Sunday, August 3, 2008

Crazy Summer

I have spent less than a week at home since the last post. The summer has been crazy, but wonderful. I will share the highpoints with you:
--Time with missionary colleagues and friends at our Annual General Meeting in Greece. Each year this is such a great time of renewal and refreshment. This year was no different! Even more fun, was watching the kids with their friends. Jessica is a blossoming teen and we barely saw her. Comparing this to a couple of years ago when she was shy and unsure of herself, just fills me with praise for God and all that He's doing in her. Andrew also played hard and constantly. He got esp. close to one young lady whom he's known since we moved to Prague, but who moved away a few years ago. She's in Bulgaria now, but, fitting with the times, they are now email buddies :)

David and Lauren also had a great time with their youth group. Although they were separate from us, we saw them at meals and at the pool and enjoyed watching them have fun.

The youth washed their senior leader's feet to show their thanks to him. Very sweet!

--Time with my sister in America. Man, I love her so much and being with her just really makes me happy. We were there for 2 weeks. We played in the lake and went to 6 flags, got to spend time with my mom and celebrated the 4th of July with fireworks. It was awesome. I didn't want to leave, but I praise God for such a great sister and the bond we share. A friend of Lauren's came to visit for a few days and this young man has become very special to our family. He came on a mission trip to Prague and we just fell in love with him. It was so good to see him. The past few months have been really pivotal in his life and walk with the Lord, and we've been able to play a part in that. Seeing him was a real joy.
Preston driving the boat

Me and my sister getting ready for dinner

Lyle and Lauren being silly

--Time with Czechs at a family English camp. We went to help our friends who were leading the camp and it was really wonderful. The best part was that all the families are from right here in our area of Prague and we made some good relationships with them that I think will continue throughout this year. A church from Washington State came to help with the camp and they were a real blessing. Everyone's English improved and they were able to see God's love through us up close. Testimonies were shared and many spiritual matters discussed with individuals. We praise God for the opportunity. It was also great to see the kids minister to the Czech kids. They really reached out and made friends and were a blessing. Jessica wrote about it on her blog if you'd like to read more. Be sure to read the comments at the bottom because she forgot to say something in the original note. Please pray esp. for Renata and Martin, Dasha and Peter, Eva, Jitka and her daughter Anna, and Gabriella and Robert-for opportunities to build friendships with them this year and for their desire to know more about Jesus.

Walking from the train station

Jessica with her "class"

--Praying for God's glory to be known through Jesus Christ over a totally Muslim village from the minaret of the town mosque. This was during our media trip to Bulgaria. We spent 6 days travelling through the Rhodopy mountains in an ancient van that I had to drive--ugh! Quite tiring, but it was worth it when the Muslim "man of peace" in one village started asking questions about Jesus while we were standing in his mosque. Pretty cool!

Praying from the Mosque

--Seeing my two teenagers come home from their Youth Retreat after truly meeting with God and sensing His hand on their lives. This is one of the best retreats they've ever been on and we praise God for the volunteers who gave so much time and money to come and bless our kids.

Lauren and her friends worshipping together

They both wrote about their time and what God did in their lives. Read Lauren's blog and David's blog to rejoice with them.

--Preston has been meeting with a young Czech man and our friend Jiri to disciple the former in his new life in Christ. It has been a blessing to get to know him and see his passion for the Lord.

--Finally getting an all clear from the doctor. My anemia seems to have cleared up, although no one is sure why. For now, and after all sorts of procedures and tests, feel sure that I'm as healthy as anyone I know! Thank you God!

In addition to all the highs so far this summer, there have been some hard things too.

--A friend and colleague who is only 49 died suddenly last week from an embolism in her both lungs. She has daughters in high school and this happened while they were away at the youth retreat. It has been hard on our whole region. Please pray for the Tarleton family as they struggle through this loss.

--We have heard from leadership in Richmond that big changes are coming in Novemeber. None of us know what will happen but feel sure that it will directly affect us on the regional level. Jerry Rankin and the trustees are still working through the details and praying for this new direction. Please be in prayer for them as they revamp strategies to be more effective in winning people to Christ. We are at peace knowing that our future and our calling are sure.

--The kids' youth director who usually comes and leads the youth retreats was in a tragic accident and is now paralyzed from the waist down. He will no longer serve as youth director but has a real peace that God is leading and guiding him through this. Please pray for Kenny and Terri Pope.

--The dollar has continued to plummet and is really hurting all of the Americans living overseas. Prices continue to rise with entry to the European Union and we have NO buying power. It affects everything from rent to putting food on the table. Please pray for stabilization of the dollar and for us to be wise spenders.

--There have been several heart breaking tragedies among our friends and family. Strokes, car accidents, comas, emotional problems...the list goes one. Please pray for us as we minister and help and for our hope to remain fixed on Christ as we experience what it means to live in a fallen world.

--This summer, Preston has been wearing many hats at the office since he is the one left in charge with so many away. It has been a lot of work on top of his normal responsibilities. He really needs to get a lot done in the next few weeks for an upcoming training session. Please pray for the ability to do all that God has called him to do.

Lastly, please be in prayer for some things coming up:

--English camp for kids. Our team from Georgia is going to come and we praise God for that provision. Please pray for Chris, Chris and Lyle as they come to bless the kids with music and friendship. There will be 50 children there and many of these are from unbelieving families.

--School starting. In the beginning of Sept. we will start another year. It will be David's last one. *sniff* Andrew will be in American school for the first time. Please pray for all the kids as they grow in knowledge and maturity. or the things that are coming up:

Thank you all for your faithfulness in praying for us. We love you !

1 comment:

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