(*watery smile*:) its from the movie "the rescuers")
i'm feeling really homesick and overwhelmed and downright lost right now. and describing the fog i feel like i'm trying to swim through/drowning in as Pea Soup and then going off on the rescuer's tangent makes it worse.

Rescue Aid Society
Hands held high, touch the sky
You mean everything to me

In a jam, in a scrape
When you think, "no escape"
Do not fear, we are here
Courageous are we

Please Pray.


for those who mmay be concerned that i dropped off the face of the earth (or weeks 12 throiugh 14)

I’m sorry that I missed updating you last week and the week before that too. After Micah and I returned to Presov I never did make time to sit down and catch you all up. And now, he’s been gone a week and I’m just starting to get caught up. I hope that you will forgive me, and accept my three-in-one update. If recapping three weeks of my life is too much for you, please at least scroll to the bottom for the prayer requests!

Week 12:
The week spent touring Slovakia was amazing. It was an amazing opportunity to tour the country without having to do all the planning and all the stresses that come along with that. I saw things that I would have never planned to see if I had been planning and traveled at a leisurely pace. Also, it was a blessing to see people from the US especially RuthAnn and my Micah. I won’t bore you with my itinerary, suffice to say, it included mountains, a lot of castles and beautiful scenery. Pictures are up at my Flickr site (www.flickr.com/photos/stasigh). Thank you for praying. We had a safe trip and I was able to relax, and speak English to my heart’s content!

After a week of leisure, Micah and I waved good-bye to the rest of the group at the airport in Bratislava and traveled back to Presov. We got home late Wednesday night and got Micah situated in Martin’s room next door to mine.
Thursday and Friday were busy days in the office trying to get everythign in order for shooting the Music video on Monday and Tuesday. I have not got much of a clue what Micah did during the day Thursday and Friday, he was mostly left to his own devices as I found myself planning and scheduling and then changing the entire plan/schedule repeatedly as little/major details kept changing. Needless to say, there were a few stressful moments, I could tell you were praying!!
Friday night was a youth event/cookout with volleyball and some other fun games. I went straight from work and Micah rode the bus by himself (he did much better with busses than I did my first week in Presov!)
Saturday we went on a trip to the Tatras for a walk and spent the afternoon at the Aqua Park in Poprad. I think I will never again be happy with the Mars Community Pool! Imagine three heated pools each slightly warmmer than the next and one is a huge hot tub complete with JETS!!! Simon (the guy who came from Switzerland) camme with us and it was nice to have an additional sommeone to speak English to. Again we didn’t get home till late
Sunday was church, followed by afternoon naps to recover from all the walking in the burning hot sun on Saturday and the effort it takes to listen to sermons being translated (the translation thing is more draining than you might imagine! Especially if you are sharing a translator with two others and have to listen very hard in addition to sorting out theological concepts in second-language English.) Also, there was trying to call fathers who did not answer their phones, and then to dinner at Marian and L’udka’s Flat with Simon. We stayed and talked which morphed into shop talk about Monday’s shoot, and went rather late.(sorry Micah)
Monday and Tuesday were spent shooting the video for the Music Video I’ll start editing once the CampFest Video is finished. These were two very stressful days for me. There were personal conflicts, schedule changes (MONDAY MORNING!!!), creative concerns, camera people whose first language was NOT English, and summer decided to show up and bring temperatures in the high 80’s and sunshine. With that said, everything got shot, no lives were lost, and in the end I am confident that I will be proud of this video. As frustrating as it was to have to balance 11 hour work days and wanting to make the most of my limited time with Micah, I was lucky to have Micah as a support system those two days. Those of you who are counting can add two more late nights (sensing a trend?). Tuesday was an especially late night since after we got home late, Micah and I stayed up, watched a movie, and tried to cram months worth of face to face conversation into one evening.
Wednesday, Paly drove us to the Kosice airport and I said good bye to Micah. I then went back to the office and distracted myself by watching the footage from the previous two days. Wednesday night was rough, you see, I missed him already. Spend two full weeks with someone and you get used to it.

Week 14:
Thursday I did some more shot logging (watching the video and writing descriptions of each individual take) and let me tell you, that is my least favorite part of the whole process of going from concept to final product!!
Friday morning we left for the Mobilization weekend for Campfest. A very powerful time of prayer and fasting. I was quite worn out from the previous week, both physically and emotionally so the weekend was a series of ups and downs, but overall a good weekend, God and I had a good time. I was the official photographer ( how did I get turned into a photographer?) and I got some good shots and for the first time feel like I found a good balance between participating in an event and capturing it as well. Also, I discovered I am severely allergic to the CampFest location!
Monday and Tuesday were days off after the weekend. I had a whole list of things to get done, some that absolutely needed to be done like laundry and cleaning the bathroom and grocery shopping and then some that would just be nice to have done. I ended up scrapping most of my extensive list in favor of naps and reading and relaxing and early nights. I have some anxiety, feeling like I wasted those days, but I know that I did the best thing for myself,(if I could just get over my feeling un-productive.)
Wednesday was more shot listing and that brings us to today when I went to the graduation ceremony for two of my co-workers, finally wrote this and a number of other e-mails I meant to write on Monday and Tuesday. I’m slowly chipping away at that list.

OK, so the honest “How I am”:
Of the past 3 weeks, one was amazing and restful, one was stressful and tiring, but I had some help getting through it and now, I am having a rough week, full of being too hard on myself, and lonely, and unmotivated and generally feeling under attack. My keyboard has developed a bad case of stuttering m’s and i’s sporadically (double/triple typing those letters). And I need your prayers. I feel like I’m on a bit of a roller coaster, some times up and some down. Part of that is that I have let my roots get shallow, and part of it is just the regular worn out and stressed that comes from the past two weeks being what they were, long, emotional, hot, and full of allergens.

Updates on MPK(where it’s all about CampFest this month!):
-Simon (from Switzerland) has been a huge help to MPK and also to me (he speaks excellent English). He has gone home for 3 weeks and will be back for another month after that leading up to CampFest. He enjoyed his time here. Thank you for Praying for him.
-Things are still moving for the CampFest Field to be purchased, slowly though. I was mistaken earlier there are 31 owners of the field. Please Keep Praying!
-The main CampFest Tent that we rent from Poland was damaged in a storm. This is HUGE! Please pray!
-There are also issues with the Sportcamp where Campfest is to be held this year. Troubles with facilities and showers. Pray that these will be fixed!
-Mobilization weekend was amazing. Twice as many people came as last year and God moved powerfully.

Please Pray!
-For the little issues that go into CampFest.
-Motivation and improved mental state for me.
-Vision for the CampFest video

Ok this week I only put three requests in my list. I have no clue what next week will bring and those requests cover a lot of ground. Please pray, even though my list looks short, I need your covering this week.

Thank you for still praying even when I was incommunicado.



I Don't Want to Live on the Moon

Well, I'd like to visit the moon
On a rocket ship high in the air
Yes, I'd like to visit the moon
But I don't think I'd like to live there

Though I'd like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love
So although I might like it for one afternoon
I don't want to live on the moon

I'd like to travel under the sea
I could meet all the fish everywhere
Yes, I'd travel under the sea
But I don't think I'd like to live there
I might stay for a day there if I had my wish
But there's not much to do when your friends are all fish
And an oyster and clam aren't real family
So I don't want to live in the sea

I'd like to visit the jungle, hear the lions roar
Go back in time and meet a dinosaur
There's so many strange places I'd like to be
But none of them permanently

So if I should visit the moon
Well, I'll dance on a moonbeam and then
I will make a wish on a star
And I'll wish I was home once again

Though I'd like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love
So although I may go I'll be coming home soon
'Cause I don't want to live on the moon
No, I don't want to live on the moon

Written by Jeff Moss
Sung by Ernie (Jim Henson)
(c)1978 Festival Attractions, Inc. (ASCAP)

I PROMISE a real update is in the works. But right now i'm just a bit homesick.



i promise the last two weeks updates are coming however in the meantime a few thoughts from today:
- how can i get my keyboard to stop typing double m's however it strikes it conceited little fancy (to steal a phrase fromm Micah)
- Speaking of mmy Micah, he is back in the US of A. i miss him already.
- I have never had a sunburn that peeled twice before. does that mean it was a second degree burn? cool.
- How do you say "i feel like someone is pounding a railroad tie into my head" in Slovak? I think i need that phrase.
- How did my family live without air conditioning for so long?
- I really do love video editing. really. a lot.
- This might be the Aunt Sarah version of the update that is to come. I love my aunt Sara. i forget if her namme has a h. i am too lazy too look it up. sorry, Aunt Sara(h)

-there are three diffent computers playing three differnent kinds of music in this office. i forgot my headphones at home.
-the guy sitting next to me has stolen mmy comfortable chair leaving me with the defective one AND he is whistling.


DVANAST TYZDEN!!! (translation:eleven week!!)

Help me here, did I really use the phrase “rediscovered my groove” in last week’s update? The blacklight beatles show must have had a more lasting effect than I thought!

This was a full/short/crazy/busy week. (feel free to pick the adjective that you like best)

Last Friday, plans changed and instead of leaving at 5 in the Morning, I ended up hanging around Presov till 8 in the Evening (I was not upset about this change!) The reason I got moved to the group that stayed was to take pictures of the closing program for the 24/10 prayers in Presov.
We got safely to Vsetin rather late at night. Thank you for Praying for this weekend!!! Getting there safely was the first answer since there were bad storms here this weekend complete with flooded roads and downed trees. And then the Worship Festival itself went without any major hitches. I of course didn’t understand what the speakers were saying, but the people there did and there was a great response. The people who came forward exactly matched the number of people on the Prayer team. God has all the Little details under control!! Also, the Catholic Church in Vsetin participated and it seemed like some barriers between Protestants and Catholics started to come down.

Sunday morning we traveled home and in the afternoon, I took a nap and refreshed after spending the whole weekend working. That was good because Monday morning I had to go to the foreigner police, with all the documents that I have been gathering. We thought we had everythign, but found out one page needed to be notarized. Other than that everything seems to be in order. It was a rather stressful morning, so I decided since I had the afternoon off I would travel to Hermanovce and surprise the group from Grove City. I rode a bus all by myself and arrived in time to join them on a short hike and visit some before getting a ride back to Presov.

Tuesday I met with some people from the University of Presov to impart my great wisdom and priceless advice to others who plan to spend a year volunteering abroad. I spent the afternoon backing up files to the new router and meeting with Marian and Roman to discuss the details about the music video.

Wednesday was my really full day. I think I have done about a weeks worth of work in under 24 hours. I went to the notary. Handed in my Visa forms once and for all. Now we just wait to make sure of approval! While we were on out 10K walk this morning/afternoon looking for locations for shooting the music video, we stumbled across a perfect abandoned building. This discovery was followed by an impromptu meeting to ask permission to shoot in it (pray that this works out, please). I finalized the shot list and locations for the video and packed for next week.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I will meet up with the Grove City Group here in Presov and spend next week touring the country. I am very excited about this! It will be good to have someone to be a tourist with. And since everything is all planned out, it should be a very low stress week. I’ll be back next Thursday.

Updates on things you’ve been praying for:
-I got a new mobile phone after crushing the old one last week. The Lipovsky family loaned me Esther’s old phone. It works great, and I can read the screen!!
- The field/ranch we have been looking at for CampFest is for sale (it wasn’t for sale before and was just serving as the model for what they wanted) Aditionally, there is a supporter who is willing to help us out with this, because it can also be used as a retreat center during the year. It is still a huge request as plenty of things could go wrong since the property is owned in parts by 4 different individuals and all that jazz, but we’re also praising for gods hand so far at this point.
-Simon, from Switzerland arrived this week to help with logistics for CampFest. As a part of his education, he has to do an internship in a foreign country. Helping Riso with the details of the bands counts for that. He is a great guy and already marian has commented on the big help he is being.
-Because of problems with the camera an outside organization was hired to come in to do the video projection at CampFest

Please keep praying:
-For safety in travel this week
-That I will be refreshed and realxed
-That my visa will be approved
-CampFest preparations and the purchase of a field
-A quality camera for MPK

Thank you for praying, this week has been one answered prayer after another!!


We Went To Prague

Kristen wrote about it. Isn't she wonderful!!! Click the link to see it!!! Leave a comment to tell her how great she is!

The Prague Experience or Our Search for the Things That Smell Good!


looking for a time waster.

click on this!!

i love lazy sundays. and since i took a nap this afternoon after we got back from the worship festival in Vsetin, i'm not ready for bed and i was killing some time while i backed up my pictures, because you never know when your computer will decide to Eat your hard drive. Just thought i'd share.


10th Update!!!

I’m walking on sunshine oh oh and don’t it feel Good! (apologies to Katrina and the Waves)

This was an eventful week.

Last Friday I took a 10 hour bus ride to Prague and met up with Kristen!! I firmly believe that weekends in Prague with people you love are God’s apology for Culture Shock! It was a blessing and refreshing and amazing. I’m not going to give you a play by play, but the highlights include: Speaking English the WHOLE time, being with someone who has known me over 2 months, comparing notes on the one-year missionary life, things that smelled really good, and black light theater. Another Highlight for me was that we attended an English Speaking church. I had not realized the extent to which I was starving for corporate worship in a language I understand! In summation, we dandered (my new Irish word), we talked, we took close to 500 pictures, we went on a boat tour and saw the Beatles in Blacklight (which was every bit as trippy as it sounds!). It was a great weekend! My pictures are up on Flickr and later this weekend, Kristen is going to put the blow by blow, complete with pictures, on her blog. Feel free to dander on over to http://www.rmfo-blogs.com/kristen and check it out.

I got home on Monday morning at 545 came home napped and went to the office for the afternoon. This week I worked on gathering ideas for the CampFest videos and its starting to come together in my head. Next week I’ll start grabbing some footage from old CampFest videos and deciding what I need to shoot.

Tuesday morning was a rough one. I was running (literally) late for my bus, tripped, fell, crushed my mobile, cut my hand, and the darn bus still left without me. The most damage was done to my mobile phone, my ego and my spirit. I have some amazingly stellar days, but lurking just under the surface you can find culture shock, a little homesickness and a lot of feelings of inadequacy. There is nothing like falling on one’s face while running to catch a bus to bring those things to the surface. In spite of all that, I can honestly say that God is good, and he takes care of his own. Mrs. Biros from downstairs bandaged my hand up and gave me hot chocolate, and some much needed mothering. I got on the next bus, made it to the office without incident and e-mailed my Tuesday prayer warriors as well as a few others. God answers prayers. By the end of the afternoon I was feeling infinitely better. By the time my Slovak lesson rolled around, I had rediscovered my grove. This just highlights how much of a blessing you all are. I would be lost if you all were not praying.

Wednesday was, as I predicted last week, very long. The office was crowded and I had trouble concentrating and sitting still. The highlight was that we finally collected all the documents I need for my Visa (we think) and so next Monday will find me in the police station, with all my paperwork, and only a few forms and official approval between me and being here legally! (Technically, I AM currently here legally, but to stay longer than 3 months, I need the visa)

This morning, when I went up to breakfast, Paly commented that I seemed to be shining. There was good reason for that. Today I went to Kosice to greet the group who came from the Slovak Craft Shop in Grove City. This is the group that includes RuthAnn Humes and Micah Henry. I got a lot of hugs., hugs from Mars Alliance, from my family, and started to make a dent in the 10 weeks worth of hugs that Micah owes me. I am not complaining about this at all. It was wonderful to see Micah, and to meet the people I will be spending the week after next with. The group has gone on to Hermanovce to do a week long work camp with the Cirkev Bratska there. We will meet up again next Thursday and I will join them as they tour Slovakia.

Tomorrow (Friday) morning I leave bright and early (think 5AM) to head back to the Czech republic to a town called Vsetin. MPK is having a Worship Festival there this weekend. It is an ecumenical event and there have been some tensions between the Evangelical and Catholic churces in Vsetin.
We wont get home until Sunday evening. Monday is visa day, Tuesday is location scouting and pulling everything together for the music video. Wednesday will be another long day,, but full of last minute details for the music video and maybe some CampFest Video prep. And Thursday will find me again meeting up with the Grove City group, this time for a week long tour of the country and a full on vacation before the summer gets too crazy! These two weeks are weird echoes of each other.

This week I also caught a vision for a video that will tell the stories of MPK. People keep telling me stories about this ministry and that and how God has provided for the ministry here in Slovakia. I would love for others to hear these stories as well. One problem with this is the language barrier, it’s hard to conduct interviews and edit stories in a language you don’t speak. Another issue is that MPK does not own a high quality video camera of the sort that would be needed to make this type of video. Please pray with me that God will provide MPK with a camera. Especially with the possibility of another video person coming from the US, so much more could be done in this area.

Please Pray:
~ That I continue to have the motivation and ability to learn Slovak
~ For this weekend’s Worship festival. (safe travel for us from Presov, and God to move)
~ The Visa adventure as it hopefully comes to an uneventful close Monday
~ Safety for the GC group as they work in Hermnovce.
~ Things to come together for CampFest 2006
~ A location for CampFest 2007
~ That God will provide a quality Video camera for our use.

Without your prayers, I would be like a boat without paddles, drifting aimlessly and bound to crash into rocks and sink. Thank you for being my oars on this adventure your prayers and support are invaluable.