Monday, March 19, 2018

Serbian Ladies, Surprise Baptisms, and Special Reunion

I often acutely feel the absence of teammates.  If you know Jim and me well, you know that we thrive in team. God has given us incredible relationships and community here, but I consistently long for team. This was no more keenly felt then when all of the Country Leader Wives (of which I am one) were asked to have a woman's retreat for the JV women in their country. Planning and leading a women's retreat, ah, that is like chocolate to my soul! Bummer, but I don't have any JV women in Germany. Away melts the chocolate dream and my mouth is left watering. But God had another idea. "Don't have women yourself? I'll give you three precious women who have no chance of having a retreat!" Yes, that's right, the Serbian JV country leader is an incredible man, Bojan, but he happens to be single, so there is no Country Leader Wife to lead the women's retreat! So, I was asked to become the "Country Leader Mom"! How cool is that!!!!

Jim and I flew to Serbia (no not Siberia!) February 15th and he spent time with Bojan while I got 3 incredible days with 3 incredible young ladies! Meet Traci, Faith, and Kayla!

 I will admit that life is much harder in Serbia than it is in Germany except for one incredible "Chipotle-like" Mexican restaurant! I wish you could meet each of these young ladies, I think you would love them as much as I do!

God has been doing amazing things here in Leipzig. A few weeks ago our pastor, Thomas, completed his sermon preparation on Friday for service on Sunday, yet he didn't feel a peace about it. So, Saturday morning he scrapped his sermon and asked the Spirit what was going on and what He wanted him to talk about. He felt the strong urge to talk about our identity in Christ and to offer for anyone who felt the Spirit's leading, to come up and be baptized right then and there. This is a pretty vulnerable place for a pastor to stand, in front of his flock, not knowing if anyone will respond and he'll just feel foolish. But God was truly speaking to him and then through him! Six people came to be baptized during the 2 services! One fun thing for me was that one of them was Clara, the high school girl I mentor! So cool!!!!
 As we gear up for camp season, it's fun that we are still having reunions from last camp season. We just had a reunion in Cottbus for the camp with the teens I am able to meet with once a month for leadership training. Cottbus is about 3 1/2 hours away and draws kids from another 3 hours away. It was a great time. Some of the girls and I did some watercolor journal painting!
Meal during Camp Reunion

Cottbus Camp Reunion
As we move ahead, here are some prayer points:

  • Pray for our 5 Summer Interns - Rachel, Tim, Christy, Emily, and Noel - as they raise support for the summer
  • Pray for our 4 camps - Leipzig, Cottbus, Burg, and one in Poland - that each of them will have at least 35 campers and that at least half of those are not yet believers.
  • Pray for all the youth group kids, that they will be bold and invite their friends to camp.
  • Pray for our two Church Teams that are coming to help with camps - one from Washington State and one from California.
  • Continue to pray for team mates to join us in the ministry here, both German and non-German!
Thanks for your continued prayers. We want this to be God's ministry and you are an important part of it!

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