Monday, July 26, 2010

New Video Up!

Watch our Camp Rules video that we made for the campers upon their arrival! It's funny!

Younglife/Fishnet Senior Camp Rules Video from melissa mills on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Home...

I have to admit to you how strange it is to actually be looking out my window in South Pasadena. I tried to drive a car today and it was weird. I tried to talk to a few friends, even more weird. Not having pork for every meal will also be weird.

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!

Melissa Mills
July 13, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Camp is over, We're in Prague

After a tearful goodbye with our campers (literally 57 kids crying and waving goodbye to us at the train station), we have made it to our hostel in Prague. We're all a little exhausted (especially after the dance party last night that went till 2AM), and the crazy camp schedule which kept us busy for two weeks straight. We're hanging out in the hostel now and it's actually really nice. I have approximately 7 or 8 hours of footage to go through when I get back, so I'll be able to relive the camp experience over and over. I hope to share this experience with the rest of the team, too. Our team is debriefing a little bit while in Prague and trying to enjoy the short time we have here. Tonight we're walking around the center of the city and possibly going to see Twilight with CZ subtitles. We have a lot of pictures and videos and hopefully we'll be able to update them tomorrow or tonight with the quick internet connection we now have.

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!

Melissa Mills
July 10, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

First (and probably only) post from CZ!!!

Hey Everyone! I want to start off by saying that we are all thoroughly loving our experience in the Czech Republic. We are at a camp in a beautiful valley in the middle of the forest near the town of Tisnov in the southern region of the country. Our travels were long and arduous, three flights, two trains, and a total of nearly 36 hours! There were no major hiccups and we are almost over our jet lag.
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.

Keep praying!

Melissa Mills and Chris Garcia
5:09 PM -Czech time, July 6, 2010