Czech Republic Team Return

Well, our time in the Czech Republic has come to an end. Even though leaving is hard and goodbyes are so sad, it’s amazing to look back and see what God has done these last few days!

Camp ended well as we continued to enjoy time with our students, have good conversations and answer their questions. Thursday was extra special as it was Gospel Night! The evening talk explicitly shared the whole Gospel and then led students in a reflection activity. Many students seemed very thoughtful and took time to pray with and talk to the leaders.

On Saturday, camp ended and we traveled to Zlin, where the local church we worked with is located, to begin follow-up! We thoroughly enjoyed worshiping with these fellow believers at their church Sunday morning and enjoyed a cook-out, picnic in the park and several other activities, all of which the students from camp were invited to. Many students came and we enjoyed more good conversations and time together.

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Germany Team Update #2

Hello!  We have returned home after our second week of camps! Teen camp was a big success and many young people were impacted by God’s grace. The camp took place in the evening and was composed of three main pieces – dinner, game/activity time, and a worship session with a short message on the book of Daniel. We had around 35-40 teenagers in attendance every night.  Our Cedarville group along with the teens was divided into four teams that competed in games and cheers for the first three days of camp.  Thursday and Friday were our chance to really build relationships and start conversations with the kids. Many had never heard the gospel before and we were able to explain to them the good news clearly and directly.
God also provided the opportunity to continue serving in other ministries, including playing with kids at refugee camps, helping paint a Christian library, and witnessing to university students in the city. God was at work in every aspect of our ministry and we know He isn’t done in Berlin yet.
Please pray for Crossway International and the Dye’s as their work for the Kingdom continues. Also pray that those who made decisions and those we talked to would have godly connections to encourage them to walk in the Lord.
–Germany Team

Women’s Soccer Costa Rica Update

“Hola!”  We kicked off our first full day in San Jose with a soccer training session on the field of a Nazarene University. It didn’t stop raining for the duration of training, and our goal keepers were treated to a pretty intense mud bath.

The afternoon was filled with the joy of smiles, soccer, and piggyback rides. Our team visited an elementary school in San Jose and joined the children for recess. The children adored the game time, but we pray that our biggest impact could be in the Good News that was shared through two team testimonies and the “Wordless Book” message from Coach Meade.On Sunday we play University of Costa Rica at their game facility (ranked top 3 in the country), we shared a meal with their team at a missionary’s house. During that time, Lauren–our goalkeeper shared her testimony through a translator. Praise the Lord that Hannah and Taylor individually prayed with a girl from the team afterwards and she accepted Christ!  Many of the other girls were asking good questions.   The coach of that team shared his testimony as well. This was a huge development because his team did not know he was a believer.

We are fervently praying that the Good News we were able to share would be grown. Thank you for your prayers and being part of our team from afar!

–Cedarville Women’s Soccer Team

Czech Republic

We just finished our 3rd full day of camp and we are having a blast! It’s amazing to see God work through all the different activities and people here: From being able to love on students during English classes, afternoon workshops and games, evening activities and hike day (we survived!) to being able to explicitly share the Gospel with them during evening talks and discussions. God has also given us several neat opportunities to share our testimonies with students and answer their questions during meals, hikes and bonfires! Tug of war during the afternoon games.

  Hike day!

Bonfire!

Our team, the Josiah Venture interns and the local church!

A few prayer requests…

  • Continued strength as we finish the last 3 days of camp
  • For the students: that we would continue to build good relationships with them, that they would understand more about the Gospel and that they would see Jesus through us
  • For our team, the interns and the local church: that we would continue to encourage and work together as one unified body of Christ

Mexico Update

Basketball camp is going great . Evan, Vinny, and Andrew are doing a great job building relationships and reflecting Christ’s love.
Thanks for praying for us!

–Kris DeWitt (team leader)

Bolivia Update

Greetings from Bolivia.  We have had an excellent week installing water pumps and recording instructional videos in Vacas, a rural area near Cochabamba.  The instructional videos will be placed on YouTube for people in Bolivia and around the world to help them build hand-operated pumps.  The team has also participated in church services, provided Bibles, and encouraged members of three churches.  We have greatly enjoyed learning about Bolivian culture and meeting with members of the communities, pastors, and fellow believers in Christ.

It is amazing to see how God has used the engineering talents of SIM missionaries and others to provide water to numerous rural families but also how God has used the missionaries to provide spiritual water to the people.  The churches in the Vacas area are thriving, God is clearly working in the hearts of the people, and they have a strong hunger for God’s Word.

Czech Republic Update

It is our third full day in the Czech Republic and we are loving every minute of it! Right now, we are at a Josiah Venture training center in beautiful Malenovice. Here, we’ve been able to meet the Josiah Venture intern team and local Czech church we’ll be working with –  we are thoroughly enjoying getting to know them!  #CUGO

Ryan planning camp with the Czech church leader, David.

Landon, Josiah Venture missionary over all English camps, giving us our final charge.

Chelsea, Rebecca, Renee and Ryan.

We’re only three days in and we’re already amazed at how God is working in our preparation, giving us strength, helping us build relationships and showing us how He is using Josiah Venture and the local churches here to work in the hearts of young people!

Today, we’re leaving for where English camp will be. A few prayer requests as we start this next part of our trip:

  • Continued strength as we’re getting used to the physical demands of camp.
  • That our team, the interns and the local church will continue to get to know each other and will truly work as unified followers of Christ.
  • For the students as they arrive tomorrow!!! And for our relationships with them.

Germany Update

It has been a little over a week since we first landed in Berlin, and it has been really busy! This last week was the English speaking day camp at Crossway International oriented for kids sixth grade and under. By the end of the week 104 different children came. The theme was Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. Each day’s lesson focused on the way Jesus rescues us  from various situations in life. By the end of the week, and because of the clear gospel message presented on Thursday, at least twelve of the kids wanted to talk one-on-one with us about what salvation means, and four of them proclaimed Christ as their Savior!
We are thankful for your prayers and for the opportunity God has given us over here in Berlin. Next week begins our teen camp. Pray that the children who came to the day camp will remember the lessons and grow in their faith and that the teen ministry will bring more people to Him! Also pray for Sam, as his bag is still lost at the London airport. Fortunately they have provided a stipend for clothes. God is good!
–Germany Team

Italy English Camp

Ciao from the Italy English Camp team!  We recently returned from two weeks serving and being blessed by the sweetest group of kids at Centro Evangelico Isola, a camp run by Joe Hunziker and his family. The camp is located in a cute little town called Isola near Gran Sasso d’Italia, the highest mountain in the Apennines. It’s such a beautiful place, both because of the ever-present reminder of God’s creation always in the background and the wonderful people we had to opportunity to interact with and serve alongside.

A quick background on the area: Much of Italy is very Roman Catholic, and where we were is no exception. It’s more cultural in most cases, something that most people subscribe to because everyone does it – kind of how Christianity is in the deep South in the United States. Many Italians view Christianity as a sort of cult due to this cultural influence, so that makes evangelizing to them a little more difficult. Though many camps offered at Isola are Bible camps, they cannot blatantly teach Christianity as they could in the States for this reason.  The English camp we served in is offered only for unchurched kids to attend, so it was even more different from the norm.  Our main focus was to love on the kids and show Christ in how we lived – definitely a very different kind of mission trip than most of us were expecting.

Even more than that, we found how dedicated the camp is to building a strong connection with the surrounding community, whether that means inviting families for fellowship and meals or offering locals access to their soccer field. This connection is how they seek to spread Christ’s love to everyone around them, not just the kids. And of course, everyone at the camp seeks to serve and love on these kids as much as possible, to connect with them and with their families and to be that Christlike influence in their lives. It was such an honor for all of us to be able to contribute to this goal as the camp seeks to show Christ’s love to those who otherwise may not see Him.

And of course, we had lots of fun with the kids as well! We played tug-o-war and had sack races, held a carnival complete with face painting and games, and even hiked on the mountain with them!

Overall, it was such a joy to have fun with and show love to these kids – not just as “the Cedarville girls,” but as members of the wonderful camp community Centro Evangelico Isola has created. It’s amazing how so many people from different countries and cultures and walks of life can come together with such open hearts to further the Gospel. Not only is that a testament to the dedication of the camp staff, but it just goes to show you how God can use literally anyone – and anything – to show Himself in all parts of the world. This was such a wonderful opportunity that God blessed us with, and I think I speak for all four of us when I say that we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything! God is definitely at work, even in places like small town Italy that we don’t always think of as starving for Christ. They really are, and we’re so thankful for ministries such as Joe’s that are dedicated to satiating that need, as well as hearts like his that are so burdened to reach these people with the Gospel.