12.30.2006

the really important news from Svarin

I just staved off a friendly attack of balloon wielding preschoolers. you know the long skinny balloons that clowns make into swords and flowers and flying mice. well these were just blown up and handed to the darling little hoodlums.
Subsequently 5 or 6 of them decided i would make a good target. At first, i played along and laughed a bit. when it got annoying i ignored. then i threatened, then i sucked up my language self-consciousness and i asked them to stop. then i told them to stop (at least i think that's what i said). i finally ran into the other room and hid behind Iveta. Thus getting the attention of the parents and a bit more fluent and authoritative order to stop the attack. A bit underhanded i know, i'm nothing but a grown up tattletale running to tell their mommys :)
At any rate, they are mostly leaving me be now and i am threatening any comers with my knitting needle. it is of course not sharp enough to be a real threat. but the popping noises i make when i poke at the balloons has them convinced for now. but when the munchkins figure out that I'm bluffing....I'm in big trouble

12.22.2006

weeks and weeks and weeks

I’m not even going to try and catch you all up on what has happened the past weeks. Partly because it’s been so long and partly because after I finish writing this, I’m leaving the office for Christmas vacation time!!

The past few weeks were a really mixed bag. There were a lot of ups and downs. Sometimes I was very busy and some days all there was to do was wait. We captured the video from CampFest to a new hard drive, the attic will be new offices and a conference room by the new year, and the recording studio downstairs is still moving along. The video of the CampFest Hymn is officially finished and sent to the Slovak TV station. The Worship Festival here in Presov the beginning of the month was a huge success. There were about 2,000 people and the atmosphere was very worshipful.

It’s only in the past week I have finally started really feeling like Christmas. I finally stopped coughing (mostly) and feeling worn out from the cold I had while Micah was here last month. The temperatures finally dropped below 45 and we had a little snow. This Sunday was the children’s program at church and I helped Paly and Klara decorate their tree. I don’t have a tree per say but I got some lights to hang in the rubber tree plant in my room, and I have been burning the pumpkin spice candle that Micah’s mom sent so my room has gotten festive.

Last night we made and decorated sugar cookies. Trees, shooting stars, candles, and fish! Fish is the Christmas meal here. My mom sent a tree cookie cutter and the others were Ivetka’s. It was a very fun and messy time. Just like decorating cookies should be!

I will celebrate Christmas with Paly and Iveta and their family. And the end of the week I’m going with them and some others from church to Svarin. Paly is horrified that I have never cross country skied so I think that will be in the plans for my new year celebration (that and a bottle of ale-8!! :))

My holiday is going to look very different this year. I am excited to experience it, I may never have the chance again, but at the same time, there are a million things that will be different. Some are inconsequential like fish for Christmas dinner. And some will be harder to deal with, like not watchign “The Muppet Christmas Carol” with my family, not having sticky buns for breakfast and missing the candlelight service at church. But I know that Christmas is more than the Muppets, sticky buns and singing silent night at the candlelight service. In fact it’s not about any of that. I just have to keep reminding myself to put it all in perspective. I will be fine, but it will be hard and I’ll be counting on your prayers.

I hope you all have a great Christmas.
:)Stasi!!

12.13.2006

conversations you wont find in a textbook

Exercize 1:

R: "Stasi crazy lazy daisy"
Me: "co"
R: "nic"
Me:"preco"
R: "preto"
Me:"dobre"'

R: "Stasi crazy lazy daisy"
Me:"what"
R: "nothing"
Me:"why"
R: "because"
Me:"ok"


exercize 2:

"co? mas problem?"
"ano ty si moj problem"
"nie som problemm ty si problem"
"nie som ty si crazy"
"nie ty si crazy"

"what? you have a problem?"
"yes you are my problem"
"i'm not the problem you're the problem"
"I am not youre crazy"
"no you are crazy"

11.27.2006

just when i think that it is not possible to pound any more holes in the cieling of one building, guess what the men on ladders in the kitchen are up to!
POUNDING!
HOLES!
IN THE CIELING!
WITH HAMMERS!!!

33 34 35....and counting

Prayer warriors and friends
I am so sorry that I have not written for 3 weeks (and a half) let’s see if I can catch you up to speed on life in Slovakia:)

Week 33 started spending the day with the O’Connell’s in Kosice. It had the benefits of getting me out of the house and I got to visit them before they headed home for the holidays. I have not had so much fun with legos in a long time, thanks Will. The rest of the week was fairly borring. I was worn out an homesick with a long to-do list and little motivation. I did another round of edits on the CampFest Hymn video and not much else. I spent a lot of time waiting for people to look at what I had done. I baked a lot of cookies, baking cookies is a relaxing thing for me to do even if I have to use someone else’s kitchen and convert all my recipes into Metric. I was antsy all week because week 34 meant my birthday and Micah!

I spent the weekend cleaning and trying to get the video from the wedding captured to my computer and edited. It was a project that involved buying an external Hard Drive (in Slovak!), and dealing with a lot of switching video formats since I used one European camera and one American :). The video did not get finished before Micah came. I’m still working on it.

Monday of week 34 the YFC staff went to Svarin (the new ranch) for a annual 2-day vision casting meeting. We spent most of the day with everyone sharing about what they do on a daily basis, where they see their ministry going and what God has done in the last year. It was a very encouraging time. And in the evening after the meetings were done it was nice to just hang out there. Since the meetings were announced with short notice, I was not there for the second day since that was the day that Micah was flying in.

Tuesday I woke up very early, took a bus and then a train to get to Kosice to pick up Micah from the airport.(I bought the train ticket all by myself for the first time!! Let’s do the public transportation success dance!) Andrea took me from the train station to the airport and when I got there Micah was waiting with his suitcase the size of a house (he brought my birthday and Christmas from my family). Big smiles. We took a bus back to Presov and then a city bus to my house. Micah stayed with Martin in the room next door. We had a very relaxing time, watched black and white movies, ate pizza by candlelight and talked a lot.

The highlight of his visit was on my birthday when we went to see some castle ruins and had a picnic, Micah surprised me with Ale-8. And as if Ale-8 and a castle for my birthday weren’t enough, that evening we danced on my balcony and he asked me to marry him. I said yes :) (as always, pictures at Flickr. www.flickr.com/photos/stasigh )
(side note: the highlight for Micah was the coffee shop in town that had good coffee and chocolate cake)

Toward the end of his trip, I started loosing the battle with the cough I was fighting so we didn’t do a lot of exciting stuff mostly hanging out and I took a lot of naps. We spent Sunday in Kosice where we went to a church that feels a lot like Mars Alliance and an American spoke.

By the time Micah went home, on Wednesay morning, I had totally lost the battle and spent the rest of the week coughing my lungs up, sick in bed. My plan had been to make a few of my favorite thanksgiving dishes to share with the Biros family, but since I was too dead to get out of bed to shop for what I needed and no one would have wanted anything that germy me cooked anyway, I celebrated Thanksgiving in bed and let Mrs. Birosova feed me Haluski.

Today is Monday and I am finally back in the office. It is good to start getting back to my regular routines. I am still feeling a little sluggish but I think a bit of Pepsi will help with that :) (i am my mother's daughter!)
This week I’ll be capturing CampFest video so that we can edit the 2006 DVD and I’ll also keep tweaking the Music Video and CampFest hymn video as suggestions keep coming. This weekend is a big worship festival/conference here in Presov and we are having 24 hour prayers leading up to that. There will be a lot of little details and technical things to get done.

Please continue to pray, especially for:
-Worship Conference/Festival in Presov this weekend
-My being all here (homesick, distracted with being engaged, on the downward side of my year, trying to find out where God wants to send me next -- all of that might distract me from beign where I am)
-Slovak learning (I’m getting into the more detailed grammar stuff and its complicated!)

Thank you all for being faithful in praying the past weeks even when I am less than faithful in keeping you updated.
:) Stasi!!

11.22.2006

sick in a foreign country

it is 11:30. mrs Biros heard me hacking my lungs up and came in took me downstairs took my temperature (i learned the word for thermometer) (i do not have a fever)she fed me potato pancakes with onions and tried to give me sour milk(it's a normal drink here) i ended up with just plain warm milk and i have no clue what the pill is that i just took. i feel taken care of. and very tired
goodnight

My Micah, my fiance

Tete Hideswow it's weird to type fiance. its even weirder to say it out loud. and it's sad to know that he left for the airport and i wont see him for four more months. I'd love to update yall on his time here but i'm not feeling well today. so i'm headed back to bed. I hate being sick in bed today especially since i took the whole week he was here off and really the last thing i want to do is lay in bed today with my thoughts, but there is no helping it, i have a fever, a viscious cough, a persistent headache and generally feel like i have been hit by a truck.
I felt icky the whole time micah was here but i pushed myself. not necescarily the best decision i'm sure, but i do not regret it. poor Micah though, he was starting to cough when he left.
anyway to try and diffuse the sad state of both me and this post and to tide you over till i am up to really filling in the details enjoy a few pictures....
Micah the ExplorerKapustany HradTwo reasons i love MicahSparkles!!!

11.15.2006

hes baaack

micah is here safely for those of you concerned. we managed to get from Kosice to Presov on Public transportation and his bag only cost 15 cents to get it's own seat on the bus...we watched a jimmy stewart movie took a walk holding hands and played the wahdda you wanna do i dunno whadda you wanna do game.
plans now include pricing tickets to Budapest, and hiking to a castle if the weather gets nice.
if i hadn't forgotten my camera cable in Svarin, i would post some of the pictures of him cuddling the kangaroos last night on my couch. poor boy was too jet lagged and tired to do anyhting about me and my camera....Muwahahaha!!

11.12.2006

Oh, I'd Like to Visit the Moon

:) made me smile....i am not going to the moon, but tomorrow morning i am going to the Ranch in Svarin with the MPKaci (YFCers in English) and Tuesday morning i'm going to Kosice from Svarin (BY MYSELF on a bus and THEN switching to, and buying my own ticket for, A TRAIN!!! scary!) I'm going to the airport in Kosice because MICAH IS COMING for my birthday. Best Present EVER!!
....so if you dont hear from Slovakia for a while, it's not because i'm on the moon, it's cause i'm over the moon! (was that corny?)
also, i would look much better in a space helmet!

11.08.2006

sweet mix-ups

i post these things so you will laugh with me.

last week when i was feeling down, Kexo looked at me and said "sugar me, baby" Apparently it's a Slovak figure of speach that doesnt translate, he meant tell me something happy. I explained why i was shocked, he explained why i shouldn't be and we had a good laugh over the language barrier.

this afternoon i was trying to decide what kind of cookies to bake this evening. over skype, my mom suggested the kind with hershey's kisses. turns out you can not get Hershey kisses in Slovakia. they have no clue what they are even, that part is sad to me.

the funny part happened when I turned around and asked Kexo and Roman "can you get Hershey Kisses here?"
Roman turned a nice shade of red, and Kexo pointed to his wedding band.

the language barrier strikes again.

i expalined. everyone laughed. jokes were made that next week while micah is here there shouldn't be any shortage of kisses in Slovakia.

:)

11.06.2006

new word: cintorin

It means cemetary, this is a seasonal post. Halloween isnt really a big deal here, but All Saints Day (november 1st) is.

Instead of dressing up in costumes and going door to door begging candy, they head to the cemetaries. Most people in Slovakia do not move around as much as people in the US and so people are very likely to live in the same town where their great-grandparents are burried. And so, with arms full of flowers and a bag of candles to place on the graves of relatives and friends who are burried there everyone heads to the cemetary. The result is beautiful, all the graves covered in flowers and candles. I owe Roman and Ander a huge thank you for telling me that i had to go and take my camera. more photos at my flickr site

But it wasn't only beautiful from the visual point of view. It was moving to see how full the cemetary was and the decorated graves of those who were really loved there. The flowers and candles served as almost a measure for how loved and remembered and missed a person was.

I found myself selfishly wanting to know that 30 years after I died people would still be remembering me. On the other hand, I don't want my friends and family to dwell on my being gone, because I will not be in that granite tomb. I will have bigger and better things to concern me than what kind of candles or what color flowers are on my grave.
I will be home in the presence of the King!!

11.02.2006

week 30-32

the "weekly" update e-mail :)

Well, Slovakia is still here and even though I may have briefly disappeared from the updating scene, I am still here too.

I have fallen into a rather basic routine around here, with colder weather (there was SNOW in the air this morning) things are slowing down, and I’m not getting out much. The past weeks were spent tweaking the video from CampFest and the music video. They are currently waiting on approval before I can say they are totally done. We’re also waiting on some technical needs before Roman and I can start editing all the stuff from CampFest 2006.

Well, honestly that’s the extent of big news around here but I’ll follow that with some little tidbits from the past few weeks

Marian forbade me to come to the office while Ron & Ruth were here. I got to show them around Presov which I fall a bit more in love with all the time. We went into some shops that I have been a bit intimidated to do on my own. And the second evening, we had a good dinner with Marian and Ludka. I had such a refreshing two days with them.

Things in the office are moving along in a rather jerky manner but they are moving. There have been some problems with the quality and speed of the work being done, but we are trusting Gods timing (or at least trying our best. It’s hard sometimes) The outside is mostly done and the building is blue! Realllly blue!!! On any given day it could be a cross between a construction zone, a domestic dispute(they are just joking), a garage sale, a hip hop concert, and an opera....every now and then it might resemble an office if you use your imagination.... i love it here :)

On the language front, I still don’t study enough but I am improving. I have occasional setbacks to my ego. Some are discouraging like the time I misread the expiration date on my bus pass then when the controller checked the day after it actually expired, I couldn’t understand a word of what she was saying. Or the time that I held up the entire line at Lunch trying to explain that I only had a half-portion to the cashier. But some are funny. Like when I ordered “Empty cheese” instead of “fried Cheese” for lunch and the time I confused words for hiccupping and waiting. Mostly I am able to laugh at myself with everyone else and resolve to study more and listen closer.

I have had some pretty homesick days the past few weeks. A slump around the 6 month mark is normal and I’m pulling through ok. Please do continue to pray.

This past weekend I was asked to video a wedding for a couple who used to work with MPK here. It was a fun experience, and a great chance to see what weddings here are like. At the reception one of the guys I knew from Church taught me how to dance some Slovak dances. I had so much fun with that. I also got very dizzy! I will spend a fair deal of time the next week or so editing that footage together for Mark and Katka.

Thank you for praying, I’ve had some stellar days that are the result of your prayers and some days that I’m certain I survived only because of your prayers. God is faithful.

Please continue to pray:
~ That I will continue to be “all here” on the downhill side of my year
~ For relationships with MPK and churches
~The everpresent need to communicate and my dislike of studying

You are making a difference in Slovakia and we are so thankful!

Stasi!!

IT IS SNOWING!!!!

THERE IS SNOW IN THE AIR!!!
just thought you might like to celebrate my first Slovak snow!!!
I did a little dance, i'll leave your method of celebration to your own discernment!!

10.31.2006

note to today

you were supposed to be better than yesterday. so what's up with the strawberry yogurt exploding in my backpack?!

10.27.2006

not a blog about cows

Me and a COW this will not turn into a blog about cows. i promise. but I talked to Ami the other night and she had some great cow insight. so instead of my weekly update (which is coming sometime today) I am going to share why i am glad that i am not a cow.

first up, they spend all day puking and re-eating their food. I really dont think i need to expound further on that point.

Second off, and this is Ami's Point, Cows never really go fast they jsut sort of meander. I have nothing against meandering but Ami and i agree that there is no better feeling than going fast every now and then. Whether it's in a car with the windows down and the music up or just running as fast as you can. We think it would stink to spend all day in a great big open field and never really take off going really fast.

My life right now is flying by. It kind of feels like everything but me is going fast. in a few weeks (Nov 16) I'll celebrate my 24th birthday TWENTY-FOUR!!!! That's just a year short of half-way to fifty!! I am not ready for this!! I want a few years back!
This week marked 7 months in Slovakia which means only 5 months till i move back to the states. that's only like 20 weeks. and my list of things to do is growing, not shrinking. the video Klip and CampFest Hymn video will be done today. but i still want to tell the story of MPK (Youth for Christ in Slovakia) it's an amazing story...and there's still CF06 video to start and video o prepare for CF07 and more. I want a few months back!

The theme for CampFest '07 is "viac" in english,"more" as in Christ can do more than we ask or imagine, that God blesses us beyond what we deserve, and that we should give Him more of us. But what it feels like is that the next 5 months will be filled with more that i will have time for. Well, beyond what we ask or Imagine huh? it's all up to Him.

extra bonus note of the day, this picture is from Prague. when we accidentally ended up on the ritzy street in our dandering. not only is this cow on a street of stores that i couldn't afford to buy socks in, the cow is labeled "COW" cow cow cow how many times can i talk about cows before you get sick of me? :)

10.25.2006

i'm lovin' it!

ba da bap bap baaa!



much thanks to kristen whom i also love.

also this seems as good a time as any to note that i recently discovered that the McDonalds in Kosice is walking distance from the bus station!!! :)

10.23.2006

hit in the head with a cow

this may be the new way i describe my"stasi moments"as abi describes them

“When I was caught and subdued by Alonzo [the cow] and stretched out on the green grass under a pecan tree, I looked up at my father and said “What happened Daddy?” My father had a faraway look in his eye and he said “Son, you were hit on the head with a cow.” For at least a week after I received the blow on the head everything people said to me seemed illogical or disconnected; every conversation I heard seemed to end unerringly and pleasantly in confusion. ..... I feel as if I had been hit on the head with a cow.”

Joe Mitchell, published the above excerpted story, Hit on the Head with a Cow, in McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon in 1943

really that's what it feels like....just like the world doesnt make sense, the reason is totally nonsensical and to top it all off your head hurts.

i definitely like that better than saying i'm having a blue mood or feeling on the edge or any number of euphamisms for "Stasi Moments" that i've used over the years.

from now on if you ask me how i'm doing, i might just tell you that i feel as if i have been hit on the head with a cow.

i bought a truck

imagine just how cute i'd look getting out of my new truck!!
My New Truck

look at the cute detailing on her tailgate!!!
Tailgate

i'm having a sort of rough day, but posting pictures of my new truck makes me smile, see:

:)

10.18.2006

upping my language skills

I had a good Slovak lesson this afternoon, but this morning i made a humorous mistake. I wanted to tell Roman "i am waiting" (for rendering video). After I said my sentence in Slovak, he and Paly started giggling (there is no other word for it)....I really had said "I am hiccupping".....čakam vs.čkam.

(in case you are curious....the first is "i am waiting" the second is "I'm hiccuping" and the c wedge is pronounced lik ch in "chess")

anyway, i thought you might enjoy an account of one of my non-bathroom-language mix up. :)

10.16.2006

A toofer--weeks 28 and 9

Hey all!

I had to make up for being timely and informative two weeks ago so I took a week (an a half) off! Don’t worry it doesn’t mean I did nothing, I spent the whole time trying to figure out how to spell toofer! (two-fer, tofer?) :)

Just kidding, really!

So lets start with Timothy School and the Ranch in Svarin! (Sept 29-Oct1) I had a rough weekend for no particular reason, let’s blame it on culture shock. About 30 young people came and things went smoothly as far as I could tell. The speakers were very good and the students appeared to get a lot from the small group times. The ranch is beautiful and it was so exciting to see young people in small groups scattered across the lawn and playing soccer and volleyball.... A small glimpse of all the things that God will be able to do through that place. Also I got to spend some time talking to and interviewing Jean Jacques Wiler, and was really blessed by his stories and messages.

The week after Timothy School I dove into editing, the music video for Strateny v Tme (Alone in Darkness) that we shot back in June. That is really what I’ve been up to the past two and a half weeks. Editing and editing and editing. It’s almost done now. I’m just getting feedback and tweaking the first half of this week and then I’m going to call that project done. I have really enjoyed this project in spite of a ton of little issues (like bad footage and repeatedly loosing power) that occasionally made me feel like either screaming or throwing things out the window. I avoided doing either and I’m pretty proud of how it is turning out.

Other news in the office the past weeks is that, Praise the Lord!, we go the money we were lacking to finish the Center/Office. This has led to again working in a construction zone with men drilling and pounding outside the windows but the building should be insulated and painted before winter hits full force. Please pray for this, that the work gets finished on schedule and that we don’t go crazy from the noise :)

This past Saturday, I took a trip to Kosice to take some pictures for a missionary family there. I took pictures of the horse ministry (kids riding horses not missionaries ministering to them), and a family picture for them. It was good to get out of Presov and cities. It was also inspiring to see what others are doing. It helped me re-catch my vision to have missionaries with quality media about what they are doing. Also, I rode a train by myself for the first time! (I had help buying the ticket)

Currently, Ron & Ruth Berger are visiting for a few days. Ron and Ruth do pastoral care for YFC missionaries. I’m the last stop of their trip that has included England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Rwanda and Uganda. They arrived last night and I have been blessed to have them here already. I will be taking some time off this afternoon and tomorrow to spend time with them.

Thank you for praying please don’t stop. You can pray for:
~Slovak learning still (I’ve had a few embarrassing blows to my language ego)
~Construction on the Center/Offices
~The Svarin Ranch (transition of ownership, a few small thefts, and some red tape that might make having CampFest there a problem)
~Ron & Ruth’s Visit
~My occasionally off-balance emotional state

I know I could not be doing this without your support and everyone here is grateful for your prayers as well. They were surprised here to hear that so many of you regularly lift up the ministry and happenings in Slovakia.

Next week's update will be on time (*crossed fingers*)

:) Stasi

10.06.2006

a tad random

best thing that has been said to me recently.

Well, if your computer is giving you such problems give it to me. I'll sell it and buy a frisbee.

wouldn't that be something

10.05.2006

black tea, and donuts make every morning better

10.03.2006

tears

i cried this morning at staff prayer. it was a worship morning. i am not sure why i cried.
it might have been that i didnt know the words and felt lost and alone and just wanted to go home NOW
or it might have been that i didnt know the words and worried that i'll never fit here and i want to fit here so badly.
it might have been that, in spite of not knowing the words, i feel like i do fit here and sometimes i do not want to leave. and i only have half a year left.
or it might have been the release of a the tensions and a thousand little tears that have been building up inside of me for all those reasons and they finally came out because when i worship i feel safe and my guard comes down.
or i might just be crazy.

for your information

It is ill advised to tell your male co-worker who speaks British/Irish English that you are wearing a skirt because you need to do laundry and you have no clean pants. Especially if it is part of a conversation that starts “Aren't your legs cold?”

I did not realize this untill it was too late.

I was quite confused as to why he turned red and quickly changed the subject.

I was very embarassed when I finally remembered that in British/Irish English "pants" refers to a totally different piece of clothing that should not be discussed with male co-workers. Ever. Especially on the way to lunch.

I should have said "trousers" or "jeans"

I should have just done my laundry and the whole incident could have been avoided.

10.02.2006

Mobiles :)

natalie dee

current blog trend in the blogging realm of my family seems to be leaning toward posting about your cell phone.....or commenting on the cell phones of others.
not wanting to be left out here goes my commentary.....
In Slovakia we call them mobiles.
I technically have two since I still have the one I fell on and crushed at the end of May. this keeps me in the running numericly, but since neither flips or takes pictures and only one works, i might be in last place. ('Cept for Alex...he doesnt have a mobile OR a blog to commplain about it on...at least i'm not last!)

9.28.2006

week 27 totally on time too!!

Greetings from Slovakia!!

The main reason this update is on time is because tomorrow I leave in the morning for Timothy School, the first official MPK action at the Svarin Ranch. I am so excited! Also it is a really neat event, a sort of intensive discipleship weekend retreat for about 50 new believers and teens interested in going deeper. I will be running video projection and photographing the event. Please keep us in your prayers this weekend. Pray especially for Stevo who is planning the weekend, he is getting a lot of last minute questions/problems this could be a rough weekend for him because, like the rest of us, he is not familiar with the ranch. Another exciting thing (for me) is that one of the speakers is Jean Jaques Wieler former president of YFC and a key part of starting YFC in Slovakia. One of my year-long projects is telling the really cool story of how that all happened and I will get the chance to interview him this weekend! Next week Roman will come back from vacation and we will start working on a 20 minute Promo video for CampFest.

I am in a really good mood today, I think it has to do with the caffeine, Pepsi Light and black tea. I had a really good week too though and I was not caffeinated the entire time. :)

My time in Kosice this weekend was really great. I enjoy spending time with the O'Connells. We got some pretty good pictures for a family with 2 little boys and a photographer who does not specialize in portraits. Also, I finally succeeded in buying new jeans (size 36!! ouch) and I bought a truck (matchbox :)).
Saturday evening, I peeled a million potatoes for the party Sunday. And helped get things decorated and set up for the party. Sunday was the big day. Teo’s Christening was in church and the party was for that and Klara and Ivetka’s Birthdays. It also coincidentally was the 6 month anniversary of my arrival in Slovakia.
Monday I woke up with the most gigantic pain in my shoulder and neck, it has gotten better this week, but I couldn’t turn my head on Monday. I worked some more on the Music video in the morning and in the afternoon I got an unexpected project, nametags for Timothy School. This project involved using Roman’s computer because I don’t have Corel Draw on mine and that’s the format the files I needed were sent in :). So working in an unfamiliar software that spoke Slovak took the rest of the day! Except for a grea Slovak Lesson. Anka told me I got an A* for the day! :) thanks for praying please don’t stop!
Tuesday I sent off the nametags for approval and sat down with the music video, I have 2 sequences blocked out and I think it will turn out ok in spite of itself. It’s coming along, and I am proud of it so far. I also got the final cut of the music for the CampFest hymn video and did some tweaking to match the video to the audio. I love this stuff!!
This morning the MPK staff went to Calvary hill, a neat hill overlooking the city (I’ll put up pictures on Flickr either tonight or Sunday evening) to pray for the city, and our immpact here. This morning I edited more music video and found out that the music I got yesterday is “not quite final” :) this afternoon brought a trip to the printer, and a reintroduction to our old friend the papercutter. Lucky for me Timothy School only needed about 60 nametags and not 4,000 like CampFest! I gathered what I’ll need to take for the weekend from the office end of things (after a million calls to try and find out what I wa responsible to bring, the projector is coming from Liptovsky Hradok, but the cables are coming from Presov :))This evening I’ll be running around like crazy trying to pack and get things cleaned up and squared away for the weekend!


This Week Please Pray:
~For Timothy School, that it will go smoothly and the young people will learn to hear from God
~For my Slovak learning...i still don’t like to study, but its getting better:)
~That I will make an impact here in Slovakia.

Thank you for praying!

9.26.2006

CampFest 2006 - the final rundown

• CampFest 2006 participants included about 30 people on the organization team, 160 volunteers, 38 people on the prayer team, 50 people on the counseling team, 51 people on the technical team, about 300 performers and about 3500 participants-of these participants about 500 came from Czech republic which was a really nice surprise for us. We are encouraged by mail from many Czechs who express their desire to have something similar in their country

• During the weekend for volunteers the main themes of CampFest were presented- Dangerously attractive, Reality and New DNA and a challenge was given for volunteers to enter God’s army, they then recieved a dg tag with the logo of CampFest- many of them made serious decisions to go deeper in their life with God

• Preparations for CampFest were not easy, although we felt miraculous protection and prayer warriors behind us (thanks to all who prayed!!!)- we had various attacks, for example:
~ while building the main stage before CF a rope got loose and the entire construction with the light system fell down...thank God nobody was hurt and also damages were not as large as we expected...but finishing of stage continued nonstop till CampFest
~ a sickness spread among volunteers and the organization team. Every day there were more and more people sick with a virus, stomach problems and fevers. Because many were sick, Volunteers served long time and were really exhausted
~ during night some thieves stole their stuff from tents- to about 20 people were affected and claims were about 2000-2700 dollars

• Before CampFest we got a message from our friends from Northern Ireland a word about feeding hungry people for God...that we should give thanks for everything before we get it as Jesus also did- this word was really fulfilled during CampFest. The hunger of people for God was big and the work of counsellors was very intensive, from the beginning till the end of CampFest...God taught us to expect His miracles and grace and when we thanked Him, His promises were fulfilled

• The CampFest program ran from Thursday night till Sunday morning in three tents at once. Beyond this, participants could visit the Business centre, Cafe, counselling tent and prayer room 24/3 where they could calm down and spend time alone with God nonstop during all CampFest. Beyond these tents people talked outside, enjoyed nature and sunshine and peaceful time of the festival...

• Beyond great music, concerts, performences and talks at stages deep discussions were also lead and decisions were made in the counselling tent. From the evening challenges about 600 people responded, another 100 came during day programs to talk, from this 26 people made the first step to follow Jesus together with counsellers. About 1000 people received the invitation to join God’s army and got a sign similar to the one volunteers received during the weekend.

• Counsellors gave advice to people in difficult situations and prayed for freedom from ocultism, satanism, healing from violation, from addictions to smoking and drugs, for forgiveness of parents and self-acceptance...and many others. Thanks God for everything He was doing there, healing and for every open heart.

• The last night which continued till early morning was a strong experience of God’s presence for many of us...on stage worship and prayers were lead, all preachers, worshipleaders, dancers, singers, and organizers were united and praised God for everything He did, and what He prepares for Slovakia and young generation.

• We hope that everyone who came to CampFest with calling to God didn’t leave without experiencing His presence. We believe that God is forming a strong army of His fighters in our country who are ready to fight in their towns and villages for people around them

Here are some testimonies of people about what they experienced at CampFest:

„CampFest- it is something special. Special because in the centre of everything is God. Not music, not a man, not popularity but my relationship with God. This leads and inspires everyone and then ministry follows. Because without this just a memory would stay in my mind, memory of loud singing and tones, melodies...I believe that many people were touched here. Maybe just these weren’t who didn’t want to be and stayed closed in front of truth which opens just God and His word to every human-being. My wish for you is that the energy to organize such actions would stay with you and that many people could join the praises of our Lord.“

„At CampFest many people were born again, who came there just as ordinary and Sunday Christians!!! Almost everybody leave CampFest encouraged, happy to live with Jesus and to serve Him, to spread His word.
If I should speak for myself: when I came back home, I started to listen just to Christian music, I bought my first worship CD, I started to read and study Bible every day, I started to see the world more positively, I learnt to be thankful for everything that our great Dad gives me every day, I learnt to be happy because of friendship, health, details and everything that is just and just His grace.“

„Hi CampFest team. I would like to tell you that CampFest was really perfect. I was there for the first time and I know already now that I want to come also next year. It was for me a great blessed three days full of God’s presence.“

„Hi organization team, I am writing to you because I would like to thank you very much for your work and the effort you had to invest to prepare something like this. It was really great and through this festival God really touched me. It was something that I have never experienced before and it was just amazing...“


Yes, it was really just amazing. wanna come with me next year?

9.22.2006

false friends

I REALLY should know better than to try and say an English word with Slovak accent and hope that it translates. But sometimes i get desperate to comunicate and hope that it will be a cognate....today they were not and i might have appeared desperate for something else.

"Bez preservatives" does not translate to "Without Preservatives".

"Preservative" in slovak is "Condom"

9.21.2006

week 26. halfway to 52!

The overview!
So, basically, you all rock my world. This week has gone smoothly (and I’m in wonderfully good spirits) in spite of a number of things that I could dwell on and get down over. I chalk that all up to having you praying for me. This week I have started really working on learning Paul’s “Secret of being Content” (Philippians 4:5-13) it’s my next step in learning to be rooted in Him.

the Preview!
Next week will be a lot of last minute Timothy School preparation. Please pray for this. We will be in Svarin!! (MPK’s new property for retreats events and CampFest) This is super-exciting. “A Hip-Hip-Hooray Time” as Pastor Cope would say! However, It is also the first event in a new place. And it is an important event focused on training and discipling new believers. All the legal paperwork stuff will be completed on October 5th for Svarin. There is some concern that we do not have anyone there to oversee the property, please pray for God’s guidance and protection over His new property.

The Play by Play!
Monday was one of those edgy days they warned us about in training. The kind where everything annoys the life out of you. The big flashpoint: personal space. It is smaller here, for some people it is almost nonexistent! It didn’t help that I have been a bit of a nomad recently since my table got relocated to run hot water pipes to the 3rd floor. Things improved in the afternoon with a good Slovak Lesson. To those of you praying for my Slovak, THANK YOU!

Tuesday I added “spajkovacka” (soldering pen) to my list of “really useful words.” Vlado helped me reattach the micro-switch that had broken off the inside of my palm pilot. Sadly, I can fear I must remove palm pilot from my list of “really useful gadgets” since it still will not turn on. :( I think it is time to say final goodbyes. I also printed shot lists for the music video and started picking what pieces will go where.

Do you ever have days where everything feels like it takes ten times as long as you expected? Wednesday was a day on which everything took about a hundred times longer than I expected. I spent most of the day trying to render a rough copy of the CampFest Hymn video so they can re-record/mix the song. I am not sure why that took all day, but it did. And while they do it much less often than a PC, macs do occasionally crash. And their timins is spectacular. I love when my computer says, at 98% of a 2 hour render, “what? You wanted me to finish that? I think not.” I love technology.

This morning I had another Stasi Vs. Public Transportation moment when I realized half-way here that I forgot to put my power cord for my laptop in my bag this morning. I got off the bus in the City center, waited 10 minutes, got back on the bus going the other way, got home, got the cord, waited a half hour for the bus and got back to the office an hour later and only missed half of morning prayer time. I did not freak out and because of that, I think I won this round!
It has been a remarkably good morning all things considered. We put my table back where it should be and cleaned up a weeks worth of construction dirt in the office. (Yay for no more “Nomad Stasi”!!) Currently, I’m updating youall and converting/burning video of CampFest performances for some artists. This afternoon, I have a Slovak Lesson (yay for being back to twice a week on schedule) and maybe I’ll finally get to work some on the music video.
Tonight I’ll be baking cookies for Sunday. We are celebrating Teodore’s christening, Klara & Ivetka’s birthdays, and my 6 month anniversary in Slovakia!
I have to bake tonight because Friday evening I’m going to Kosice to visit the O’Connells. Saturday, Andrea and I are going to attempt to buy pants, and I’m going to re-take their prayer card picture. it should be a good weekend. I love weekends

Please Pray:
~for my Slovak Learning (studying - I just don’t like doing it)
~for Timothy School (preparations, safety, and the Holy Spirits presence.)
~for the Svarin ranch
~MPK. There are some interpersonal issues going on here. I only understand parts because of language barrier, but I can see Satan trying to mess stuff up
~That my second 6 months will be focused on serving here and not spent counting down till April.

I do not have words for how grateful I am for your prayers and support while I’m here. I fully recognize that without you, I would not be where I am.
THANK YOU! DAKUJEM VELMI PEKNE!!

dedicated to Abi

"The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a
wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer
be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a
pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by
istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh?"

found this in Richie's myspace via Stephen's RSS blog. whaoh. the internet is a crazy place

9.20.2006

A (really random) thought and a lot of parenthesis

I had this thought the other day while walking to work. (The 725 bus ends 3 stops earlier than usual for some reason. I walk about 15 minutes through the city center.) As I was walking past the tattoo place, I entertained the idea of getting something "slovak" tattoed on me (like the crest or some phrase or something). You know, cause I'm here and it's a cool place. But then I thought better of it.(How do you spell tatoo? I tried like 4 different spellings and erased 3 different typos)

The internal dialogue went something like this:

If I get a Slovak tattoo, I would have to get a tattoo in every country I visit (in interest of not playing favorites). Two logistical problems arise from this.

The first problem is how to decide what length of stay would constitute a "tattoo-worthy" country. Thinking that out just got complicated. Would a tatto of something Czech be in order because of my weekend in Prague? What about my 10-hour layover in Austria? Would I have to go back and get Chile and Greece tatoos? Should I start with a USA one? And not directly related: would it have to be done in that country? Much complications. (painfully poor grammar)

The second issue is that after a few trips, my body might start to look like one of those hard sided suitcases with all the stickers. I would become a walking (traveling) conversation piece.

Although the "suitcase look" was originally classified as a problem after thinking about it awhile, I decided that it might actually be a plus for the plan. it would give the random body art a unifying theme for starters. And, I ADORE those old suitcases. They are just plain out cool. If I looked like them, maybe I would be cool. I would never have to worry about small-talk with people ever again. (I am really bad at small talk) Folks would come up to me and ask questions and I could just tell stories. (I love stories!)

It was one of my most amusing walks to work in almost 6 months of being here. :)

I finally decided against it finally, based on two factors. The first being fear of what my grandchildren would think of gramma's wrinkly colored skin. The second thing (and deciding factor): Pain. I am a wuss, and I hear that tatooes hurt! Especially the colored ones.

The final decision came down to the question: What good could possibly come of being seventy years old and looking like a wrinkly black and white suitcase?

(Also, if i was covered in them, i'd have to learn how to spell tato? tattoo? tatto? tatoo? And then I'd have to figure out how to pluralize it tatoos? tattoes? tatti?)

9.19.2006

I know a secret!!!

You Never Know What Life Will Throw at You
Todd Rhodes

http://www.mondaymorninginsight.com


Do you ever get real contemplative as you start your week? I mean, if you think about it, you don’t know what will happen this week, good or bad. And sometimes what happens in our lives is completely unexpected.

A couple cases in point. I had a friend who attended a county fair on Friday. One moment he is enjoying a meal with his family, the next moment, he takes a drink out of a can of pop to find out about a second later that there was a bee that had flown into it. He was stung inside his throat about half way down his neck. He never saw that coming.

Another acquaintance of mine was expecting twins with his new wife. Then, all of a sudden over the weekend, her water broke, and they now have two beautiful, (but extremely pre-mature) boys, born at just 24 weeks into pregnancy. Both weigh under 2 pounds.

Yesterday, we sang the song “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” about how no matter what happens that we will give praise to the Lord. You ever find that hard? I know I do, especially when the hard times come. And yet when things are good, it’s so easy to forget about the blessings and where they come from. I pray today that I won’t do that.

The apostle Paul apparently struggled with this aspect of life as well. As a matter of fact he says that he found the ‘secret’ to contentment. (That must mean that most people aren’t able to find it, or that you really have to look hard for the lesson here):

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Phil 4:12) Paul either had it really good or really bad. Had plenty of food or none. Living in plenty, or in a rat-infested prison. Our lives usually aren’t that radical in either direction. But there is hope when we discover Paul’s ‘secret’ of contentment. There is complete satisfaction in resting in where God has you.

Are you content in your ministry today? Have you unlocked Paul’s secret of being satisfied? Take some time to consider your situation today… and be content. And learn, as Paul did, to be satisfied in whatever situation God puts you in, either right now, or five minutes from now. I’ll pray the same strength for myself.


~~~~~~

I’m not preaching as much as sharing....today I did not feel like doing any work....I was stressed, distracted unmotivated and unproductive, anything but content.....this article in my inbox was a good reminder that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength....that’s the secret, that’s what I tend to forget. That I don’t have to do this on my own

Also, I have decided to try and memorize a passage of scripture in Slovak. Any suggestions? I’m thinking the 23rd Psalm or Something fromm Philippians.....but I’m up for suggestions.

Hope you’re having a good day. Remember, we know the secret. :)

9.18.2006

Week 25: the update

Greetings from Slovakia!
I have gotten back into the regular boring routine of things
Last Friday, after work I went with Rina to get my hair cut. I had been a bit apprehensive (OK, downright scared) about getting it cut to this point, not speaking the same language and all that, but Rina helped me, and 6 or 7 inches later, I am very happy!! I’m getting lots of compliments and people don’t recognize me from behind.
Saturday I went shopping for jeans. I was successful in figuring out my size...it’s a blow to your ego to go up over 20 pant sizes :) I was not successful in finding a pair of pants that fit. Oh well. Maybe I’ll try again some evening this week.
Sunday I tried something different in church. I did the morning service without a translator, I just wanted to see how much I could follow after 5 and a half months. The answer to my question was more words than I expected, but not enough to tell you anything about the sermon except that it was from Philemon.
I spent Monday working on the CampFest Hymn video, picking the best from each night to combine the three performances into one video. I’m currently in a waiting pattern for the music to be remixed before I do final sound video sync.
Tuesday morning, I started working on the Strateny V Tme music video. Specifically on taking a series of photos of the graffiti being created and merging them into one clip. This was very time consuming, but it was actually a lot of fun. Zuzka and I spent most of the afternoon trying to make the downstairs look like it is not a construction zone, cleaning tables, relocating stacks of things, rearanging furniture.
Wednesday was a debrief meeting from CampFest. Ad’a translated for me, and I actually understood a fair deal on my own. I find that I either understand the specifics or the big idea. Rarely both. My comprehension is still a little on the slow side. The focus of the meeting was mostly to figure out what should be done differently next year, and most of it had very little to do with me. It was a long day.
Thursday was more editing the graffiti clip, a great Slovak Lesson, and being reminded that no matter how much we clean up downstairs, we still work in a construction zone. I sat at an empty desk across the room because Erik was standing on my desk pounding holes in the ceiling with a hammer. Ander was also moving and banging things part of the day.
Friday was a day off for some sort of Catholic holiday. I hung out around the house played outside, and helped with some painting. The other achievement was learning the word rieditlo, “paint thinner.” I am adding it to my list of “really useful everyday words” along with “wire,” “glove,” 2 words for “shovel,” and “duck”.

There is not much going on in the office. We are still easing into the idea that summer is over and getting ready for Timothy School.

Please keep praying.

9.12.2006

:)

why it is a good thing my micah is not a zooologist (doesn't that sound like a sort of cult, you know like the sort of thing you announce at family dinner to scandalize your grandmother and your friends stage an intervention about? i always thought it might be fun to have my friends stage an intervention cause i think i'd get feisty if someone was intervening me. i'm always up for an excuse to get feisty!! wow that was a long tangent!)
in the conversation about the flying squirrel (which will live in ben's closet): "Dude's nocturnal, she doesn't need air."
i am reminded why i'm a fan.


(also, if you type in campfest video on google, i'm the first result!!)

9.11.2006

Sing Along!!


Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o'er your shoulder
Like a Continental Soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

Do your ears hang high?
Do they reach up to the sky?
Do they wrinkle when they're wet?
Do they straighten when they're dry?
Can you wave them at your neighbor
With an element of flavor? (minimumm of labor? jury's still out)
Do your ears hang high?

Do your ears hang wide?
Do they flap from side to side?
Do they wave in the breeze
From the slightest little sneeze?
Can you soar above the nation
With a feeling of elevation?
Do your ears hang wide?

Do your ears fall off
When you give a great big cough?
Do they lie there on the ground
Or bounce up at every sound? (jump up and dance around?)
Can you stick them in your pocket
Just like Davy Crocket?
Do your ears fall off?

Yes my ears hang low!
And they wobble to and fro!
I can tie them in a knot!
I can tie them in a bow!
I Can throw them o'er my shoulder
Like a Continental Soldier!
Yes my ears hang low!


i just had a camp song singalong long distance with Ami. we are crazy. it was prompted by not being able to remember what happened after my ears jumped up and danced around. Ami had never heard that verse.
Googling "ears hang low" revealed not only the full lyrics (including the "ears hang wide" verse that neither of us knew), but ALSO that someone had filmed himself singing that and other cammpsongs and they were available on google video.
fun times were had by all.
i miss my crazy family!

(yes, that is my ear the picture was originally taken at Ami's request and totally unrelated to this blog. comment and tell me your best guess as to the original purpose of the picture!)

(Ami, dont spoil it!!)

9.09.2006

HAIR!!!

well the hair crisis in Slovakia has a happy ending:)
Before
old hair

After
new hair
i love it.
The stylist liked my “natural” color (aka combination of roots and the leftovers of 2 home dye jobs) so we left it at that. I may go back and change the color later....but for now it is enough change that You can see the back of my neck
The lady who cut it kept saying “super” which was a nice change from my gramma who cut it all through High school, she always used to say “oops”....
I am going to get some gel or something, but it is fairly wash and wear thanks to the fact that "unruly" is "in" and that annoying flippy thing in the back looks like I spent time doing it!! the stylist and rina kept sayng that my hair must have been curly....i told them it jsut has attitude problems!

this is the last i'll talk about my hair on here....
except to say that it only cost about $4.75!

9.07.2006

CampFest Video

The Infamous CampFest Video!
CampFest Video!
CampFest Video!
how many times can we say it?



Translation:
To je pokolenie tých, ktorí sa pýtajú po ňom, generácia hľadajúcich Tvoju tvár, ....... Žalm 24: 6
Such are the people that love the LORD, that seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Obnovenie - Renewal
Zjednotenie - Uniting
Prebudenie - Revival
Vízia je Ježiš – The Vision is Jesus
Smädní po Tebe – Thirsty for You
Je to život v inej dimenzii – It’s life in another dimension

Kto smie vystúpiť na vrch Hospodinov? Kto môže stáť na Jeho svätom mieste?.....Žalm 24:3
Who may go up the mountain of the LORD? Who can stand in his holy place?

Ľud, ktorý si vytvorím, bude rozprávať moju chválu.....Izaiáš 43:21
The people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise.

Vízia je armáda mladých ľudí – Vision is an army of young people
Generácia ktorá sa modlí – generation that prays
Vízia je svätosť – vision is holiness
Priezrační - trancperency
Čistí – Pure
Na tvári pred Tebou – On my face in front of You

Každá dolina nech sa zdvihne a každý vrch a kopec zníži; čo je kopcovité, nech je rovinou a čo hrboľaté, nížinou....Izaiáš 40:4
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley
A zjaví sa sláva Hospodinova...Izaiáš 40:5
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed

...Pozdvihnite sa, vráta večnosti, a vojde Kráľ slávy. –
Open up, ancient doors,and let the King of glory enter.

A ktože je to ten Kráľ slávy? Hospodin Zástupov, on je Kráľom slávy. Žalm 24:9,10
Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts is the king of glory

Ak je niekto v Kristovi, je novým stvorením; staré pominulo,
všetko je nové. .....2 Korinťanom 5.17.
whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new has come

Iná DNA, Realita, nebezpečne príťažliví – New DNA, Reality,Dangerously attractive.

ON Zvíťazí – HE will win

Weeks 23 &24 - two for the price of one!

Greetings and thanks for praying!!

A short one for these 2 weeks.

To sum up:
I’m back at the office, kids here are back in school, it’s too chilly for flipflops, and I think it’s official, my Slovak Summer is over :(. I have transitioned back into a more normal schedule the past week. The past few weeks, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I now have two places I call “home.” It’s hard because sometimes I wish I was back in the US but I know that to do that, I would have to leave Slovakia. The best solution I have come up with is airlifting Slovakia and relocating it somewhere off the coast of Virginia. :)

Here in Presov everyone else is transitioning too. Most are just getting out of the summer mindset, but a lot of people are moving on to new adventures Simon went back to Switzerland, Viktor moved to England for a year, Zuzka got married and moved to Poprad, Miazga is leaving MPK to work elsewhere, and Rina will be attending a Youth ministry training program in France for a year. These are all people I was building relationships with. I’m excited that they are all headed off on their own adventures, but I’m sad that they won’t be such a part of my adventure anymore.

The end of this month is Timothy School. It’s a weekend for new believers, a sort of discipleship jumpstart. Very excitingly, it will be the first even at the ranch in Svarin! There are some obstacles in the way, it looks like we may only be able to buy half of the ranch and will have to rent the other half. Also there are a lot of things to get Timothy School up and running. We are praying here that the right people will come, and that everything will go smoothly with the new location.

The play by play:
The week traveling was a great way to end the summer. It was a very relaxing trip with a good balance of down time, and seeing cool stuff. Rado, Roman, and I left Monday afternoon on a train for Zilina where we met up with Mirka, Lenka, and Dominika. (I think you will really enjoy the pictures just click through the set
We stayed in Mirka’s flat and spent the time in Zilina meandering, and helping in the YFC Café there. Kompas Café is a really neat place. Much bigger than Café Most here in Presov will be. (pictures coming soon to a flickr near you).
We left Zilina Thursday afternoon for a 4 our train ride to Bratislava (Capital City of Slovakia) we got in in the evening, dropped our bags off where we were staying and headed back out to see Bratislava at night. The lights. The Danube. The architecture. The castle lit up on the hill. It was beautiful. I saw a lot of things that I hadn’t seen when I was in Bratislava a few months ago. Saturday we went to the open house at Slovak television. I thought it was wonderful fun and very neat to see all the studios and equipment. Roman thought so too and I think everyone else was just humoring us most of the time :) the rest of the time there we hung out visited the presidential gardens and walked around. There was a coronation reenactment that weekend so there were all sorts of booths and street actors. We couldn’t go to see the actual coronations but watched them on a big screen in the square.

on to the second week....
Monday I slept in and was back in the office by lunch, and I’ve been at the regular time the rest of the week. It was very nice to sleep in but also to have some normalcy/structure back in my life after CampFest Craziness and two weeks of vacation. This week (and probably part of next week) I am working on video from the opening of the evening program at CampFest. There were dancers, music, video, and I’m combining video from three evenings into one video for the CF ’06 DVD. It is a challenge, but I am having fun working on it.I’m spending my evenings cleaning and sorting and basicly reclaiming my room from the clutter :)
All in all not a very interesting week to write about, but tomorrow I have an appointment to get my hair cut and possibly dyed.


Please continue to pray:
~For preparations for Timothy School at the end of September
~For staff changes in the office
~For Zuzka, Viktor, Miazga and Rina in their new places.
~For my Slovak Learning (Must. Study. More!)

#4

i'm leaning toward #4


very possibly with this coloring but more chestnut than black.


my appointment is at 16:00 (10AM EST) Friday. weigh in before then :)

9.06.2006

hair

more specifically, thngs i am threatening to DO to my hair.

Cast your votes people....

#1 - this color this cut?


#2 - the bangs here might be a bit blunt...and i really am serious about going very dark...so imagine it darker...and maybe with bangs like below or above.


#3 - darker, platinum is just not me cause roots and maintaining them are SO not me...but the cut might be my personal favorite


#4 - again with the darker, but i am actually considering this, it's not just here for shock value


#5 - maybe in pink....or blue....or pink and blue....




ok this one really is here for shock value :) (MATTHEW!! do not vote for this one!!)

9.05.2006

Crisis

there is a crisis in my little part of Slovakia

i am REALLY bored with my hair
this is dangerous.
I am contemplating things like:
~cutting off 12 inches.
~ getting bangs.
~ dying it a dark red/brown.
~ making it pink on purpose this time.
or maybe some combination of all of the above.

I'm actually considering every single one of the above ideas. this is not me using hyperbole for comedic effect i promise.

Save me from myself with reasonable suggestions

PLEASE!!!!

PROSIM!!!

I'm BEGGING!!!!!

*pittiful face*

9.04.2006

coming soon to a blog near you

did you know that if you type "campfest video" into Google i'm #3?
The infamous CampFest video in all it's glory will appear here sometime in the next week.
in the meantime scrolll down and see if you can catch YFC Slovakia's vision

Vizia

Video created for Youth for Christ Slovakia.
A Slovak translation of Pete Greig's Poem "the vision"

This was my first Slovak project back April. Here is the English translation, just in case you dont speak Slovak fluently yet either :).

THE VISION
[ Pete Greig, 24-7prayer.com]

So this guy comes up to me and says, "What's the vision? What's the big idea?" I open my mouth and words come out like this...

The vision?
The vision is JESUS - obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.
The vision is an army of young people. You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.
They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn't even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the West was won.
They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free, yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision?
The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.
Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to loose that they might one day win the great "Well done" of faithful sons and daughters.
Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don't need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: "COME ON!"

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing...

This is the sound of the underground
And the army is discipl(in)ed.
Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them?
And the generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter!

Waiting. Watching: 24 - 7 - 365.
Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mold them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive inside.
On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate, but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives - swap seats with the man on death row - guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.
With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.
Don't you hear them coming?

Herald the weirdos! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.
And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon.

How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great "Amen!" from countless angels, from hero's of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.

8.28.2006

week 20-23

Hey y’all!
Yeah another 3 week update!!
If youre not keen on reading the updates, Daniel Generation/CampFest Pics are up at Flickr

Week 20 Daniel Generation
This was a fun time. The 150 volunteers who make CampFest happen come a week early to get trained and build tents and generally get in the CampFest mood. Over the course of the week we built about 7 tents (when I say we I mean they built and I took pictures of them working!:))

The week started with a 3-day mini-retreat, with previews of the CampFest speakers and themes, and some great worship and bonding activities. The last night of the program marian gave a very powerful call based on Ezekiel 37 where The valley of dry bones become an army. Marian challenged us to lay aside whatever was keeping us as dry bones and allow God to turn us into His army. Each volunteer was prayed for individually by the YFC Staff and given an dogtag with the scripture verse on it.

Oh and on Tuesday, I spent the day in the office re-editing, you guessed it, the CampFest video!!! When we previewed it on the big screen it turned out that some fonts that show up fine on a computer didn’t project very well.


Week 21 – CampFest and the Aftermath
CampFest Rocked!! There were at least 4,000 people there from babies in strollers to middle aged folks. There were 3 stages, and programs for the kids too. Lots of Jumping and dancing and praising. Oh, and most important, God showed up. Over 500 people made first time decisions that we know about!!!

The main tent where I spent most of my time was called the “Hangar.” During the day, I was helping with the IMAG (puttting video onto the big screens). My crowning acheivement was directing the cameras for one show totally in Slovak. (“Horrible make them cry at how I butcher their language” Slovak to be sure, but I was proud of me) I also got to run a camera and push lots of buttons :). Another during the day job was shooting video for the 2006 promo video that we will start editing sometime in September. In the evenings (night/early morning) I was one of 3 official photographers in the Hangar. I took over 2500 pictures and had a blast with that.

I got to know a lot of people I work with better and my Slovak improved, and I did not need a single Benadryl the entire time I was there!!! God is Faithful, and He answers prayer.

Paly Summed it up best, “I was stressed and exhausted and worn out, but God was there and I didn’t want it to stop.” I agree.

After we got back from CF, we finished out the week at the office getting things sorted out and preparing for the 2 weeks off.

Week 22 – In which I do NOTHING!!
After 12 days of people 24 hours a day, (the only time you were ever alone at CF was in the WC and even then, someone was knocking o the door) having the week off was a super blessing. I slept in, read some, accomplished some stuff that I had put off till after CF and generally indulged my introverted side. It was beautiful.
The humor spotlight of the week shines on Thursday evening when I met some friends for a movie only to get into the theater and realize it was in Arabic! With Czech Subtitles!! I understood very little, but still enjoyed the time out.

Week 23 - The Preview
This week, I am going to travel to Zilina and Bratislava with Rado and Roman. Some visiting YFC folks in those cities, and sightseeing and getting out of Presov. Even the super-introverts can only spen so much time in seclusion without going crazy!

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING

Please pray for:
~Safe travel
~Slovak Learning
~Just praise Jesus for His faithfulness and blessings with me.

Please let me know how I can pray for you. I don’t want to turn into a vessel that only takes in and doesn’t pour out on others.

8.27.2006

odds and ends

ok, the DG pictures reeeallly are uploading this time I love technology *hint of sarcasm*

also this afternoon, i'm gonna write the update e-mail....since i leave tomorrow for a week :) (sorry sorry sorry it is taking soooo long to get out)

AND if you prayed for my Kristen, thank you. HERE is a link to her Summerserve Blog entry with pictures video links and general wonderfullness.

Have i mentioned that i love this girl? no really, partly 'cause she did the same thing i'm doing (missionary with YFC for a year) and she did it 7 months ahead of me. i get to read her blog archives and remind myself that I am not going crazy. (keep your commments to yourself! :)) and i get to look and say, oh it got better around her 5 month mark, i will not be crazy forever! (again with the keeping your comments to yourself!)

hugs

8.26.2006

More Pictures!

Daniel Generation pics are uploading as i type. these are pics of the volunteers time before cammpfest. Some of us were there an entire week before CampFest to set up tents and for training. there were also some powerful times of prayer and worship and a preview of the speakers.
i took over 800 pictures of that week and it was really hard to narrow it down to under 100. I hope you enjoy :)

*edit* paaaaaiiiinnnnfuuuulllllyyyy sssslllloooooooowwwwwwww

8.25.2006

look!!! prettttyyy!!!

vacation people, cut me some slack :)
if it makes you feel better i'l translate the title: POZRI!! KRASNE!!!!
what do you think of my new layout?
i made the top bar myself
and canablaized someone elses layout.
also, it is 530 am
my sleep schedule has shifted a few hours.
somehow i'm back on PA time....oops

8.23.2006

Updated

mom and abi called me at 1 in the morning (i was still up) to tell me to update this thing. updated.
i have not died, i have not accomplished everyhting on my list. pictrues are coming to flickr shortly. You can go to www.CampFest.sk and click on campfest and photos to see some pictrues if you simply can't wait.
now if you'll excuse me, i love you, i'm going to bed.

8.18.2006

yeah yeah yeah

i know. i know. i'll get back in the communication loop soon. maybe tomorrow :)
(mom, i promise i'm not dead! please let me know when you'll be home so i can call)

but today i wanted to share this thought.

I believe that God thinks that "Great is Thy Faithfulness" sounds just as lovely sung through tears and a broken heart, as a reminder to yourself, as it does sung in celebration in Hughes Auditorium full of Vessels.

His faithfulness is just as great in Waco...
as it is in Northern Ireland...
as it is in Slovakia...
as it is in Mars...
as it is in Nashville...
as it is in Ohio...
as it is in Wilmore, Kentucky...
as it is wherever you follow Him.

8.15.2006

CAMPFEST!!!!!

home from CampFest.
Not dead
sooo much to tell.
sooo mmuch sleep to catch up on

so i'll jsut tell you the highlights:
I took over 2500 pictures, and added a card reader and bigger CF card to my wish list.
I saw my videos on the big screen in the main tent.
aroind 4 or 5 thousand people were there.
Paly Summed it up well, "I was stressed and tired, but I saw miracles and I didnt want it to end."
NO ALLERGIES!!!! this is huge thank you for praying.
I realized that Presov is "home" now
I came home to packages with Peanut Butter and JellyBellies and Lots of Love.
i'll upload pictures (not all 2500) and update more in the next days.

8.06.2006

right quick

We do have spotty SLOOOOOOWWWWWWWW internet here. I wanted to send out a quick note.

Your prayers are working. There is no rain, no major technical problems, I am being social, my Slovak is improving and I have not needed to take a single Benydryl since I’ve been here. God reminded me tonight though that all this is not enough. I could kick myself. I realized tonight that I was so focused on all that could go wrong that I forgot why we do this. I want to ask you not to stop praying, but to broaden your prayers. God reminded me tonight that clear skies and flawless performances are just a means to the end, not the end in themselves. We do CampFest to glorify God, so that people will be drawn to Him. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the all the hows and forget the Why.

I am having lots of fun with Slovak. Today the duck did all sorts of things. It read a menu and jumped and fell in a hole and hurt it’s back. I have a lot of nice people around all day who answer my questions and it’s really good. Tomorrow the Snails will do things like always be late remember something and who knows what else. I have this bizarre desire to learn. I’m embracing it while it lasts!

Please Pray:
For all the things you have been.
That lives will be transformed through CampFest (how did I forget THAT!)

8.02.2006

week 19 and a short CampFest countdown!

Does 19 feel like a very high number to anyone else? that's almost 20!! (way to state the obvious Stas!)
Some days it feels like I’ve been here forever and then I think I’m 1/3 of the way through my year and there’s so much I thought I’d have done by now. Then I look back over my past e-mails and realize that I’ve done a ton of things I never imagined that I would!

Not a lot of impressive things have happened this past week though. Everything is gearing up toward CampFest.

Friday a few girls and I cleaned the big projection screens for Campfest and on Friday evening I went to Kosice to help Will O’Connell celebrate his 6th birthday. We went swimming, had McDonalds (Praise Jesus for McDonalds) and went back to their flat for presents and cake! I spent the night in Kosice and Just hung out some with them on Saturday.

Sunday I woke up generally not feeling well and decided to spend the morning in bed. The thought of trying to decipher a translated sermon was just too much I felt better in the afternoon, watched a sermon on my computer and did some knitting and tidying up.

Monday at work I helped with some small detail work. One theme of CampFest is raising an army of young people from seemingly dry bones. (Ezekiel 37), so everyone at CampFest is getting a dog tag with a praying stick figure. We have 3,000 of these tags and they all needed strung onto cord.

Tuesday, I continued the dog tag threading. In the evening I bought an 80L knapsack to pack in for CampFest, my large wheelie suitcase that I could fit into with room to spare, was just not the practical solution!

Today we put the last video stuff together and packed boxes.

The next 12 days I will be out of communication

Tomorrow (Thursday) we leave from Presov.

The 4-6th (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) there will be a 3 day event called “Daniel Generation.” This is for the volunteers who will work during CampFest. The idea is that they will be prepared to serve and enjoy themselves a bit before working through CampFest.

The 7-9th (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) will be full days of setting up tents and stands and all the other things that can only be done on site.

CampFest kicks off with the evening program on the 10th(Thursday) and then all craziness breaks loose through 2:00AM Sunday the 13th.

Then tearing down on Sunday and Monday morning and hopefully (unless the plan changes, which is likely) we will be back late Monday evening the 14th.

My responsibilities at CampFest include cutting live video for the big screens in the mornings and photographing the evening programs. Oh, and whatever else they ask me to do :)

2 weeks ago I updated on how to pray for CampFest and now I want to tell you how you can pray for me at CampFest.

An easy way to remember my requests is to pray that I will be able to follow “the rules” (these are from playing youth soccer with my dad and they have translated to my life):

1, Do your best.
Please pray for my Health. In addition to my known allergies to the location of CampFest I have been coming down with a cough/cold. Running around like crazy and spending 12 days sleeping on the floor when it will be around 50 degrees at night might not be the best things to do about that. The schedule at CampFest will translate to long days, short nights, and screwy sleep schedules. (I like sleep.) AND, there will be very little “introvert time.”, which is how I run. Satan will try to use all these things to mess with my health and attitude and stop me from doing the best job that I can.

2, Respect your teammates.
Roman told me today that by the end everyone will be “cheeky monkeys.” I have no clue what that expression means exactly, but I think it translates to “pray for interpersonal relationships on the MPK team!” We have an intense, close-quartered 12 days ahead and everyone's’ already been working like crazy the past weeks. You can help by praying against attitudes and tempers being brought into the mix!

3, Have fun.
As for the fun thing. CampFest will be dirty, and crowded, and lets face it, I am not an outdoorsy camping sort of girl. But there will be lots of opportunities if I just take hold of them. Maybe you remember the “things that smell good” from the Prague excursion, there will be a booth selling those!! (I’m taking guesses on how much “things that smell good” weight I will put on:)) There will also be great music, ,interesting people, and we have a stunning view of the Tatras mountains to the North. I enjoy cutting video and taking pictures. I just have to not lose perspective, chill out, and go with the flow.


Your prayers will be greatly appreciated on these matters as well as all the other CampFest things you have already been praying for! (i.e. safety, weather, technical stuff, Holy Spirit’s moving)
(If you’re interested, www.campfest.sk is the website and is available in English)
(I like parenthesis)

You rock my world, and your prayers will help CampFest Rock the youth of Slovakia!!
:)Stasi!!



--

7.29.2006

Pastor Dave

Thanks for Praying!! Surgury went well, i got an e-mail from him in the hospital. Swallowing doesnt hurt bad enough to keep him from eating (this is how i know he'll be ok!). He spent the night and is coming home Saturday.
Please pray that he will behave himself the next few days and not pull any crazy youth pastor stunts. and that all the healing that needs to happens.

ALSO....please read the post below and pray for Kristen and the team.

Pray for Kristen

so, pray for my Kristen, you know the really cool suitemate in N Ireland. she's halfway through Summerserve. She and the rest of the team are challenging Kids to run away from hell. Naturally the gates of hell are not happy about this.

Summerserve in Her words:
"Summerserve is a two week long mission trip that’s run by YFCNI (Youth for Christ Northern Ireland) every year. People come from America and Canada to join NIers and are broken up into teams of 10-12. I am leading a team of 11 in a parish called Magheralin - just over the hill from Warinsgtown. I have an assistant named Matthew Nichol and our team is comprised of 6 Americans and 5 Northern Irish.

Over the two weeks, we’ll be running a VBS, nightly drop-in center activities, neighborhood clean-up projects, detached youth work and whatever else arises as the Lord directs! While most of the structure of the two weeks is planned, the details are not. That is down to the team."

How to pray:
For the team:
- unity
- energy
- focus
- discipline
- that we wouldn’t waste opportunities
- that we would have fun
- that we would worship with our whole lives
- that people would see Jesus in us

For the parish:
- that the transition would be made between a Summerserve commitment and a
full-time disciple
- that the more traditional folks would be okay as we open the doors to the
‘hooligans’ of the parish

For the people they’re “ministering” to:
- that they’d see Jesus and choose to follow

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love this girl, and if you dont you should! And regardless of you feelings or lack thereof for Kristen, she and this team are doing some amazing Kiingdom stuff, and need your prayers!

Check out her blog for more details, and probably an update with pictures when she gets home. The link is over to the right. Or click HERE

7.28.2006

week 18

in which i befriend the paper cutter.

Welcome to week 18!

Thursday evening I went to the cinema for the first time. We saw the movie Poseidon. It was not a bad movie. The beautiful thing about it was that it is much less expensive to see a movie here, so there is less risk in seeing a movie. I would have regretted paying 7 dollars to see it but 75SK(about 2.50 US) was just about what it was worth. I am going to have such sticker shock when I come back to the States. Have I ever told you that I can get two scoops of ice cream for 12SK (under 50 cents)? Life is good in Slovakia. I eat a LOT of ice cream :)

Last Friday, we went to a different restaurant than usual for lunch, and I had a lesson in crossing cultures. The restaurant was crowded and there were no empty tables, so we split up and sat at two different partly full tables It was very stretching for me to sit down with total strangers. Interestingly enough, a Slovak will not sit down next to someone on a bus without asking first. And they will often stand rather than sit down. I learn something new every day.

Saturday was a relaxing day. I slept in, cleaned some, read some, and hung out in the evening at one of the open cafes that pop up along the street in the summer.

Sunday, I slept in by accident and missed church. On the upside, I was home to get the call form Jeff and Andrea who I stayed with in Kosice when I first came to Slovakia. They invited me to lunch as I got to spend the afternoon trading stories and hanging out with their family.

I did a lot of paper cutting this week. Entry tickets and food tickets and car tickets. Thousands of them. You name it, I helped print and cut it this week :)

Because of Tuesday I get to say the words CampFest video again!! After showing it to Marian and having Rina double check my Slovak spelling, there were a few details that needed addressed. I spent most of my day Tuesday back in the cycle of render, check, tweak, render..... export. It was fun. I also had a Slovak lesson. I am learning. I need to study more.

Wednesday = more paper cutting. All day. I bonded with the rotary paper cutter. It was nice actually, relaxing. A bit of mindless repetition. It gave me time to reflect and pray and daydream. I had a chance to listen to a few sermons that have been sitting on my computer for a while now.

Thursday (today) this morning Roman and I finished cutting everything (I hope :)) this afternoon I’m updating you all and dealing with some paperwork stuff. This evening I am going with a group of folks to see the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Friday is the signing day for the new CampFest field in Svarin :) After tomorrow, it should be all final!! “Timothy School” is a conference for new believers in September. We hope to be able to hold it in Svarin! Also, Friday my dad is having surgery on a ruptured disc in his neck. I’m stressed to be so far away. Not that I could do anything if I was in Pittsburgh but STILL! My Friday prayer warriors have a full day.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for my social life. I was out more this week than I have been. Please pray that relationships will form from hanging out with these folks. More specifically that I will have courage to step outside of myself and initiate those relationships.

News from CampFest!! There is a problem with the lights. (I told you last week this is where Satan was gonna screw with us) The father of the guy who usually does the lights is very sick. He might not be able to come. There are other problems with the constructions for hanging the lights. In a classic translation issue, I have no clue exactly what the problem is, just that it requires prayer.

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING:
~CampFest
~Relationships
~Slovak Learning (I NEED to study more)

You all rock my world

questions

i have a lot of them.
who?
why?
when?
where?
can i?
should i?
what's next?
i'm a third of the way through my year....there is so much i thought i would have acocmplished by now that i haven't and so many things i never imagined i would do that i have.
and i dont know what's next.
and when i'm culture shocking and anxious and depressed, i dont know what i need.
and i'm gonna throw somemthing at the next person who asks me what my plans are for next April. casue i dont know.
and God's not telling. or i'm not listening.

7.26.2006

curious thought i had on the bus

nuns.

they're supposed to be the brides of Christ right? so why do they wear mostly black? even the bride of frakenstein wore white.

am i going to get struck by lightning for this post?

7.25.2006

princess complex resurfaces


:) found online. made me smile. i might need this. life is good.

7.22.2006

crossing cultures

Slovak people will not sit down next to someone they dont know on a crowded bus, but in a crowded restaurant, they dont have a problem sitting down at a partially full table!
Yesterday we went to a different restaurant for lunch. There were 8 of us to find a table at noon. As it turns out, this was not going to happen. So we split and sat at two part full tables. This situation was a stretch for me. I commented to Ander about this, and he told me that I didnt have to touch them, share my food or even talk to them, and the other option was leaving. He was surprised because in NYC strangers sit down right next to each other on the subway.
So why do we define something like sharing a lunch table in a restaurant as an intimate thing, and not sitting next to a total stranger on the bus?

CULTURE that's why. Culture pops up in the strangest places. Phrases you use. ever think about how many different ways we use the word "blow"?
the wind blows
we blow out candles
Bombs blow up
enlarging a photo is blowing it up
inflating a beach ball is also blowing it up
blow is a drug

Think about the word "Hang".....

how about why you could say you were "on the bus" without someone thinking you were standing on the roof, but it doesnt work that way with a car?

Being faced with my weird culture and language and the fact that i cant really explain it, i am trying harder to ask "is there a reason for that?" rahter than "Why do you do that?" becasue chances are the "why" is jsut because that's how it is!