How Was the Trip?

Today is the 6th full day for Joyce and I and our work partner, Jack Duerst to be back in the USA. One week ago we were finishing up the last of the projects we had set out to complete at "Selah" ... the Josiah Venture retreat facility in Eastern Czech Republic.

We are so appreciative of all the encouraging smiles, words and conversations we've been able to have since we've been back. Of course, the winner for the "most-asked-question" would have to be the title of this blog ... "How Was the Trip?"

That question always throws me a little off ... not because I don't expect, but it really is hard to put into words the experiences we have as we go to another country and serve. Honestly, we don't consider ourselves all that special ... but we are humbled and feel very privileged to have the kinds of opportunities that we do.

I guess what makes it the most special are the people we get to work with.

Yes, there certainly are some "exotic" parts of eating different foods, seeing, hearing (and yes, even sometimes speaking) other languages, but in the end, being away from the familiar gives an opportunity to see other people (and ourselves, certainly) in a different light.

We've found that people everywhere have some of the same basic needs; to be recognized, respected and loved ... to share joys and sorrows, to connect with others in meaningful ways ... and to live a life of purpose.

These are the things we remember most about each "trip" ... and the answer to the winning question is pretty much centered around these thoughts ... "It was great!!! ... We met some fantastic people. We got to work with some really great young men and women! ... and finally ...

"You've got to come with us next time!!!" ...

So, click here on this picture album to enjoy the of our last few days ... and thanks again, so much ... for being with us! Stay tuned for future adventures!


WOW!! What a Great Team and Great English Camp in Slovakia!

It was just 2 weeks ago that you last heard from us ... (that may seem like way too long of a time for our readers!!). At that time our Slovakia English Camp Team was packed and ready to fly ... and honestly, much of these 2 weeks are pretty much a blur!!

I'll try to pick out just a few highlights to share here ... but suffice it to say that everything about this camp was a "home run!" ... despite Amanda's luggage being lost for 3+ days ... and almost an entire week of rain!

The team did great ... and from what we saw and heard, the students really enjoyed all of the camp's activities, English classes, sports events, hikes ... and even the food!

It was "rise and shine" at 6 am for the leaders ... to get personally ready (with some strong coffee!) and then a meeting with the American and Slovak camp leadership team. That was followed by a very full day ... with lights out somewhere around midnight. Although midnight was the "official" lights out call ... there was always some "after hours" talk going on in the Man Cave! ... which Dave and Peter's room (along with Tomas and Robo) was officially christened the first night ! Actually, I don't think any of the leaders had more than 5 hours of sleep per night for the entire week! It's amazing what energy young people have after midnight!

Our cook was a gas! ... and we enjoyed getting to know her ... and her sweet smile ... and readiness to pour the "early morning coffee" for the old guys!

We had days filled with songs, dances (ask Steve and Terry to do the camp dance for you!) ... English classes, team-building activities, sporting challenges, American sports (baseball in the rain!), evening talks and "E-Nights" ... which were environment nights; designed to create an atmosphere for further discussion on various topics.

Here are a few more pictures of the team in action!! ... just click on THIS LINK to view an on-line album! ...

And here's ANOTHER ONE! (photo album, that is)

We want to thank everyone who gave, prayed and tried to follow our escapades! As I'm sure you can tell ... this camp was a great success!! Please ask us to tell you some stories when we get back!

Stay tuned for more adventures!!