Praise and Prayer Requests:
Christian International School of Prague:
1. We continue to work on the process of US accreditation through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). This involves lots of paperwork, committees and time. We are scheduled for our onsite review during the spring of 2012. We ask that you pray for our staff, school board and families as additional hours and energy are spent on this needed process.
We are also seeking recognition from the Ministry of Education for the Czech Republic. Our original application, two years ago, was denied for reasons not given. We are still seeking the guidance from the government on what requirements we need to fulfill to meet their expectations. It is a difficult road, one filled with contradicting information and many unknowns. This is important for our Czech families and those families who have long-term visas. Those families must attend a school recognized by the Ministry of Education and at the moment they are attending in violation of the law. Please pray that we will find favor with the government and obtain our recognition through them.
2. There has also been great difficulty in obtaining or visas to live and work in the Czech Republic. The government went through massive changes in January of this year and one of those changes involves what department now handles visa applications. The change has wreaked havoc with many of us who are living here on temporary visas. Our 2nd grade teacher’s visa was denied (again for reasons not sufficiently explained) and she had to return to the US and start the process over. So please pray for Janna L. as she spends the next few weeks or months in the states going through the whole visa process. Our music teacher is also awaiting the word on her visa application and had to leave the country until the process was completed. She has not heard anything for several months and is awaiting word in Romania on when she can return to Prague. So please pray for Rachel G. and a speedy return to CISP. Our first grade teacher has been experiencing unbearable back pain and has had to leave the classroom and has been hospitalized for several weeks. Her name is Simona (she is Czech and has been a great asset to our staff) and we desperately miss her and the others listed above. As with most international Christian schools we were short-handed when the year began. Needless to say, this has put a great strain our current staff and the amount of work and hours committed to serving our special group of students. Pray for healing for Simona and perseverance and encouragement for our staff as this has been an exceptionally hard semester on us. Many of us are frazzled and near burn out and definitely need a prayer army to battle the desires of the enemy as he has time after time attacked our school, staff and students.
3. As I said earlier, we are always in need of dedicated Christian teachers to serve at CISP. We ask for a two-year commitment from all prospective teachers and believe me when I tell you that you will be blessed far beyond any expectations. I would certainly love to talk to you about teaching at CISP next year and for many years to come. Please contact me at email@example.com and I will be happy to answer any questions and give you an idea of what it means to work with TCKs (Third Culture Kids). We are in particular need of elementary teachers and NILD educational therapists. I don’t have enough room to go into how the NILD program has blessed so many students and families, but suffice it to say that the NLD program has a VERY long waiting list for students to get into it. It is so important to us that we are willing to pay someone to go through the program if they will commit to work at CISP for a couple of years. To learn more about the NILD program contact me or follow this link http://www.nild.net/. Please prayerfully consider being a part of CISP or passing along the information to a Christian educator looking to change the world one student at a time. We are thankful that we do have several raising support now and plan to join us next fall. We look forward to meeting our new teachers and seeing the Lord use them in a unique and special way.
4. We do work with some of the greatest kids in the world, literally. We have 97 students from 24 countries and everyday is different than the day before. With such diversity and change we deal with many issues that some students who have been born and raised in the same town or even the same country will never have to deal with. Our kids grow up away from their families in a country that does not feel like home, they may not speak the language and seldom fit in to most social circles. Many of them have the additional pressure of being missionary kids and that adds a whole new level of expectations. We have dealt with eating disorders over the past two years, students who are cutting and students dealing with severe depression and isolation. Please pray for our staff as we help our kids deal with hard, real life issues and making good choices.
5. I may sound like a broken record, but we need our own building! We have completely outgrown our current location. We have converted two basement storage closets into classrooms, we have rented to additional apartments to have classes and we still are short on space. I teach in a classroom that doubles as our lunchroom and the cafeteria staff laundry room. Several classes I have battled speaking over the washing machine or dodging drying towels and aprons hanging from a rope pulled across the room, quite an experience. We already have two classes full for next year and it looks like we will be turning away more families as we are out of space. Please pray for a building of our own so that we may be a radiating center of the gospel in a region that is crying out to find truth and hope.
Upward Sports – Czech Republic:
1. We just completed our second season of Upward Sports basketball and had an incredible year. We had around 70 participants and many volunteers that made it all happen. Thanks to many of you who supported the league with financial help and prayers. We were overwhelmed and now truly understand the need of something like Upward Sports here in the Czech Republic. We see unlimited growth potential and an opportunity for hundreds, if not thousands to hear and see the gospel lived out. We are truly looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and plans are already underway to make it a bigger and better season. Please pray for continued financial support for Upward Sports and dedicated volunteers to help again this year
2. Unfortunately we are not able to hold our annual basketball camp this summer due to a variety of reasons. Several of the groups who had shown interest in coming to Prague and running the camp were unable to come this year, primarily due to financial reasons. We are also very dependent on the groups coming over to bring the necessary supplies for the camp and the upcoming league. It is much cheaper to pay for additional luggage than to have all the equipment mailed over. Please pray for a group willing to come next year and be salt and light to the kids of the Czech Republic. We will also need some people coming over this summer to bring an additional suitcase if possible for the 2011 fall basketball league. Please let me know if have anyone willing to bring an additional suitcase to Prague this summer.
3. With the growth of Upward Sports and CISP, I am busier than I have ever been. I am looking for someone who is willing to come over for a year or two and willing to serve as an intern. I don’t have a specific job description, but it would involve being my shadow and helping me get and stay organized each day. I am very project oriented and not very detail oriented and I need someone willing to fill that gap. Someone who has a passion for the gospel, working with kids, sports and someone not afraid to be ridiculed or belittled for being a Christ follower. Someone who may sense a calling to serving overseas and maybe even in the international school arena. Please contact me if you know someone who is willing to take a year from school, maybe a recent graduate or someone just wanting to make a difference. There is no salary, but we can sure help with budget plans, housing, transportation, etc from this side. firstname.lastname@example.org
1. I realize that I will probably be in trouble for listing our family last, but here goes. We were blessed to have my mother here for a couple of weeks recently and had a great visit. I enjoy being the travel guide and showing off our beautiful city. It really is a beautiful city, but a city filled with lost people desperately searching for hope and love.
Robin is ever the wife, mom, homemaker, teacher, hostess and wearer of many other hats. She continues to homeschool all but Camden. She is never bored and seldom rested, but has a love that is deeply rooted and a joy ready to share. She is amazing. Please pray for continued strength, endurance and energy as we get closer to summer break.
Camden is in 7th grade at CISP and is beginning to get into the groove of attending school with others his age. It took him a while to make that transition, but his grades are good (except Czech and I completely understand those struggles) and he enjoys being a part of the school. He just turned 14 this week and I have a hard time believing that he is that old. Please pray that Camden will continue to develop a character that refuses to fall into what everybody else is doing and that he will affix his feet firmly on the Rock.
Jared is our resident musician extraordinaire. He loves to play the guitar and would love to learn as many instruments as possible. He is also teaching himself German and is doing much better at it than I am doing at Czech. He will turn 12 this June and will be one year from teenager land. I don’t think I am ready. Please pray that Jared will continue to develop a confidence in the gifts the Lord has given him and that he will use those gifts in a special way.
Easton (9) is becoming the athlete in the family and is always being moved up to play in the older group in basketball, baseball or whatever sport he competes in. He loves to spend time with friends and play games. Easton is learning to play the violin. Please pray that Easton will develop a sense of integrity and honesty that will be the foundation of his apparent leadership skills.
Payton (7) is our bundle of energy. It is hard to believe that this time 4 years ago he was being diagnosed with bone cancer. He is always looking for tape, boxes, paper towel tubes, sticks; you name it to build his latest creation. He is constantly surrounded with legos and other building material. Please pray for continued health for Payton and that his difficult road in the past will bring others to know the Lord.
Marek (5) is the quiet one, well most of the time. He will sit at his little desk and draw, cut and glue for hours. He has an incredibly creative mind and continues to amaze me with his artistic prowess. He is always making cards or gifts for friends, families and sometimes strangers. Please pray that Marek will continue to develop a sense of selflessness that will spread to all he comes in contact with.
Last but certainly not least, Landry (3), the only pink tutu wearer in the family. Landry has 6 arms and hands, she is into everything. If anything is missing we instantly call out – Landry! She has that smile just melts your heart and lets her get away with far too much. She keeps her big brothers on their toes and she admires them very much. Please pray that Landry develops a faith and knowledge of Christ that is her own.
Thanks for your time and prayers. We truly appreciate you all