A Czech Anthem and an English Speaker

It Feels Like Spring (4/10/15)

We had our regular Friday Czech lesson with Tamara today and we did something a little different and special. After our normal lesson (which I struggled through today), Tamara showed us a song that from what I understand was an anthem during the Velvet Revolution in Czech. Tamara had actually showed Bethany the song a few weeks ago, but I missed that lesson because I wasn’t feeling well. So today we were at Tamara’s house and she is also a musician so she showed us the song on piano and even allowed me to strum along on her guitar. Bethany got a video and you can hear Tamara playing and signing, although you won’t understand the words (sorry about that).

A Czech Anthem from Shay on Vimeo.

For the past few days Bethany has experienced the most discomfort she has had in this pregnancy. She still has about eight weeks to go, but yesterday and today have been pretty hard on her. Tonight we decided to go for a walk to a local restaurant because she really wasn’t feeling up for cooking and a walk sounded nice. But during the walk she was definitely uncomfortable. Thankfully the place isn’t far from us, so we didn’t have to walk for long. If you think of it, definitely be praying for her as we start to enter the final stretch here before our third child is born.

During our walk Titus and Avery were being pretty cute, and the weather was amazing so here’s a few photos.

It Feels Like Spring (4/10/15)

It Feels Like Spring (4/10/15)

It Feels Like Spring (4/10/15)

We enjoyed a really nice dinner, but it’s still very frustrating to not be able to speak enough Czech to order. Our waitress tonight actually spoke great English, so that was a blessing, but going to eat is a constant (I mean, constant) reminder of how much we don’t know of the language. For me it’s really frustrating and often affects my attitude. I definitely had to get my heart right tonight during dinner because I’m struggling with language and also trying to train our kids to stay seated and not be too loud, etc, etc. Often when all of those things collide at dinner I find my attitude changing and have to remind myself that this is all a process (both parenting and language learning).

As we walked back from dinner tonight we passed a lady who heard us speaking English. The kids were being crazy after dinner so we were focused on them, but the lady turned and said something to me which I just assumed was in Czech. I say, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand” in Czech and she said to me in a perfect English accent, “Oh, that’s OK.” We ended up talking with her for a few minutes and she’s from England and teaches English in our town. If I understood her correctly, she has been here 10 years and has met other Josiah Venture missionaries like us. Outside of other missionaries, we rarely meet native English speakers so it was kind of fun. We told her there were other American missionaries like us in our town and she she said she would look out for them.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Poland to do some photos for about 16 different families and individuals. The weather is supposed to be incredible and we’ll going to the Josiah Venture training center in Poland which is a beautiful place. I think the kids are going to enjoy all the places to run and play there and I’m excited to do a little photography for a change. Until then…dobrou noc.


Singing and Speaking

Little Guitar (3/25/15)

Every day before I write the blog, I ask Bethany if she has any photos or stories from the day that would be worth sharing. Usually we both go through our phones and see what we have, but today we only found this photo of a guitar (above) that I got today at the Josiah Venture offices. Our teammate, Daniel, has his brother and their friend here in Czech for a little while and they brought him this guitar from the States. Daniel brought the guitar in today to show us and we even enjoyed a few minutes of him playing and singing. I joined the fun too and played a few worship songs which I haven’t really done much of lately. Actually, one of the songs I played is a favorite modern hymn-like song from Matt Papa called “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery.” The truths described in this song are great and it was one of the songs we should sing on Easter or at least the week before to get our hearts prepared. Here’s a YouTube video of it for you to listen to.

Other than singing for a little bit today, we spent a lot of time this after speaking during our Czech lesson with Jenny and Landen. The Czech language has been kind of piling up in our brains so we spent time today just reviewing and trying to see how much we could speak and remember. Jenny was kind enough to put together a little sheet for us to help learn a few of the different cases in Czech. It’s hard when you learn just how hard Czech is. There are so many cases and endings to words you can literally have dozens (yes, plural dozens) of forms for the color green, for example. Whereas in English we have one word for “green” Czech has a billion (not literally, but it feels that way). So we spent time today working through that and making statements like “five green pens.” It might sound simple, but it’s not. Hard or not, we are plowing forward and continue to do our best to get as much Czech in our brains as possible.

Lastly, and sadly, Avery’s sickness has gotten much worse. Today she had a really bad cough and was running a fever in the afternoon. We may end up taking her to the doctor this week if she doesn’t improve. Tonight we kind of wheezing and I think her throat is hurting because it was the first time she has ever asked us to give her medicine. Normally she despises the meds, but tonight she was walking down the hallway saying, “Medicine…medicine!” It was really sad, but she’s been a sleep for a few hours now and I haven’t heard her. Hopefully she’ll get rest tonight and feel better in the morning. Thanks for praying with us!