I (Kristin) am a beginner photographer but I think that I learned a lot this week. Lesson number one: People with soccer balls not only do not stay still, when they move, they move really fast. I think that I took over 700 pictures and only a handful are great. I have always loved documenting memories but I love to be able to serve our team in this way. What a blessing from God to find a way to serve that I love!
Some of these pictures are at camp (we slept on the floor of a school in classrooms, ate food made by the “lunch lady”, used gym showers, and used the school field…we loved it) and some are at a nearby school where Kuldar (JV Edge Sports Estonia leader) arranged for 4 teams to compete in a tournament and I had the pleasure of photographing that event.
How do you sleep with no window coverings and the sun does not go down until after 10:30?
Light outside at 10:30pm
We all ate dinner at the school where the football tournament was held. Just imagine the stench of 4 soccer teams’ shoes in one small space after several matches. No. Actually you can’t. There are no words.
If you know us or have followed our blog, you would know that Casey travels quite a lot. In fact, I would say that he is traveling to some capacity for almost a third of the year. As such, the man knows his airports and Tallinn is his absolute favorite. So far, I would say that it is my favorite too!
The airport features:
A digital guy that tells you some sweet stuff. I think that he was welcoming us to Tallinn or something like that. Note the soft multicolored seats behind him and the nice wooden/carpeted flooring.
Pretty doors in the women’s restroomsSomething to think about while you are in the stall. The bathroom was clean and smelled nice too.They even suggest that you do not throw all of your money away if your money is rectangular, square, and round (you never know). Thanks Tallinn airport stall.They have an epic reading area with soft chairs, bookshelf pillar things with large busts on top and loads of books to borrow.More colorful chairs and green plants.Real actual produce!Low ceilings and dull wooden floors so that you do not feel like you are in a large frozen, too shiny barn.Look at this epic play area.
Although not pictured here, they also had several cozy looking coffee shops, bean bags to recline on (WORD), and a pretty fish tank.
Tallinn airport, you get a gold star!!!!
It just so happens that we are in Tallinn while they have their Christmas market going on. This morning, Casey needed to prepare for his meeting with our Estonian JV Edge Sports leaders so I had a few minutes to check things out…
The meat booth. Note the meat hanging from the ceiling that has been cured in the shape of a pig.
An overall view of the Christmas Market in the main town square.
Aged cheese and lots of gingerbread goodness.
Lots of beautiful warm woolen items
Cute little puppets in a shop window
Hey, I just listened to my Tchaikovsky’s Christmas CD a few days ago! There are loads of Russians in Estonia.
Sweet looking buildingMy husband of my dreams taking a stroll. I love those buildings and the cobblestones.
It’s just so pretty!
We did not go see all of the main sights for lack of time but you get the idea. Old Town Tallinn…oh, we like you!
Casey leading his meeting today with Kuldar (head of JV Edge Sports in Estonia) and a few other key leaders
Left to right (below): Kuldar, Indrek, Ranno, Casey, Me, and Margaret (Kuldar’s lovely wife)
I am so thankful to be here in Estonia. This is the first work trip that I have been able to go on with Casey during the school year since we moved to Czech. Casey’s wonderful assistant (Adel) is holding down the fort at home with the kids and Haley. She is so good with our boys and she loves dogs. Yahoo!
Some of the key things discussed:
- There are 6 Estonian JV soccer teams (each in connection to a local church) that are part of the JV Edge Sports league.
- Each year they hold a big tournament and invite churches to form their own teams and participate. The churches that participate are from many different denominations: Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, EV Free, and Baptist. This year, 2o churches came. In addition to competing, Kuldar and his team spent time communicating with the churches about forming teams of their own that train, disciple, and compete year round.
- Unfortunately, there are very few Christian men in Estonia. As a result, when Kuldar and his team come in contact with an Estonian church that is very interested in joining the JV league, all of the men in their church are already overcommitted and do not have the capacity to add coaching/discipling to their list of things they do.
We would love prayer for God to send more able Christian men Kuldar’s way that have time, capacity, the desire, and the vision to form a JV soccer team. Please pray with us!
Caleb and I had a fun time on the town square on Mikulas (St.Nicholas) day (December 6th) on the Cesky Tesin Town Square.
Even though we have lived in Czech for 5 1/2 years, I am still always fascinated by the Christmas festivities here. In a predominantly atheistic country, the name of Jesus holds little to no meaning so it’s no big deal to have a manger scene on the town square complete with a plastic baby Jesus doll and live sheep (Caleb standing in front of the pen). To many, it is just what comes along with the holiday season and nothing more.
But, then you turn around and see people dressed up as angels and Satan’s demons/helpers. What? When Mikulas goes around deciding if children are good or bad on December 6th, the angel will give them candy if they are good and the demon will give the child a potato or even bag the child up and carry him/her away if they are bad.
You turn again and then you will see a place where you can write letters to baby Jesus (Jezisek) who comes on Christmas eve to give gifts to good boys and girls. Even though the Christmas season in Czech has way more to do with Jesus than how many celebrate in the States, it is just a cultural thing to them. Many Czech people who become Christians say that they never in their lives connected baby Jesus to the risen savior that died for their sins.
Please pray for people all around the world this year for many people everywhere have not heard the good news that Jesus, God is with us, came as a baby, grew up perfect (fully God and fully man) and died for their sins. So many people do not even realize their need for a savior.
In February, Casey and our friend Chris (JV missionary in Slovenia that has coached basketball in the past) travelled to Bulgaria to help our friends Gabe and Melissa (JV missionaries in Bulgaria) to do a JV Edge Sports informational weekend with some potential church partnerships in Bulgaria, cast vision, teach how to coach basketball, and how to make it missional.
The weekend almost didn’t happen. At the last moment, many churches that had committed to Gabe that they would participate backed out and the situation looked bleak. Gabe even sent Casey and Chris an email asking if they wanted to cancel. Chris reiterated his commitment and after praying about it, Casey decided to go for it too. God loves him a Giddeon’s Army. Casey was so glad that he went. They had great fellowship, a time of prayer, the churches present seemed really interested and committed and Casey and Gabe even made a new contact with a British guy living in Sofia, Bulgaria. He seemed really interested in participating and helping coach in the basketball league in Bulgaria. Praise the Lord!
We shall see how things go as Josiah Venture’s Edge Sports ministry blooms and grows in Bulgaria. This was a great start even if it was with just a few people.
What happens when you travel and sleep in a cabin on the side of a mountain in Bulgaria in the snow and you are on the Paleo Diet? You eat what you are served is what. Fried cheesy bread with a side of cheese. At least Casey said that it tasted good.
Chris Wick teaching how to coach basketball
Beauty and the basketball
Please leave your bows and throwing stars at home. Compliments of the Sofia, Bulgaria airport.
How Casey looks to me when he travels places. Specifically. this is how he looks in Bulgaria :). We love Face Time!