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Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States
I left my family, my friends, my comfort zone and moved across the country. I'm learning to love and rely on God in a whole new way.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Japanese Exchange Student

Well, I just decided to post some of the funny photos from my trip. Annie and I, inspired by a photo of Uncle Rodger, spent the entire trip acquiring pictures of us acting like Japanese exchange students. We, therefore, have thoroughly enjoyed all of the different photos. There are SO many but I'm only going to post a few of our favorites. We have had an amazing time so far on this trip. I talked to Annie today and she made it home safely, Praise God.

This was on our way to Belgium

Bojnice Castle in Slovakia

One random night.

Face Maskes at the church in Cieszyn.

In Cieszyn

Our last night in Cieszyn

The fountain in the market sqaure in Cieszyn.

In the airport right before Annie left.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nearing the End

How time has flown this summer. I can hardly believe I've been gone almost six weeks now. So much has happened and I've been so many places. I've seen God do many things, and I've worked really hard. God has shown me many things and has blessed me with the friendships of many of my brothers and sisters in Europe. I'm excited to come home and share with you all about my summer.
We are now back in Germany. We drove 13 hours starting at midnight in Cieszyn, Poland and ending up in Bonn, Germany. We drove Annie and Alana to the airport and said our goodbyes. It really felt as if the mission trip had ended when we bid them farewell this morning. Pray for safe travel for them the rest of the way home. They have a lot of travel ahead of them. Efraim, our fearless driver, drove the entire way and I'm thankful that he survived. I'm sure it is hard to drive for 13 hours straight when the rest of the people in the car are sleeping away the time. It was a long drive and we greatly appreciate his sacrifice of time and energy.
Please Pray that we will find somethings to do to fill the time these final two weeks. I know we have a few things planned but for the most part we are free. Thank you all for praying for me this last month and a half. I miss you all.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Train, Bus, Train, Bus, Train

Here are some pictures!
Our team with Alma, a missionary from Mexico City.
She was great and we had a wonderful time talking with her.

Me, Hilary, and Annie in front of the castle.

We were actually in a Zoo that had a vantage point up to the castle.

Bojnice Castle.

In the train. It was our final train ride of the day.

The team in Slovakia

My trip has been going so incredibly great! Praise God because the ease of our trip is due to Him. We came back to Cieszyn today from Partizanske, Slovakia. Our trip into Slovakia to see Mata was great and we had a fun time being with her church and getting to know her church family. They were great and loved to hear us sing. We have sang SO much on this trip. It's a good thing I love to sing. We not only sang for the church, but we were often caught singing in the train stations or anywhere there was good acustics(spelling?) God blessed all of us with an ability to sing. We had Jane and Hilary singing harmony while me, Carrie, the rock, Calhoun(nickname given by Jane) lead the rest of us on Melody. Anyway, we have been having a wonderful time. We walked all through an old castle. It is pretty amazing to think that some of these things just sitting right in front of me were made before Colombus even sailed across the ocean blue. Slovakia was a great experience and a good wind down time. We needed that time as a team to not be running around trying to figure out how to teach kids English.

I am glad to be back in Cieszyn. Out of all the places we've been, Cieszyn has been my favorite. Our friends here are great, and in some ways coming back to the church today felt like we were all coming home. I missed being here while we were gone.
Today was an adventure. It all went well, but it was a bit scary. We rode back from Slovakia on the public transportation(gasps, awe, scary screams, gasps.......etc.) When you say that to people here you almost always get that reaction. The Slovak and Polish transportation is not as reliable as the German or any other European public transportation for that matter. My title is because we literally went from train to bus then to train then another bus and finally we got on our final train. Then we had to carry our luggage from the train station up the hill to the church(1 mile or maybe a little further) It wasn't that bad, but it was definitely an adventure.
Meeting our brothers and sisters here in Europe has been very encouraging. I'm thankful that we were able to pray for them, and I hope that someday I can come back and help them again. Teaching English is a great way to share the gospel. People here of all ages are excited to learn English, so what an opportunity to teach them about things that really matter. Praise God for all He is doing in the churches here in Poland and Slovakia. They are all quite young since Communism fell less than 20 years ago. Please Pray for them as they share and grow. God is doing much here and I pray that the opportunity for my return is not to far off.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cieszyn and Slovakia

Well, it has been quite some time since Ive been able to write on this blog. Im on a weird keyboard, so somethings might be typed wrong. Cieszyn was amazing. Camp was so great. I learned to love all the boys and by the end of the week I was sad to see them go. One of my favorites, Toby, came to the church to say goodbye to me since he wouldnt see me in church and I almost wanted to cry. I had an amazing time teaching those kids. The week went really well even though there were so many of them. We had a total of 48 kids. That is a lot considering there were only 5 of us. We had lots of help from the Polish church members and translators which was amazing. We were in Cieszyn until Sunday night. Then two cars from Slovakia drove and picked us up. We are now staying at the mission house of the church here in Paratznske, Slovakia{I know I spelled that wrong, but I gave it my best shot}. It has been great seeing Mata again, and her family has been working really hard to take care of us. We are hoping to help them in any way why we are here, and so far it has been mainly in the form of singing. God put together a great group of singers, so we basically sing all the time, anytime, anywhere. It has been really fun, and on more then one occasion I have been thanking God that I really dont have much stage fright since Ive been singing at church in Yakima. God has really been taking care of us, and we have had a great time as a team so far. It is so great to meet our brothers and sisters over here, and I have been really encouraged by all the people I have met. One of the other missionaries staying here in Slovakia is an amazing woman from Mexico city. It is funny because the Slovak people have a hard time understanding her accent, but because we are around Mexican people all the time, we have no problems what so ever. She is great and talking with her has been really fun. She is a true woman of God. I have a line of people waiting to get on, but Ill try to write more later. I love you all, thanks for praying.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Wow, what a week! This week has been absolutely fun, and I'm totally enjoying my new group of kids. It's funny that I'm having such a great time since this week has been much more challenging then the last camp. I have 11 kids 8 of them are boys and all of them range in age from 14 to 16. The first day I just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. They all sat there, staring at me, and didn't want to participate at all. I turned to Efraim with a look of, "what do I do" and he just shook his head. The first day was hard, but after it was all over I was ready to make yesterday better. And better it was. The deal with boys is that you just have to get to know them. Again, telling them that I can play basketball always increases my notches on there respect chart, and some of them hang around the church afterwards and as I get to know them the better things go. Today was a little harder, but still it went really well. I'm having a wonderful time with this group of kids. Sure, it's busy and my mind is always trying to come up with new games to play, or vocab words to use, but for the most part it is going really well. I thank you all for praying, and please continue to pray for all of us as we continue on through the week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Hello all, sorry it has been so long since my last post. We have moved cities, and now we are staying at the church in Cieszyn. The church is beautiful and really fun because it has a crazy layout. It is hard to explain, but we are staying in the loft, which has a spiral staircase from the basement up to the loft. It is very cool, and even though I loathe spiral staircases, and things that make me feel as if I'm going to fall all the time, I've come to love this church and our little staircase up to our loft. I'm not quite sure what Poland has with spiral staircases. I know they are practical and take up a lot less space, but they are scary. We went up two different church towers, both with the steepest spiral staircases I could ever imagine. I'm just glad we are done with the super steep ones.(sorry If my spelling is bad.....I just tried to spellcheck and it did it in Polish so almost every word was "wrong" according to this computer)
Cieszyn is a beautiful city. The weather here is very similar to the weather in Yakima, just not quite so hot. The city has a very interesting history. Yesterday we had a private tour of the museum, which was extremely informative. The city is located right on a river. Some of the city is on one half, and some is on the other. The city basically goes right up to the river on both sides. We were walking around the market square, and we saw this bridge across there farely small river. Curious, we asked them what the funny looking bridge was for. They informed us that it was the Czech Rep. Border. So half their city is in Poland and the other half in the Czech rep. This is really funny to us. On the other side of this little bridge, they speak a different language, they have different laws, and they have a completely different currency. How Crazy! It would be as if Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington were completely different including languages and currency(Of course the river is A LOT smaller).
We have had a pretty relaxing week here so far. Tomorrow we start our next camp, and we are all eagerly awaiting Monday's arrival of camp. As much as I have enjoyed this week of down time and getting to know our new Polish friends, I truly cannot wait to get started. Camp is hard. The work isn't easy and at times I can get completely frustrated. I have learned though that since teaching English is really our second reason for being here. Focusing on the first tends to get me through. The first, of course, being the gospel. I'm excited to meet the new kids. I'm really glad that I have the oldest group, and therefore a greater ability to just talk and chat instead of teaching. We will probably have more guided discussions instead of me teaching, which is great. Pray for my kids, and pray for our week of camp. I don't know when I will have internet again, but I'll try to keep you updated, and get some pictures up here!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I felt last night that I didn't spend enough time in that blog really praising God for all He has accomplished this last week. One thing after another fell into place last week, and without God's guidance and counsel the camp wouldn't have been successful.
First off, God allowed opportunities for there to be many spiritual conversations. We didn't have very many kids in our group that were saved, but I know they all her the gospel a number of times. One kid, Casper, came to church for the first time. A number of the kids were very moved by our conversations. I know that the conversations could not have been good without the Holy Spirit in Alana, Efraim, Lukash, and me.
Secondly, my allergies were horrible. I eluded to there severity, but didn't give the whole story. I couldn't breathe at night, I was sneezing almost constantly, I had a constant headache, I couldn't go anywhere without feeling horrible, and my whole body was tired from sneezing so often. God just worked it out that Paul would have an extra container of medicine. I am so thankful.
Thirdly, Camp went so smoothly. Beyond just spiritual conversations the rest of the camp was great. It was fun to get to know the kids, and everything always just seemed to fall into place.
Fourthly, the tent crusades went very well every night last week. Some nights there were more people then others, but for the most part they all went very smoothly. I was thankful to get to here Paul preach on so many occasions. He is encouraging to listen to. Even though we were beat every night from camp, it was good to hear the gospel and all of Paul's stories.
There is so much more to tell, and if I can think of more praises I will post them soon. What a mighty God we serve!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Tonight is our last night in Dziezoroniow. We will leave tomorrow night for Cieszyn(the spelling of both of those places could possibly be questionable). I am excited for the move, but also sad to leave this church. We have had the most amazing time staying here with the church and with the Weresch's. Next week is going to be a busy week, so the more time we spend getting ready the better.
The end of camp went well, and our weekend was nice and relaxing. We still went here there and everywhere, but the stress of preparing for the next day was taken off our shoulders. I have really been enjoying our late night walks around the town. It is really beautiful here, and walking is a really great way to see everything.
Saturday they took us to this really great swimming pool. We had so much fun. It was just us and most of the people our age from the church. Since we had spend all week working with them at the camp, it was fun to have a final group hang out time together.
Sunday we sang in church. The church service was really great. Sasha, a Russian pastor that stayed the week with us, preached and he did a really amazing job. We had an amazing time getting to know Sasha and I have to say, that he is my favorite Russian!(not to mention the only Russian I really know)
We have been having fun at every turn, and Poland is great.
Thank you all for praying for my allergies. I don't know if I had told you yet, but Paul gave me some different allergy medicine that has been completely amazing. I finally feel like my normal self.
Thank you all for continuing to pray for me. I will definitely need them this next week. Camp is going to be twice as big as this week, which means twice the challenge. I am up for anything. Besides, God will give me all the strength I need. I will write about our trip to Cieszyn when I get the chance.
P.S. The Polish people have this thing for crazy steep spiral staircases. Which if you know me at all, are really scary to someone who is completely afraid of heights. Lets just say everyone has one more thing to make fun of me for. I was entirely afraid.
I'll get some pictures up here soon. We have some really good ones!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Camp and the 4th of July

Hello All! Happy 4th of July! We are almost done with our first week of camp! Although the ending is a little bittersweet, I think I am leaning towards the bitter end. I've grown to love my kids. We have had some amazing conversations, and God has really blessed our time together. Alana and I realized farely early on that almost all of our kids spoke good English. Some were hesitant to use their English but we have slowly but surely gotten them to talk to us. Yesterday we started a new morning routine where instead of teaching we just have a discussion for our first session. Since they all speak good English this is a more practical way to get them to use there language. They were all good about talking. Wednesday we talked about Polish and American cultures and asked them to talk about different stereotypes. It went over really well, so today we decided to ask them Who God was to them. They all gave us an honest response. It was some of the best discussions of my life. Some told us they didn't think that there was a need for God to be a part of our lives, and some told us that God was the only person in their life they could trust. The entire time was amazing, and we were able to give them the gospel and talk about living our lives for Christ. I am so glad that Alana and I thought about doing this, and really that can only be attributed to God. I am sure there is no way we could have thought that up on our own. In the afternoon session Efraim, our translator, and Lukash, our Polish helper from the church, got into a really deep conversation with them that went on for over an hour. By the end all of the catholic girls asked for a bible and we gave them one. It was great and I am so thankful for all that God did for us this week. Alana and I have pretty much been on our own in the teaching department. It has been challenging because we have to come up with more complicated activities so that they aren't bored. We learned really quickly that they understand almost everything, and that kid games aren't really that much fun. So, it has been entertaining and we've learned to push through the awkward silences. It is funny, now that we finally know our kids, what to expect, and the things they like or don't like to do, camp is over. We are having a special 4th of July party tomorrow for all the kids, and we are really excited for the big party we are throwing for them. It is going to be a great end of camp. I thank God for this amazing week. It has been one of the most challenging of my life, but it has been a blast. God has been good. He has provided everything we could possibly need and more. Here are some pictures. We haven't taken very many since we've been so busy, but I'll try to take more and get them up.
Playing an intense game of spoons.
Two sisters, Hola and Ula, with Alana and Me
This is a wierd Polish game......I could never win but I always tried.
We taught our group how to make Brownies. Then we ate them. They were delicious.
P.S. God is good! Paul got me some new allergy medicine that has been working better! It is still pretty bad, but I am doing much better. Thank you all for praying.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Camp has been great. Over all our time together with our "kids" has been fun. The reason I say "kids" is because they probably would like to be referred to as kids. I have all the people age 12 and up. Some are fluent, some can hardly speak. Our time together has been good, and God is using it to teach me many things. I have come to realize that His timing is the only that matters. As long as we are listening to what He wants us to do, things tend to go well. Today was way better then yesterday, and I am learning how to effectively roll with the punches. Yesterday was pretty rough, but I think that I needed that to really put me into challenge mode. God is good, and I know He will sustain us, and provide exactly what we need. Please continue to pray for my teenagers and that I will be a light in their lives.
P.S. I am having horrible allergies, so please pray that either they will stop or we will find some medicine. I'm not worried about this, but I constantly am having a horrible headache. Thank you all, and I love you all!