On the Road Again!!!

Well!! ... as some of you know ... we don't stay put to long! ... so, now we're on to the next "adventure!" ... New Orleans!!

We have 15 very excited University of Wisconsin Eau Claire students ready to embark this afternoon on what we hope is ... "the best week of their lives!!!" 

Our first leg will depart from UW - EC this afternoon and will take us to Community Covenant Church, just outside St. Louis.  Hopefully we'll arrive by midnight!!

Then, tomorrow, we'll "roll on down" alongside the muddy Mississippi to "the Big Easy" ...we're we'll join up with 30-40 other folks who we'll be working alongside all next week!

Joyce and I are, once again, humbled and privileged to facilitate a team of incredible young people on a "Spring Break Trip" to serve in Central City New Orleans.  It's our joy to come alongside our New Orleans Partner, Urban Impact (www.urbanimpact.org) to help on projects that will bring a brighter light into their community!!!  Again, our overarching goal is to invest our time and talents so that others are encouraged, energized and better equipped to share the Good News of God's love with people in their neighborhoods!

Urban Impact has been building an effective ministry in the inner city of New Orleans for over 20 years!  God has used the ministries of Urban Impact and Castle Rock Community Church to help transform their neighborhood into a place where, "kids can ride their bikes, to a church that cares, to schools of excellence, to a home their family owns, and to a safe place to gather!  (click on the above link to see a very cool video!).  We are so glad to be able to facilitate a team like we have to come alongside UIM and Castle Rock and serve in this way!!

Stay tuned for updates and photos of this adventure!!! ... It's gonna be some road trip, for sure!!!


February 2014 Czech Republic Team Update 2

It's hard to believe we've already finished 3 days of work on the lodge/dining hall - "Marlenka" ... which will be the latest addition to Josiah Venture's conference and training center in Eastern Czech Republic.

We're getting a lot done, and hopefully will finish what we set out to do!  Tomorrow is our last work day ... as we're taking a short "field trip" on Friday morning before we travel by train back to Prague in the afternoon.

So, what have we been doing? ... well, take a look!

Scott installing furring strips and tongue and groove paneling
John pre-staining boards
Dave playing Grampa with the Bozon kids!

Our time has been well spent, between 8 - 10 hour days on the job site, and evening meals and conversations with the Bozon family.  It's wonderful to get to know this family even better ... and we've all be blessed by being with them!
We've had some additional great conversations with some incredible people!  In John Prechel's words ... "some really some magical moments!"  

Today, some of Dave's friends from Slovakia drove for 1 1/2 hours one way just to have lunch!  These young people have been a part of some of the English Camps we've helped to facilitate in the summer!  It's so rewarding to see these young folks pursuing faith and leading others as well!

Then this evening, our carpenter friend, Tomas, stopped by with his 2 year-old son, Tomas Jr!  What a treat!  He brought us some Czech carpenter pants to take back with us!  We're hoping to spend an entire evening with him and his family tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for us and our work of encouragement here!  We're working with hands and hearts ... and using words and actions to see His Kingdom come and His will be done in this part of the world!

We'll be working tomorrow and traveling on Friday, but maybe Friday evening we can share one more post with thoughts from our last days serving in Czech Republic


February 2014 Czech Republic Team Update1

Well, we just made it out of Minneapolis ahead of "Snowmaggedon 2014" ... and made our way across the ocean to Amsterdam and then on to Prague.  The guys were excited to get on the plane and in the air!

 Upon arrival in Prague, we discovered that our short connection in Amsterdam caused our luggage to be delayed!  Oh, well ... approximately 36 hours and a shopping trip later, our duffel bags and suitcases arrived!!  And yes, the boys went shopping and were equipped with new sets of "work clothes" in order to start the work on Saturday!

Our primary job this week is to work on the interior finish of "Marlenka" ... which will be a dining hall and housing for a number of people who will be attending conferences, etc., at the Josiah Venture Hotel and Conference Center.  We got a good start, John did some pre-staining and Dave and Scott started installing furring strips on the block walls.  It felt good to get some work going on Saturday.

Sunday (today) we spent the first part of the day getting some regional history and culture, as we went on a visit to the city of ┼átramberk.  We ate cookies which have been baked here for many centuries in memory of the legendary victory of the Stramberk Christians over Mongolian soldiers on the 8th of May in 1241.  They looked like Shrek's ears (read about the legend by clicking HERE).  We then hiked up a hill to their famous ruins ... the Castle Strallenberg.  We went all the way up to the top of the cylindrical tower called Truba for some amazing views of the countryside!

John discovered a statue on the top of the castle hill that he's thinking about making a replica of and putting it in his front yard!  Wonder what Ginnie will say!!??             

After a fun and tasty lunch on the town square we made our way back to Frydlant nad Ostravici for the 4:00 pm church service.  We were welcomed by the congregation and tried our best to follow the sermon (Dave attempted some translation) ... !!!

Tonight we spent a little time with team devotionals, then John decided to get a jump on things and get a little pre-staining time in!  We're planning on hitting it hard tomorrow!

Things are going well ... and we're thankful for God's provision in every way ... as well as for your prayers!  Keep 'em up!

Serving in Easter Czech Republic ... Scott, John and Dave!