W.

Who Would Have Dreamed

Back in September, I wrote about about Sovereign Grace Music’s newest Christmas album called Prepare Him Room. Since then I’ve probably only listened to the entire album a few times through, but I have listened to one song at least a dozen times. The song is called “Who Would Have Dreamed” and as I listened to the chorus the other night I was struck by the depth of the words. It says,

And who would have dreamed or ever foreseen
That we could hold God in our hands?
The Giver of Life is born in the night
Revealing God’s glorious plan
To save the world

The entire song is worth a listen. Here’s a more unplugged version that they posted to YouTube, but I recommend buying the entire album on their site.

Tonight we had our friend Misa over for dinner. She’s a young Czech girl who’s part of the youth ministry at our church and who we have gotten to know better. Misa has been a blessing to us many times when we needed the help of a translator and evening helping us around our house. Tonight over dinner she was filling us in on a lot of Czech culture as she is learning our American culture. In March it looks like she’ll be going to the States to begin to study in English in Pennsylvania so she was excited to share that news with us.

Misa was also a big help tonight as she talked with our landlord about some paperwork that we have been unable to find. We had to change our rental agreement last week in order to apply for our long term visas and our landlord wanted us to return the original. Bethany and scoured the house last weekend trying to find it to no avail. As Misa was explaining this to our landlord, Bethany went back to the very first place we checked (where we thought we had filed it) and found it! Thankfully we got it all straightened out and were thankful for Misa’s help in communicating for us.

Avery Pushing the Cart (12/9/14)

After dinner we made a quick trip to the store with the whole family to get ready for tomorrow. We’re having a few other friends tomorrow and just wanted to get all the shopping done tonight to save Bethany a little time. Above is a photo of Avery pushing our cart all the way out the store and to our car by herself! She was very focused and did a great job. These kids crack us up…what a joy.

D.

Driving Around Town With Our Landlord and a Czech Friend Stops By For A Visit

Our landlord, our friend Jitka, and I left early this morning in my car to deal with some of our outstanding utilities. Back in June we had tried to setup our electricity and gas utilities but were unable because we didn’t have our visas yet. Now that we do we rescheduled a time to get together and sort it all out. What’s funny to me is that we all have to go together to the different companies to set it all up. I don’t know if this is just something our landlord wanted or if it’s normal, but off we went today.

Errands and Friends (8/25/14)

Both companies are in the next town over, about 15 minutes or so from us. Jitka was a huge help in translating and making sure I knew what was going on. We hit the electric company first and things went really smoothly. Considering how much paperwork it takes normally I was surprised how quickly things went and how easy it was. Our second stop was at the gas company (photo above with our landlord on the right). That stop wasn’t as simple because I didn’t have our Czech bank account information on me so I had to work the phones with Bethany and have her send it to me. Some of those kinds of things are so new and different especially how often we give out our banking information. I was actually really proud today because Jitka (who is also our language teacher) asked me to read our phone numbers and banking info to the clerks in Czech. I did it! I may not be able to tell people anything important, but if you’re looking for my Czech bank account number I can now oblige. After I finished reading a string of numbers to the lady at the gas company I said, “Whew!” out loud and made everyone laugh. Hey, I can be funny in Czech!

Errands and Friends (8/25/14)

The gas company is located inside of a mall. It’s hard to explain it because there is a gas company, a grocery store, drug store, a tea house, and a lot of little shops inside the mall. It kind of feels like an airport to me because of all the different types of stores. Both Jitka and Pani Musilova (“Pani” means “Mrs.”) needed a few things so Jitka headed for the drugs store and our and landlord stopped at a newsstand. I guess we weren’t in a rush? I took the above photo because well, I didn’t have anything else to do and I just thought the whole experience was hilarious. Just prior to this photo we had stopped in a tea house where Pani. Musilova was having me smell different teas. “Mmmm…. ginger.” Actually, the more I think about the whole experience the funnier it gets.

Errands and Friends (8/25/14)

Meanwhile back at home, Bethany was spending time with our friend Lída (pronounced like “Lisa” with a “d”). Lída was one of the students at the camp we served at in Czech back in 2012. She speaks English very well and she has followed our journey via Facebook for the past few years. She only lives about 20 minutes by car, but she took the train this morning out to see us and meet Titus. She met Avery back in 2012 when Avery was just seven months old. It was a blessing to see her and her in our home. As all Czechs do she came bearing gifts. She brought 2 Czech kids shows on DVD for Titus and Avery and of course left us a wonderful dessert she made. Don’t be fooled by the photo below which you may think is a pizza. It’s actually a dessert called “Frgal” (no typo) and it’s specific to this region of Czech. Other than having the look of pizza the only similarity is the size which is about the size of a medium pizza. It’s a light pastry with a fruit spread on top. This one kind of tasted like fig (I’m not sure what it was), but apparently they can come in all kinds of seasonal fruits. Mmmmm, I think I’ll go have another slice.

Errands and Friends (8/25/14)

O.

Our First House Guest

Tonight we’re hosting our first overnight visitor, Chris Wick!

Chris Wick in Town (7/26/14)

Chris, Ashley, and their four kids live in the country of Slovenia and are also missionaries with JV. The fun part about our relationship with the Wick’s is that there was a short time that we served with them at Placerita Baptist Church (our sending church) in California. So when Chris emailed me and said he was coming to Czech for some meetings and asked if he could stay with us we of course said, “Yes!”

We have been chatting and hanging with Chris since he arrived and it’s been really fun to catch up. Chris was an enormous help to me personally during our supporting raising process and even just our initial thoughts about doing ministry overseas. He was always checking in on us over email and would often call me while we were in the States to offer advice and his thoughts on anything related to ministry over here. I can actually remember two key conversations with Chris that were so helpful in me thinking through how to quit my job and start support raising and all that goes with that. It’s just too bad we couldn’t see the whole Wick clan, but Chris is here in Czech this weekend for some sports ministry meetings with other JV staff. We’re super thankful for him and his family!

Outside of Chris coming over we mostly spent our day unpacking and cleaning house. I finally put the doors and door pulls on our IKEA wardrobes and Titus and I went to Poland for a few small things at the hardware store. Believe it or not, I actually got pulled over coming back in to Czech for not having my headlights on. Thankfully the police office understood that I’m new to the area, don’t speak Czech, and that I’m from America. He didn’t give me a ticket! And I’m doubly thankful that my wife reminded me to bring our passports even though we were just running to the store in Poland. Key: don’t leave the country without your passport even if the other country is basically across the street!

Chris Wick in Town (7/26/14)

That’s all for tonight. We’re looking forward to our 5th Sunday at church tomorrow!