Showing posts from July, 2015

Mission Learning Opportunity - Draws to a Close, Our Return Home!

Hello Folks, Mission Learning Opportunity - Draws to a Close, Our Return Home! 

Texas, it feels good to be back in your arms! The embrace of Houston's humidity gives one a minute experience of God's loving arms wrapped around you! Thanks for your welcoming arms! It always feels good to be back home on Texas soil and back amongst family! Although it is always hard to say our goodbyes and portions of our hearts are strewn over much of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, we are excited to be back with our loved ones. Not sure how to really go about telling you how much this mission meant, the growth and outreach of the ministry, as well as the Godincidences that occurred on the flight home. I will try and adequately describe them in as good as detail as possible without taking too many pages to do so! 
First and foremost the overall growth of the camps and community service events went far and above all of our expectations. Every one saw growth in numbers as well as more and more ope…

Poland Recap - Made it Safely Back to Croatia and HiS HOUSE!

Wow what a mission learning opportunity this has been and one I will remember always. It has been such a blessing to have all the people here from the USA as well as so many other countries.  The  worship time and sharing through fellowship touched each of our hearts! The impact of having that many people gathered together was like having church every single day! You can't duplicate that in any other way and I will continue to pray that God expands this ministry to more and more of those in that 1,250 mile Target! He has laid that vision down and has drawn paths to make sure it happens! It is just a blessing to be a part of! We now have room to house 25 people here at HiS HOUSE and with the expansion of Phase 3, will be able to include more baseball teams, coaches, pastors and missionaries. Hanging on to Jesus's robe has never been more fun!
I would like to take a moment to recap Poland and our spiritual experiences there! God really used that time to help us as a team…

Last Day of Baseball Camp in Poland

It's been a great ride here in Poland.  A lot of soil has been tilled and seeds planted and watered with a few coming to fruition. We are so blessed to be here with Coach Robert and his young coaching staff!
Last night we had some bad weather roll through after the morning camp and Joe Page, one of our HiS PRINT coaches, got his pinky finger pinched between two bats and we had to take him to the hospital to get stitched up! All is well and after 6 stitches and a bandage the size of Texas, he is doing well! The rain blew through and our plans were to have a BBQ outside and have some Polish sausages and other meat and then share with the campers our special treat, S'mores. Well the showers quit around 4:00, we got the fire started and many of the parents came and joined us for dinner. We had a wonderful time but about 3/4 of the way through our BBQ, the weather came crashing in again. We managed to get everything cooked from under the trees before the really hard rain ca…

Days 15-17: Hard to Remember for Sure!

Well folks,

We have felt the pressure of having no wifi for the past 4 days while here in Poland. Although that is overall not a bad thing, it does put things in perspective of how much we are dependent on it. I don't miss not having to answer my phone with calls or texts, or the need to update facebook or answer emails, but it is isolating when you cannot have communication with your family that you normally have. I will admit that it has been nice not having those modern conveniences of the internet, but sure makes me miss my family more and more! Since we have gotten to Poland on Friday all has gone well. I have been overwhelmed with the players and parents who have welcomed us with open arms! They are so appreciative of us coming here and for most of the children it is the only camp they have ever attended! Many of these children are very poor with a lot of siblings at home, so while they are here they are eating like kings! The food is indeed better than most restaurants and w…

Day 16 - Preview of Update from Poland!

Update from Poland:
The Poland Baseball Camp Team (David, Joe. Robert and CBass) arrived safely, but they do not have access to WiFi so are not able to send any updates.  The first two days of camp have gone well, and they want to let everyone know that it's a real blessing to re-connect with old friends and make new ones!  David will send an update when he gets back to Croatia on Wednesday.

Update from Shannon in Croatia:
The team that travelled back to Houston all made it home safely without any travel problems.  Shannon & our Sisak host Janko spent a wonderful day road tripping!  They had lunch in Bosnia, then drove to Vukovar, Croatia to see the war monument.  Of course, they stopped to see the sunflowers!

The rest of our last week in Croatia will be spent ministering and spending time in fellowship with our friends in the various community associations around Sisak, and planning for our trip in 2016.  The team from Poland will return on Wednesday, and we will close out our…

Day 15 - Update from Sisak

Update from Sis in Sisak:
We had a fantastic day! We started the day with a devo on 1 John 3:16 and what this year has meant to everyone. We said a sad goodbye to our new friend Ilya and look forward to seeing him again.
This morning we went and delivered the food that HiS Print bought earlier this week. They had the food packaged and ready to go along with some clothes. We drove around delivering to people who don't have transportation. This food bank services over 280 families which is over 750 people in total. They don't get much help from the government and transportation is a problem in both people coming to get the food and them being able to deliver it. It was a blessing to have the van to be able to help with this. We ran out of time today so we will deliver the rest tomorrow morning. 

This evening we went to the blind association. We made necklaces and bracelets and played blind darts. Plavo played his accordion and sang.  Sis was asked to share why HiS Print comes t…

Day 14 - goodbye to Split and Home to HiS House, Maja's Sister doing Much Better!

Well baseball camp finished off with a huge thank you from the players and coach and asked if we would come back and do camp in Split as well as a camp in another town up the coast in Sibenik! Excited to be asked and the players were all smiles today as we played several fun games in drills and finished off with a scrimmage! It was a real blessing to be with them and they really did improve and the coach was so receptive to our training and asking for us to come back. After practice I went and had coffee with the coach at his request and we discussed details about next year and I told him my dream to host a coaches clinic at HiS HOUSE in SISAK and he thought it was a great idea! He again thanked us for the equipment and asked me to come early and bring my wife next year so he could show us around the islands by one of his boats! Since next year is our 25th wedding anniversary, I just may have to take him up on that! A blessed time and so thankful God opened another door to share His l…

Day 13 - Great Strides Taken in Establishing a Solid Foundation for Future Camps

Folks, At this point in the trip the days seem to roll together and never sure what day we are on, just happy to be here and the joy in my heart increases with the doors that open and the opportunities God continues to create through this ministry! The team that is left behind in Sisak has the day to relax and drive to Budapest and do a little sightseeing! They only have to drive 4 hours and the team deserves the opportunity for a little R&R! Can't wait to hear how God opened a door for one of them to share or for the chance He created for us to go there one day through a meeting with someone while they are there!

The Split baseball/football team is grinding along in the heat and having a ball sharing in the baseball and football camps! The baseball camp this morning went very well and actually used the day to teach some fun games they can play with one another while still learning skills necessary to play the game! They had a blast. I shared the importance of reading God'…

Day 12 - God Moving in So Many Ways

July 7

Today was a really amazing day. We spent the morning in the handicapped organization. Janko brought his guitar and we sang together. The ladies said "that's the first time y'all have ever sang here, we loved it". They taught us how to decoupage boxes and bottles today. It was so much fun!

Afterwards, we went swimming in the Kupa and invited some kids. We had 8 kids show up and it was so much fun playing ball in the water with them!
For the first time, we hosted a movie night in the children's library. We popped 40 bags of popcorn and had 60 kids show up to watch Benchwarmers. (The movie was chosen by the librarians). We had Dr. Pepper and sour punch straws. It was a great time! The kids are so excited and they can't wait for next year's program.

On a side note, it's been a pleasure getting to know Ilya from Siberia. He has a heart for God and has joined us on all of our projects and programs. He is a really neat guy and has just rolled with…

Day 11 - Split Up and Share in Two Cities

Have to apologize for only being able to write about what is going here in Split, since I have half the group here with me and Sis has the other half with her in Sisak doing more community service outreach. I will try and get an update from Sis or Joe each day as well to keep you informed of what is going on there as well.
Day 1 - Split Day one of the baseball camp could not have gone any better than it did! God blessed us with this wonderful opportunity to reach out to this baseball club through meeting the baseball coach last year, when I came to their field and watched them practice. I brought several pieces of equipment for the coach and team and their eyes got as big as earth when I opened the bags and gave them their gifts. From batting T's, bats, gloves, catchers gear to a pitching machine! They were so thankful and it was a big blessing to provide it for them. The campers were very attentive and worked hard on all the drills I taught them for throwing, running and f…

Day 10 - Rest Much Awaited and Much Needed

Sorry, I've been away from the internet for the past day and half so was unable to send updates on the past happenings.
Sunday was a welcomed day of rest! Yesterday and last night were a whirlwind of activity, much like the other days only different. Different in the sense that we didn't have all the different programs going on but getting ready for a city wide carnival is about as crazy you would like to get. Knowing we had to spend the whole day organizing, I sent the entire team down to the river park to help set up booths and then off to the field to cheer on the Storks in their game against Serbia. This allowed me and Rock the opportunity to pull out all the games and big prizes and Sis to organize the smaller candy and giveaway prizes!
For the next 6 hours we pulled prizes and games out, put things together and organized prizes with games. Then the task was to go put them in the car and make the many trips necessary to get them to the river walk. Many of the campers and ca…

Days 8 & 9 - Blessed, Blessed, Blessed

So much has happened since I last wrote to you and some of those happenings have since been forgotten by this getting older and tired mind! I tried to keep from overloading your in box and also found myself so busy and then tired, that I couldn't  get it written! But no worries I won't make this overly long for fear of your inbox rejecting it!!!
Friday was the end of all the programs and many good byes were said and hearts broken and eyes filled with tears! Many of our new members were promising to come back which is always a blessing to me! Most of those if not all come back just to catch back up with the piece of their heart that they left behind from the year before!
The baseball closing ceremonies and the last day of the library program went extremely well and the new camp shirts were a big success! The Storks baseball club had a friendly game with a team from Serbia and they really played well, but lost 7-6. Almost all of your team was able to go and cheer them on…