Witaj v Domu!

As I crossed the border into Poland yesterday afternoon, this was the sign that greeted me ... "Welcome Home!" I guess its no different than when we cross into another state in the US and we see "Welcome to Wisconsin" ... but it seems different when its written in another language!

I had a great sleep last night in this quiet, peaceful place called H2O. Being here is sometimes hard to imagine that there are 4 million people within a short driving distance from here. The day dawned cool and clear, and after a great cup of strong coffee and a Polish "snidane" of bread, cheese, ham, and hard-boiled eggs, Kazik gave me a bucket of plaster and a couple trowels and we started in plastering!

It was great to finish a wall of the "domek" - cabin ... that we worked on with a team from Colorado in July! The buildings look great (not to mention my wall!)

Hey Colorado Team ... we could have used you this week ... probably could have finished the plastering on building number 3!! Oh, well, maybe next time!

It's been great to hang here with Kazik and help just a little with the continuing reconstruction of this facility.

This afternoon I'm traveling back to Czech Republic to attend a Czech youth group meeting. We're gonna talk a little about being "a loser!" ... as in losing your life for the sake of the Gospel!

S Bogiem!!

Dave J


World Changers!

Wow ... that's about all I can say!

I just finished attending a conference with over 100 young Christian leaders from 11 different countries in Eastern Europe. The theme of the conference was "Passing The Baton ... making Disciples of the next generation." These 20 t0 30 year-olds inspired me and moved me like I haven't experienced in a long time. It's gonna take some time to process these past few days. The hearts and passion of these young people to share God's love and make disciples is a refreshing breeze in a region that has long felt the stifling oppression of post-communist cultures.

Phrases like "hunger, pain, and loneliness each now have a face and a name since I began to work with the homeless and outcasts in our city" brought tears to my eyes as I listened to these men and women share their hearts for God and for reaching their peers with His love! A song that was sung a number of times during the conference was "God of This City"

... and from what I saw and heard ... these folks aren't just singing ... they're investing their lives in seeing God do greater things in the cities and countries where they live!!

So, now I'm in Poland for a day ... to check on a project that we worked on this summer and visit our dear hard-working friend, Kazik. He's making supper for us (himself and me) right now! Tomorrow we'll do some plastering together ... then I'll head back to Czech Republic to visit a youth group that is led by a couple of my new friends!

Stay tuned for more updates. (Oh, sorry about no pictures this time. I just didn't have any that come near expressing the power present at this conference. I'll maybe send some pictures of me plastering!).

Dave J


Making Connections and Progress!

Morning sounds fill the valley below my room at Hotel Malenovice as I send this short update.

I arrived here safe and sound on Monday evening after a long night and day of travel.

Yesterday was the first full day of the conference and I was able to renew some friendships, as well as make many new ones (any surprise to that?).

In the afternoon Mel Ellenwood "kidnapped me" and we drove across the valley to the site of the Pstruzi House ... or Beskydy Retreat House. What a thrill to see the foundation for the new building nearly complete and hear that the logs are going to be set in place in about 2 weeks!

Here's a picture of the new foundation.

We are so looking forward to having teams come this spring and summer to complete the building and make this place a "haven of rest" for the many JV staff who will use it.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Blessings for the day,

Dave Johnson


Going Back!

As the song goes ... "my bags are packed, I'm ready to go!" ... well, not quite! And I'm certainly not "leaving" in the way the song said, but on a much more positive and exciting note!

On Sunday, September 13, Joyce will take me "across the boarder" to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International airport so that I can fly back to Czech Republic Sunday night in order to attend the Josiah Venture Fall Leadership Conference!

When we left in July, one thing that the leaders of JV said would be extremely valuable for them and for us would be for one or both of us to attend their leadership conference. We thought and prayed about it and asked others what their thoughts were, and ultimately decided that to further the "budding partnership" between NEXT and Josiah Venture, I (Dave) would attend this conference this fall.

Our goal is to connect with many of the young national leaders that work in the 11 countries where JV serves and talk about the possibilities for leadership development/service projects, along with offering project management services. This seems to fit well with our goals as an organization.

I will be gone for 10 days, so pray for Joyce as she's left here holding down the fort and continuing her teaching at UW Eau Claire.

The Google Earth satellite photo below shows the area where I will be spending my time, mostly at Hotel Malenovice ... but hopefully I'll be able to get "eyes on" updated progress on H2O as well as the Pstruzi House (Beskydy Retreat House). Stay tuned for more updates!

Dave & Joyce Johnson