All Posts By

Courtney Watson

Update #5 – Southeast Asia

By | Uncategorized

Greetings from Phnom Penh! This is Kristen bringing you your latest update.

This weekend was quite the adventure, as we left our hotel in the city and ventured out into the great jungles of the Siem Reap province to tour three of the Angkor temples. Our tour included a very knowledgeable guide who gave us the full history of each temple. In short, we visited Angkor Wat (the largest religious monument in the world), Ta Prohm (also known as Tomb Raider Temple because it was used as a filming location for the movie Tomb Raider), and Bayon (famous for the many, many faces of King Jayavarman VII carved into its towers).

The weather for our adventures at the temples was a mix of sun and thunderstorm- as always, weather changes very quickly here. At Angkor Wat, we started the tour during a drizzle, and were very careful climbing the steep stairs to the top of the temple. Later, the weather turned sunny and hot, and we sweated our way back to the main entrance. As soon as we got outside, we saw a little monkey chowing down on some cheese puffs. Emma got a little too close and our small friend grabbed at her! Luckily, we all escaped the mini-menace unscathed. When we got to Ta Prohm, the storm clouds gathered again, and as we walked around looking at the huge spung trees growing from the stones of the temple’s roof, the rain started coming down again. The rain stayed all the way through our tour of Bayon, where Farmer and AJ posed for pictures in which they pretended to kiss one of the stone faces. All in all, it was a very interesting and awe-inspiring trip.

That night, we visited the night market in Siem Reap, where we bought souvenirs for ourselves and gifts for all you loved ones back home. On Sunday, we slept in (to the point where everyone except Farmer missed breakfast) and started the journey back to Phnom Penh around noon. During the six-hour drive, we played brain games and told riddles to each other to keep ourselves occupied.

For dinner on Sunday, we met up with some American fieldworkers who work for AIM. Our tuk-tuk drivers got lost (once again) and drove us around for a half-hour looking for the right restaurant. Actually, they never found the restaurant. We had them let us off at a fitness center where Kylie could get some Wi-Fi and call the fieldworkers for directions and then we walked the rest of the way. Can we stop and acknowledge our fantastic student leader, Kylie, for a moment? She’s been doing a great job getting us where we need to go!

This morning, we got back to work. Our job for this week? Painting! We got very messy and very pink today. AJ had fun painting Nate’s nails pink and Emma recorded an excellent little Coke commercial during our break, which you can watch by clicking here. Thankfully, we also got a lot done. After we cleaned everything up, we spent a couple hours at the volleyball court and soccer field. It was a great way to end the day.

Blessings from all of us. We’re having an amazing time exploring Southeast Asia and serving the people here. Please continue to pray for us as we finish the week strong and get all our painting done. We’ll see you soon and enjoy the barrage of photos below!

-Kristen & the team

Update #2 – Tanzania

By | Tanzania

Hi, family and friends!

This is Courtney, bringing you a brief update to let you all know that the team has arrived safely at their final destination of Kigoma, Tanzania! They have connected with their fieldworkers and are getting settled in. Here’s the email I received from their fieldworker, Coni, earlier today:

The team has arrived! We love them already.  Such a great group.  Great leaders, great attitudes and I can see we will have lots of fun serving together. They were welcomed with a homemade enchilada dinner with all the fixin’s.  We then went over the schedules, moved into their rooms and they have already made friends with the kids in the neighborhood.

This week will the team will have access to the Internet while we are at the college on Friday and Saturday. You can expect an update from them by the end of this week! Next week is going to be difficult as they will be 9 hrs down the lake and in a more remote village, but don’t worry! My husband Harold will be with them on the boat and he is able to usually get online, so I can make sure he emails you at least once with a check in.  It works through his phone 90% of the time. 🙂 Sooo lets shoot for updates to be posted around this Friday\Saturday and the next Friday.  Now that I say that-  remember we are 10 hrs ahead of you.  So, our Friday pm is your Friday am.   😉

Pass on to the families all is well, flights went great and everyone is well.  They are in good hands no worries!  xoxo

-Coni

 

Update #1 – Tanzania

By | Tanzania

Hello, all!

Spencer here, bringing you a quick update on our team. We had a VERY SHORT window to make our connecting flight in Amsterdam and there’s good news and bad news: The good news is that everyone on our team made the connection and we are now safely in Tanzania! The bad news is our bags decided to stay in Amsterdam for the night. They should though, be arriving tomorrow. With the exception of not having our stuff everyone is in good spirits and is very thankful to be here!

We are staying in a hotel for the night to get a good night’s sleep before we board our last in-country flight tomorrow morning. Please pray for good rest, a quick adjustment to the time change, ease with our last flight tomorrow AND for our bags to join us on this trip. 🙂

We’ll update you again when we can, but we are grateful for your patience as we learn to adjust to Africa’s Internet!

-Spencer & the team

Update #4 – Southeast Asia

By | Uncategorized

Good afternoon from Siem Reap!

It’s Emma and Kayla here. We arrived at a new hotel last night and we are getting ready to tour the city today. The past two days have been insane: We’ve finished up our work shops and ended kids club at AIM. Our relationships grew and saying goodbye yesterday was very hard. There were lots of tears, but more smiles of thankfulness and appreciation for the friendships we built. The disciples told us “It isn’t a goodbye, but see you later.” We are all family now and we are so blessed to create so many memories.

We really enjoyed laughing, playing games, and eating lunch with the disciples everyday. On Tuesday and Thursday, we were able to play football (soccer) and volleyball with them which was nice because it allowed us to hang out with them a little longer those days and really deepen our friendships. They don’t wear shoes here when they play football or volleyball so we all got to experience playing sports without shoes. Farmer got hit in the head with the football as he was blocking a goal which made everyone laugh until they were rolling on the floor. Farmer was in a little pain, but played it off like it was no big deal. He’s okay now. 🙂 They really love how our team can be really goofy with them and the banter we have with not only our team, but the AIM staff and the disciples is so amazing and they enjoy it.

In addition to saying our goodbyes, we’ve had many crazy adventures outside of AIM. Yesterday, we hopped on a tuk-tuk (a local form of transportation here, kind of like an open-air taxi…but powered by a motorcycle) and headed to a restaurant. The tuk-tuk ride seemed longer than what we had intended for so we pulled over to the side. We come to find that we were lost in the city. Thankfully, with the help of Kylie and the other tuk-tuk driver, we arrived at the restaurant—which was only a few blocks down for our hotel. But hey! We got a free tour of the city.

We have been lucky to try many different foods but also a couple samples of home. We have enjoyed two pizza restaurants as well as some wings…thanks to Emma’s demand. But they are pretty good here. And we were able to try a local delicacy: crickets! Click here to see a video of us oh-so-casually reacting to eating crickets in Southeast Asia.

We wish our time with the disciples and kids had not ended, but we look forward to continuing to serve this next week. God has touched each and every one  of our hearts and while we love you guys back home…I don’t think anyone wants to leave. We get ready to tour the beautiful city but I don’t think anything could be better then the beautiful people here!

Keep praying for us and talk to you soon! Sending our love,

Emma and Kayla

Update #5 – Czech Republic

By | Uncategorized

Hello everyone! Jon here! Welcome back to the next thrilling installment of our heroes’ epic journey through Prague!

 I’d like to take a moment to thank my friends, my family, the family of my friends, and the friends of my family for taking the time to read this blog post. And viewers like you. Thank you.

Now, for those of you who enjoyed the length and detail of our last update, brought to you by Paul, you’re in luck! If not, well, I apologize, but I’m really not all that sorry because I’m about to share an equally long update anyway. So please silence your cell phones, buckle your seatbelts, and keep all hands and arms inside the vehicle –  you’re in for a bumpy ride!

Alright, we return to find our heroes where we last left them – Monday afternoon! That evening, we went to an open-air market for well-priced souvenirs, but none of us ended up buying much more than the odd scarf or trinket.

And now on to Tuesday morning! On Tuesday, Andrei and I joined Paul and Jeff at a technical high school in Kralupy (I had to *Czech* the spelling on this before we posted) alongside George, another member of Jeff’s church, and a young man from Detroit named Isaac. (Isaac, I discovered, attends a church named Remedy in the Czech town of Poděbrady. Those of you from my home church may recognize this as the church of another pastor I’ve worked with in the past, which was a very pleasant surprise!) I’m a Computer Science major myself over at Jessup, so needless to say I was excited to talk about geeky stuff like computers and video games with these students! (If you’re into that kind of thing, by the way, they specialize in networking – setting up and maintaining computer networks, etc.) It was a long day filled with fun discussion, and we returned to find the rest of the team (Becky, Krista, Lana, and Miraya) working in the library. While we were away, Lana and Miraya had been helping Meredith with a program for a local public school in the morning, while Becky and Krista covered books and began the monumental task of cleaning all the bookshelves in the library. That evening we made breakfast for dinner back in the apartment, with Krista, Paul, and Miraya taking the forefront on cooking French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon (that may or may not have actually been ham). Afterwards we enjoyed a pleasant evening of watching the first half of “Father of the Bride” before going to bed to get ready for the coming day.

Wednesday morning, Miraya and Krista joined Paul and Jeff in Kralupy while Andrei and I remained with Becky and Lana in the library. Before the day began, though, Andrei, Becky, and I joined Laurie to pray with members of her church for Prague and the Czech Republic in front of the National Museum at O’ Dark Thirty (actually 6:15). It was amazing to see all that God has been doing already before we ever set foot in Prague, and humbling to realize that I get to play a part, however small, in God’s plan. The day mostly consisted of our respective routine library tasks – Becky spent the entire day scanning documents into the library file system, Lana performed inventory of the craft supplies in the children’s closet, and Andrei worked hard to finish painting the upstairs flats’ doorways. (Huge shoutouts to Becky and Andrei, by the way, for sticking with those all day, as tiring and tedious as they may have been in the moment – they were a huge blessing to Jim and Laurie, and Andrei had been painting since last week!)

Wednesday evening, Jim, Laurie, and Meredith took the team out to dinner at Olše, a restaurant where most of us tried the classic Czech dish of Svíčková, which is steak in a special sauce with bread dumplings, topped with cream and cranberries. It was delicious, and afterwards we all went out for gelato! The team that had won Monday’s scavenger hunt (Paul, Becky, and Krista) received their prize – a second scoop of gelato! It was fantastic. I got a scoop of lemon, which tasted strangely like Chick-Fil-A’s lemonade. We also saw a few buildings that were relics of the Communist era along the way – powerful reminders of the pain that Czechoslovakia suffered before its liberation during the Velvet Revolution during the late 80s. That was also when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia; they split peacefully after student protests in 1989 forced the Communist government to relinquish power, and—Wait, what? You want to hear more about us? Well, alright…we returned to the flat to play a few games of Village Idiot, a card game Krista introduced us to that we’ve been playing pretty much whenever we have free time. We taught Jim and Laurie how to play, and we can probably teach you how to play too if you ask! Anyway, after a dramatic finale in which Jim soundly bested me, we all hit the hay.

Thursday rolled around, and Becky and Lana took their turn with Paul and Jeff while Miraya and Krista stayed behind at the library with us. Krista and Becky continued cleaning shelves and covering books, and Miraya and I continued working together on a project – but first, some backstory:

Every summer, Jim and Laurie host a huge book sale to generate extra funds for the library – they devote two entire rooms to setting out boxes for patrons to browse, which requires tons of effort for setup and teardown. So this year, they want to post the catalog digitally so they can simply retrieve the requested book when someone wants it rather than putting out all those boxes at once. This is where Miraya and I come in – we were tasked with photographing and inventorying all the books in all the boxes for the booksale. We had a pretty good system down, too: we get a set of boxes, Miraya opens one up, takes a book out, puts it on a stand, takes a photo, and moves on to the next one. Then she gives me the SD card with the photos on it and I transfer them to my laptop so I can label them with their titles and authors, and organize them into folders by box. While I’m doing this, Miraya keeps snapping away until I’m done with the previous batch, and then the cycle repeats. It took many long hours over both weeks, but Miraya finally finished photographing the last of the boxes Thursday afternoon! She cranked out a total of 69 boxes over the two weeks, each containing 20-30 books on average, almost 30 of which she finished Thursday alone! She was super excited to finally be done with it – and I was only 16 boxes behind with the labeling and sorting (which is less than it sounds like).

Thursday evening, Becky and Andrei had a romantic date night around Prague (which I’ll let them keep to themselves), while us students (Krista, Lana, Miraya, Paul, and myself) finished souvenir shopping at the open-air market we visited Monday night, then joined Meredith to hit the local mall, Flora, for food and more shopping! Paul, South Asian by blood, was excited to finally have Indian food, and the girls shopped for clothes after dinner. Our shopping wasn’t over yet, though – we visited the mall’s Albert (a Czech grocery store chain like Safeway) to get more food and souvenirs in the form of sweets! We rounded out the night with more Village Idiot with Becky and Andrei, and then went to sleep once more (as humans are wont to do).

Alright, on to Friday! Yesterday was our last day of library work, so (after taking a much-needed group photo) we got our rears in gear and busted a major move to finish cleaning everything. Members of the team were hard at work dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows, and otherwise pouring elbow grease into every corner of the library. I mostly focused on labeling and organizing those 16 boxes’ worth of photos, and finally caught up to Miraya. After cleaning the library, we went to lunch at a delicious Kebab restaurant that we had visited earlier this week. (But I don’t remember when, so this is where I’ll mention it!) Jim took us on a walk to the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill, which famously hosts a huge statue of Jan Žižka mounted on a horse, as well as a tomb dedicated to unknown soldiers who died in WWII and some of the best views you can get of Prague. After the walk, we all went to the mall to get some dinner (and so the ladies could fit in some more shopping). That evening, Meredith took us to her church’s youth group, Youth Praha, for their monthly “The Drop” event, which is a hangout and an open mic night! (The ladies may or may not have taken an entire bag of McDonald’s, plus McFlurries, onto the metro on their way to meet us. Paul and Lana would like to remind the audience that carbs don’t count overseas.) Paul and I competed with two students in a Karaoke competition, and during the open mic the students showcased some serious talent. They were busting out songs, guitar solos, some spoken word – heck, the youth pastor himself rapped from an album he’s releasing! After Youth Praha, we returned to Meredith’s flat to help her prep kebabs for a children’s picnic she’s hosting on Saturday – where I began writing this post!

Even though it’s been a fun week with lots of good food and fantastic sights, it’s been so much more than just that. We may not be able to see the direct results of our work yet, but we know that God can use even something as small as library work to do amazing things. Our goal was to assist Jim and Laurie in the library and bless them, and at the end of the day, that’s what we’ve been doing. The rest is up to God!

And this, sadly, is where tonight’s story ends. Join us next time for the thrilling conclusion to this epic saga! It’s the grand finale that you definitely don’t want to miss! Peril! Danger! Excitement! Relative safety! Heartfelt discussions! Divine revelation! Elephants! Who knows what’s in store? Find out in a few days, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

Anyway, thanks for hanging in there for another novel of an update! See you all soon,

-Jon

P.S. – Due to complications (i.e. time crunches) at the time of publishing, we’ll be sending the photos for this update with our next post, but here is one of Paul doing a classic faceswap to tide you over until more photos can be posted.

Update #3 – Southeast Asia

By | Uncategorized

Suistei (hello in Khmer) , friend’s and family!

Monique & Sierra bringing you the latest news from our team! We are so happy you are reading these blogs and praying for each and every one of us! We are so thankful for all of you and are excited to tell you more about what we’re doing here.

For the past two days we have been working at the AIM center. We start off our days getting breakfast and coffee with one another and then get on the bus where our lovely driver, “Mr. T,” greets us. We then head over to AIM (about a 40 minute bus ride from where we are styaing) and watch the people on the street who can somehow fit 4-6 people on a motorbike. Once we get to AIM we say hi to all of the new friends we’re making and start our workshops. The workshops are classes where we teach the young disciples a type of skill or activity. Some workshops we are offering are music, arts and crafts, sewing, photography, singing and even a Bible study. These workshops give us the opportunity to share with the disciples some skills we have developed over the course of our lives but also gives us the opportunity to build relationships with them.  After the workshops we do team-building exercises with all of the disciples. We get into a big circle and play games. The disciples are quick learners and usually beat us.

After games, we have lunch which is  prepared every day by the amazing women at AIM and is always incredible. This lunch break is a great opportunity for us to sit with the disciples and staff to learn more about their lives and build stronger relationships with them. After lunch we have a break where we prepare for Kid’s Club and usually go get more iced coffee (because as AJ and Nate shared in the last post, it’s amazing!).

After the break we start Kid’s Club! We begin with worship and do a couple of songs in Khmer and some in English.  Afterwords, we perform a skit to teach a Bible lesson, memorize a verse, play some games and then end our day with a craft. On our first day at AIM we had the kids make torches out of cardstock and tissue paper and they turned out so cute! On the second day we had them decorate crowns with glitter and gems. Although the glitter got all over us, all over them, and all over the AIM facility, it was so much fun and the crowns turned out perfect! After it’s all over it’s time to say our goodbyes to the kids until the next day. We have truly loved seeing these kiddos every day and getting to teach them about Jesus. They always have the biggest smiles on their faces and can’t wait to tackle and hug you every chance they get.

On the 22nd, which was our second day, we were given a tour of the different building of AIM, many of which were old brothels. There was one building we were taken to that still had one brothel room up to show what the building had started as compared to what God has turned it in to. I know for some of us team members, seeing that room really put into perspective what we are trying to prevent. It was heartbreaking to see but we serve a greater God and that was clearly shown during the rest of our tour. Later that day, we went out and played soccer and volleyball with the leaders and disciples at AIM. It was so fun getting to play with them and they didn’t even mind if we were horrible, they still cheered for us! They just wanted to have fun with us and get to know us better as well. After we leave AIM we are usually hungry so we find somewhere to eat. The food here is great and we have been able to try new things. After dinner we are ready for some much needed sleep. Although we are exhausted at the end of the day, we are so happy to be here and get to do what God has called us here for.

We have been challenged greatly, but been blessed ten times more. We can’t wait to see what the next week and a half holds for our team!

Love you all and miss you! More updates to come soon!

-Monique, Sierra & the team

Update #4 – Kenya

By | Uncategorized

Bwana Asifiwe! (Praise the Lord!)

It has been about a week since our last update and our time in Kipkaren, Kenya is drawing to a close. This last week the team has taken advantage of every opportunity presented to them to engage with the culture and pour their hearts out to the people they encountered. As our team has talked in these last few days we are all realizing that we are not just preparing to go home, but also leaving our second home behind. The hospitality and kindness of the community continue to take our breath away. This week was full of laughter, adventure, and pure joy. I (Mariah) have loved watching the team deepen relationships and engage with everyone they meet. We love the people of Kenya.

This week our team has traveled to many of the surrounding communities. We have visited and drank chai with widows, gone on home visits with Living Room, visited a milk distribution plant, and even visited the site in Eldoret, Kenya (about an hour away) where Living Room is building a new hospice. We have all enjoyed getting to see these different and beautiful parts of Kenya. One of the most interesting elements of this trip is that it is doubling as an Economic Empowerment class and this week we launched into learning about what this community is doing to empower their people. We are getting hands on experience and seeing the fruits of many empowerment projects!

The day we met with the Widow’s Collective Group through Empowering Lives International, we were given a special introduction into their lives and how they have managed to build their future after the deaths of their husbands. This was especially impactful to me (Lauren) as I saw women be given the opportunity to have dignity and strength in their everyday lives. Our team split up into two groups and visited several homes of the widows and heard their stories. These women are outstanding human beings who chose to allow God to show them that they are capable of running households and creating a sustainable future for their families. Many of them had formerly brewed alcohol to earn a meager living.

On Friday it was time to say goodbye (for now) to our friends and newfound family at Living Room. In the same way that we were welcomed, we ended our time with a beautiful goodbye ceremony. As we walked onto the back porch we saw the faces of nurses, guests, workers, and friends who we have connected with in these past two weeks. We stood outside and began to sing together in Swahili. When the singing began, all the children ran out and jumped into the arms of our team, which was a true example of the love that will forever be shared between our team and these people. After we sat down, the staff and some guests gave words of encouragement and blessings to our team. As we stood up, one member of the Living Room team walked up to each of our team members. The boys were presented with locally made shirts and bracelets. Each one of the girls received a bracelet, a small handbag, and a traditional katenge (these often are given for special occasions such as weddings and engagements). I (Mariah), could not help but cry as I looked down the line at our team being presented with these beautiful gifts. You could see in our eyes how much of an impact Living Room had made on all of us.

All in all, I (Lauren) have seen the team be given once-in-a-lifetime experiences to interact with empowerment projects that are literally changing the narrative of impoverished communities in Kenya. We had a class session on Economic Empowerment in Kenya where David Tarus and Professor Brian Albright shared their knowledge of the importance of connecting with community leaders to advance empowerment projects.

Today (5/21), we said our final goodbyes and departed for Lake Nakuru to debrief our trip as a team. Here we will get the chance to go on several game drives and see some amazing African animals. Please be praying that we will have the time to process the trip individually and as a team, as well as for safe travels home. I have heard many team members mention their excitement to reunite with their families and how much they have missed you all.

Much love,

Daniel, Lauren, Jordan, Cam, Max, Justin, Mariah, and Sam

Update #2 – Southeast Asia

By | Uncategorized

Hi, loved ones!

Nate and AJ here, bringing you our first full blog update!

We Started the day off bright and early eating breakfast at our hotel by the river with an amazing view of the sunrise and some amazing people! We then had the opportunity to attend the church we’ll be volunteering at; so incredible to see many worshipping the same God in their own language. Following worship was a sermon preached in Khmer along with an English translator speaking into our earpieces. One of the church members gave her life to Christ and to symbolize her freedom from sin, the leaders cut a small rope tied around her waist, then threw the rope away!

After church we had our first cup of the most refreshing iced coffee! Let me tell you, this iced coffee will change your life. We then were humbled when visiting a former prison, now museum, which housed between 12,000 and 20,000 prisoners (only 12 confirmed survivors) during the genocide that took place here from 1975-1979. It’s heartbreaking to see how these prisoners were mistreated, dehumanized, and tortured. What’s even crazier is think of how recent theses events occurred. Walking through the cells, seeing where and how they lived, along with hearing their stories, brought an emotional shock to our team. It just so happens to be that we visited the museum on the a day known nationally as “A Day of Hatred” which was to remember the 3 million innocent lives lost and to remind the people of the hard times this country had endured.

On a brighter side though we enjoyed thrilling rides throughout the fast-paced city on a three-wheeled motorbike with a carriage, locally known as a tuk tuk. (Don’t worry, moms, it is totally safe!) The rule of the road here is, “if you stop, you stuck!” The streets are always busy and always moving. From the streets to the food, we bonded while grubbing on our meals and a stroll throughout the city. The night life is popping and lively. We took a walk through the crowded market where everything you could think of was being sold and ended the night at a little restaurant by the hotel. The mango smoothies, amazing! The fried frog legs, incredible! This fieldworkers here team, the absolute best. This is a beautiful country full of life, entrepreneurs, and tuk tuks! To say the least we had an amazing first day and blessed to be apart of what God is doing here!

Thanks for praying along with us! Continue to lift us up as we prepare to begin our ministry and our work with AIM!

We’ll check in soon!

-Nate, AJ & the team

Click here to see a video from the night market!

And click here to see Farmer and Emma being…well…Farmer and Emma!

Update #1 – Southeast Asia

By | Uncategorized

Hello, from Southeast Asia!

We have arrived safely in the capital!  It was a long day of travel (including time for one last American meal before it’s all chicken and rice!) but thank God we are here and ready to serve. We will be up early tomorrow for church at 7:30 at AIM, then off to learn more about the history of this country and its people at The Killing Field/S21 Prison museum. It will be a crazy day 1! Monday, we start Kid’s Club at AIM.

Everyone is very excited for what God has in store. It is hot here, but we are grateful, and we are tired.  Please be praying as we learn and are overwhelmed by this place during our first few days! We know God has work to do and we are ready. We look forward to updating in the next day or two!

Love to you all!

Farmer & the team

Update #3 – Czech Republic

By | Uncategorized

Hi friends and family!

Krista here, with the latest update from Team Czech Republic! Since the last post, we have continued to settle into a routine both working in the library and visiting Czech elementary and middle schools to help teach English. Jon and Miraya got straight to work photographing and documenting books for the library book sale – quite an undertaking considering the number of boxes to work through! In the next room, Andrei began painting the doorways of Jim and Laurie’s flat, while I (Krista) continued the process of preparing new books to be used in the library. At the same time, Lana, Becky, and Paul went to school, each with their own classes to converse in English, playing games. The work was very challenging, but also rewarding.

Later that night, Andrei and I (Krista) made dinner with the fresh fish from the market that morning. Afterwards, our team split up so Paul and Lana could explore the city a bit more while the remainder of the team stayed in for a relaxing evening, complete with face masks, brownies made by Miraya, ice cream, and card games. It is such a blessing to have team time each evening to let loose from a long day of work, both to appreciate Czech culture and the unique traits of each team member.

On Thursday, Paul, Andrei, and I (Krista) took our turn at visiting a school, talking in groups of 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It was fun to meet the students and learn more about Czech culture through conversation, as well as cut loose during the singing and dancing lead by Jeff – who regularly goes to the schools as a ministry opportunity. At the library, Lana assisted Meredith – the children’s director – with a children’s event, “Time for Tots.” Becky picked up where I had left off preparing the new books, stamping them and beginning to cover them, while Jon and Miraya continued the extensive inventory process. In the evening, we went to dinner at a Czech restaurant and explored more of the city, including a beautiful cathedral, Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayer and support! Please pray that we continue to demonstrate love through words and actions throughout our time here, both to the people of the Czech Republic, the field workers here, and to our team members.

Much love,

Krista