Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The first of our "lasts"...

We decided last summer that in May of 2015 we would move to a different city in Slovakia, as both Ed and I felt that God was leading us on to a different ministry focus in a different city. Our plans are to move to Banska Bystrica, a city more in the center of the country, in May, right before we head to the states for the whole summer. And since May is coming right up at the end of this week, our time in Bardejov is quickly coming to an end. We have been living here in this town for 5 years and 4 months, so this departure was not an easy decision. While we are looking forward to the opportunities we will have in Banska, we are sad to leave so many friends and familiarities here.

One of our first lasts has already happened, as we just had our last couples' small group, finishing up with a grill-out party. Ed and I have been leading this small group for dating couples for the past 3 years, challenging them to grow deeper in their love for their Savior as they grow in their relationship with each other. Our goal has been to teach them how the power and work of Jesus Christ can make all the difference in a relationship. We have been able to share a lot of what the Lord has taught us so far in our marriage about growing in humility, unselfishness, concern and love for each other. This area of ministry has been good for Ed and I as it is one that we can do together, and we have loved the opportunity to help other couples learn from God's Word how to have Godly and growing relationships as these couples head toward marriage. Our desire is that these couples will not only have growing Godly relationships, but that they, in turn, will begin to disciple other couples and to teach these new pairs what the Lord has been teaching them. 

Over the past three years, the members of the group have varied, as 3 couples got married and moved on to their own ministries and small groups, and other couples were added. The couple on the far left (holding the stuffed snake) in the group photo below has actually been in the group since the beginning, and it is their wedding we will be returning early from the states to go to. We are excited with them as they begin their new life together, after 3 years of learning and growing in this small group!

Months in Review continued...

           The rest of March

This "kingdom" display welcomed the
youth-workers as they entered the conference 
In the middle of March came our annual TCKompas Youth Workers Conference called KPM. This year's theme was "The Upside-Down Kingdom". Dave Patty, our Josiah Venture president, was the main speaker at this year's conference. He taught on the 7 keys to living in God's upside-down kingdom and how to live according to God's plan, even when it doesn't make sense in this present-day world. This conference was a huge encouragement and brought great insight and discipleship to the over 700 Slovak youth leaders who attended. Our JV Slovakia team works diligently and faithfully to bring this conference to these youth workers each year. 

Dave Patty teaching about
God's Upside-Down Kingdom

KPM 2015

And then, at the end of March, I (Wendi) was able to participate in our TCKompas (JV Slovakia) Ladies' Retreat. Our TCKompas team includes 17 women who work together to carry-out the ministry of Josiah Venture in Slovakia. Most of the time the ministries are planned and implemented by the whole team of both men of women, both Slovaks and Americans. But this time just the women met, to have a time of rest and relaxation, to come together in worship and fellowship, and to bond our team of women. We spent 3 days together in a cabin in the mountains, laughing, playing games, eating, drinking coffee, praying, worshiping our Savior, learning together how our Lord wants us to rest in Him in all areas of our busy lives, and enjoying times of good conversation and friendships. Some of us spent an afternoon swimming in the local thermal pools, while the rest enjoyed an adventurous horse-back ride in the snow! I am quite thankful for all of these women on our team, and loved the opportunity that God gave me to enjoy this retreat with them!

Here we are, enjoying the unexpected snow in the mountains

Sharing in a time of teaching from the Word
about the rest in Him that God desires us to enjoy

Yes, we enjoyed our food, our coffee
and relaxing by the fireplace!
And the few brave ones who
embarked on the snowy trail ride

What a beautiful place to rejuvenate and
bond together with the team of women that
God has formed in Slovakia!

Months in Review

Yes, we are still here living in Bardejov, we've just been out of the blogging world lately! We would like to give you just a few highlights of our past few months…actually starting back in December and coming up to the present time…briefly


Our annual TCKompas December staff meetings and
Christmas party at our home in Bardejov. We really
love hosting this meeting and party every year!

And, of course, the infamous "Gift Grab Game"…
it gets more and more strategic and fun every year!


New Year's Eve was spent at our house with our dear
friends, the Millers, who are serving with JV in Poland.

And then, in February, I was able to travel by myself to Florida, so that I could celebrate my Dad's 70th birthday along with my parents and my two sisters! We were once again the original 5, and we enjoyed such sweet times of laughing over fun memories, crying together over those memories that were touching, and having such a wonderful time making more sweet memories together! It was such a blessed time, and I was thrilled to be able to make the trip. And a huge thank you to the 3 dads who willingly parented alone during these days so that we sisters could be together again with our parents!


Happy 70th Birthday, Dad! It was SUCH a blessing
to be able to spend it with both of you!!

Such sweet memories we made, spending
Dad's birthday weekend at Walt Disney World!!

And one last lunch together before we went our
separate ways again. Lori's kids were the only two
that got to enjoy the "aunt action", much to the jealousy
of the other 9 grandkids, who were not able to come
on THIS trip to Florida! Next time, kiddos...

When I was away, Ed's parents flew to Bardejov to spend some time with us! They were here for 10 days, (I was back here with them for the last 5) and we so enjoyed our time with them. We were incredibly blessed to have them here with us, especially because Ed's mom has been dealing with significant health issues related to her diabetes, and the trip was not an easy one for her. Their time here with us was such an encouragement to our family! We are quite thankful to the Lord for His provisions in bringing them here, and to them for making the trip to us, even in the middle of this health trouble.


Grandpa and Grandma Rumbold are always a
huge blessing to these 5 Rumbold kids!!

Enjoying time relaxing in our home. Ed is
showing you which ones are his parents! :-)

They even bought us a puzzle, which brought good
times of relaxation and conversation around the table.

Gage and Grandma playing Monopoly Deal

The kids forgot that Grandma knew
how to play the piano…we showed them!

The piano duet in action

Showing Grandma and Grandpa some artwork

Putting in the last few pieces to
complete the puzzle with Grandma

"Girl talk" with Grandma - one of
Jaylin's favorite things to do!

And that brings us up to the middle of March, which has been so busy in itself, that I will continue it in the next blog post…more to come...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mom and Dad here again!!

Wendi's parents (Jim and Kathy Heiniger) blessed us with their third visit to Slovakia since the time we moved here in 2010. Their first two trips were during the summers of 2010 and 2011, when their time with us included being/working together at a week of English camps. This time they came during the fall, when we weren't in the middle of our crazy summer schedule. Where we loved having them at camps with us those two summers, this trip was a nice change, because we were able to spend more time together in our normal daily life, where they were able to see our world over here as it normally is 3/4 of the year.

One first for us this visit with them, was that we were able to have every morning together as just adults, while the kids were at school. This time with us four (or three when Ed had to work), was an incredibly sweet time of conversation, connection, and laughter. I personally (Wendi) treasured up these times with my parents, appreciating these times for their fellowship and depth and truth. We went to a coffee shop almost every morning during the first week, and then came home to be ready for the troops to return home from school...because once they were home, our quiet times of conversation were lost! :-)  All kids came straight home to see what Grandpa and Grandma were doing, and were always ready for some time with them.  Grandpa and Grandma kept plenty busy these afternoons: going to watch the kids in their extra-curricular events, playing games at home with the kids, reading with them, teaching them how to knit, doing magic shows for them, OR heading up to the town square for our (almost) daily afternoon ice cream treat! I love watching my kids interact with my parents! There is such mutual love among them all, and sweet relationships are continuing to grow! We are so grateful for this.

A really fun thing that happened this trip, was that my Dad was asked by our kids if he would be willing to come into their classes to do a magic show for their friends. Dad was willing, so Ed talked to the teachers and on a Wednesday, it was arranged for Dad to do two shows, one to Jayce and Tate's class of 7th graders, and the other to Jayin's and Gage's classes of 4th and 3rd graders. My Dad, as an amateur magician, knows many tricks, always learning new ones, and many of these tricks have the Gospel message tied in, where he uses the tricks as illustrations of Biblical truths. So, he planned his routine for these two performances, and included some of his tricks that clearly give the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ed had previously told the teachers about these tricks, asking them if it would be ok that he shares this message in these classes. All teachers agreed! It was a really fun morning, and all four of our kids took turns translating Dad's words into Slovak, so their classmates could understand. The classes all loved this, and listened well. An article was even written on the school website about "The Magician who came to school".

All-in-all, these two weeks with Dad and Mom (Grandpa and Grandma) just FLEW by, as we knew they would, but left us with amazing and unforgettable memories of time spent with them. So, thanks, Dad and Mom, for your travels to us, for all you brought in your loaded-down luggage (loaded down with gifts and treasures for us, of course, including three 2-liters of Root Beer!!!), for the time you invested into our lives, both into Ed's and mine, and into our kids'! We grew spiritually because of our time with you, and we grew deeper in our love for you also! :-) We are blessed by the way that you genuinely show your love to us seven Rumbolds! THANK YOU!!