Monday 25 July 2016

Our First Camp in Germany!

In the third week of July there were fifteen camps happening around JV - including this one, our first camp in Germany! 

I travelled to Germany as part of my role is to serve our new countries as they begin camps, and it was a deep joy to be at camp during the week. It was so good to catch up with our two interns there, and serve alongside our dear missionaries. 

Germany has some unique challenges compared to our other countries - we're learning how to navigate different levels of wealth, inconsistent school holiday dates, and much shorter summer breaks for students.

But there is a lot that is the same for camps in Germany - we're still partnering with a local church, building relationships with students, and inviting them to hear the gospel and respond to it with their whole lives. We still play lots of games, and teach English or music workshops or a sport, and spend meals talking and laughing. 

It is such a privilege to be with students as they process what they hear during the week - whether they are non-Christians, hearing and wrestling with these topics for the very first time, or believers, who are being drawn deeper into God's movement, and closer to Christ, and to a greater understanding of their responsibility to be witnesses to what God has done for us.

I am so glad I could be in Germany for their first camp! I'm praying that God would go before us in a mighty way in this country and that many would come to know Jesus as their Saviour.

Monday 18 July 2016

Czech Class!

This summer I spent the first two weeks of July doing a Czech intensive in Prague. I definitely felt like I've hit a bit of a plateau in my language learning, which is completely normal at this stage. But I also have a really irregular schedule and with travelling so much this year I hadn't spent as much time learning Czech as normal. 

So it was really good to be able to take two weeks to focus on language learning! I was in a class with just four others and we all tested to the same level. All of us came from different native languages so we each had unique weaker points in the language - for example, the Russian lady found the declination of the cases a lot easier because she understands how those work, whereas I generally just feel a little lost with them. However, my vocabulary felt a lot stronger because, unlike everyone else in the class, I do not live in Prague and so I'm forced to use Czech in my everyday life (which I see as a very good thing!)

This was my view, minus my teacher, most days for the three hours of classes. 

Language school is always really tiring and although I was in Prague the classes and homework and added tiredness meant I didn't see many people I know there, and I didn't even make it up to the castle. But it was nice to enjoy eating Mexican food, and other little luxuries that haven't made it out to where I live just yet. 

As the course ended I left feeling more confident in my Czech and I also found that I am finally starting to understand some of the cases! I long for the day when I am fluent in Czech - when I can share my heart with my neighbour, and be funny in conversations. But for now I'm really encouraged by my progress and excited to continue to see glimpses of progress as I'm faithful to study and speak this language!