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

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why Europe Rocks: Reason #29


My rockin landlord Mr Divis is loaning me a little refrigerator, and when I moved it out of the corner (to make space for the couch! In my kitchen!) I discovered a whole new world...Ferda the Ant and all his friends, and a big dog.

I don't know if Ferda's expression is sweet or mischievious, but I'm glad he doesn't watch ME sleep.

I really don't know what to say. This is not an isloated event. The dresser I used at my first camp ever here was liberally adorned with 90210 stickers (Andrea! Steve!) and I believe an old MJ Thriller sticker. The Pospisils have Schrek on their bathroom door, and my friend Pavla used to have a riske "lambada" sticker on her fridge. I'm not anti-sticker, but I was going to soft scrub them out of existence until the Staz gang discovered them. The joyful cries of "Oooo! Ferda!" made me reconsider, as did the fact that Marta realised that my fridge used to belong to her family and that SHE put the stickers there when she was little. So, the ant and his friends are here for good, until I wake up to little black eyes staring at me.

facebook pics of the apt and stuff: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=61207&l=70ec9&id=867570384


What About Staz?

Breta, Tomas, Marketa and Jura during a seminar at Malenovice. Each month both cell groups (Strakonice and Vsetin) get together for the whole week at Malenovice for seminars. Former Staz students, Kam members and the public are also invited. This coming month will be seminars about the reaching today's youth and the pastoral epistles.

David, Kikina and David at our Staz cell group in Strakonice--in my apartment. We spend all day Tuesday at my place, and after dinner go down 2 floors to Alca and Martin's for Systematic Theology where we're joined by the core members of our Strak group: Eva, Kakushe, Jana and Jozef. Girls sleep at Alca's the boys take over my flat, and then on Wednesday we have classes again until lunch.

Me, Kikina, Alca, Marta...our Staz small group! All of the Staz students are part of small groups with their own coach. Part of the coach's (my!) responsibilty is to keep them accountable with their assignments, encourage them in their ministries and care for them personally. I love our group! Marta and Alca and I are all Strakonice girls (Alca and her husband Martin live in the same building as I), so we get to spend a lot of time together. Marta is active in children's ministry as well as serving the youth of Strak, and Alca is active all over the place. She works part time for our church, part time as a financial consultant and is involved in ministry in Strak. Kikina is from Ceske Budjeovice and is rad. She and some of her friends are starting a theatre company in Prague, and this occupies a lot of time and energy. She's also studying art therapy as well as serving in her youth group. More on these women to come!


English Club, Strakau Styl

Jana (orange t shirt) is doing a great job helping lead English club, she has fun ideas and is able to get it done. Don't be put off by the glowing eyes, she's not mad.

Making chocolate chip cookies...mmm...do you want to know what my secret ingredients are? Huh?

Luky crushing Marta's head.


Baptism, Sept 16

Pavel, Jana, Kakushe and Magda standing by the baptism bus (it's not really called that). They all wanted to be baptised outside, so after our normal church service we all drove to a nearby pond.

Our pastor Martin baptising Kakushe. This was a beautiful day!


more of what was and what will be...

10/5-6 Eating Chinese with the Ceske Budejovice group during their English camp overnight reunion party. What a blessing to see old new friends and see them get involved in the youth group!

10/6-7 The Tabor youth group's hobo skit was great, as were their reunion party relay races: "Cursing Life," "Cigarette Tug'o'War" and spitting.

10/19-20 Our Pisek youth group hosted a regional youth conference called Houba (Mushroom? Sponge? either one works). About 80 students attended, and David Novak (head of youth min for the CB denom) and Jirka Kantor (a pastor from Plzen as well as being a teacher and coach for our Staz cell) gave it to us straight about sex and relationships. Radka, Marketa (from Staz), Jana Cimpova and I led a seminar just for girls where we talked about our experiences with relationships, sin, disappointment, and meeting Jesus in the midst of all of that.

10/23-24--Staz in Tabor...road trip!
10/26-27--Slepici Ulet (Hen Flight, lit, aka, girls' wknd) with our Pisek youth group
10/29-11/2--Staz in Malenovice
11/2-11/4--English weekend with Letovice!

Labels: , ,

Jesus and I

Last Thursday I spent a few hours getting my thoughts together for the girls seminar we had for Houba (see above). I told the story of my last big fat crush and how Jesus drew near in the midst of rejection. Looking back on those days--they were kind of crazy, I was definitely crazy--hurt a little, but it's so good to see how the Lord forced the issue with me in how I always blamed myself for being rejected. And how he showed me that it's not my fault, it's not even about me, it's about him. And how he pulled me on his lap when I was trying not to be angry and jealous and whiny, and how I knew that, whether my feelings were justified or not, he was feeling it all with me. And how now I can look back at those months and see how he broke me of some things and started a new strength and new wisdom in my soul. I don't know if this resonates; I don't want to be more specific in a blog. But younger women usually ask how it is being single for me, and I welcome those questions. I need to know from my older single sisters how it is for them, too. & honestly, right now it's great. Not great as in: "I have the gift of celibacy," or "it's so easy," or "I'm not hoping he's coming soon." But great because this is an area that's really tender, painful and touches the core of who I am AND this is the area where I'm meeting (hearing, feeling, knowing) Jesus Christ the most. And THAT is great.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why Europe Rocks: Reason #28

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness, or "Do Americans Wear Shoes to Bed?"

from Jozef's 23rd birthday party at my flat

I don't know if you know this, but Czechs don't wear shoes in the house. Do you know why? Do you really have to ask? Maybe it's obvious to me, because I grew up in the house of Mark Cox where it was strictly forbidden to go further than the downstairs shoe rug wearing said shoes. Going to the bottom stairs was risky, but going up the stairs and into the living room, on the living room carpet in shoes...forget about it. So, when I came to Czech and everyone's all "take off you shoes," I'm all "yeah of course." But YOU maybe are all, "I feel dumb running around in my socks," so please allow me to explain: it's just way cleaner. Here people tend to walk more (see WER #15) so shoes get dirtier--which also explains a little bit the flipside of this problem, which is why Americans don't tend to take their/our shoes off indoors. Anyway. Oh, and if/when you come to visit, (come visit!) and if/when we ride the train together (let's take the train!), please take off your shoes before you prop your feet up on the seat across from you. Thank you!