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Monday, June 30, 2008

Sports Camp

Ah, I can't believe we've been home for over a week and I haven't said a word about the Polish sports camp! These summer days go by so quickly. . . 


Well, first of all, let me explain why there are no pictures. About an hour down the road, I realized that I had forgotten our camera. I packed everything but the kitchen sink. . . and the camera! I decided to try to find an inexpensive camera, which I did, but I have yet to connect it to my computer. Luckily I met a new friend who will email me some pictures in the future. Until then, here are the highlights. 
 
1. The new friend I mentioned happens to have 2 little boys, very close in age to Caedmon and Ansel. They hit it off so well, which made for a great weekend for them. The sad part was that Caedmon was crying very hard when we had to leave. 

2. We really enjoyed the bonfire, complete with kielbasa - everyone huddled around the fire with these huge sausages - I have to agree that they were much tastier than marshmallows. 

3. For me, the best part was worshipping with our new friends. They were singing in Polish, but I was familiar with some of the songs and it was wonderful to lift our hearts together. 





2. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Weekend

This afternoon we're heading to a service in the Lansing area (Bikers' Church with Pastor Joe!) and then we are off to Fa-Ho-Lo Camp for the Polish Sports Camp this weekend. We are so looking forward to meeting new friends and gaining more knowledge of culture and language. We hope many of you enjoy The Big Ticket while we are away! And if you won't be there, be blessed wherever you are! 


P.S. There's a really great video that the Riccardelli's posted on their blog. I have had no luck posting it here (technical issues?) but if you get a chance, check it out via their blog or on You Tube. The title is "Cardboard Testimonies." It was powerful for me to see God's restorative work in so many lives! I've been thinking about what my own cardboard testimony might be. . . 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Budget Update

I just wanted to post a quick update on how our budget is coming along. This is the short version: cash 59%; monthly pledges 14%. If you want some of the details, please continue reading. . .

We are currently at about 59% of our cash budget. That is so exciting! We are trying to get approval to lower our cash budget, which would mean that we would be at about 76%. Basically, we are asking them to eliminate a car from our budget. We would like to use public transportation or purchase something from our personal funds when we sell our current vehicles. We hope to hear if we will be able to do this in the next month. What is exciting about our cash budget is that once it is fulfilled, it starts rolling into our monthly support. So, essentially, every dollar that comes in after our cash budget is at 100% gets divided by 24 (months) and applied to our monthly. Our monthly support is at 14%. But that would make it's way up if we start applying the cash! We are even trying to lower our monthly budget a little bit (hard, since we're going to Europe). We are hoping to find less expensive housing, which would help with the monthly. Every little cut will help us get there more quickly! 

WHEW! I know that is tons of information, and I hope you are not too confused. Sometimes we are, when it comes to this budget stuff! Our intention is not to confuse anyone, but we know lots of people are curious about  our budget: how it works and how far along we are. Be encouraged! We are! And thank you! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Polish Food

I'm all about simple food. I was just browsing around a site featuring Polish recipes and found one I would like to try soon. I'll let you know how it turns out. 


Potatoes baked with Eggs & Cream

Delicious and very easy to make traditional dish.

2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups diced cooked potatoes
salt & pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives or spring onions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Pour butter into the bottom of an oven proof casserole
3. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper
4. Mix together, eggs and sour cream and pour over potatoes
5. Top with chives, cover and bake for 1 hour. 








Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gotta Have Faith

Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


It just so happens that the message this morning at our church was all about faith. And as I sat there listening and applying, this is what was going through my head:

This journey that we are on is building our faith. If every dollar came in instantly, then what would that do for us? It might get us to Poland, but would we have the faith that we needed to be effective. And of course, we would not meet nearly as many people along the way. People who we hope to encourage in their faith walk. And people who encourage us. God's way is the best way. It's not fast food. That's not good for you anyways. 

(But on a completely non-spiritual and personal note: after so much traveling, our children are now asking for McDonald's by name, and for those of you who know me well, you know that is not something I am proud of. So. . . I will be packing many more healthy snacks in the near future. Goodbye Golden Arches. Well, it sounds like a good plan, anyway).

And if you need a little faith boost: Get in The Word! And send us a note. We'd love to pray for you! Blessings.