Double the Fun on Monday/Tuesday!

After a great Sunday, the team headed back up the mountain to Selah on Monday morning. We took advantage of another sunny day to clear brush, remove old fencing and pruning some old fruit trees. We can now actually see the back side of the old barn!

Plumbing pipes were placed in trenches and wood was delivered for the stairs project. At the end of the day, we headed across the valley and up another mountainside ... as we changed our accommodations and moved to Hotel Malenovice. This facility is owned by Josiah Venture and is used for many of their conferences. During the early 2000's, many volunteer construction teams worked on this renovation to create the beautiful facility it is today. Our team members who hadn't been here before were blessed and impressed!

On Monday evening we helped celebrate Amy Ellenwood's birthday at their home in the nearby town of Chotebuz. It was great fun hanging with the entire family ... Mel and Amy ... and their 3 children; Hannah, Haley and Noah. They are a very special family.

Tuesday was a very busy day. Noah Ellenwood brought his friend, Simon, to work with us on a variety of jobs. They hauled brush and firewood, filled a dumpster, moved material, hauled sand ... and had fun with the team!

After enough head scratching and "ciphering" ... Dave J and Fran finally seemed to have the stair plans figured out. The first cuts were made and things seem to be taking shape. We should have the main set of stairs done on Wednesday.

Joyce and Lenore joined Art in framing the upstairs. It was fun hearing the "sisters" pounding and praising!! Art said that he never had better students!

Our hopes were to have a fire going to burn brush ... and have a "bursti roast" ... but it was too windy ... so instead, Joyce and Dave picked up the fixings and we made a bon-fire in the fire pit at our hotel (Malenovice) and enjoyed sharing a beautiful evening under starlight skies and a full moon!

Honestly, the team is tired ... but each day God is showing each of us a little more about Josiah Venture and the vision and mission He's given to this organization. We all feel very blessed to have a small part in preparing a place for God to refresh and rejuvenate the awesome people He's called to live and work here. We're looking forward to a final great work day tomorrow ... and then home on Thursday!

Oh, and sorry ... no pictures tonight ... Lenore wrote this out and Dave is typing this at 12:30 ... so its time for bed. We'll try to post pictures tomorrow!

Thanks for following our adventures! The "Czech Team" - 2010.


Sunday will never be the same!

The Czech Ministry Team from Wisconsin spent Palm Sunday worshiping with their Czech brothers and sisters in a church in Cesky Tesin.

After church it was off to Poland, where we shared a pizza lunch with Daniella, another JV missionary. The team really enjoyed spending some time relaxed time together ... and seeing and hearing about some of the many things that God is doing in this part of the world!

With tour guide Dave J at the wheel, the team was given a short ride to H2O, Josiah Venture's retreat, camp and conference facility in Poland. Joye and Dave were greeted especially warmly by their dear friend Kazik, with whom they had worked for 3 weeks last summer!

It was great to see the tremendous progress that has been made on the main building! Hopes are that the facility will be used by campers this summer!

The vision for what God could do in this place was super uplifting to everyone, and we left with hopes of seeing how God would have any of us continue to be involved in helping this place become all He wants it to be!

With Art and Fran needing a little "pick-me-up" ... we decided to do a shopping trip to the Polish version of Home Depot ... Castarama ... WOW!! What a sight with boys picking out their toys!

(And Joyce's sister Lenore even found some nice blue rubber boots!)

The remainder of Sunday was spent enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the 1200 year-old city of Cieszyn.

The Dave's drank the smallest cup of coffee they could find ...

Dave J and Art demonstrated the intricacies of laying cobblestones ...

... and the 3 (Lakes) brothers posed in front of a sign on a cobblestone street that described them perfectly!

It was truly an inspiring day ... and we were reminded of the need to continue to invest our lives "preparing the way of the Lord!" ... here in Eastern Europe, or where ever He leads us!!


Czech Team 2010 Update1

Greetings from Eastern Czech Republic!

Our team of 7 arrived safely on Thursday evening and have had a wonderful first two days of serving here. God put together an awesome team ... Dave Kirby, Art Pekoc, Fran Schmitz, Larry and Lenore Johnson ... and Joyce and Dave Johnson.
For our first day in the beautiful Beskydy mountains at Selah; the Josiah Venture retreat facility, God gave us sunshine and warm breezes. What a gorgeous day all around. We spent the majority of our muscle power outside, cleaning up construction debris, clearing brush and bramble and dismantling old fencing.

On Saturday we all continued with the work God has given us.

We were blessed to have Noah Ellenwood (Mel and Amy's 14-year-old son)
working with us. He moved a ton of rocks that will be used for a retaining wall. Art worked with the electrician, Fran worked on trimming out skylights, Kirby and Larry dug a trench for the sewer system and Dave made coffee!! ;-) Joyce and Lenore continued to dismantle old fencing among the most horrendous and gigantic thorn bushes anyone has ever seen. They both have the wounds to prove it. Ask to see them when they return!

During our busy-ness ... God set the valley below us aglow with the setting sun, causing us to "pause" with thankfulness to Him ... knowing that "Selah" be used as a wonderful tool to bring blessings, rest and refreshment to the lives of many who will come here. We all consider it a great privilege to serve God's kingdom purposes in this way!

Enjoy the pictures of our team in action!!