churches would be all in so I was imagining that they would be pleased to have around 5 show up to be trained. I guess I was pretty far off…

Casey said they are starting with dinner tonight at 7pm (Bulgaria time, so in about…now) and then they will do their first training session at about 8pm. I also found out that they are expecting around 20 to show up! Praise God!

Please join us in praying that these volunteer coaches are teachable, get excited about what kind of teams and league they can form, and that they would have bold faith that God can and will bring the Bulgarian people back to himself, and one of the ways he may do that is through football (soccer).

I will post whatever new pictures I get as they come along. The uniforms that Casey bought and had branded with Edge Football look great but I forgot to take a picture before he packed them up and took them to Bulgaria. Hopefully there will be uniform sightings in the next few days :).

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České Švycarsko/Narnia

During the boys’ “Spring” break in February, Casey and our friend Rachael took some days off of work and we all headed to the North Western border of Czech to České Švycarsko (or Czech Switzerland). There is a scene in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe that was filmed at the “large gate”. In the movie, it’s a snow-covered stone/rock bridge that the kids cross with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver when they are trying to escape the white witch’s wolves. It just made the hikes that we did feel more magical saying that we were hiking through Narnia and the boys loved it.

We ended up accidentally going off trail and it took us a while to get back to one of the typically marked trails. In the process, Beni exclaimed, “if we are walking in circles, I’m gonna smack you” (to Casey). Oh Beni!Turns out our atypically marked path was forbidden (oops!)The large gate (below) was covered in snow in the movie. There was a lot of snow on our hike but on the gate.Some trees are just serious about survival (growing out of one rock and around another).Hot mint tea with honey is the signature hiking beverage that Beni always looks forward to.The boys on top of the small gate that we hiked to on our first day.Haley anxiously waiting at the bottom of the ladder for the boys to get down.Both boys acquired walking sticks along the way and kept them the whole trip.Haley had a ball on every hike. On our third day we went to Czech paradise and we lost her a few times in the maze of boulders but she came back every time. Caleb has declared that we should come back every year. We’ll see. It was pretty darn awesome though.

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