Friday, August 31, 2012

first glimpse.

Sorry, yesterday I meant to post a few pictures and then by the time I got around to finishing my post I had forgotten so here are a few. Enjoy! 

This is an old, old church. Built in 1220. Old. 

In the city center. 

The Tram station. 

More of the Center. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


So I made it. Finally, right. After a 2 month delay and a longer then expected travel time over here (my initial total travel time was 15 hours, and when I stepped foot on Polish land it had been 30 hours of traveling). But I made it, safe and sound. And with all of my luggage. I was shocked when I saw it coming down the conveyer because with all my transfers and switched flights I was sure it had gotten lost. I think it was the first time I had a real smile filled with relief since my journey began.

Tonight marks the ended of my third full day here. And it has all really improved since I landed. I have some what recovered from the travel, but the jet lag and lack of sleep (I think I slept about 5 out those 30 hours) are still fogging my day a bit. Each day is always a little better! I have toured the school I will be teaching at this year, and met with a few people who gave me pointers on lesson plans and such. Today I sat through a teachers meeting at the school. The meeting was about 1.5 hours during which I had no idea what was being discussed....if only I knew polish.  This did give me the opportunity to investigate each women's rings. I saw rings on the right ring finger and none on the left, rings on both ring fingers, rings on only the left finger, no rings. I was confused. Towards the end of the meeting I concluded that wedding bands are worn on the right hand, I later asked Malcolm and he said I was correct.

I registered with the government on my place of residency while I am here. I have visited the grocery store and walked the streets. I am beginning to plan my lessons for next week and start getting ideas for weeks to come. Tomorrow I will be getting a bus pass, and hopefully a cellphone. All is well here and Wroclaw, Poland is quite the place.

Side note: I already had Cate Cavanagh working on this today with me, but it seems to need more attention. Since I am here my internet (meaning google and all it controls...which is basically my internet) assumes I can read polish since I am in Poland. I wish that were the case, however it is not. Anyone got any suggestions?

For now I will Post, or opubllkuj, this blog.

Friday, August 24, 2012


    It all started when I was 7. I had just finished first grade. And I was ready for summer. Most importantly I was ready for camp. It was the first year I was able to be a camper. I was so excited, I had dreamed about this. A few months earlier we had filled out the registration card and my mom asked me if I wanted to invite any of my friends. I said no. I wanted to go to camp all by myself. I wanted to meet new friends, discover new territory, and I wanted to fly solo. I wanted to have a story all my own. I think I shocked my mom. You see I was a shy kid. People had to ask me to speak louder. Some probably thought I didn't talk. I was the middle child, there was plenty of talking and action going around. I observed. So you can imagine the surprise. As camp grew closer I got excited and nervous, but more excited. And finally the day came. I remember my parents leaving me at a picnic table full of girls in my cabin, it was a little scary to watch them walk away and leave me with all these people I didn't know. But I made friends that week (by week I mean 4 days) and loved my time at camp. I loved it so much I went back for 9 different summers, however the next summer I invited a few friends. I was ready to invited others into the fun.
     My mom reminded me of this as I was packing for Poland. I had forgotten all about my first summer at camp and in some ways it is a little like my next 9 months in poland. Poland will definitely be longer then 4 days, a little farther away, and not so many night games. And I am not as shy as I once was, though I still enjoy observing rather then the center of attention. It is similar in that I haven't actually meet anyone I will be on contact with in Poland. Thought I feel like I have because of skype conversations. And no one else is physically taking this journey with me. And yes there is a lot of excitement, some nerves mixed in, but mostly excitement. It is different in the fact that I have a whole bunch of people taking this journey with me through reading this blog, email updates, skype calls, financial support, and being prayer warriors and I think THAT may be my favorite thing. I'm so excited to share with you what God is doing and having you be just as excited as I am. So I would like to thank you again for joining me and all your prayers thus far. I feel them, and I'm grateful. Ya'll have blessed me. I don't feel like I am making this trek alone in anyway. 
     I am just about ready to go. My bags are packed and under 50lbs. My room is almost clean. Just a few last minute things to take care of and goodbyes to say. I must say I think saying goodbye....or see ya later, is that hardest part thus far. I'm just not very good at them and I always seem to cry. Like mother like father. :) Tomorrow marks my last full day here and I will enjoy it fully! On sunday my flight leaves at 12:34 and I arrive in Wroclaw Monday at 11:30am. My next blog will be from Poland! 

My bags all packed. (well, just about)

This has kind of become my verse thus far:
'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go' Joshua 1:9 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Tonight I am sitting on my bed trying to plan my attack of my next 10 days before I head to Poland. It will be full of packing...repacking, good byes, cleaning my room (yikes!), laughter, and maybe a few tears. :) And the hard question of do I bring my slippers or not? It's kind of raining and chilly tonight and after not wearing my slippers all summer...gosh they feel good. 

In other news, last week Malcolm and I tried to better define my duties/responsibilities when I arrive and this is what we (mostly he) came up with: 

Suggested title: CEP (Central Eurasian Partners) Coordinator's Assistant

Job/Ministry responsibilities:
1. Teaching English conversation classes at Arka school2. Helping Wiola and Marcela in their ministry/outreach to youth with Arka/Youth for Christ3. Helping Malcolm with CEP admin/communications/relational network/travel/support 4. Teaching English conversation with Arka Language school5. Private English conversation classes as needed to supplement your income6. Learning Polish as you are able

Things are subject to change and demand, but now you may have a better idea of what exactly I will be doing. It is exciting right? I'm excited.

ok, more to come later.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

august 26.

I now have an answer to your question: WHEN am I going?  Well, my flight leaves August 26th at 12:34 pm and this time I WILL be on the plane. :)

I fly from MPS to Washington D.C to Copenhagen to Wroclaw.

My return flight leaves Wroclaw December 17th, just in time to be home for christmas, and to watch Molly Brown get married. I will then head back earlier january and be there until May. And no later because I must see Alli Lafferty get married in June. :)

Through this whole changing flights situation I have learned one very important thing, that I must pass on to all of you. Do not book your flights with Orbitz. I think I spent a good 10 hours total on the phone with them and they are just not the ones you want handling your airfare.

And the countdown begins: 24 days.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

best post yet.

Ok, so get are about the read the best post yet. So, get ready. Take a seat. Get comfy. Grap a blanket, preferably one that Barb Schoen made. (my brother is sitting next to me, and he is excited...the suspense is killing him--although he has already heard everything I am about to write)
    Let me take you back to last monday. As you know support raising has been slow for me to say the least. But I was slowly moving towards my goal and that is what I was focusing on. Well, on monday I was on the phone with a women who told me that she would be surprised if I was able to raise $5,000. I really didn't know what to say to her. After I got off the phone with her I decided not to let that conversation discourage me. Instead I decided it would be my motivation. Motivation. I wanted to be able to show this women how BIG the God we serve is, I wanted to show her that $5,000 was nothing to him. I wanted her to experience and see the power of God at work. Yeah, it would feel good to prove her wrong, but where does that lead me and how long will that feeling last? No, I wanted God's glory to shine through to this women. So I began to pray. I prayed and I prayed.
    Then on Wednesday I arrived home from work to find two long threads of email. The first I read was short email and the words: large amount, scam, internet, donation stuck out to me. I was confused. I quickly went to the next email and discovered that a women had read my support letter and  decided to donated USD4500 to support me. My first thought: where is the period?
     I continued to open more emails searching for one my brain may be able to read. I read more that confirmed the total amount donated was in fact: $4,500. I was in shock. I was stunned. Ask my brothers...I couldn't get words out. WOW. Who? What. WOW. Face of disbelief. And lots of mumbling. And a few tears.
   Now the other side of the story: A women from Singapore had received an email from Malcolm (the missionary whom I am connect with in Poland) regarded my future missionary work in poland and asking for support. Attached to this email was my support letter. She decided that she and her husband would support me. You see she had just received news that her daughters tuition was less then expected and with that savings decided to pass that money onto support me as a missionary.
   A thus she was an answer to my prayers and may God's glory shine. And therefore, I am almost fully supported! I am so thankful to God. What a process it has been. WOOOHOOOO! :)
   So, I hope this encourages you a bit to continue to pray for those big things in your life because we serve a infinitely big God who pours his steadfast love out on us. Let all glory be to him. WOW, God is gooooooooood.