Friday, October 24, 2008

Amber's thoughts on Emerge: Women's Leadership Conference

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of Next Level International's first ever Women's Conference. Linda Howell, director of Leadership Development & Women's Development for NLI, has a vision to see 1 million women across Europe to be equipped and challenged to move into leadership. This was the first step towards seeing her dream become reality. Sheldon's connection with NLI was my in, and so I had the chance to help out where I could. I was working alongside the other women from NLI and a team of American women - we had a great time!

Perhaps what surprised me most was how much I was impacted over the weekend. There was a fabulous worship band and for the first time in 10 months, I was able to worship in English.... it was incredible. I believe I've taken my ability to worship God forgranted. After 10 months of struggling through worship songs in Slovak, where I'm so focused on getting the pronounciation of the words right, let alone understanding what I'm singing... I was able to worship God effortlessly. It was such a gift.

In addition, I was able to connect with one woman in particular that really spoke into my life. There are definitely times when I feel that at 25, I am in WAY over my head. Through a one hour conversation I was able to gain perspective, peace and the realization that I'm not the only one to have gone through a challenging time.

This weekend once again proved to me that God often does incredible things in a person at the most unexpected times.

The all Slovak, all girl worship band!

In the front row the 3 main speakers: Linda Howell, Gabrielle Reinas & Judith Green (from left)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Whose Laughing Now?!

This past Tuesday evening I (Matthew) was helping at a discussion club our church hosts for university students. It's called Potichu Nahlas (Quietly Outspoken). As part of an icebreaker game everyone had to make up a story about the person to their left. So my friend got quite a few laughs at my expense as they told tall tales about me...of which I understood enough to know that I was getting razzed pretty good.

Then it was my turn. Speaking in front of a group of strangers in a language in which they are fluent and I am not is a humbling experience at best.

Though I struggled with my grammar, I got in a good joke. People laughed at what I said and not just how I said it (or mispronounced it). I've missed being funny. It was a good feeling.

That said - there is still so much to learn!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our Migratory Church

This is the VBC Business Centre located within Centrum (downtown Nitra). It has a large "congress hall" that has sat empty for years now - until last week. Church family went in and washed, scrubbed and cleaned away years of dust to get it ready for Mozaika. You can read more about it at (there is an English option in the top right hand corner).

The facility includes a dedictaed foyer, a large meeting hall with chairs and a stage, and a space behind the stage where kids programs can take place. It is everything Mozaika needs and it has been promised to us only for the month of October. We have had our past two Sunday services there and there are already ideas swirling around of what we could do with this space if it was ours.

So we are thankful that we have this space and very much appreciate all your prayers BUT we still need your support. The VBC administration has told us that there is another business interested in renting the space. This other business is willing to rent the room 24/7 (thus pay more) while we can only afford to rent the room on Sundays. We are not sure whether this is a business tactic to pressure us into signing a 24/7 contract (afterall, what are the odds of 2 businesess wanting the same spcae in the same week after it has sat empty for years). The VBC will make a decision regarding who gets the room by the end of the month. So for now we know we have a space to meet in until the end of October.

The Mozaika family would really like this space. Not only is it in a good location and a good facility, but the VBC intends to remodel the room in 2 years time as part of a larger building renovation plan. As such we could renovate the room however we want since they will demolish it all anyway. So we could build multiple kids rooms, paint, post community bulletin boards etc.

So keep praying with us.