Friday, 24 April 2015

Photo Friday - 24th April

Watching the transformation of the tree outside my window as spring has arrived has been beautiful.

I bought some lego.. here is the extent of my creations so far, but the little people who come to this house love it. 

Planting lavender on my window sills.

The view I wake up to - and look, more green!

It was a busy day, working from my flat with our camps' administrator. 

Reading a book on leadership - and taking lots of notes!

I spotted this heart on one of my many evening walks through my town. The feelings are mutual - I love living here! 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Photo Friday - 17th April

Holiday continued - walking the city walls of Dubrovnik.

Dipping my toes in the sea.

It was so fun to have this lady here for a week and explore new places with her! I'm glad we could add another adventure and a lot of miles to our twenty-three years of friendship.

The snow finally stopped! And spring started springing.

The great thing about being away from the office for a while is fun post is usually waiting for your return.

The beautiful stretch in the evenings.

My neighbours were watching a game out on their terrace - and because I had a lot of my windows open it felt like I was watching it with surround sound. The TV/their terrace is directly above my spare bedroom. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Photo Friday - 10th April

I got to spend time with this lovely lady on Easter Saturday! It was so much fun to catch up.

It was wonderful to hang out, eat good food and sing worship songs in English on Easter Sunday.

Yes, yes that is snow you see falling...

Tuesday involved driving to Krakow to pick up a visitor for a week of holiday fun!

Vienna in springtime.

Exploring the many little streets of Zagreb, Croatia.

Plitvice Lakes - a beautiful national park in Croatia, where you can spend all day exploring around these lakes and waterfalls. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Photo Friday - 3rd April

A fun little Saturday afternoon painting project!

On Sunday I was on the road again - this time to Krakow with six other women who serve JV internationally. We all live in Czech but serve various international ministries. On our way we saw American troops who were convoying through various central and eastern European countries to reassure their NATO friends that they have not been forgotten or abandoned to Russia. What was crazy was how many Czechs and Poles were out, standing by the road or on bridges, cheering and watching!

Krakow was rainy!

The women of the retreat! I am so thankful for these women. We spent our three days reading the book of Job and talking about how to do hard things well through Christ's strength. It was a really refreshing time.

We also had some fun - including spending time exploring Krakow and this cute little Polish pottery shop. 

The weather here is a little crazy right now!

The blackboard in my kitchen is especially true on Good Friday. Because of Good Friday I have been rescued and redeemed. It is such crazy grace. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Photo Friday - 27th March

Youth group on Saturday night. I'm so thankful my church built this new extension so we can have space to meet!

I am so thankful for Sundays - time at church and then I use the afternoon to squeeze in extra reading, work through a Bible study book and prepare for the week. 

Monday was the day I filed my taxes here! It involves going to a lot of offices in three buildings and two towns. But this year no one criticised my Czech skills to my face so it felt like a success, and I rewarded myself with some cake.

My suitcase is getting a lot more use right now as I start a busier travel season - between now and June I'm away from my flat about 25% of the time! Thankfully I've a well-honed system at this point.

The Fusion International team! I love serving with these guys. On Tuesday they were picking songs which involved playing them loudly and I declared "You guys are LOUD!" to receive the response "But we're Fusion!"

And on Tuesday evening we started our S-Team retreat. This is our planning retreat where we reflect on our ministries and look forward and ask what God is wanting us to do. I am so thankful that I get to serve on this team and see God at work. The perk of having an Englishman on the team is that this was breakfast! I can't remember where he got the Irish sausages from but I was also very thankful for this! 

Selah, our organisation's cabin, is a beautiful place to meet! Our retreat ended on Thursday. 

My sad little car! I am thankful for the three men who each intentionally drove alongside me to point out the back of my car before I could pull over, and for the man who helped me tape it back together in the car park so I could get it the 50km home where Casey used some zip ties to "fix" it. Cars are always an adventure. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A day in Kraków for the Research Project

Sunday 15th started early as we headed to Krakow for a 9am meeting. We got lost a few times as we picked someone up and navigated differences between the GPS and the new roads. Already running late, we then got pulled over for a random check by the Polish police! But eventually we arrived at the hotel where we had booked a conference room.

I love stationery.

Back in September we began a project in six of our countries to research what makes young people "stick" in youth groups and the local church after they make professions of faith in Christ at camp.

This meeting was to get together and discuss and synthesise our findings. I am so thankful for how God showed up and gave us insight and wisdom. Now we have an incredible responsibility to communicate what we found well and to wisely implement our findings. 

Of course, when you're in a 9am-5pm meeting you need to stop for lunch! I spent over an hour researching our options and decided on a highly-rated burger place because good burgers are hard to find in this part of the world. We were not disappointed! And it was fun to celebrate the hard work of our team.

I'm really thankful for the people who were involved in this project and all their work. And I'm praying that God would continue to give much grace and wisdom as we figure out what these findings mean.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Youth Retreat 2015

A couple of weekends ago we had our annual youth retreat! The topic for the weekend was spiritual warfare and we had a local pastor there as our speaker. Although we talked about lots of different things within that topic, we also thought about what it practically means to put on the armour of God. It was a great topic to dive into! 

There's actually a really sweet story behind the cottage - one of the older men in my church, years ago, saw that there was nowhere for young people to meet and have these kinds of youth retreats. So he built this place! It was a joy to be there during the weekend.

On Saturday we hiked up the mountain we were staying on - it really wasn't a long hike - and had lunch up there. Sadly the visibility from the top was practically zero, but the food was very good! 

During the weekend it was so fun to spend time with our young people, in small groups and over meals. I'm so thankful for our youth group here and that I get to be a part of it!

Some more photos below.

All good retreats have silly games! 
Our main speaker for the weekend in blue.

Late night worship.

The beautiful view out the window!

2 degrees, the perfect temperature for a hike!

The "view" from the top!

But the food from the top was worth it! Fried cheese and chips!

The way down.

I love old windows.

The room I shared with some of the other girls!