Monday, February 11, 2008

Another Week in the Mountains? Seriously? Seriously.

Wow, when I think about how far I’ve come in a year, in two years since I committed to this ministry, I stand in awe of God’s masterful plan. I looked back at my posts from last year, and I found that I didn't write about my experiences during the ski trip I went on last year. Maybe I thought it was too humiliating to put on the website. I went to this ski course for youth 24 years and older, hoping to have some good social time and fun skiing. I can't begin now to express the despair I felt all week long. I didn't understand almost anything. My Czech got a lot better, but it was still really difficult to communicate. Plus I had brought down-hill skis, and most people were going Cross Country skiing, the cheaper, more exciting option. Someone was kind enough to let me borrow a pair for the week, but man was it a nightmare. It was just soooooooo hard, finding a rhythm using muscles I didn't even know I had. I cried every day from the overflow of emotions and the extreme exhaustion mentally and physically.
Only God knows why (as we say), I went back to that ski camp again this year. I think I only remembered the warm glow I felt from the people and the beautiful rolling mountains of Krkonoše. On my way back to the mountains, I reread some of my journal entries which expressed my utter desperation to understand and improve my Czech and my skiing. Maybe you are also asking, “Why would she want to go back?” My mother did. However, if you can imagine the exact opposite experience of what I had last year, that was this year. I borrowed some cross-country skis from a friend of similar height and her skis worked just perfectly. (I also discovered that there is a definite Right and Left and after putting them on wrong once this year, I really think that many times last year, I had my skis backwards. The things you might think would be obvious!) So I finally felt like I was picking up the rhythm of this cross-country skiing thing. Plus a lot more people came who were around my age, sharing the same interests in games and movies, and they were closer to my abilities on the snow. They knew when to stop and take off their skis and I never felt pressured to do something which seemed unsafe to me. I took a lesson from them as they knew the difference from quitting when the going gets tough and being honest about their own abilities. Then we also had such interesting programs each night. The minister with our biblical programs presented a fascinating workshop where we searched for the answer to his question, “Does God Exist?” Making this even better, he spoke English quite well, so anytime I didn’t understand, I could just ask. And yet much of the time, I understood, and this understanding and sharing in discussion with others about God, this was the sweetest gem of all. So here you can see me in all of my glory, well it’s not all glory and the glory shone is not all mine. The joy of the whole week is in the way God has been working in my life over the last 3 and a half years since my hand injury. It’s just like with the skis; the harder the uphill trek, the more exciting the trip down the other side.

Right now is our spring break, so I’m enjoying my last chance to travel in Europe before I go home. This summer will go so quickly that I won’t have another chance to get outside of the Czech Republic. So I’m finally traveling to Spain and then Paris! You’re looking at the view from my hostel window. Isn’t life grand? A week from now we’ll be starting the second session of our English Classes, so I’ll be happy to get started with some new themes and new activities. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

PS If you have not checked out the website for our classes lately, you should take a look and watch our Campaign videos. We ended up with a tie and made some more. It was a lot of fun.