September 29, 2008

Where the Heart Is

I never intended to be such a tease....last week during "Czech Republic Week" I fully intended on ending with a big bang - but of course I opened my big mouth too early. :P But its all good - I ended up getting to finish editing our ENTIRE trip. So today, is the long-awaited conclusion to my posts for "Czech Republic 1.5 Week". There is nothing better to close with than to bring out a very special group of people - those who are in Ostrava that have become very close to my heart, the church family at KSOP. As a whole, they are the group that we partner with in our trips and i have been so blessed to have gotten to form such an affection and kinship with the people there. I love them as much as I love the Lighthouse family. It is always ironic because China was the place that I had been set on going back to during college... I never would anticipated that Ostrava, Czech Republic would become another place that feels like home.

The view from the top of City Hall.

I love watching the older guys interact with the babies.

Nela (and her twin sister Sara) always wanted to sit with Johannes. I almost melted when I saw how much they adored him.

Last year, Kuba was still in his mom's belly. I was SO excited to meet him when I returned this year.

Monca & Sarka...I miss them. :)

John, in action.

My host family from last year, and my host family from this year.

The sports club.

Super cool action shot of Hanka, who is a crazy good volleyball player.

My favorite student from English Camp, Elen.

...and finally it was time to say our goodbyes. Needless to say, the most bittersweet part of the whole time.

Dear Ann & Hanka...i miss you both soooooo much. Can we just meet for one day in the middle of the atlantic ocean?

Agh. Goodbyes suck. How can you be happy when Martina is waving goodbye to you? (She gives some of the best hugs, by the way. I'm getting teary just thinking about it.)

Windmills as we drove along the way.

September 18, 2008

Ostrava at Night

Ostrava, originally uploaded by deja.

I took a break from posting my own photos but didn't want to take a break from keeping up with "Czech Republik" week on my blog. So here is a photo that I found on Flickr from the Cesky Republik group that I belong to. This is actually Ostrava but definitely a different angle from the ones I took.

Stay tuned for the big finale at the conclusion of Czech Week!

September 17, 2008

English Camp Portraits: The Brazil Jaguars

So what is the English Camp, you may ask?

Lighthouse Bible Church sent a team of 16 people from our church body to Ostrava, Czech Republic to work with a local church there: (if i try to type the full name, i'll be here ALL night!) The church there spends a lot of time putting together and organizing the camp and us lucky americans get to do most of the teaching.

We formed 5 different classes: the Greek Lambs, Brazil Jaguars, South African Meerkats, Australian Kangeroos and Chinese Pandas. For a whole week, we drive off somewhere and teach English conversation, vocabulary, play games and practice talking with each other during the day. In the afternoon we play games and in the evening, we have a separate program. The evening portion of camp was a time for the team and for KSOP to perform skits, share testimonies about how some of us became Christians and our pastor, John Kim, preaches about what it means to know the one true God, WHY we need to know him, and what it means to be a Christian.

I LOVED my class - the Brazil Jaguars. My students were talkative, eager to learn, fun, adventurous and quite loveable. Just thinking about them makes me smile as I remember the funny things they would say in class and especially thinking about how God made them all unique. You've gone through quite a few posts on our class so far, so its about time you meet them!

Talkative Elen. {She looks serious here but don't let that fool you - she always had something to say and it was always something that would make me laugh. My favorite memories of her are from our times of talking together and when we would create skits in class. }

Dancing Katka {This girl showed me a thing or two about busting a move when she showed me up during the Cafe Night with her own dance workshop...just before our team put on our own performance of Czech's Best Dance crew! She became a Christian just months before coming to camp and I was so encouraged by how she would encourage other believers.}

Funny Adam had the class laughing in unexpected ways. He was more reluctant to practice his English but I never missed his mutterings as he tried to figure out our reading compression questions. He was incredible good natured - especially when we wrapped him up in duct tape during a game.

Talented Evca (prounouced "Ev-cha" blew me away one afternoon - she is an insane classical guitarist, which i discoved. She can play pieces by memory - God gave her the amazing talent of music and I can see her thinking away in her mind, as she replays the music, as well as her other thoughts.}
Sensitive Helen left an impression on me right away - she actually reminded me of my college roommate in her teenage years. She always only had nice things to say and a smile on her face.

Active Vojta would constantly be making jokes during class...but he was also always the first one to answer any kind of question we asked them to discuss. He is a guy with many talents - sports for one, but he shared an interest in photography with me.

Gentle Misa. {She was a puzzle to me at first because I never could tell what she was thinking and if she hated our class or the evening program - but it turned out that she also was incredible good natured and it didn't take much to please her. }

Majda...oh what word is there to describe Majda. She was our little ball of energy, from the first moment I met her at the church. She would jump right in with every game whether it was a screaming game, volleyball or anything. She also would make me laught during our skits and dialogue times when she would come up with the most interesting replies to questions like "So what is your career?" Interesting fact: She can play the theme from Pirates of the Carribean on the piano...from memory!!!

Athletic/Competitive Robert - my favorite memory of Robert, who is a member of the church in Ostrava is when he shared with the team that he is living his dream of living at church. He and his wife Sarka, and their three kids are very dear friends to Lighthouse. I so very much appreciated that Robert gave as much effort in
Creative Chris, my teaching partner. I really appreciated his flexibility and understanding. I KNOW i'm a handful. :)

Now that i've written about my students, and thought about how they are each unique, I miss them more than ever!

September 16, 2008

Moving Statues

We were just wandering around a palace in Vienna when we came across this HUGE fountain right in the middle of the gardens.

P. John said "Okay, everyone strike a different pose!"...and strike we did!
If you look closely we can see which statues we're each imitating. Seriously this photo cracks me up - its my desktop wallpaper.

This is is probably my favorite team photo. :)

September 15, 2008

The Beauty of Czech Republic

...definitely is outdoors. I remember driving to the airport last year, and being struck by how green and lush the trees were. I sighed with happiness as we drove hastily from Vienna to Ostrava and saw even more of the country side but can I just tell you how surprised I was by how beautiful our campsite was? It made a lovely background for the beautiful people at English Camp. :)

{this is post is the first of many on my trip to Czech Republic - stay tuned for more!}.

(The famous sausage hut!)

The view from the windows in our meeting room.

September 7, 2008

Where the Green Grass Grows

1587, originally uploaded by Courtney Lynn.
 Two girls, running through the fields in Czech Republic. Ok, so all three of us were running through the fields, but I love the lighthearted look to this one.

I am almost done with those photos so look forward to seeing more soon!