Leah Cox's blog of youth ministry in the Czech Republic with Josiah Venture (plus stuff)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

small town Lutheran youth group

Last Friday I went to Natalka and Ania's village, Terlicko, as a guest at their youth group. We played games and then watched Exit* together and talked about what Jesus says about losing our lives to save them. It was great, later Natal told me that of the 15 students (3 boys:) there, only a few of the parents actually go to church--either the students' grandparents go or their friends brought them. Natalka, Jitrenka and Daniel do a great job of loving those crazy kids.

*Exit 316 is a Christian television show for youth that has been airing since the beginning of the school year. Each week is devoted to a different topic (eg, Sex, Life for Others, Death, Parents, Prayer, etc.) and there are seeker small group materials for each episode. Natalka's youth group usually does Exit for their weekly program.

(Another cool thing was that I also got to spend a few hours with Natalka's mom, Dana. I met her at our women's conference in January and she's a doll...she reminds me a bit of my mom. It's also a reminder of how I'm at an interesting place, age wise...I'm 13 years older than Natal and about 13 years younger than her mom, and somehow we all relate really well.)


Cesky Tesin English Camp Team 2007

Natalka, Halina, David, Radek, Daria, Katka, Lenka, Daniela, Lucka, Jola, Marek, Lucka, Gabka, me.

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Bohemia Camp Training Weekend

Ahhh! I love these types of weekends, it's like a family reunion, seeing leaders and students from different camps and from years gone by. At this weekend we played games, heard amazing testimonies, possibly freaked out the Prague Russian-speaking Baptist church with camp songs and dances, talked about how to lead discussion groups well...yep, it was awesome. Even though I'm an old 32 and I have done almost a million English camps, I am still not tired of them because the fruit of it is so beautiful--so bring on Uno, Anchor for the Soul, video clips and preposition tic tac toe, because Kaja became a Christian, Jozef is leading camp, these little shy 15 year old girls are going to grow in sharing their faith, churches are going to feel the the wind of the Spirit blow through the back door...yay!!!


Monday, April 23, 2007

another little confession...

When I was 12, I wanted to be a psychologist. I thought it would be cool if people told me their deep, dark secrets and I would tell them why they're a mess and how to fix their lives. Even though by the time I was 14 I was over it (next job: actress!) something of that has remained. People & their depths fascinate me...which is fine, but I can get judgemental real fast. And I often do.

I confess this sin a lot & hate it. Because I can almost read people's next thought, "Has she been judging *me*?" And then, "Who is *she* to judge me?" Word, I know, I know I have NO ROOM to judge anyone...but....

At the JV women's retreat, when I was locked in the park, God spoke to me clearly: Can salt water and fresh water come from the same spring? I knew what he was talking about, because I'd been complaining about some people and hadn't confessed it. So of course I said "noooo..." and then he said, gently, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." And I said, Lord, change my heart, I can't....

Another situation has been bringing me to me knees, begging God to once again change my heart, and I saw that the core of this issue (from my side) are, again, judgements which have led to guilt, which has led to separation, which has led to...yeah. But somehow this time in the midst of confession, God's given me a little glimpse of who I could be without this sin...a woman who loves deeply and gives grace freely, who will speak a hard truth to a person, but also defends that person. That's the women I want to be. Not some self-righteous armchair psychologist. And I believe that the Lord is in the process of changing me.

Confession brings freedom, so here I am: sobered by sin, confident of God's forgiveness, and grateful for his transformation.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

'sup with you?

'sup with me? Glad you asked...

April 13 Visiting Hradec Kralove schools
April 13-14 Bohemia Training Weekend
April 16-17 Kam Anniversary Conference
April 27-28 Moravia Training Weekend
May 1-5 Josiah Venture Spring Conference
May 18-19 Last Setkani Meeting
May 24-26 Kam CBV Conference
May 29 Interns arrive, summer begins!

'sup with YOU?


Monday, April 09, 2007

Why Europe Rocks: Reason #22

Dudi and Luc at last year's Easter

Say what?

So, Nate and I went to Lucka's family for Easter, and Lucka has this cute cute 4 year old nephew named Daniel (aka Dudi). During the meal we were going back between Czech, Ponasemu* and English and Dudi looks at me, says something in Ponasemu and then says, "mwauuu wau blah blah blah." Lucka busts up laughing, "He's translating for you into English!" It was awesome. And it serves me right. I have a confession to make...I kinda mock Ponasemu. Ponasmu is a pidgin language that exists in these parts as a mix of Czech, Polish and German. If I want to speak Ponasemu, I just speak Czech with a Polish accent and whatever Polish words I know and plenty of "ganz" (I guess that's German for "really"). Basically, that means switching Hs and Gs, Ls and Ws, and "tak" for yes and "ni" for no. It's mostly entertaining, hopefully inoffensive, but possibly annoying (although probably not as annoying as me and my Italian accent, and for sure not as annoying as Nate and his Iowa slams...like AZ is all that).

Okay, let's try it out
EN: You have a nice sweater, did you knit it yourself?
CZ: Mash hezkee svetr, pletla yeesee toe saamaa?
PNM: Mosh heyzkay svitor, pwetwa yestesh toe soma?

Ha ha ha! It's so funny! Well...if you're not as amused as I, check out these language videos or Nate's Polish hymn blog: http://natedoggblogg.blogspot.com/2006/06/polish-worship.html

The Interpretor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncirovhlQcw

Joey speaking French: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2JhCejhcEg

(real PNM: Mosh peeyeknee svetr, ushtreekovawa? Gosh.)


Houba, which can be "sponge" or "mushroom," take your pick

HOUBA is a regional youth meeting that happens once a year, our denomination (cirkev bratrska) hosts it, but it's open for all. This year the theme was "Loving Yourself," and bella Katka had a seminar just for girls Saturday afternoon.

About 40 girls crammed into our youth group room and while Katka talked you could have heard a pin drop, they were listening so intently.

Katka and I...I really have nothing to say about this pic, I put it in because it's good of both of us and I LOVE KATKA! :)

Setkani/Meeting/3rd of 4/March 16-17

Katka, Lucka, Agnes, Radka and I

Just to recap, Setkani is something our women's ministry team (but primarily Agnes and Radka) has been leading this school year. Four weekends about 25 women from all different denominations all over Czech get together and learn how we can better serve the women in our churches. The material is from Sonlife ministries, Strategy of Christ's Ministry, and theme for the four weekends are small group discipleship, building a team, evangelism and multiplying leaders.

This past Setkani was SO GOOD. The theme is one of my favorite anyways, but even more than that our team totally clicked. Actually, "clicked" is a weak word, we more than clicked, we experienced some kind of supernatural oneness and love. It was rad. Even all of the women there clearly felt comfortable with each other and they challenged and encouraged one another. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to us!