Tuesday 30 June 2015


Today included a walk around my little town with ice cream (and there may have also been cake for breakfast) because TWO years ago today I stepped off a one-way flight in Prague. 

It has been a great day - I spent some of it in Poland visiting a camp there, and this evening I celebrated with the Yormans and good dessert. They bought me things I said "needed to live here more than two years" - a Lego Minion (because I frequently say I need Minions) and a cat food dish (because I'd love to get a pet here - not necessarily a cat though). 

And it's been an incredible two years! It has been both harder than I could have imagined and infinitely better. Learning language and cultures, serving in my international role and in local ministry. 

God's faithfulness, grace and goodness has been so very evident at every stage. I am awe of what He is doing in these nations and it is a joy to partner with Him here. It's been beautiful to see His sovereignty and how He weaves all things together.

I'm excited to continue to celebrate anniversaries here, God willing, in the years to come! 

Monday 29 June 2015

Our European Interns

A few weeks ago at Intern Training I stood in a room with these people and I remember feeling like I was about to cry, with deep deep joy. 

This summer we have 110 summer interns serving with us for three months or longer in our countries across central and eastern Europe. And thirty of those interns are European! You can see a most of them in the photo above. There are two from the United Kingdom and the rest are from "Josiah Venture countries". And this is double the number of European interns compared to last year!

A lot of our European interns will serve in their own countries, some in their own cities. But we also have some going to different European countries - the two guys from Scotland and Northern Ireland are serving in Estonia and Czech respectively, we have a Czech serving in Estonia, two Czechs are serving in Ukraine and a Czech serving internationally as part of our creative communications team! 

As we gathered in that room to discuss the particular joys and challenges they will face as they serve in Europe this summer I couldn't help but get so excited. Partly because these are people I've known about for months as I've read their applications and helped with various details regarding their internship.

But the main reason for my excitement? These people are so much of the reason why I'm here, and why Josiah Venture is here.

Many of these incredible people came to Christ through Josiah Venture camps and ministries. There are faces in the photo above I've known for over five years because they were part of Dejvice English Camp (the Czech church my home church in Saintfield partnered with for years). 

And not only have these people come to Christ but they are being discipled and are passionate about reaching their friends, cities, nations and continent with the Good News.

So I can't help but be excited when I see these people and what God is doing in these nations. And I'm excited about what He's going to do in and through these people not just this summer but also in the years and decades to come! 

Friday 26 June 2015

Photo Friday - 26th June

Every year our town have a festival to celebrate its founding by three brothers, so it's called the Three Brothers' Festival! It's a lot of fun with activities on both sides. It was really fun to explore both towns, and here's a photo of the Czech side.

Sometimes I do crazy things... like buy a cheap chest of drawers from Ikea and spray paint it blue... in my kitchen. I adore how it turned out! 

It's always fun to go to the gun store in town... to get a passport photo taken for my Czech driving licence... always an adventure! 

Sick day the first. 

Sick day the second.

My little car was all alone at the office when I arrived on Thursday morning. 

My little town is having lots of renovations and the train station's signage is becoming bilingual! So here is the Czech and Polish names of my town. 

Friday 19 June 2015

Photo Friday - 19th June

Youth group: we went to the home of someone from church and had scrambled egg cooked over the fire. Someone gave a talk and we shared testimonies and prayed. We also sang, and I loved the song sheets - songs in Slovak, Czech and Polish altogether and sang together. 

Katka, a wonderful Czech friend who has been with a missionary with JV for years, moved to Latvia to be a missionary with our organisation there. So on Sunday we had a goodbye party for her! I'm so excited to see what God does in and through her there!

Have you noticed my love for fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer? I love this rhubarb custard shortbread things?

I loved having Michael and his intern team over for dinner and to show them my town and home. I had to take a photo of my friend Michael washing up.

Summer sunsets.

I am not above enlisting even little people to help me do things in the office... and Titus was a great help

Do you ever realise how gross something in your home is? Well, I realised how gross the grout in my bathroom and entryway was... and a bottle of bleach and a few hours with a toothbrush helped it all a lot! And made me a lot happier! 

Friday 12 June 2015

Photo Friday - 12th June

I love the Polish farmers' market in my town!

And late night walks through my town (this is on the bridge between Czech and Poland, walking from Poland to Czech)

They're renovating down by the river on the Czech side and I'm loving watching it develop.

I roasted a banana in the oven with marshmallow and chocolate.

The view when you step inside my front door. 

What ends up on my desk after events: lost property.

Breakfast with a friend! 

Friday 5 June 2015

Photo Friday - 5th June

Thirty minutes after this photo was taken this room was filled with 110 interns plus staff and Intern Training officially began! Don't worry, we had chairs for them.

It is so fun to have someone from Saintfield here for the summer! And it was good to spend time over cake and hot chocolate catching up. I'm really excited about what God is going to do in and through Michael as he leads an intern team in Czech!

Some of our European interns were asked to share about life and faith in Europe to help us understand the culture we're serving in.

For thirty minutes I sat in this chair being recorded for a training video we're prototyping this summer.

On Tuesday night we commissioned and prayed over all the interns, taking each country in turn, and on Wednesday morning they left for the nations! I'm so excited about how God is going to use their summers to draw them and many in these nations closer to Him!

After eight days away, plus busy days before preparing, it was good to have a day that mostly looked like this!

Summer in Czech is a magical thing. And there's something about quiet days that are hot enough for skirts, and meandering through my town, and buying flowers and visiting friends who just welcomed a new little person!