Sunday, December 12, 2010

euro update

we arrived safely to prague this morning, after a 7 hour journey from martin, slovakia. we had a wonderful week with the slovak girls. my tired mind can't do it justice at this point so i will leave it at that.

i just wanted to stop by and say thanks to all of you for praying. we feel so supported over here, despite the hiccups we've had along the way (mostly with travel stuff... another blog post with be forthcoming).

tomorrow we head to billy and adrianne crossan's - long term missionaries in prague with athletes in action. we'll be teaching english class at the sport university tomorrow night and tuesday afternoon.

i got to see a good friend at church tonight, which was wonderful! we chatted over dinner and got caught up. it only took us about 3 hours! :)

this city is so wonderful. i never get tired of the sights and sounds (only the smells... ewwww), but i can put up with that if it means i'm here!

will check in again... maybe from the canadian side of things. but wanted to say 'hi'.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

gong show

well, we're still in frankfurt. krista found me at about 1pm this afternoon. somewhere along the way, as we waited at our gate, said departure gate changed. and we went to the counter to check in. and realized the gate said munich while our ticket said krakow.

slight problem. we're trying not to stress, but it looks like this is what's happening:

frankfurt->katowice, poland
@ 10pm / arrival in katowice -> 11:30
shuttle from katowice -> krakow
1.5 hours
arrival in krakow -> 1:30am

gonna be a long night. for now, we're trusting god and trying to laugh as much as possible. given that we're both starved for sleep, it hasn't been too difficult.

please pray against discouragement and for good rest, despite cold, hard airport floors.


requesting prayer (i couldn't keep it simple)

hi friends.

well, i'm sitting in the frankfurt airport with approximately 8 hours to burn before my connecting flight to krakow, poland. i caved and bought an internet pass. i figure that between this trip and the return home, i might have need for it. and now that my brain has slowed down a little - err, rather - caught up from the brain drain of school, i'll take some time to pass on some prayer requests to you guys.

[*warning: what proceeds from here turns into a sizable tangent. if you're pressed for time or just don't want to listen to overtired rambling, skip down to the bottom of this posting for specific prayer requests.]

i was feeling kind of overwhelmed as i sat on the flight to frankfurt. but i didn't know it. despite months of anticipation and planning, i wondered what exactly i was doing. i hadn't even caught my breath and here i was on yet another transatlantic flight.

since august 2006, i've made 14 of these long journeys across this ocean. today is my 15th. that's probably more times across that vast body of water than most people will experience in a lifetime. it doesn't really seem like a big deal though. in fact, i like it. i like travelling for 8+ hours on a plane because it forces me to do nothing. nothing but read, write, pray and think. i like to think. i do it a lot. maybe sometimes i do it too much. i'm not sure if that's the plight of a female in general or my disposition in particular. regardless, here i am. in an airport. time to kill. thinking.

i think god has used these transatlantic flights to wake me up. in many cases, dead "airport-land" time has turned to growth time. the same such thing happened on this flight today. back to sitting there in a daze... "what am i doing?"

wait, one more tangent.

yesterday over dinner with my parents, we marvelled at yet another journey far away.

"my life is so random," i remarked to my mom. the sentiment is based on the fact that my life consists of many different seemingly disjoined parts that come together under the single common denominator of the fact of them all belonging to me.

she refuted my statement outright. "your life is extremely purposeful, chelsa, because it's all part of god's plan for you. so don't think it's random."

ahh, my wise mother. so true.

so what am i doing here?

a small but delightful care package from sharon et al gave me a blast of sober-minded thought as i awakened to remembrance of my purpose in life and this trip in particular. i sat on the plane and read the cue card with this quote on it:

"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again, we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more, by His interposition, deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."

(the words of amy carmichael, who spent 55 years as a missionary in india)

YES. the overwhelming does not overwhelm. i was awash with a wave of emotion as i took in the words and savored their meaning. i pulled up my hood and shed a few tears as i sat there and marveled. then i pulled out my bible and turned to romans, where the gift of faith is given for those who are called into the saving knowledge of christ.

this is my prayer for the girls this week, that they would respond to that call of christ on their lives, and that we would proclaim it boldly, with love and truth. i don't have to say the right words or try and muster up some attractive sounding reason why the girls should give their lives to christ. i just go, in obedience, and share what god is doing in my life. i love the story of nehemiah. he did outrageous things, not because he was particularly cool or good-looking or talented, but because god was working in his life. and he shared about it. and god was before him and moved in the hearts of men.

*prayer requests:

martina - our leader from the Slovak side. pray against the schemes of the enemy, pray for protection of her mind and heart, for words of wisdom and boldness. she will be the greatest influence in these girls lives as we strengthen her ministry this week, and she remains with them after we go.

unity - for krista and i as we lead together on and off the ice. for like-mindedness. for protection against lies and for boldness to preach the gospel. for our own spiritual health and good time with jesus so that our cups are overflowing with the goodness of him (not our own efforts which are folly).

safety - as we travel between krakow, PO; presov and martin, SLO; and prague, CZ.

ftvs - the sport university in prague - that i would see students from when i was on STINT, good turn out for class, be an encouragement to the AIA ministry there.

blessing - pray for blessing on all those who have contributed to this ministry financially and otherwise. they're here, too!

much love.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

parting thoughts

it's almost midnight and i'm in the throes of packing. let me re-phrase that: i haven't started. but i'll be ready come go-time tomorrow!

just a quick note to say that i'll be posting any pics i can, and giving updates on what's happening in euro, hopefully via this url as well as facebook. i might use one to re-direct to the other.

looking so much forward to this journey. it's going to be such a blessing. i don't think i've processed it yet.

thanks for the support, the prayers, the love. you guys are all in this with me and i'm so blessed!

here are the faces of some of the girls i'll be seeing this week. pray for... Jana, Slavka, Martina, Mirka, Tesco and Katka.

lastly, (though firstly) it's about Jesus. pray he would be IT, he would be ALL and everything would be about HIM as we go.

much love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

thou hast made summer and winter

it's hard to believe it's december 1st already. it seems like i just said that. last year. but here we are. a whole year later. today's a big day. christmas fever, er rather, fervour, is about to set in even moreso than it already has. light 92 starts playing non-stop christmas music. stores begin to stay open for more time than anyone should spend under fluorescent lights. santa's been perched on his throne at the mall for at least a week alrady. and if you were hoping to send packages overseas to loved ones far away before the 25th, you're already too late. ahhh. the season has begun.

sometimes the winter months can feel long. and dark. and cold. not just to the body, but to the mind and the soul. i'm not the only one feeling this way these days, as my girlfriends can attest that we're all feeling a bit bleak.

this morning i opened spurgeon's daily devotional and turned to december 1st. the content couldn't be more fitting for this wintry day, and as i finished reading i decided it was worth passing on to whomever might peruse on by in the blog-o-sphere.

perhaps it will encourage you, as it did me.

My soul, begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant that He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seas of this poor sin-polluted world will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the would is by no means a comfortable season; and if it be upon thee just now, it will be very painful to thee; but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation; He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy; He casteth forth His ice ilke morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all; He is the great Winter King and rules in the realms of frost; and therefore thou canst not murmur. Loses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills are of the Lord's sending and come to us with wise design. Forsts kill noxious insects and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

How we prize the fire just now! How pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises and go forth to labors that befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plow by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.