Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Personally, I'm having a hard time readjusting to life here in Southern California and it hasn't even been 24 hours. I was supposed to go to work today but I wasn't really able to because all I could think about was camp and the kids and what God did there. It was such an intense two weeks, especially for the media team as we were working hard to get ready for Klub and to make all of our deadlines for videos. Simultaneously, we got to experience the campers and what it is they were going through as well.
With such demands put on all of us on the American team to be "ON' at all times, it was difficult to have time to process and to reflect on what exactly we were going through. For me, it hit me as soon as I was alone with my boyfriend. All I could do was cry. Cry for all the intense emotions I felt. Cry for joy at the steps the kids took toward Jesus. Cry that I finally got to live my dream out and be on a mission trip. Cry for the fact that I was able to bring the cameras and equipment back in one piece. Cry that my time with 17 people I used to see at church who are now more like family is over.
While one portion of the journey for me complete, another is just beginning. After processing these feelings, I have to get down to business and find an editor to start editing all of the footage I have for the documentary. Al and Stacy Anderson, our friends and kingdom leaders in the Czech Republic, will be coming to visit California in September. I hope to have something done for them by then. It will likely be a rough cut. In the meantime, keep checking the blog to see the videos we worked on and some little blooper reels I'll be putting together. Thanks for reading!
July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
We're safe, a little sad, and excited to see the city. We made some lasting and amazing connections with some of the kids. Some of their lives truly changed, thanks to God! He really used us. Can't wait to tell you the stories!
July 10, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We had two days to prepare and bond with the Czech YoungLife team that is doing a fantastic job running the camp operations. (not to mention what God is doing thru them throughout the year in Ostrava) We even have two staff on summer assignment from Singapore and a volunteer from Texas. Team unity is excellent and we are enjoying getting to know them and learning from them.
Campers arrived on Friday and we greeted them in wacky outfits and much excitement as they got off the bus. Our daily routine has been kind of like this: start off with a team-wide prayer meeting, breakfast, morn. English class, workshops, lunch, afternoon English class, big camp game, free time, dinner, Klub, 2nd dinner/cabin time, and then lights out. We have already made great connections with the kids and have begun to form some incredible relationships. The kids are loving the English classes and we have been told we are some of the best "non-English teacher" English teachers that Fishnet/Younglife CZ has ever worked with. We are also leading workshops in film-making, softball, cheerleading, and ultimate frisbee and those are turning out great as well. The film team is capturing all of this for not only our documentary, but also for a promotional video we have been asked to make for YoungLife Europe.
Quickly, for those not familiar with YoungLife, let me explain Klub (Club in Eng). Klub is a fun-filled time where we sing/dance to pop songs, play wacky games, and get to hear from our camp speaker, Jim. Jim is speaking to the kids through an interpreter (Luci, the camp program director). He is very methodical in how he is building up to sharing the gospel with these kids, and after hearing from the Czech leaders who work with these kids on a regular basis I know why...there are strongly held opinions held by many of the Czech students that the Bible and its contents are not accurate and Jesus was not the Son of God. Please pray that Jim will continue to slowly break down this barrier and that they will began to question their scientific, agnostic worldview. After Klub, they meet in their cabins and their Czech cabin leader leads a discussion about what Jim said. Some of us may have to opportunity to participate in this cabin time in the next few days and possibly share our testimony with the students. Please add this to our list of prayer requests.
Speaking of prayer requests, please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to fill this camp and to touch the students. There is also some spiritual warfare in the form of distractions during Jim's Klub talk. Also pray that we continue to build the relationships with the kids and that we may have an opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with them in the next four days. Another barrier we are coming across is that the kids fear that Christianity will divide them from their families, who strongly agnostic. Lastly, pray for physical, mental and spiritual strength for both our team and the other leaders as we finish out the week. Some of us are getting sore throats and bad allergies to bug bites and to the pollen. Today it's rainy, so that might exacerbate the situation.
I wish I could upload some video or pictures, but the internet connection I am transmitting from is incredibly slow. The film team promises many pictures and videos when we return!
Thank you so much for your prayer and support. God truly is working here and we are excited to be a part of it! Our nightly prayer times with our American team have been growing us all so close. We are constantly praying together for these kids and hoping God will use us in his plan to reach this region of the world. The Czech kids are so unique. They are respectful and kind and they are learning how to share their opinions with us. The trust being built is amazing. After a couple of days they are giving us tastes of their ice cream cones, asking to have dinner with us, and trusting us with the details of their lives. We are doing the same with them and it's an awesome experience.
Melissa Mills and Chris Garcia
5:09 PM -Czech time, July 6, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
"We are wanting your team to create a funny video explaining the rules of camp. Once I get the list of rules I will send them to you. But, I would like you to ask your film team to start thinking of ideas….characters, scenes, lines that rhyme. We will have 2 days before camp to film. Some rules off the top of my head are – no drinking alcohol, stay in camp boundaries, no boys in girl cabins (visa versa), respect everyone, throw away garbage…. "
WHOO HOO! Guess we're getting to work as soon as we get there!
-June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
June 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
You have to take the flier with you when you go to Panda or else we won't get no monies from the purchase. If you need a flier, let me know! I'll email it to you once we have one.
Also, I'll see if I can scan the flier and get it onto Facebook so that people could also print it out themselves and go. Would really appreciate everyone's support on this. Thanks and Blessings to All!
The Support Raising Committee
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Well the Rummage Sale was a success! We made some money, learned how to do it for next time, and are still working hard to finish our fund-raising efforts well! You might be wondering what this picture is. It's actually a picture of some of the kids we'll be teaching in the Czech republic. They look like fun kids and how cute is that dog?!
We're working on getting equipment, storyboarding, and working on the general story of what it is we're trying to tell. Also, please pray for us as all of us are about to plunge into learning how to use cameras, sound equipment, etc. We have a huge learning curve ahead of us before we go! Thanks for all of your support thus far, readers!
-May 11, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Jennifer mentioned that the kids that we're going to be meeting in the Czech Republic are infatuated with Americans and especially Californians! That's really exciting for us because we're going to have such an opportunity to relate with them since we live here in LA. Right now, we're in the process of filming a really short piece about life in Los Angeles that will eventually be shown on one of the nights of the Younglife camp in the Czech. (www.younglife.cz)
I'm really excited because this will be the first test run of our crew and we'll see how quickly I can learn to use iMovie. My old laptop completely died and I had a decision to make: Go Mac or buy a crappy refurbished PC that would probably only last me a year or two. So after much hemming and hawing and asking everyone and their mom about what I should do, I got the Macbook. I didn't go Pro, because it was WAY too expensive. But I must say, I love the Mac. Ah but I digress. All that to say, now that I have a Mac, I have IMovie, which is GREAT! Now we can better edit since JEnnifer also has a Mac! Whoo!
All that to say, the film team is shooting this Saturday morning. I'm quite excited about it! We'll see how it all goes...
April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Quick facts about me: Native Angeleno, Jewish Believer (My great-grandpa was a business partner of Canter), high school teacher, semi-tri-lingual (I can understand more than I can speak of Spanish and French), kind of grew up in church, Army vet, pet owner, scooter rider, hiker, traveler, lover of God and all things good.
I have been on quite a few mission trips to an orphanage in Mexico. This will be my first to a country overseas. Quite honestly I checked it out because I have the summers free, the cost was relatively inexpensive, and just my presence will allow more students to participate in the program.Since my application was accepted and I’ve met with my teammates my enthusiasm has grow. I'm really excited to get to know better my teammates, the young people in the Czech Republic, and the group of people that are living and serving the people of this city
Another neat thing is that I am getting to document the trip through photography, film and writing. These are all things that interest me and I am excited to use these gifts, grow in them, and share them with some of the young people in Czech.
I have heard that the students in the Czech Republic are interested in Hollywood. Given that I have taught a History of Film class, worked at a premiere entertainment agency, and a restaurant frequented by celebrities I will be able to name drop for the Lord = ]
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
According to Al, one of the big reasons kids come to camp is to meet "the Americans, especially ones from California." He writes, "there is still a desire to meet and know Americans here, so your team plays a big role just by showing up." Wow, I suddenly feel humbled hearing that. Who am I? Just because I was born in America and happen to live in California, a bunch of kids want to meet me? Really? That's cool, because I'm looking forward to meeting them too. I wonder, how can we have that attitude towards them? I don't want to walk in there all prideful, thinking I know it all because I'm an American. Hundreds of years of colonialism has to have taught us something...we aren't just these awesome amazing people walking in to help kids who don't know English and make their lives better. We do have a message we want to bring. We have hope we want to share. But that does not make us better. It makes us grateful. We need to go with humble hearts and minds, open to LEARNING from these kids. Who knows what they will teach us...
March 29, 2010