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

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Dance Camp! Dec 25-29

HSMIII! Yep, at this camp we worked on a dance that David (left) choreographed based on the song "A Night to Remember." In the evenings, elders from our church (who also all happened to be dads of our students) came and talked about leading double lives, dealing with temptation, following Christ selflessly...it was amazing how each night hit us right where we live. I'm praying for lasting fruit from things realized and decisions made.

Kaakushe, Hanicka and Danka being cute. In addition to dancing, we filmed Czech Butcher IV, which is a Dance Camp tradition to make a cheesy horror film parody where everybody dies. Hanicka and Danka's scene, playing up their blondeness, was so funny--these crazy girls added a lot to the camp.

Kaakushe, Naomi, Terka and I. I got to know some of the Pisek kids (like Terka) a lot better that camp, and I'm so glad...their depth and humor made hauling myself from northeastern Czech to a southwestern village the day after Christmas totally worth it.

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Christmas 2008

Czech Christmas, celebrated on the 24th with Lucka's family and Erin. Being with the Zagoras is almost like being with my own, except my family doesn't sing Polish hymns and my dad doesn't play the cello. I'm so thankful for the love they show to me and how comfortable it is to hang out with them.

Fish soup, a Czech tradition. I don't know how Eva does it, but this soup is what I look forward to every Christmas, even though it's made from fish bits that no one can really explain.

The gang at the Ellenwoods. It was a great time of hanging out, eating, watching It's a Wonderful Life and talking about what we learned about Christ this past year.

More fish, but this time I took Dana's sushi-making skills with me to Mel and Amy's for US Christmas on the 25th. Merry Christmas!

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Why Europe Rocks: Reason #37

Christmas Vienna


goodbye girls

Missy A and Great grand Bonnie during the the dysfunctional ESI family portrait. Who knew at the beginning how much we'd grow to love each other? Aubree, Bonnie and I are pretty different from each other, but these differences only made us stronger...not only as we served together and functioned as a body, but also our examples challenged each other to grow and expand in different areas.

In Prague with Jozef the night before the girls flew out. Jozef was a good friend to the girls and Bonnie's Czech teacher. (Fyi-that's not snow on the ground, it's feathers and stuffing from a massive pillow fight that took place on the Old Town Square before we got there.)

Lucka L and Aubree at the girls' going away party. Aubree has an amazing ability for connecting with students, she actively pursues them, connects them and brings fun and joy wherever she is. Her gift of hospitality resulted in dinner parties, hanging out and the rockin' Thaksgiving outreach. She's also an ace Bible study leader and blessed me continually with her knack for expressing deep truths with clarity and style. I love you Aubree!

Bonnie and Maruska at the same party. Bonnie is a faithful friend and impressed me with the way she deeply cared for some key young women. Her intentionality with sensitively confronting sin either in conversation or in her preaching/teaching is bearing much fruit, and her gift of preaching blessed us many times. Her creativity resulted in the super cool Halloween Murder Mystery outreach and random pranks. I love you Bonnie!

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the rest of 2008

JV Thanksgiving conference at Malenovice, right when I got back from the States.

The Thanksiving outreach the girls and Martina organized for our youth group--lots of new faces!

ESI (extended summer intern) debriefing in Vienna...thank you Boyz II Men for the following insight: "it's so hard--to say goodbye--to yesterday."

Iva, Klara, Bonnie, Martina, me and Aubree after our All Star Girls' Bible Study.

English Club in Pisek, every Tuesday evening at our church.

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what the New Year may bring

Lucka, Jitka and I in Croatia looking to the future

Okay, you probably don't know this, but Lucka and I have a little tradition for the past few years. It started around the turn of 2006, when (probably) we were sitting in our living room in good ol' Svibice lamenting over our unadorned left fingers. From this was born our vision for that year: "Two guys for us chicks in 2006." To make it official, we wrote it on a piece of paper and put it on the fridge.

However, 2006 went down into the dusty tomes of history with empty lines in the "love and dating" section (although, I think there were some entries in the "crushes that ended in heartbreak" section, but that's sealed :) With the advent of 2007 came the need for a renewed goal, because you know what the Bible says people perishing for lack of vision, though that may be taken a bit out of context. The next motto was: "We don't wanna wait till 2011, bring it on Lord in 2007." Alas, again the annals remained empty.

2008 was perhaps our best one yet, and this time it was a community effort even involving Bob and Super Jen, and Daniela and Jitka also adopted this motto as they saw fit: "He'll initiate in 2008--it'll be great." Although Luc and I did experience some initiating, it wasn't really, you know, and again nothing. But the motto became our byword for being patient, and I have nothing big to add in the heartbreak section.

This year's slogan was possibly the most difficult, not only because it stinks rhyming with "nine," but also because of some early discrepancies between Lucka's and my ideas. I was a stickler about wanting more than assonance and didn't want to use the word "time." "Give me a sign in 2009" was rejected because Luc wanted more than a sign and I have a high distrust of signs. "A ring will be mine in 2009" looked like it would win, except that neither one of us really thought that actual engagement was feasible this year. After the conference call that garnered much commentary on facebook, we quickly agreed on the following vision for this year...

"We'll be fine in 2009."

To all of my single sistahs out there, feel free to adopt this as your own, and may contentment and peace rule our hearts.


...California here I come...

When my pumpkins flew out, I flew over to San Jose to spend the weekend with my sister Becks and Emily...it was amazing, you know, I wasn't tired or drained at all from the two weeks with the gang and felt only blessed...but when I got to San Jose, I started feeling even more blessed. Bex and Em had prepared a choose-your-own-adventure weekend, which was perfect because it gave me some ideas and freedom. I got to go to a paper warehouse sale in So San Fran, see gorgeous landscapes in SF galleries, eat Cuban food...and...

...jump for joy at the Full House park! Deej, Uncle Jesse, where were you? AND...

...run around with Yuki at the beach AND...

...go to the farmers' market, watch America's Next Top Chef and Wall-E, and generally be spoiled and have a great time with the girls. Thank you and I love you Bex and Em!

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