Monday, March 13, 2023

My Favorite Cup of Coffee

We've had "Coffee in Leipzig" for such a long time, it has been hard for me to change that. God gave us such a blessed ministry, life, and community in Leipzig, that it seemed too hard to think of giving it up. Then, I re-read my very first post on this blog:

My new coffee space in our house!

"Last year when we were visiting Leipzig for the first time, we met with a man from a local ministry.  He asked what our plans were.  As we shared our vision, we talked about the importance of learning the German language and culture as relationships are of such importance to us as we anticipate ministry.  He listened and said, "So, you will be starting your coffee ministry."

 I liked that!  Coffee speaks to me of relationships.  How often have I told a friend, "Let's get together for coffee!"  It's not the coffee, it's the conversation, the ease with which we can drop our facades and be real.  The abandonment we feel with a coffee cup in our hands as it seems to give us a kind of license to say things you wouldn't normally say."

 Wow! That was back on May 25, 2014! A lot has changed since then, but my love for coffee and relationships has not changed, and I realize just how much of these God has provided in this new season! 

We have so many new relationships!

Yes, that's right! We are so excited that God is allowing us to work in our "sweet spot"! We are the Shepherd Care Providers for all the KAM Second Culture missionaries. Let me define a few of these terms. 

"KAM" - (Křesťanská akademie mladých - Christian Academy of Youth) Much easier to say "KAM", right? KAM is the Czech entity of Josiah Venture, making it a legal and viable ministry here in Czech.

"Second Culture Missionaries" - any missionary that ministers in Czech, but comes from a different culture (such as the US).

"Shepherd Care Providers" - building relationships and caring for the missionaries (yes, drinking coffee), as well as looking to set up a long-term care framework that goes beyond our time here (yes, we are grandparents now and have to realize we are getting a bit older and will not be here forever).

We have the joy and responsibility of shepherding 51 missionaries, including adults and children! What a blessing! We have already started visiting each family individually, as well as connecting at conferences.

One of our incredible KAM missionary families!

We don't have to give up our Germany relationships!

Yes, it's true, we still get to spend 20% of our time on the Germany ministry! This means that we will still have 2 German camps this summer, as well as various trainings, retreats, on-line mentoring and continued networking and search for a German JV Country Leader. 

So, our job description and place of residence has changed, but our relationship building has not!

A recent retreat in Guban, Germany!
We have expanded grandparenting relationships! 

You didn't think you would get out of here without "Omi" sharing pictures of her grandchildren, did you? Our newest grandson was born less than a week ago to Nate and Caitlin. Emma Grace is so proud of her new baby brother "Alaric Joseph"!

So, here are the pictures:

Alaric Joseph Miller, born March 7, 2023

Emma with her new baby brother. She is obsessed!

A very colorful Noah!

We love our relationships with YOU!

Thank you so much for your continued support, prayers, and most of all, relationships. We are so thankful for each one of you.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for each of our KAM missionaries, that God will continue to use them and that He will use us to help strengthen their resilience. 
  • Pray for our two German camps, Leipzig and Brandenburg, that God will start working in the hearts of the young people He wants to attend.
  • Pray for health and strengthening of Emma Grace's heart and lungs.
  • Healthy delivery and birth of Alaric Joseph.
  • Jim's and my settling in well to our new roles and living here in Czechia.