2019 Summer MLO Blog 14

I’m kind of behind what is happening and what I am writing about because the pace of ministry and travel has overtaken me. Last week was such a blur and the pace of this week, with sending people home, cleaning up and inventory from the carnival, work around HiS HOUSE and travel with 3 different ministry teams across The Balkans, I’m often not sure whether I am coming or going! Thank you for your patience. I could use your prayers that I would finish strong. I can really feel the toll on my body from the heat and pace and with travel and sleeping in different beds that aren’t always the best, it’s admittedly hard. I’m still blessed beyond measure with all that has happened, and the way God has worked around the team as well as within the team. 

Baseball Camp

We finished up baseball camp here in Sisak. What a joy it was to hear all the laughter of the children and see the smiles across faces of the coaches and parents. We played our annual Baseball Olympics on the final day as we always do, and it was a huge success. It was a joy for me to watch Stefan take over the reins of running the event and he did a fantastic job. We separated the campers into two groups, so we had two Olympics going on at the same time and both went very well. You can see from the pictures that the campers enjoyed the entire experience. 

At the conclusion of the camp we gave each camper a t-shirt and explained what DNA was. The shirt is a thumb print with baseball stiches and the cross right in the middle and the slogan says, “It’s In My DNA.” 

Stefan then shared his testimony and explained the shirt. It is pretty cool to know that those shirts will be walking in cities across Ukraine, Kosovo and Croatia! Let’s see how God uses that to have people ask why! 

Football Camps

As you know we have a group of football coaches traveling through Serbia and Bosnia. The first football camp in Novi Sad was successful and had great participation. I don’t have a lot of details yet from the coaches but the pictures do share some of the story. We will have to get more details later from one or two of the coaches to share what all went on. 

Texas Carnival

The Texas Carnival was a huge success! A wonderful crowd from the city participated in the games, listened to the music, watched the dance and drama performances and heard the gospel of Jesus’s love through it all. We have been doing the Texas Carnival since 2010. The first year it was held on the old soccer field we used for a baseball field. We moved to the baseball field in 2011 when The NEST was completed. We were blessed to host the carnival there for next three years and then in 2015 the city came alongside us and asked us if we would consider moving it to the Riverwalk promenade so that the people of Sisak could enjoy it as well! You can imagine our response. But in our “yes” we told them we would be sharing the message of Jesus, sharing written material explaining the love of Jesus and that we would have Christian music and a message about the love of Jesus. They agreed and for the past 5 years the city has provided not only the park rent free, but also the booths, sound system and stage, and have only charged us for electricity. This year the mayor of Sisak was there to receive an award from the baseball club Sisak Storks so she and I were able to visit a little while on stage. 

The 2019 Texas Carnival marked our 5th year in the downtown river park. We were blessed this year by the addition of several local organizations: KAS, Sisak Storks and Line Dance Sisak. KAS is a local ministry organization that provided horse & pony rides free of charge. We collected donations for KAS to help them in their ministry here in Croatia. The Storks baseball club hosted a batting cage which was a great way to promote the club and gained some new interest in playing the game. And a local dance group called Line Dance Sisak performed a Texas Line Dance to kick off the carnival. What a blessing it was to walk alongside all these organizations and provide the fun through the games! The gospel was presented through a drama that our drama camp put together, and then Stefan shared his heart about how God brought him back to his home country to share Him with others. Overall, it was the most successful and best received Carnival we have ever done! With the doors that were opened through those who attended, we know God has even bigger plans for the future. An additional blessing for me this year was serving alongside 5 of my great nieces and nephew. They were such a joy! 

That’s enough for now, I have already taken up much of your time, but thank you for reading and blessing us through your prayers! Remember Jesus loves you and so do I!