Thursday, October 27, 2016

Church Retreat and Youth Group Event

We had a great time at our Church Retreat last week-end.  It was at a beautiful conference center in the woods and near a beautiful lake.  130 from our church went.  It was very good and very challenging for my German language!  At times I was surprised by how much I understood and at other times I was surprised by how much I didn't understand! :0)

The Beautiful Conference Facility

Looking down from the facility to the playground and campfire site.
Leo and Vincent at the campfire!  Thanks to Leo for these pictures!
The Church around the campfire.
 Next Friday evening, November 4, we are having a "Youth Event" at our church.  It is specifically designed as an opportunity for the young people to invite their friends to hear the gospel.  We are having a special speaker, Rico Rau, a young father that broke his neck in a swimming accident.  You can watch a short, 5 minute video here. Although it is in German, it is pretty easy to figure out what they are talking about.
Please pray: 
  • For Rico as he speaks to our young people
  • For our students as they invite their friends this next week, that they will have boldness
  • That many of their friends will come
  • That the Spirit will use this time to bring all those present closer to God, whether they come not beleiving at all in God or wherever they are on their Spirtual Journey, that they will come away from this evening changed and more receptive to God
  • That the visitors who come would continue coming to youth group in the following weeks.
We are excited to see what God is doing here in Leipzig and look forward in anticipation to His continued work!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Baby Blankets and Baptisms

When we initially came back to the States after living in Czech 16 years ago, I took some time to write my personal mission statement.  Since that time it has helped me when I begin to wander and wonder what I am doing.

My mission statement is this:

To bring people closer to God through Community, Communication and Creativity.

This past week was all about being able to participate in each part of that statement!

It started a week ago Sunday with "Creativity."  Two girls from our youth group came over and we each made a baby blanket!  Wow!  How does that bring someone closer to God?  It's amazing how much you can talk about behind a sewing machine!  Creativity often seems to loosen the tongue and gives plenty of time to listen!  Because of that time together, we are looking to start a weekly girls' time to talk about significant issues and one of these meetings every month be a "creative" time!  The girls can take turns teaching some creative skill and we can all have fun and learn!

Johanna and Clara sewing
Cutting and Measuring
Clara's finished product

My finished product
Don't you just love the little dogs peeking out of the center!

Friday night was the "Communication" piece, as I had the privilege to lead the "Girl's Only" part of youth group that evening at our house.  We talked about some of the lies the world and the enemy tell girls.  Two of the lies we talked about were that "beautiful girls are worth more" and "I need to perform to be accepted."  Even though most of my communication was through a translator, we had a great discussion! 

Then on Sunday we truly experienced "Community" as we gathered around one of our youthgroup guys, Vincent, as he was baptized! 
Vincent and our pastor Thomas

The baptismal is a garden pond form!  Not any extra room!

Wow!  You can feel the excitement when you look at everyone's faces!!

A prayer of blessing for the two baptized
This weekend we will have much more time for community, as we head out for our all-church retreat!  I'm excited and a bit nervous as to all the German I will have an opportunity to speak!!

It's great to know that God uses each of us in the specific and creative ways He made us, no matter where we happen to be!  So, I will carry on with Community, Communication and Creativity to bring people closer to Him!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Finally Back Home!

We are finally back home in Leipzig after a wonderful and whirlwind time in the States!  What fun it was to see so many of you!

We started out with a Family Reunion.  Over 40 of us together in the Colorado mountians to help celebrate my mom's 80th birthday!

Me and My 5 Sibs with Mom!  Left back: Tim, Bart, me, Mark  Left front: Lara, Mom, Leslee
After that Jim and I got to spend some time with just our kids.

Nate, Raine, Emily, Alpha, Jared and Me in the beautiful mountians!

Then it was an open house and report about our ministry at LifePoint Church in Ft. Collins.

Next we were able to head up to Idaho to spend time with Jim's family.  This is cheating, but here are some pictures for those of you who have not seen them in awhile.

Jim's parents.  Jerry and Evelyn Miller

Jim's sister's family.  Noland and Judy Johnson, Alan, Cody and Kyle
Next we were in California visiting churches and, of course, seeing Jim's brother's family.

Jim's brother's family.  Lisa, John, Jordyn and Jena
Then it was to Chicago visiting Christ Community Church and many friends and supporters.  We are now we are back in Leipzig, just in time for our youth retreat this past week end.

Lina's team on a scavenger hunt in the beautiful city of Erfurt

Well, that's the quick version. We feel so blessed for the time we got to spend with family and friends!  And now we look forward to settling back in to life and ministry here in Leipzig.