Monday, 23 May 2016

Spring Conference

May 4th-8th was JV's Spring Conference! This is our conference for our second culture staff, those who serve God outside of their first culture. We also call this family conference - as it's for our families! There are a lot of wonderful JV kids and they even have their own programme at conference.

The theme for this year was Milk and Honey and how not to get lost on the way to the Promised Land. We talked about all the different ways the Israelites got lost on the way to the Promised Land and how we can face the same things.

Our topics were: self doubt, windy paths and dead ends, grumbling and complaining, bad attitudes towards leadership, faith failure, and forgetting the Lord. Can you spot the road signs designed for each one of these topics?

This was my favourite Spring Conference so far, and it was just so good to sit under such good teaching throughout the week. I was really challenged about putting my faith in God, and only in Him, and that He is a good, good Father who has good things for us!

And, of course, the other great thing about this conference is these people - dear friends, family, who are serving God across these nations. 

This year we said a lot of goodbyes - to dear ones who have faithfully served here and who are faithfully following where God is leading them next. We have missionaries who are leaving after serving their two year commitment, and ones leaving after five years, fifteen years, and even twenty years! It was sad but also good - we spent time sharing stories and thanking them for their faithfulness. And it's exciting to think how God will use them next!

Once again, I am so thankful to serve with an organisation that so beautifully cares for its staff, and that we feel like a family serving together and joining what God is up to in these nations!

Monday, 2 May 2016


Fusion is one of the ministries of JV that uses music to reach young people in central and eastern Europe! These young people meet weekly to practice and then perform in pop/rock choirs. And at those weekly meetings there is a devotion where young people are hearing about God.

Each of these choirs is based in a local church to reach their town or city's young people. Currently we have Fusions in Czech, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, and Estonia, and we've a couple of countries lined up to launch this ministry soon!

And at the end of April we hosted, in the little town where our JV office is located, and near the hotel and conference centre we own in Czech, an international Fusion festival called Fusiondary! So the town was joyfully invaded by 650 people for a weekend!

Each choir performed on stage and it was fun to see young people who are sometimes shy and reserved become rockstars on stage! On the Saturday we even took over the town square, and had a welcome by the town mayor, with a festival - complete with choir performances, and a stall organised by each Fusion.

The stalls were to highlight some of that places culture - so we even had Slovene dancing!

During the weekend I had the opportunity to lead two workshops on support raising - which was an absolute joy! I really enjoyed sharing with people about this topic, and encouraging them as they seek to support raise for the ministry God has called them to.

It was a great joy to see these young people perform, and give an opportunity to do that in front of a big crowd. But that was not the sole purpose of this event - the Gospel was clearly preached throughout the weekend, and people were clearly challenged to respond. 

And the beauty of this ministry is that these young people, over half of whom are not believers, have heard this before and will continue to hear it through those devotion times and their relationships with those who serve in this ministry.

It's exciting to think of the fruit that can come from an event like this!