Last Wednesday, our Slovakia team made our way to Prague to meet up with the other JV intern teams from all over Eastern Europe. It was so awesome to meet the other (16!) teams who share in the same vision of reaching the youth for Christ in their specific countries. Our team did have an advantage of having been together for a week prior, as almost all the other teams were coming off of their flights from the states and meeting one another for the first time.

After the teams had some time to meet each other, we were given a few minutes of directions and we were were off!  For the next two days we would be racing through the streets of Prague, Cesky Tesin (and some Polish village across the river from it) finding clues, sleeping on trains, forgoing showers, completing “roadblocks”, and trying to get ahead and stay ahead of as many other teams as possible as we made our way to our final destination-Malenovice.

There’s so much I could write about the Amazing Race, but I’ll try and be brief.

Prague is so unbelievably beautiful. Though I felt like I ran through every street and obscure ally in the city, I didn’t really get a chance to take it in as much as I would have liked…. Guess that means I’ll have to go back again in the future : )

The “roadblocks” during the amazing race popped up at various points and each team had to complete a task in order to move forward to the next clue. Some of my favorites were:

  • Eating  the most vile half tube of “sausage” and vomiting into a dumpster with my teammate, Hunter.
  • Giving away 6 liters of Kofola on the Charles’ Bridge in Prague.
  • Climbing innumerable stairs to the reach Stalin’s Statue.
  • Getting a “pedicure” at by fish at a Thai salon
  • Ordering Czech food at an underground pub… in Czech.
  • Finding a specific piece of Polish pottery… out of hundreds and hundreds of pieces in a little shop.
  • Answering question about JV’s history and misson in Prague’s Old Town Square

I wish I could give you all a better picture of how extensive this race was-the JV staff put so much time and effort into the planning to make it such a great experience. Out team definitely bonded and made a stack of memories we’ll take with us through the summer.

More to come on intern training at Malenovice in the next post : )

quick picture with on the Charles' Bridge in Prauge during the Amazing Race. L-R: Hunter, Melanie, Me, Miriam

 

here’s the “shorthand” of the last month.

may 1: moved into my new house. i love love love it. i’m sub-leasing for the summer and i’ll be living with 4 of my best friends when i return to the states.

may 11-18: family came to portland for a visit! grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, brad, steph, kate, ben, meg, kurt, megan & dave…quite the crew. so thankful for my family.

may 13: apparently i met the requirements to graduate from college : ) …so i now have a B.S. in Bible/Theology and Educational Ministries.  feels so good to be DONE.

may 21-22: went to Bend, OR to throw a brial shower for my best friend, monica. she is getting married july 3, so i will be out of the country, which is a bummer. still, it so was much fun to have one last weekend together to be ridiculous and celebrate such an exciting time in life for her. so blessed to call her my best friend!

may 24-25: traveling to slovakia. portland, oregon–washington d.c.–frankfurt–vienna, austria–zalina, slovakia. my body is still a bit thrown off by the 9 hour time difference, but it’s getting better.

may 26: getting to know my fellow interns and the other TCKompas staff. everyone i have met has been so kind and loving and has such a passion to see the youth of slovakia come to know Christ. so awesome!

may 27: in the morning the interns did promotions for our english camps at 2 different schools in zalina. about 20 classes 10 minutes each. for those of you who don’t know, i HATE public speaking (not to be confused with attention : ) but i had a total peace from the Holy Spirit when i was speaking in front of these classes.  i am certainly being stretched already, which i suppose is a good thing. in the afternoon, me and a former intern turned 2-year missionary, josh took the train from zalina to bratislava (about 3 hours south). we went to one of the “youth groups” here and talked and hung out with them for the night-so fun! my slovak is TERRIBLE, but they helped me with my pronunciations and taught me some essential phrases.

today we have some free time in the morning and then later we are going to be speaking at a youth group about the english camps. tomorrow josh and i are splitting up and going to 2 different churches in the city to share why we are here with Josiah Venture and to promote the camps as well.

i sincerely cannot believe that i have only been here 3 days. i am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for the rest of the summer. i know it will be very difficult at times, but i am praying for perseverance  in my pursuit of serving the Lord through those times.

please be praying for a few things:

1. ability to quickly build relationships with the slovak students we meet while inviting them to our english camps

2. continual humility, patience, gentleness and hearts of servanthood among the team.

3. communication. most people here speak fairly good english, but the slovak language is extremely difficult. i would love to be able to speak it better, or at least be able to sputter out some essential phrases.

also, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who supported me financially and is continuing to support me in prayer. i surpassed what i needed to raise & feel blessed beyond words.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph 3:20-21

hannah, erin, me, alicia and natalie.. my awesome house mates come fall!

david and me at cannon beach during my family's west coast visit : )

me and monica... she is the very best of all bests! love this girl so much!

pardon my strange face...me, hunter, melanie, josha and miriam. our awesome JV Slovakia summer intern team!

can’t begin to tell you how good it was to be home with family and old friends, even for just a few days.

i went home for my brother kurt’s wedding to the amazing megan forbes. the wedding was unreal. across the board it was just the best.  i am so stoked for them as they begin this new chapter in their journey together. love you guys!

it was great to be able to see kurt and megan’s friends that  i grew up with that i literally had not seen in 5-10 years. i kept hearing over and over again, “oh my gosh! i can’t believe you’re grown up! you’re not 10 anymore! i remember when you were little you would…”

but here’s the thing: sometimes i still feel like i am 10.i look at myself and think, “what the junk, how am i an adult?” (well, mostly).

it’s intimidating to think that the youth coming to our camp in slovakia will think of me as an “adult”.  i’m supposed to be the one who know what’s going on, has the answers, is able to give direction, and is the one setting a good example with my words and actions.

going home and talking with people who have known me for years helps to give me perspective on how much i have matured and grown, and am prepared to step into this role as an intern.  i am not the same as i was 10, 5, or even 1 year ago. i know that God is constantly at work, growing and transforming my heart as i choose to follow Him. that gives me hope.

thanks to everyone who have spoken words of encouragement and prayers over me. please continue to lift of prayers on my behalf as they are greatly needed.again, if you feel led to support me financially follow the link as the window to give is closing (11 days!) :  https://www.josiahventure.com/give/people/260

love, mindy.

hey, no one said adults cant be ridiculous from time to time. ...me and david lookin good at the reception.

kurt and megan : )

yesterday i got an email from our awesome intern coordinator here state-side, brenda, letting us know that they made it possible for josiah venture summer interns to get financial support through online giving. this is great news! normally, this is only done for full-time staff, but they are letting us do it. so thankful for this as it will greatly streamline the giving process for my trip.

if you have already financially contributed, THANK YOU! if you have not, i pray that you would strongly consider it. i am still in need of much financial support in order to make this trip a reality. if you feel led to give to my ministry in slovakia this summer, click here.

and no matter what category you fit into, please please please continue to be in PRAYER for me and the rest of the team before and during our time in slovakia. i have no doubts that the Lord is going to use our team to bring both new believers into the kingdom and glory to Himself. i also have no doubts that the enemy would love to stop this and discourage our team in the process. join me in prayer for this trip as we willfully declare our dependence on the Lord, and acknowledge that we can do nothing apart from Him.

thanks so much for all of the love, support, encouragement and prayers i have been getting from so many of you. i deeply appreciate it! : )

For two years, I served as a resident assistant for the women at Multnomah University.  Over the course of these two years, I had the opportunity to serve, grow, disciple, mentor, love, pray, be ridiculous and simply walk through life with 26 women.

What a privilege. What a responsibility.

These were two of the most formative years in my spiritual life as I was continually challenged and stretched beyond what I thought I was able. As rewarding as the job was, it wasn’t always easy playing the role of proxy in difficult relationships, fielding hard questions, listening to the pain of others, and sitting that hurt with them. One of the biggest lessons I learned from all of this is that you just can’t do it alone.

So often I want to be the pillar of strength for everyone around me. I never want to be seen as weak. And more than that, I hate asking for HELP.

But the fact is we weren’t designed to do it alone.

We are designed for community and relationship: With each other. With the Lord.

Please continue to pray for me as I prepare to head to Slovakia. Pray that the Lord would empower me through the Holy Spirit to walk through life with the students I will be serving, and that I would have the humility to be weak and ask for help when I need it.

and let the fact that being an R.A. was a ridiculously fun job as well not be lost. here’s some evidence:

pike's market in seattle during fall dorm section retreat (fall 2008)

"stages of life" themed dorm section christmas photo (fall 2008)

the girls were having a rough day, so i surprised them with a shaving cream fight : ) (spring 2009)

melissa, sarah, kaylah, and myself. these 3 girls stayed in my section for 2 years. this is at first all dorm meeting of the year (fall 2009)

sleepover with some of my girls. a little "father of the bride" and puppy chow never hurt anyone! (spring 2010)

 

she was the first person to tell me about josiah venture. she was the first person to tell me i could do it, and i should just go for it.

she lived a life of purpose and integrity. she lived a life of adventure and joy. she lived her life for Christ.

miss this beautiful girl so much.

laura kristine silva | 3.31.83-4.5.09

a few weeks ago my sister in law stephanie posted a prayer my three year old niece, kate, prayed:

“…this afternoon Kate prayed, ‘Dear God, I’m sorry I do bad things. I don’t want to do them anymore. Please forgive me. Thank you for Jesus. Please help me to do what you want me to. Amen.’ And then did the happiest little dance you’ve ever seen!…”

she gets it: REPENT|REJOICE

so thankful for this sweet, hilarious, loving little girl and the way the Lord is already at work in her life.

also, people tell us we look a lot alike. if that’s the case, this is what she has to look forward to. oh dear.

yesterday i had the opportunity to serve at the oregon food bank with some of the amazing women in my community group from my church, door of hope. our job for the morning was to help sort food into various boxes so it could be distributed to families in need. somehow during all of this we managed to fit a great deal of dancing in. it was so great to get out and SERVE, and serve JOYFULLY.

it’s easy to put a hyper-emphasis on ourselves; to become so focused on survival and holding each other together that we neglect the imperative to look for others outside of our holy huddle who need help.  i am so thankful for the innumerable blessings the LORD has given me, and i pray that i would consistently seize the opportunities i’m given to be a humble servant for Christ.

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:1-4

our group of lovely ladies at the food bank.

me and laura at tin shed after the food book.

Greetings from the beautiful northwest! I am excited to share about an awesome opportunity I have to serve in Slovakia as a summer intern with Josiah Venture.  Over the course of my two and a half months there, we will be partnering with national churches and youth leaders as well as other interns from across America to help lead evangelistic camps. The majority of the students we will be working with are the first generation to grow up in an era of freedom, post-communism. Along with many new opportunities their parents never had, they have received many new influences—but they know virtually nothing about having a personal relationship with God. Training Center Kompas, the camp where I will be interning, has a vision to be a part of the movement of God among the youth of Slovakia that finds it home in the local church and transforms society by God’s grace.

Doing missions in Eastern Europe is something that I have been considering for the last few years, but not moved forward with because I have let fear of man issues hold me back. Through the course of the last year, the Lord has been teaching me much about learning to “FEAR NOT”, with the words of Isaiah resounding loudly in my ears, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV). While it is not always easy, I am learning to continually choose to trust the Lord and walk His peace (Jn 14:27). And as my pastor always said, “it will cost you more to miss the will of God than to find it.”

As I continue my journey, I’m asking people to consider being a part of my prayer team that would intercede for me as I prepare for the trip and serve in Slovakia. I truly believe that prayer will be my greatest ally in this ministry.  I’m asking each prayer team member to commit to praying for me consistently and would appreciate you considering this strategic ministry on my behalf.

I also need to develop a team to assist with the costs of this mission trip, which is approximately $4,600 that needs to be raised by May 1st.  As I was officially accepted only two weeks ago, my window to raise this support is limited. While I struggle with asking for help, I don’t want to approach this summer internship solely in my own effort, and having you assist me in the area of finances is a way for you to help me attain that goal. Any financial donation you contribute is tax-deductible. If you feel God is leading you to be a part of this ministry with me, you can use the enclosed envelope and response slip. Thank you for considering being a part of this opportunity.

If you have any questions, please feel free call or email me: (309) 830.2844/ mindykaterawlins@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Grace and peace,

mindy kate

hey all! i created this blog to help keep all of my lovely friends, family and supporters up to date on my journey to slovakia with josiah venture. as the time gets closer, i will be writing more frequently, so be sure to check back. now go win the day.