Monday, May 31, 2010

The Bed Count - May

This month we still spent a lot of time on the move, but we were able to use some key places to launch from (and not be in a different place each night). At this point in time 30 is looking like a guarantee - 40 seems maybe a little out of reach as we hope to slow down towards end of July and August. Here are the numbers:

February = 6
March = 5
April = 10
May = 5
Total = 26

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Historymaker 2010 : Fearless

Historymaker (HM) is the annual youth conference for students from across British Columbia and the Yukon. We were involved in the planning and organizing of HM in May of 2008 and figured since we were in BC for this one, we'd get involved. It's not very often that we are in Canada to assist Canadians first-hand.

Admittedly, when we volunteered we were thinking that we'd help with Security or maybe set-up some chairs, but there was a need for some help on a coordination level and so we were involved in overseeing hospitality for bands and speakers (we had a lot of excellent help in this area), First Aid, Security, Parking, some of the volunteers and side stage artists, food services and Dispatch. We were able to do the bulk of the organizing via the phone and e-mail while on the road.

Over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the May long-weekend, 3,000 students (not including their leaders) filled the Langley Events Center. We won't lie - there were long days, a lot of running around and on-the-spot problem solving, but it was awesome to see students participate in worship through music, listen to challenging speakers and learn in smaller workshop settings...not to mention eat a lot of junk food and have a lot of fun (there might have been a few buses that were "redecorated").

We both can remember our days of attending youth conventions and some of the milestones in our lives that took place there. It is great to think that we were able to be a part of this event because who knows what milestones were reached in other people's lives.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

General Conference 2010

2,600 kilometers in 8 days. Here is the visual: we're driving a Plymouth Breeze, How to Learn Polish tapes (yes, an actual cassette) playing loudly, windows down, hair blowing in the wind, cooler full of V8 and nuts in the back - for almost 40 hours!

Every 2 years PAOC has a General Conference where pastors, global workers, support staff etc. come together from across Canada and around the world. This was the first one we've ever attended. For an organization that is so geographically spread-out, it is amazing how unifying a little time together can be.

This conference was in Edmonton. We shared on a Sunday morning, drove home, had lunch and then began the drive to Edmonton. It is a little overwhelming to be in a place with so many people you know, kind-of-know and might have seen before. Sometimes walking down a hall felt like running the conversational gauntlet. It was great to see friends, have some time with Matthew's dad, tackle some practical business with reps from Head Office and listen to the thoughts of our main leaders. It is surprising how sitting in services, meetings, workshops and then talking to people can be quite exhausting. We absolutely missed the directness of the Slovak language as English speakers seem to have a way of saying the same thing 4 consecutive times, but in different ways.

On the Sunday following the conference we were able to connect with a great Christian community, have lunch all together and then began the 10 hour drive back to Surrey (which we somehow did in 8.5 hours).

Overall, we got to connect and re-connect with good people and interesting thinkers, see the scope of what our organization is doing, cover some beautiful terrain and make some new Canadian memories.

Good for a Laugh and a Think

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Step One

In September we'll be attending a language course for foreigners who want to study in Polish at a Polish University. By the end of the 8 month course we should have university level skills in speaking, reading and writing. We'll be attending the Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika (University of Nicolas Copernicus) in Toruń (about a 50 minute drive from our soon-to-be home in Włocławek).

Our applications are in the mail. This is the first step in obtaining our visas, and already we can tell it is going to be a long process:

-application forms
-bank transfer of application fee's to the university's account
-doctor's notes
-our degrees legalized by the Polish Consulate
-a notarized copy of our degrees

Once we are accepted as students, our entrance letters will help us in the visa process.

This process is a tangible marker of the beginnings of our life in Poland.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

EMERGE South Bend... An American Whirlwind

I’ve always thought of myself as an independent and self sufficient girl, but over the past two years Matthew and I have grown quite close and spend almost every waking hour of the day together, so my four days away for the South Bend EMERGE conference were going to be a stretch. I was really anticipating attending the South Bend EMERGE conference as I had been asked to lead two workshops and moderate a panel discussion. I was eager to practice my facilitation skills that I’ve acquired over the past two years, but nervous about being without Matthew for those four days.

Matthew and I have definitely learned to function as a team. I understand why God created marriage; Matthew and I truly are better together. It has been so amazing to have a partner and support with me over the past two year and now it’s hard to imagine life any other way.

Across the miles I know that Matthew was thinking of me and praying for me while I was away in South Bend. I had the privilege of leading a workshop on the “Dynamics of Influence” and had the opportunity to interact with interesting women of all ages. I felt like the workshop and panel discussion were stretching for me and yet very successful. I walked away feeling more confident in the skills God has equipped me with and excited to be a part of what God is doing to equip women around the world.