Thursday, July 14, 2022

Ministry and Location Change and Summer Camp News

Ministry and Location Change (Important update from Jim)

This is the Day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

The past few weeks I have awoken each morning quoting Psalm 118:24. No matter what the day may hold it realigns my confidence in the LORD who holds me fast. We are in the midst of our busy summer season. Five interns, four Americans and one Slovak, are serving with excellence alongside us as we have taken part in a week of school visits and completed our first of three evangelistic English camps. We have jumped back into ministry wholeheartedly here in eastern Germany after our one year exile from the country to remain compliant with the Social Security Agreement between Germany and the USA. 

Upon our return Josiah Venture leadership approached Lina and me asking us to step into a role of providing missionary member care for the KAM team, Josiah Venture’s flagship national organization in the Czech Republic. In the process of seeking the Lord, He is going before us and opening the way. We are excited for this opportunity. There are some 75 members on that team and we are being asked to join them to provide needed shepherding and care. Lina holds a Master’s Degree in Missionary Member Care and currently serves on the JV Member Care team. Just this last weekend the Lord provided a flat in a house with a large garden. This will mean a move to Ostrava, Czech Republic in mid-September.

Second floor of the house where we will live in the Czech Republic.

What does that mean for Josiah Venture in eastern Germany? Dave Patty, Josiah Venture President, and I have stepped up our search for a German national country leader. We have been meeting a number of German leaders in search for whom the Lord has prepared in advance to take Josiah Venture Germany forward. As part of this process we have asked Matthias Richter to come on half-time to begin doing youth leader training here in the eastern part of Germany. Matthias has such a heart for youth and volunteer youth leaders. We are excited to have him on board with us. 

 In the interim, I am being asked to maintain the relationships we have established in Germany, to include periodic in-person visits to this region. Dave Patty is taking point on strategy and vision. Matthias will begin doing training seminars. 

 The harvest here is plentiful and the workers are few. Would you pray with us that the Lord of the Harvest would raise up a German national JV Country Leader. We are both excited about what God is taking us to in the Czech Republic and saying good-bye well to all of our relationships here in Leipzig. God has and continues to open doors in this region and we are seeing His movement advance. 

 Thank you for standing with us in prayer and financial support. God is so very faithful and we are rejoicing in all that He is doing here.
Summer Camp News

We are so thankful for our 5 Summer Interns! Because the schools have such a late summer vacation start in Germany, last week we were able helped with a camp in Slovenia. Over 50% of the campers were Ukrainian who are just learning the Slovene Language and understand little or no English. This led to some unique challenges, such as double translating of every talk and instruction. The first two days were pretty discouraging and overwhelming, but we had a great group of camp leaders that were willing to be flexible and change many big pieces of the camp to better fit the campers. God truly used this, and by the end of camp, many of the campers began to be open to talking about, and even the possibility of believing in God!

This week-end we are doing an outreach to Ukrainian teenagers here in Leipzig - going kayaking, having games and a bbq in a local park, and doing a big in-city scavenger hunt! Pray that many young people will come and that we can invite them to the camp with our Leipzig church and get them connected with our youth group community!

We have two more camps before our interns leave on August 17: July 25-30 is our camp in Brandenburg, near Berlin, and August 5-12 is our camp with our church here in Leipzig. We have a Short Term Team coming from Knott Avenue Christian Church in Anaheim, CA coming to help out with our Leipzig camp!

Update on Emma

Emma continues to be fragile yet resilient! We are so thankful for her medical team, but mostly for her incredible parents. Nate and Caitlin are continually so positive in every situation. When told that Emma will probably have to wear glasses, Caitlin said, "Oh, that's ok. Nate and I both wear glasses." When told that they will have to have an appointment in August to see if she has any long-term hearing loss, Caitlin said, "Oh, that's ok. She can wear a hearing aid and Nate and I have been wanting to learn ASL (American Sign Language) anyway." They continually amaze me with their attitudes toward "everything Emma"! Please, continue to pray for her heart, that she will soon be able to get off of oxygen, and that she will be able to get off of her feeding tube. She is such a delightful and happy baby, but no wonder with such delightful and positive parents! God has truly blessed us!

Of course, if we have a picture of our precious Emma, we must also include one of Noah!

Prayer Points:
  • Pray for our Ukrainian outreach July 15-17
  • Pray for our Brandenburg Camp July 25-30
  • Pray for our Leipzig Camp August 5-12
  • Pray for us as we will be packing up and moving to Czech over the next 2 months (We plan move to by September 15)
  • Pray for continued healing and health for Emma
Please, let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers!