General Updates

Josiah Venture Fall Conference 2017

The JV Fall Conference 2017 was one of the busiest 9 days of my life. I keep asking myself why? It was “just another trip to Czech”, for we make several trips to eastern Czechia (new name for their country!) every year. Same old, same old. But this time it wasn’t. We were leading master […]

Indian Summer Days of Hope

This week finally had some Indian Summer days. October 17th…we’ve been waiting long enough for it. Why do we love Indian summer days? Because they lift our spirits, change our moods, give us hope that winter hasn’t sunk in just yet. Indian Summer days also point us to the fields and give us another look […]

Best Summer Moments: Something Just Like This

Our family loves FUSION, the rock/pop choir ministry that invites teens into a music community and also shares love and Christ with them. They spend the school year rehearsing rock and pop songs (in their national language, as well as in English), as well as a few Christian songs. They get the chance to not […]

Another Round of Bibles

Are you familiar with the Jesus Storybook Bible? Many Christians who have something to do with children are familiar with this bestselling children’s Bible. We got it in English from my elementary school best friend, Rachel Warner, when Marissa was born. We read it often. It’s not an easy-to-read Bible, so Ben and I still […]

The Bibles Are Here!!!

Praising God today for the fact that 5,000 Ukrainian/English dual translation New Testaments are here! Thanks to incredible contacts through teammate Edik Kurat (Ternopil), we found drivers willing to drive them in with their trucks and with the status needed to bring things into Ukraine (like Bibles) without having to pay an import tax. Pray […]

When the Blog Was Young

I saved this photo for an “epic blog post” that I was going to write, which never got written. I was going through a Disney phase. And I was really loving my phone (even though I broke my screen in line for a long-awaited Dr. Pepper at EuroDisney.) I even have a half-written blog still […]

The 2017 Credo Group

We hit an all-time record of 47 people in our apartment last Thursday. (Check out the floors.) I loose track of the parties and fun we have in our flat, but I am pretty sure we’ve never had 47…although that one New Life/15-intern lunch of 2014 might have been pretty close… The following Tuesday we […]

The Emotions of August

The end of August always brings two feelings. One is pure bliss! Camp season is over; God got us through with great camps, short-term teams, interns, lots of lessons learned along the way, and tons of teenagers with whom we got to share Jesus. In August, schedules slow down. Summer vacation is right around the […]

I Got My Mind Set On You

As a child of the 1980s, this George Harrison song was one of my all-time favorites. But I am realizing its significant spiritual component as this message “setting our minds on” pertains to Jesus Himself. When you commit to being a youth leader – a discipler of the next generation – you are signing yourself […]

Friends Who Go The Distance

“Good morning, August 1st. You have been looming for quite some time now. I’m thankful that you are now in my past.” August 1 was our Year 1 paper deadline for our Fuller program. Honestly, writing a forty-page stab at the first section of a dissertation has been probably the hardest academic thing I have ever […]

How Netflix Documentaries Are Changing My Life

Do you believe that God can speak to you through any means? I was visiting a Fusion rock/pop choir camp a few weeks ago, and our youth pastor, Syava, was leading a 16-person small group(!) (We had that many kids register for both of our church’s local camps with JV, and since evening  program is […]

Walking in the Footsteps of Faith

Just recently, Ben and I were reminiscing about our Lockheed Martin days. As a part of their Leadership Development Program, we had the opportunity to sit in on executive meetings and observe high-level directors and leaders in their sweet spots. They cast vision. They appointed those who are great executors to their teams in order […]

Malenovice, CZ Event Center Fundraising

Recently our Ukraine team has been responsible for covering a week in July in the prayer room. That means finding 24 people per day to cover one hour of on-line interactive prayer, interceding for Josiah Venture and for God’s movement in Central and Eastern Europe. When it is our team’s weeks to cover, I find […]

Celebrating 10 Years of New Life English Camps!

We praise God with our whole hearts for this milestone! Ten summers ago we prepped with our New Life Church team for a “camp of a different kind”. JV Camps are unique, in the sense that they have specific themes, logos, training and strategies, in order to equip local churches to reach the campers all […]

I Love This Town!

Who remembers that line from Ghostbusters? I think it was Winston Zedemore who yelled it as they went out to fight spooks in Manhattan. I can’t agree more. I love this town. Ten years and Lviv hasn’t grown old for even a second. I have found, over the years, that I love reading about the […]

June and July – the fast track

I write on June 30. The last time I was on was May 31st. A month of silence?! This is a good thing. Two weeks were spent on an internet-free, work-free vacation with the kids. The second two weeks were the annual pre-summer ministry scramble with our team before summer short-term teams arrive. Interns are […]

Hot Town, Summer in the City

When I was in grade school, I used to listened to Oldies 104.3 radio station out of Chicago. I loved that Lovin’ Spoonful song “Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty; been down, isn’t it a pity, doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city…all along people […]

Saying Good-bye to the 2016-2017 School Year

The kids keep growing up. See them, up in front  – light hair, light-colored clothes. New Milestone! At the JV Spring conference, Marissa was invited to be in the kids program with all the big kids because she is a first grader now. Dylan just finished another year of preschool, and looks forward to going […]

Subject Matter Experts and Jacks of All Trades

Missionaries are people, which means they have good and bad days. On a bad day, you’ll find my mind far, far away, using my MBA to be a good FLDP (finance leadership development program) graduate and SME (subject matter expert) in FMS (financial management systems), like SAP and Hyperion. (I just recalled how much we used […]

JV Conference on Psalm 23

I wrote this in reflection after attending our annual Josiah Venture family spring conference. Our president, Dave Patty, prepared all the teaching for the conference based on shepherding, our Great Shepherd, Jesus, and Psalm 23. He leads me beside still waters.  He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  I will […]

Reformation 500-Year Anniversary – Live from Wittenberg!

Protestant churches all over the world are gearing up for the celebration of 500 years since Martin Luther hung his 95 theses on this church door to make a statement against the inconsistencies he saw between Scripture and the practices in the church in 1517. Can you imagine? That was FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO! And it […]

EXIT Tour Round 2 with New Life!

After two months “off EXIT Tour”, we were back on. Our local church, New Life, in Lviv, where we have served for 10 years(!), was up next in line for an EXIT Tour. They had booked a band out of England, Crossfya, which was the same group that came last year and did a similar project. […]

Dual Language Bible Project

For the past two years I have been team Ukraine’s representative for a dual-language Bible printing project with Josiah Venture. A very large donation was given so that any country where Josiah Venture serves could order 5,000 modern-translation Bibles in a dual language format. This means English plus the national language spoken, for example, Ukrainian. […]

All Staff In a School for Spring17

Recently Ben and I have pushed “All Staff in a School” ministry philosophy. These are two of my schools that I pray for often. “All Staff in a School” is a phrase we came up with, based on our JV President, Dave Patty’s saying of “All Staff on the [Disciple-making] Path”, meaning that every Josiah […]