Monthly Archives: March 2013

blessings from one another as God works through…

Our Gathering was a blessing… lots of laughter!


ALSO, I have UPDATED the trip plan with the amazing saga of the last week’s events… CLICK HERE, open and read the right column, God is great in the midst of difficult circumstances.

I think this captures our theme (from Isa. 43)…




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2013 Gathering has begun in spite of…

God has brought us through the following events, which, in total could have prevented our gathering: a broken tooth (mine, that required a crown and then a root canal); the death of one of our partner’s beloved grandfather; my Anna’s delayed arrival to Zagreb; one of our partners getting the flu; one of our partner’s substitute preacher cancelling and the discovery that two of their children did not have up-to-date passports; the partner who caught the flu coming home from teaching and discovering that her flat had been broken into and her computer and camera stolen; my catching the flu and then, on the very day for travel to this event, a late winter storm made the bus ride from Budapest to eastern Croatia treacherous. READ

But through all that, and more, God has brought us here to gather for fellowship and to be reminded that we are precious to Him and need to return to Him. I believe that because we are praying, God is answering. So this weekend, please pray, and PLEASE keep praying.

We are so grateful that you will pray.

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Waiting is hard. Waiting on anything is hard. For example, my sweet Anna should be here with me now in Zagreb. But, no. She is stuck in Paris airport til tonight. One of my responses is to blame myself for booking her through THAT Airport. “I should have known better”, I say to myself. But does blame ever help?

Of course not.

So then, what? Worry is not the answer because the adage “worry less and pray more” is true. So I pray. And I go find lunch. Alone.

I keep thinking about this waiting business. I keep thinking about how God waits for us to turn back to Him. I keep thinking of how patient he is and willing he is…
to wait.

I must wait for 9 hours. But there is no reason God needs to wait for you for even five more minutes.

Go, and pray.

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Market Saturday – Osijek


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March 9, 2013 · 14:34

saga of the broken tooth

WARNING: this post contains a personal story that may bore you, consider yourself warned and don’t complain if you hate it. (Maybe you should unsubscribe?)

Almost a month ago I had a fight with an olive pit and the pit won. A tooth was fractured and needed a crown. Problem was that in USA crowns take longer than I had before I headed over here to the Heartland. The dentist who looked at it knew I get my work done in Hungary, so he wrote some stuff up for me to email ahead of time and an x-ray to send over as well. So an appointment was set to begin the work on the crown.

In the meantime I learned that my symptoms sounded like a root canal might be needed, but, as I was advised by an expert, the crown comes first and then you will know. So I soldiered on, eating on one side of my mouth and avoiding hot or cold. I arrived in the Heartland a week and a half later and had left myself some brief scheduling gaps for this tooth fixing business. After the work for the temporary crown was done, we were expecting (I broke rule 1, huh?) that the root canal could wait until I got home. Um, nope.

The night of the crown I found that my jaw was really tender. The next night it hurt and two nights later I made the mistake of trying to eat some really hot soup, wow, did I pay for that. Not even the break itself hurt that bad. I write a good friend who is an expert and he told me I might not be able to wait till I get home to USA. I contacted my dentist and she asked me some different questions and told me to come in that afternoon and we would get started on the root canal.

I have heard of people getting root canals most of my life but I didn’t really know what they were. I just knew that people talked about how much pain is involved. They were not kidding. But God blessed me with a dentist who was very sensitive to my pain. 

Now here is why I tell the story, in the end I essentially lost three days of work time due to this event. But because of the amazing work of my dentist, I am back on the road and have left Hungary for Croatia. On the train I was reviewing my TRIP PLAN and realized something pretty cool. These three days were pretty light, there was a plan but no actual appointments scheduled. As I considered this, I was thankful afresh because these “open” days fell at just the right time. 

When I build a Trip Plan, I ask people to pray that it would be guided by God in the planning as well as the actual events. There was no tooth even planned, but there was time available. God was clearly guiding the plan. This was an answer to prayer.

I brought a bunch of copies of Tyranny of the Urgent with me to give to some of the leaders here. In it Hummel talks about praying into our planning in a systematic manner, Since God is in the prayer answering business, if you bring your planning into your conversations with him, He may help you plan in ways you cannot foresee, I did.

The last point is provision. I am amazed that God supplied me with a dentist that was willing to go out of her way to make time to take care of this. She understood I needed to move here and there and put that, and my well being of course, ahead of some other considerations.

Look around today, look and see and you will find that God is at work in was you cannot plan or supply, and be thankful.

Posted in a rush… to be cleaned up.

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TF phone home

The rooms I use in Bp don’t have Internet. When I want to call home, I either pay 25 cents a minute on my mobile or I walk down my four flights of steps and around the corner where I can pick up wifi…


… like an Internet age phone booth.

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