Tuesday, May 31, 2016

YWAM Central Europe Family Gathering

Every other year, we have a staff gathering for the YWAM staff in the Central European area, which is made up of 16 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Slovakia. There are about 240 staff working in 14 of these countries and we always have a lot of fun coming together to be encouraged, network, exchange experiences and have a good time as a YWAM family.

For the third time we were in Vajta, Hungary at the Calvary Chapel Conference Centre and it is such a wonderful place:
As before, I was involved in the organising behind the scenes and now as well involved up front leadership, being part of the leadership team for this area. Unfortunately my car broke down on the way there, so instead of arriving a day early to help with set-up, I actually was late even for registration, but the team of people we had in place did a wonderful job without me... The below photo is me doing the announcements. (The caption I put on Facebook for this photo is "telling 240 people where to go and what to do #dreamjob")
We were privileged to have YWAM's founders, Loren and Darlene Cunningham as our keynote speakers. Even at 80 and 77, they are going strong! We really enjoyed hearing some of their experiences leading YWAM for 56 years and they really had something for everyone from Loren's visionary ideas to Darlene's practical "how to stay healthy" message.

I was also privileged to be able to help take them back to the airport to fly out and get to chat to them on a more informal basis. What encouragers they are!

We also had some fun things happen at the conference: like hearing about many new initiatives: including  one where dreams that have been in place for over 10 years are coming true for our friends in Croatia - they bought a boat to use for ministry there!
It was an all ages conference with almost 60 children attending. Here we have the children even praying for the different nations represented. We had great teams doing children's programs and all of the children had a wonderful time!
After such a great gathering, it was really hard to say goodbye to so many quality people from all over our region - so it isn't goodbye, but until we meet again :)

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Book Club posters...and a little lesson learnt

A couple of weeks ago instead of doing a "complicated" worksheet about the books that they read, we just drew pretty pictures about the books in lovely frames... and the best ones got to go on the poster to show what we do at Book Club:
In the end, I made two - one for the Home and one for the Library. It says "Readers Club of Children's Home "Rada Vranjesevic" and "This project wouldn't be possible without the support of the Children's Library in Borik and all our wonderful volunteers. Thank-you so much!"
See if you can see the two "Ugly Ducklings" and one on "Stories about flying". You can't tell, but there are also 3 "To die from laughing" joke books, which are actually their favourite - there is a whole series of 10 or 11 of them, and they are all very popular with our book club kids... anything that will get them actually reading is fine by me :)

Tonight, at the Book Club at the Home, I was doing my normal keeping the peace routine with the troublemakers... and one of the students who is actually studying pedagogy told me she had learnt something very important from me: I took one of the boys making trouble aside and instead of just haranguing him and telling him to sit down and be good, I simply asked him how he enjoyed spending Easter with his family. (I was actually interested to see how it was, as he and his siblings hadn't been home in a while). And then when we had finished chatting, I told him, OK, now it is time to sit down and do some work. And he did!

She said that she had expected me to get into him right away, but saw how taking the time out with him made him calm down (my other technique is hugging, which is a BIG success...) and giving him the attention he needed gave him the impetus to then actually get back to work. I might not have studied pedagogy and child psychology, but I do pray a lot, and my wisdom to deal with troubled kids, definitely comes from above! I might not always get it right (and frankly, sometimes you do just have to SHOUT in order for them to hear you), but it is nice to know that I can be a good example even for the volunteers... 
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