Thursday, January 24, 2008

Praise God for Kickers!!

Sharon and I just got back from vacation to Rome. It was amazing to get away with my wife, to rest, and to think. The funny thing, is that we weren't planning a vacation this year but our Crusade mentors encouraged us to take one when they came to visit us at the end of November. So we started thinking and both agreed that Rome would be the highest on our list of places to go in Europe. We found some great tickets on a low fair airline and decided to get away. We were planning on using money from our savings back home to finance the endeavor but then got word of how much our kicker check from last year's taxes was and realized the cost would be much more affordable. So we had a great time thanks to the great state of Oregon; that is for taking too much taxes and giving some back!

Some highlights were obviously the food, history, and art. I personally loved visiting the Vatican and especially the Sistine Chapel. Sharon was quite fond of the Colosseum. We both however are not fond of sleeping in the Frankfurt Hahn airport, but it was an experience.

We took a lot of shots we took along the way. Click on the photo below to see a few.

Rome if you want to

Saturday, January 12, 2008

B dayz

This last week was also a week of birthdays for our team. Jason's was on Monday and Tiana's on Thursday. For Jason's big day we went bowling, got some pizza, and then took our vintage sweet car (84 civic) to a parking lot where we could "play" in the snow and ice. We took turns driving and drifting as we raced and slid around the old parking lot. It was fun.

For Tiana's big day we met for pizza with our team and some of Tiana'a Lithuanian friends and then had some tasty chocolate cake at the girls place. In all is was a very celebratory week.

Glad we got such a cool team!!!

Baltic Staff Conference

We had the Baltic Staff Conference last week (2nd-7th). It is a conference for all the Agape staff in the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) to come together to be encouraged and renewed spiritually. Each year a different country is in charge of hosting and planning the conference and this year was Lithuania's turn. It was a great conference and Sharon and I got to be a part of the planning and production of the conference. Sharon helped to co-lead planning and I was the MC. Also, both of us got to teach workshops. Sharon taught on how to use life coaching strategies in evangelism and a workshop on discipleship. I got to teach on the power of using a Bible read through for discipleship. In all we had a great time meeting the other amazing and really fun people who have given their lives to ministering here in the Baltics.


So if you were wondering why we have been spotty at best when it comes to email and blog posts lately, here is why.

About 4 weeks ago I noticed that the cord on my computer charger was looking weird. It was disfigured and when I touched it I noticed that it was extremely hot. Then it started malfunctioning and would not charge our computer. Over the last few weeks it has barely held on and continued to melt and get quite ugly. After many phone calls to Apple and some miscommunications, they have agreed to send a new charger to one of our bosses who is coming to visit us at a conference in Spain at the end of January. So if you emailed and it took awhile for us to respond, we're sorry. But soon we will be up and running again.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


On December 18 Jason, Tiana, and Sharon had to make a run for the border of Poland to get a stamp in their passport when their residence permit ran out. Well the time came for Kellie and I to do the same on the 28th. BUT on the 21st, Lithuania enter into the Schengen area of Europe. This means that they no longer have border crossings to other Schengen countries, which includes Poland to the south and Latvia to the north. So Kellie and I went to immigration to see what we had to do. They told us we needed a stamp, so we should fly to a non Schengen country like Switzerland. This was a bit of a shock to us so we called the US Embassy and the Lithuanian Foreign Affairs to see if there were other options. We figured out that we could get a stamp in the airport because there were still immigration checkpoints in the airports. So as we figured this out I called Jason and told him to find the cheapest airline ticket he could that left that day and came back the next day. He found a great deal flying to Tallinn, Estonia for 140 dollars round trip! So before I bought the tickets, I called Kellie and told her the plans to leave in 3 hours for the airport. I asked if her mom, who was visiting, would like to come too. NOT only did Kitty decided she wanted to go along for the adventure but she also offered to pay for Sharon to go too!!! So the four of us hopped on a plane that evening and flew an hour to Estonia. We got in at 8:30 pm where we proceeded to eat a fun dinner and go to bed. Then we caught our flight back the next morning at 8:30. It was quite an adventure. I have to give a big THANKS to Kitty Brotnov!