Saturday, October 14, 2006

Team Members

This is Hannah Miller, a good friend of mine. Her husband, Aaron, was our team leader. This picture came out kinda neat; it was taken on Charles Bridge in Prague.

Left to right (also taken on the bridge): Laurel, Hannah and Aaron, Cory (my teaching partner)

Laurel and Hannah (in HB, the city where the church is; the full name is too difficult :)

Me :) (We took a field trip with the students to a picturesque city called Telc.)

Left to right: Matt Douglas (Amy's brother) and Stephen (climbing up a tower in Telc)

Keith and Chris Anderson (We went to a Dvorak symphony together in Prague.)

Left to right: Kellie (I rented from her and her husband all last year), Hannah, Laurel, Matt Knorr, Stephen

Czech Students

This is Denisa; as you can see, she is FULL of life! :)

Left to right: Amy Douglas (good friend/team member), Denisa and Lenka (who made the cake for me), me

Happy Birthday!

Making t-shirts with our class...

Every class did a skit at the end of the week; we did a comic version of a makeover TV show they have in the Czech Republic.

Our class (I'm holding a birthday card they all made for me.)

Top row, left to right: Bara, Libor, Vojta, Martin

Bottom row, left to right: Iva, me, Dana, Lukas, Denisa

Czech Trip

I never really wrote much about my trip... It's really hard to summarize something so powerful in a few words. I will try.

Ten of us from ABC went, and I think we had a really great team. Some of the people on the team I knew quite well, and some relationships were new. We had younger and older, married and single, and I think we all balanced each other out nicely.

We went to work alongside Brian and Jill Dagen and the Czech church they had been ministering in for years. (They are just recently moving to a different city and getting involved in a new ministry.) The pastoral intern and his wife (Blajo and Stepanka) and the older youth of the church are instrumental in running the English camp, especially this year when the Dagens were on furlough and just returning to the Czech Republic as we arrived for camp.

We spent a couple of nights in Prague before we went to Trest, the town where the camp was held. We all lived together for a week in a school building; it's a trade school where some high school kids actually go and live, so it was kind of like being in a college dorm.

My teaching partner's name was Cory; he and I are pretty much the same age. We taught an upper intermediate class of 18-20 yr. olds. We were in class all morning, and it was divided into different sections--vocabulary, grammar, activity time, discussion, Bible lesson, etc. In the afternoon, there were various things to participate in--sports, art class, a ladies' tea, and a discussion time. After dinner we had an evening program with worship music (led by the Czech youth) and a main event. These ranged from watching The Chronicles of Narnia to having a Czech pastor come in and speak to a concert done by a Christian alternative band from Slovakia... After that there were usually some CRAZY games led by a Czech guy named Honza (one of the youth from church), and then there was just hang out time or bed time (for some!). As you can see, the schedule was non-stop, and I was exhausted by the end of each day and the next morning when I got up (and I even went to bed by 11 or 12, not like some others...).

Even though it was exhausting, it was definitely worth it. Cory and I were really blessed to have a GREAT class; we had 8 students--4 girls and 4 guys. The Czechs are very intellectual people; they value education very highly, and they are much smarter than we are! :) I was amazed at the conversations that we had. We talked about so many LIFE issues like religion, morality, right and wrong, dating and marriage, the purpose of life... You name it; we talked about it.

They were very open to discussing Christianity, although they made it clear that they do not believe it to be true. Still, we had some discussions that I believe planted seeds in their minds and hearts. There were 2 students in particular, a girl named Denisa and a guy named Libor, with whom Cory and I had some very deep conversations about God. I pray that through my friendship with them, they will continue to see Christ in me and be drawn to Him.

It was a wonderful trip; I would love to go back and see the people again. I really fell in love with them, especially the students in my class. I had my birthday while I was there, and 2 of the girls (one of them was Denisa) surprised me with a cake made from scratch; they presented it to me in the cafeteria at dinner infront of everybody... AHHH!! (For those of you who know me well, you know this frightens me. :) Anyway, I have some great memories to hold on to and some special relationships to keep up; Denisa and I clicked right away. If we lived in the same place, I'm certain we would be inseparable.

Well, that's a FAIRLY short summary... :) I will attempt to post some pictures, if this thing decides to cooperate.

God's Provision

I guess those terrible pictures of a charred van have remained at the top of my blog long enough. I should have some new pictures to post soon! God has once again provided for me; what a shocker, huh? :) My dad sent out an e-mail to all their contacts about what happened, and he got a response from an old friend who had a '93 Ford Taurus SHO sitting in his driveway. He was actually going to try to sell it, but he and his wife prayed about it, and they decided to give it to me!

A few weeks ago I drove up to Modesto with a friend, and we picked up the car and brought it back here. God certainly has a sense of humor... The car is a stick, which I don't know how to drive. It's been at my mechanic's for over a week now, so I haven't learned to drive it yet. I did have one lesson in someone else's car, and I did okay, so we'll see what happens... I guess it's good to have a lesson in humility now and then, right?

When it's sitting in my driveway, I will take some pictures and post them here...