Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MO5 "This Is Life" Video from Mountain Christian Church on Vimeo.
Here is the video that my church put together, as a sort of collage of all of the trips that were going on at once. Look closely, and you'll see a familiar face a time or two (and some bright red hair as well!). And thanks for being so patient with me. I am not only still recovering from jet lag, but also trying to process my 're-entry' back into my regular life after mission.

Friday, June 29, 2012

More photos...

Entire team...and my eyes are closed, lol

Yes, we DID actually work while we were here!

NOT Posed!  Real work here!

Discussing important things with young Miss AM

Church Youth Group Cookout

The Living Room, before

Kitchen, before

Living Room, after

Kitchen, after

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Since I've been here...

About to land in Prague

Jeff (looking back) and Liz, on the jet bridge into PRG airport

The children's choir at church, singing to us in Czech

The AstronomicalClock

Statue on Charles Bridge

The Crucifixion Statue on Charles Bridge

View of Prague Castle from Charles Bridge

City of Praha/Prague from Prague Castle

Prague/Praha from Prague Castle

Prague castle guard. Stood still...but his eyes followed me.  Creepy.

Liz, trying to be still like the guard.  She couldn't stop smiling though.  Her son, Taylor, is there to the left in the green shirt.

The "Baby Tower", just outside of the Mudrik family's apartment building.

Myself and the Mudrik's daughter, A. She helped me buy my new shoes, since the salespeople didn't speak English.

J and H wanted to show off their shoes too...

H, the Mudrik's youngest child, and according to her, my new "best friend"...(I french braided her hair, and want to paint her fingernails...you would have thought I'd created cartoons or something, lol).  So cute, and a sweet girl!

Sorry I haven't written much; we've been busy, working!
More to come...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We've landed!

Dobrey Den!

It is now eeeearly, Tuesday morning.  My roommate's alarm clock went off at 6am, versus my own,which goes off at 7) and of course, I can't sleep, so I thought I'd update you and let you know what's going on here.

We arrived on Saturday, after an overnight flight.  Sleeping on the plane was such a pain, and I didn't do very well at all.  However, the meal was pretty good, as were the movie/tv choices, so I made it work.  We had a SHORT layover in London...enough for the airport staff to pick us up at the gate, put us on a bus to our next terminal, then run to the next gate.  We made our connecting flight, and I proceeded to fall right asleep.

Once off of the plane,we went through customs (got that passport stamp!), went to the ATM and money exchange and waited for our bags.  Besides everyone's carry on, we all checked one bag, and checked a Rubbermaid tub full of items we were bringing over for the Mudrik family.  Praise God for friends in high places: a man that  I went to church with at the DC Regional Christian Church just happened to be on duty as a TSA agent at the departure airport, and he made sure that all of our baggage and bins got through security checkpoints together.  With all of the tools we were bringing, we thought they'd end up searching every bin, but they only had to search one.  That could have been so much worse!  But hey, if it keeps the country safe, I say CHECK THEM ALL!!

Anyway, after collecting all of the bins, we discovered that 2 bags had not been placed on the belt, so those team members went to make a claim for them.  The rest of us took pictures and video, and exchanged money (if they already hadn't).  Once we finished, we walked to the public side of the airport, outside of security, and found Marek Mudrik, who greeted us warmly, then got us in a taxi for transit to our hostel.

We made it to the hostel by 4pm, and needed to stay active so none of us would fall asleep.  Here, we are 6 hours ahead of our home time, but everyone was very tired from such a long trip over.  So Marek took us to the Rivenhill Farm, where we would be working while here.  Such an amazing place, but in need of a TON of work.  (A photo blog is in the works!).

After the tour, we came back to the hostel for dinner, then finally retired for bed.  We were beat, and had a long day planned for Sunday.

On Sunday, we had breakfast, then met the Mudrik's (including 2 of the children!),and walked to work, about a mile.  We sat in church and Marek and Elaine translated for us, since it was fully in Czech.  Strange,I couldn't understand what was being said, but I still felt the presence of God in that room.  A children's choir sang, and one of the songs the worship leaders sang was not only in English, but also one of my VERY favorite songs....and I got extremely emotional as she sang it.  We fellowshipped a bit after church, then went to lunch with the Mudrik family.  Then,we decided we wanted to go into the city and tour around for a bit.  We took the Metro (train)into the city center, and saw amazing sites...and then walked back to the cars from there, uphill.  My legs are still sore from the walk, all 9miles of it (though, at this time, the distance is still being disputed).  We returned to the hostel, had dinner,and went to bed.

I know this is a very brief description of the trip so far, and I apologize.  I have very limited internet time, and want to tell everything, but can't.  I will post a picture blog soon, and hopefully, you'll be happy to see some of the sights I was in awe of.

Next time:  out first day of work, and pictures!

Also, check THIS LINK to read what the other MO5 teams are doing on their mission trips!

Friday, June 22, 2012

CHVALA BOH...Today is the Day!

It's here.

Throughout the night, I've been half sleeping.  I'm excited!  I would wake up and begin thinking about all kinds of things, pray to myself, and hope to go back to sleep for another (short) period of time...

The Mountain On 5 movement has begun.  On Wednesday, we had a small team return from a short trip to China.  Thursday, our Southeast Asia/Yellow team took off.  Just a few hours ago, the Kenya/Green team met at church,and as I type this at 7:47am EST, they are on the plane, ready to take flight.  Both groups had a team of well wishers at church, ready to send them off with a cheer.  Tomorrow, at 4:30am, both the Mexico/Blue team, and Arizona/Green teams will be meeting at church for their send off.

Team Red/Europe meets at church today at 3pm, which honestly, is a really great time to be meeting.  The middle of the day; I can still run last minute errands, have a great breakfast, and spend time with folks I love before I go.

I am still excited.  I am hoping to feel this way all day...instead of the nervous/anxious mess that I could be.

Team Red is prepared.  We have packed.  We have prayed. We are unified and we are ready to work.


~thank you all for the support, prayer and love you have shown Team Red so far.  It is greatly appreciated.

(Praise God),


Monday, June 18, 2012

The enemy is at work!

Only 4 more days until departure!

This past weekend, I took my kiddios to my mother, as I have done for the past few summers.  My children are the oldest grandchildren on both sides, and because we live so far away, they don't get alot of grandparent time.  My mom lives in Michigan and their other grandma lives in California, so summer is a great time for them to hang out and enjoy their time away from school.  As usual, I plan to take one day to drive there, stay the night and then drive back the next day.  Everyone knows the plan for me taking this trip, and we've been working on communications: making sure grandma's computer has Skype, making sure my oldest son has Skype on his PDA phone, and discussing times when I'll be able to contact.  The kiddios have also been helping in preparations for my trip.  Because the Mudrik's children are around the same ages of my kiddios, they've taken great interest in them.  My daughter's fifth grade class held a mini-drive, and collected books and a few pairs of brightly colored (and seriously cool!) socks for the girls, since that's the big style here.  The boys have a video game that they are sending to the Mudrik's son from their own collection.  I appreciate their hearts to want to give, and be connected with a family of believers that they may never meet, from way across the world.

Anyway, I got to mom's and was able to spend a bit of time with her and my brother, even stopping by my brother's house to see my neices.  Then we went back to mom's house so I could get some sleep before heading back out on the road the next day.

The past few times I've visited mom's house, I've started to have minor allergy issues.  Itchy, runny eyes, runny nose, even some itchy skin.  I am allergic to only a few things that I know of: Ibuprofen, Cinnamaldahyde, and my mom's dog, Benji.  (That last thing is the sad one, since Benji is the only dog in my life that I have ever really liked...and up until she moved into her new apartment, I could be around him with no problems).  So when it was time for me to go to sleep, we made sure the dog was out of the room, and closed the door.  After trying for awhile to get to sleep, I found I couldn't, because my eyes were hurting.  I went to the bathroom to wash my face, and realized that my eyes were swollen.  At that point, I was just tired, so I told my mom not to worry, I'd just go sleep in the car.  My daughter brought a pillow from home, so I used that as well as a blanket from my trunk, and tried to settle in for the night. 

(This is not me, but this is what I looked like...well, maybe not the lips, but the eyes for sure!)
That didn't work.  When I looked in the mirror, I realized that my eyes were almost swollen shut.  I called my son on the phone, told him to let mom know I needed to go to the hospital, because I was having an all out anaphalactic episode.  My mom helps run the Emergency room unit at the local hospital, and got me there as soon as she possibly could.  My face was completely numb, and my nasal passages had closed, so I was breathing through my mouth.

I don't remember alot of what happened in the hospital, but boy am I grateful for my mom!  I guess she'd been talking to me the entire car ride there, because she told them everything that was wrong with me.  It also helps that she has close relationships with the doctors and nurses there, as their coworker, and I know I received the best care possible.  I was given a cocktail of an IV, and drifted off into a medical stupor.  I don't know how long I was asleep, but a nurse came in, and told me that alot of the swelling had gone down in my face, so I could go.  I was given a large dose of a steroid (of which I am still taking, and weaning off of), and discharged right then.  What seemed to take all night really only took about 3 hours, from when I first noticed until discharge.  I remember my mom asking me on the way back to the house if I wanted to check into a hotel room...I said no, I'd just go sleep in the car, since a hotel would be a waste of money (I planned to be on the road by 9am).  I did just that...I think I was so done in by the medicine, I could have slept on concrete!

It's funny the way the enemy works.  Satan seems to know exactly how to hit each and every person...for me, it was anaphalaxis.  I remember my mom feeling bad on the ride home...she remembered that she had cinnamon scented candles in the room where I was trying to sleep.  Candles so old that they probably didn't even have scent left in them...between those candles, and Benji being free to roam the house as he pleases, I was stuck in a histimine haven! 

One week from departure, and Satan tries to stop the work that God has planned out.  It was written before I ever thought about it, and this trip is God's will.  He has a plan, and has chosen me to be one of the people to help Him in this case.  "Here am I; Lord, send me." (Isaiah 6:9).

On another note, on the way to work this morning, I prayed.  For guidance, for patience, and not to worry.  My local Christian radio station then began playing the song that helped me name this blog, and I KNEW that everything would be alright.  God's hand is all over me, this situation and this mission trip.  4 days, and we will be there.  Let's go!

Here are the lyrics that inspired the title of this blog: from the song "I Refuse" by Josh Wilson:

I can hear the least of these, crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
So if You say move, it's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
And show them who You are

I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

So now, as I finish my packing, and prepare to depart with my team, I ask that you stay tuned.  We will be blogging from Prague, and updates will come from my team members as well as myself.  I look forward to this experience, and thank God for the opportunity to Go and Do, and Refuse not to move!

Thanks for being faithful readers, so far!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Details, details!

Last night, Team Red got together for what we THOUGHT would be our final meeting before takeoff.

BTW, before I even get started and well into the blog...11!  11 days until we take flight to go and do His will.  YESSsssss!

Back to business...we got together and began going over the details of our trip.  Our schedule has been planned out for meeting and getting to the airport; parking situations spoken of; departure wear was discussed (I'd already planned my flight wear, but we all need to be unified and in uniform...Jesus is Lord, and I work for the Lord, and someone else was chosen to lead, so I will follow!).  Detailed paperwork is still needed from some team members; insurance cards and documents were passed out and discussed (had to make sure it covered prescription meds, in case I lose my inhaler while I'm over there!).  LOTS and LOTS of details!

We went over the 'proposed' schedule of our days while we are there, with the great warning that it may/possibly/might/more than likely change, and that we need to be flexible and ready to roll with the punches for whatever may happen.  At this point, we are still unsure of exactly what we will actually be doing while we are there, work-wise.  Being that we are the smallest team, I'd say that being open to any changes that are thrown our way has really got to be our biggest strength right now, and I am honored to be part of a team that just accepts it like it is.  The Mudrik's have had a big change of plans with what they thought they'd need, so we have to go with the flow.  The only thing that we absolutely know for sure is that we are going over there to assist them with ANYTHING that they need help with.  Also, we are planning to go and run Camp Rivenhill while we're there, but even that is subject to change at this point.

So we've talked about packing and rides from airports and hostel amenities, and so many other things.  Taylor and I will be leading worship while we're there, which eases my heart a bit, because that is something I am comfortable doing anywhere, plus it doesn't take much set up at all.  Taylor is a great guitar player, and having been on a worship team together before, I think we will have no problems just giving our hearts wherever we are.

Also, it was discussed that we need to 'leave home at home' and kind of disconnect while we are away, so that we can focus on our task while we are there.  That means no cell phones.  3 months ago, this would have been a huge issue for me, considering the fact that I am a single mom...but I already know that my kiddios will be in good hands.  I take them to my mother for their summer vacation this weekend, and they are excited for that.  I will be taking my laptop, and the entire team will be posting updates from here on this blog while we are away, which I am excited about.  Having new writers with different perspectives should be interesting, and fun!  So please, be on the lookout for postings from my teammates!  (I'm working on getting individual pictures of each of them, so I can post a face along with a name!)

Also, since I'll have my laptop (along with the free wi-fi at the hostel) I will be able to skype my family...and hopefully, with the time difference, and my kids "on-the0go summer schedules" I'll be able to catch them a couple of times while I am away...maybe.  If not, I will know that i tried...

So...its almost that time.  One more (packing) meeting, and we're off!  A huge thanks to all of you who have donated financially; to you who have purchased items for me from my amazon wish list and to those of you who have been praying for us from afar, the time is almost here!  Please stay tuned for updates from the field, and a great debriefing as well!

Dobrou noc!

11 days!