Thursday 31 October 2013

Camp Team Meetings

One of the things you may have noticed if you’ve been following my “Photo Friday” posts is that I have been doing quite a lot of travelling this month. In fact, as I sit down to do my expenses for October I will be submitting receipts in six different currencies!

So, why have I been doing so much travelling?

Well, my role is to serve the camp ministry of Josiah Venture and those over-one-hundred camps happen in lots of countries! And in those countries there are people who organise, lead and serve those camps – both national missionaries and second-culture missionaries.

Most camps last a week or less but the work for them happens all year round as people recruit and prepare short term teams, work with national churches, promote camps to young people, recruit and prepare interns, prepare finances, budgets and resources… and then follow up with all those people!

So, we’ve been meeting with the camp teams of countries to go through what they’re doing throughout the year and to discover how we can best encourage and support them.

So far we have had these 4-6 hour long meetings with Czech, Poland, Latvia and Estonia and are scheduled to go to Slovenia in early December.

It has been such a joy to meet with these people who are passionately serving God and who are passionate about reaching the youth of these nations for Christ. And it has been so exciting to sit and listen to stories of how God is moving through these camps and drawing people to Himself. 

If you would like to know more about these countries you’ll find out some information about them and their ministry outlook by clicking on their profiles on the JV website

Monday 28 October 2013


Over the weekend I was at an event called Brodfest. Brod is part of the name of the town where it is held, Havlickuv Brod, a town I did camp with in the summer of 2012!

Going into the weekend I thought it was going to be a lot like the Northern Irish MAD weekend – a weekend of teaching for young people and encouraging them to make a difference. Not to mention sleeping on floors, or, rather, not sleeping.

In some ways those were accurate predictions – although I slept a lot more than I thought I would! It seems like Brodfest is targeted at a slightly older age group and there were a lot more seminars that looked at so many different aspects of life and living for God.

One of the great joys for me being there was not just the chance to get to know the students in my youth group better but to also be able to connect with people I’ve known for years through different English camps – it was a great to be able to connect with people from Prague, Hradec Kralove, Podebrady and Havlickuv Brod.

I went into the weekend with the expectation that I wouldn’t understand any Czech so even understanding the occasional word or phrase delighted me! I even understood a joke told in Czech during one of the talks! I was also able to have a conversation in Czech with a Czech pastor I did camp with last year who doesn’t speak English – it was so great to be able to communicate with him even though my Czech was really bad!

And it was such a joy to see over 1000 Czech young people worshipping God together and pursuing His Word. I’m praying that these young adults would live passionately for Jesus and that, as they are transformed, they would be agents of transformation in this country.

Friday 25 October 2013

Photo Friday

A favourite verse at the moment.

I remember when I was little I used to love weighing the fruit and vegetables at the shop. And now I get to do it again! I love it! 

My walk to my lift for work.

This was a very exciting planning meeting! We were planning and brainstorming the evening talks for camps for next year.

Starting a new project.

One very hot October day!

At Brodfest where they did an adaptation of a book called The Shack. 

Tuesday 22 October 2013

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I posted this photo. I was all packed up and getting on a plane (and spending many hours on those planes) to go to JV Orientation in Illinois as I'd been accepted as a missionary with Josiah Venture a few weeks before.

Orientation felt like the official start of the support raising and training journey and it was such a joy to meet people who are now friends and co-labourers, who are on the field or completing their support raising and training before moving onto the field.

Tonight I've been spending time studying Czech and doing my homework before my lesson in the morning. And next Thursday marks four months of living in this beautiful country.

I am in awe of God's faithfulness on this journey - He who called me to the Czech Republic has faithfully provided each step of the way . 

And He has provided through so many of you as you partner with me in this movement of God through your prayers, financial support, encouragement and friendship. Thank you so much for your partnership! 

I am so excited to continue to tell stories of God's faithfulness in my life and as He works in this part of the world!

Friday 18 October 2013

Photo Friday

Saturday - the Chestnuts are missionaries here in Czech and they serve the English Camp ministry. Some of you may know them as they have been in Saintfield a few times and I have been so blessed by their friendship and their leadership last year during my internship. Well, they just had a little girl! So we gathered to celebrate the arrival of Stella! Such a wonderful afternoon.

Monday - I had work meetings up in Latvia and Estonia this week so I was up at 3am, caught a 4am train from my town to Prague (upper left), got a bus to the airport (upper right), flew out of Prague (bottom left), arrived in Riga! 

Also Monday - the flight schedule meant I flew up on Monday but with the meetings on Tuesday (Riga, Latvia) and Wednesday (Tartu, Estonia) it meant I had a couple of hours late Monday to explore Riga a little. I just wandered around thanks to a free map from the tourist centre and and explored. Riga wears autumn so so well. 

Tuesday - a four hour meeting with the wonderful Latvia camp team (and Kristy Williams who serves in Ukraine).

Wednesday - a four hour meeting with the wonderful Estonia camp team (and Kristy Williams who serves in Ukraine)

Thursday - up at 5am, bus from Tartu at 6am, Riga airport with a flight to Warsaw and then to Krakow, arrival in Krakow and home! Long day. Four countries!

My flower might have been a casualty of my trip.

Monday 14 October 2013

JV Fall Conference 2013: Radiate

It was such a blessing to be a part of Josiah Venture's Fall Conference this year! The theme was Radiate - how to have a white hot faith, one that radiates, and spills over, to not only those around us but this entire region. We spent time looking at who God is, because it is only by looking at Him that we will radiate, all for His glory.  

There were 230 of us, leaders from across Central and Eastern Europe, including Josiah Venture missionaries, at the conference. You may even be able to spot me in the above photo - in the left middle ish... I'm wearing a green scarf.

This was my first JV conference so it was great to meet people and get to know people who serve with JV across Central and Eastern Europe. It was also a good time of reconnecting with people I already know but don't get to see often.

All the audio from the week has been uploaded. You can listen to talks by following this link.  There are main sessions, the "Fuel Stops" (talks that look at the elements that make up a life on fire for God - Bible reading, confessing your sins, prayer and intentional community) and the "God in the Hard Places" sessions. The booklet for the week can be found at this link

"Then if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7 v 14

Friday 11 October 2013

Photo Friday

I was sick most of the weekend and am so thankful for amazing people who came round with homemade goodness and for tea.

Autumn is definitely here and it is beautiful.

So many trees are beautiful golden colours!

On Tuesday night some friends came round and we had a girls' film night - complete with lots of lovely snacks!

My Wednesday: two hour Czech lesson, looking after Benaiah for an hour (including reading about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). And for dinner I had all the Yormans round for dinner which was the mixture from Shepherd's Pie with champ and apple cinnamon crunch with some ice cream for dessert! It tasted like Northern Ireland. And there was some fort building in my living room after dinner.

Each year our camps have a specific theme-related t-shirt. We have boxes upon boxes of left over shirts downstairs in the basement, some from many years ago!

What my kitchen floor looked like at 11pm on Friday - I needed to pick up a couple of spare seats/stools for when I have visitors. The blue stool you see pictured? Surprisingly difficult to put together. 

Friday 4 October 2013

Photo Friday

The swings in the park a five minute walk from my house - I love going here!

I finally got some photos up on my walls! I love how these ended up looking like a window looking out on NI. 

Monday - after a week of working at conference JV give "comp" days so Monday was one of mine. It was awesome to sit and reflect on all that God has done and taught me over the last few months - especially as Monday marked three months in Czech!

Tuesday - one part of my role this year is to go and have a meeting with the camp team from each country to talk with them, learn from them and support them. Tuesday was Poland's turn! So my car got to do a six/seven hour journey (thankfully that's roundtrip) up to Wroclaw for a six hour meeting with the Poland team. 

On the way up there I switched out driving with Casey and it was perfectly timed to get a coffee from this store. Coffee Heaven used to be the coffee shop that we hung out in in Prague after English Camp but they're no longer in the Czech Republic so it was a fun memory to relive!

The drive to my Czech teacher's house on Wednesday! Don't worry, I stopped the car to take this photo! And I'm happy to report that driving is going well! Although I really need to learn to put my lights on every time I get in the car (you have to have your car lights on all the time here, and can get fined if you do not!).

Meet the town mascot of Zory, a Polish town about 40 minutes from where I live. I was visiting another missionary there and buying curtains for my flat. It was such a fun evening!

Friday was supposed to be my other "comp day" after conference but I spent it being sick... along with the rest of the weekend. Thankfully, after three days of sleeping and fluids I feel a lot better!