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Time flys and man am I busy!

The fact that it's already August and the middle of August at that amazes me. How did we mange to get here and where did 2010 go? Are you kidding me, we were celebrating Christmas yesterday and now our pool needs to be cleaned and taken down? 

This summer as flown by with the speed of light. We are been so busy, actually more busy than any other time in our ministry here in Croatia. It's amazing how fast time goes by when you’re going 27 / 7.

Wow, this year is winding down and so much has happened here. We have welcomed Bro. Scott Holcomb and his sweet family and our co-laborer Sam Ward from our home church. We have watched them settle in and begin to love Croatia as we do. 

The church in Varaždin has moved to a new location and is flourishing. We've had many saved out soul-winning and seen several visitors in the last few weeks. 

The church in Čakovec is growing and our children's ministry is CRAZY. We have 2 van routes going to two different villages right now and we have more kids coming and wanting to come than we have room for. Yesterday Traci and I headed out to our route in Trnovec and before we even made it in the village about 8 teens and boys flagged us down on the main road and jumped into our nine seater van that was already over legal capacity. Then we headed into the village and picked up several more until we have 16 in our 9 passenger van and we had to leave about 20 standing on the side of the road because we didn't have room. I was heartbroken but what could I do? I don't remember ever having this problem in America. We had people pushing each other out of the way to get into the van. It's was surely a once in a life time sight. Next week we're going to take the new van purchased for us by Bro. Canter and then Old Red (our old van that's on it's last leg) and fill them both up. We are so blessed to have friends of this ministry and Croatia who give so we can take people to meet Jesus. 

Funny story...Yesterday in the group of "teen" guys who got on the van there was one guy whole looked a bit older. I didn't ask until we made it to the church but then he told me he was 18, right at the limit for our kids meeting. Later on after Johnny led him to the Lord did I realize he was actually 27 years old and married with two kids. He lied so he could come to church and there he met Jesus. WOW!

For many years the church has been going to different cities in Croatia to pass out John and Romans and tracts. We usually manage a big trip every couple of months not counting the normal Saturday and Thursday ministry. For 7 years we have wanted to go to Osijek on the Eastern side of Croatia closest to Bosnia and Serbia but it's a long trip and with gas at $7 per gallon we never we able to make the trip until Saturday. 
We loaded up 27 members and headed out. It was an exhausting trip since we took the old roads and didn't pay the toll to take the highway. FYI, highway fees in Croatia are some of the most expensive in Europe. It would have costs us several hundred dollars in tolls to take the highways so we stuck to the back roads. It took us more than 4 hours to make it to Osijek. 


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Our little group minus a few. No we're not all that short it's just that Bro. Sam is that tall!

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Bro. Rich's little girl Rebeka, she's an angel.

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Bro. Rich, our pastor in Čakovec, smiling as usual.
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Bro. Sam Ward and Marija, a faithful Gypsy lady in our church.

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Bro. Rajko and his sweet wife Olivera. They are new in the church but they have already been great blessings. They are going to be baptized soon and we're so happy to have them. They have some really great boys too. 


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On the road!

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Hannah girl posing with the big guy!

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church trip 2010,church trip 2010


church trip 2010,church trip 2010
It was so hot out side. The kids stayed cool by visiting the fountain. 

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church trip 2010,church trip 2010
Super love this photo, Traci took it.
After we finished in Osijek and managed about 5000 tracts and several hundred J&R we headed to Vukovar to see the homeland war memorial. Vukovar was the hardest hit city in all of Croatia during the war from 91 to 95. The Serbian army came in and pretty much slaughtered people. It is atrocious to think of the crimes done during that time. 


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This huge water tower is pretty amazing. The police and a volunteers in Vukovar planted that Croatian flag on top and then they held Vukovar for 45 days against the Serbian army. 

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It's said that hundreds of grenades and mortars pelted this tower trying to tumble that flag but they were unsuccessful. Incredible feeling to stand so close to what meant so much. 

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The bullet holes on these buildings were crazy. 

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Vukovar bears the scars of thousands of rounds of artillery. Hundreds of destroyed homes dot the landscape. It's daunting to think of the terror these people faced so suddenly. 

We all headed to the Homeland Memorial Museum that was located on an army base. It was awesome. 
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They solider on duty actually opened the exhibits just for us.

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Johnny made jokes about needing this armored vehicle for his bus route in the Gypsy village. 

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Two sweeties. Goran on the left and Matej on the right.

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After viewing one of the exhibits we took a little break before heading to the next one.

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church trip 2010,church trip 2010


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It was really amazing how close we could get to these machines. This is the ground to arm missile launcher and the kids were allowed in it to explore. Actually when Cody pushed a button there was a buzzing noise back by the guns. Scary but cool too.

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church trip 2010,church trip 2010


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Goran and Maggie were more interested in the tractor than anything else.

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Bro. Rich's kids up on the tank. Actually you could actually go down in these tanks and on some of them you could actually move the gun barrel back and forth.

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church trip 2010,church trip 2010


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Cool view of the inside of one of the tanks. 

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Kiddos waiting to get into another exhibit. 

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They had an awesome collection of hand made guns, actually hand guns that shot shotgun shells. All the boys went wild.
We had a wonderful time in Osijek and Vukovar and more important is that two Muslim Gypsy men were saved. No longer praying for allah but now praying to Jehovah and more so to their Savior Jesus.  





So much more has happened this year that I would love to share with you but it's taken me well over an hour to post what I have so far. 

I will say though that this week we are going to Graz, Austria to pick up the Kevin Brown family. They are coming to Croatia as new missionaries. They'll be learning the language and working here in the church until they get ready to head out and conquer a city in Croatia for Christ. 

Friday starts Špancirfest in Varaždin and there will be soul-winners from our church our everyday. This German waling festival will bring a quarter to half a million people through our streets over this next week. It's a huge opportunity to get the Gospel into the hands of a great number or souls. 
Please pray for the members of the next week that many people will be saved and decided to live for Christ because He died for us. 
Soon we'll be moving house and preparing for furlough. We will be leaving the first week in December and we'll be gone a year. We're so excited to be able to leave the work in the capable hands of Bro. Rich, Bro. Scott and Bro. Sam. We know that things will continue in the same spirit it has and we'll be able to take furlough without worrying about the work here. 

When I started this blog it was all about being a homemaker and wife in Croatia. Now it's turned into a missions blog simply because I don't have anytime to do anything at home. We are so busy that sewing for anything but necessity is totally out. I haven't tried a new recipe in months and my home is not in it's best state ever.

I miss doing all the things that made my blog popular 500 posts ago. Since those days my readers have fallen away and or converted to face book. Not many people read my blog any more and I've contemplated trashing it more than once but I don't. It's a running diary of my life or at least the parts I have time to include. I have gone back to my first post many times and read through all the posts and I love it. I guess that is the reason I keep this blog, not for you but for me. 

Sorry to those of you who do read it, I know I haven't been too faithful but "real" life sometimes calls and the "virtual" one has to be put on hold. I hope some of you continue to read but I know life is busy for us all. I apologize for not making my rounds to you guys often enough. 

Until the next few seconds I have to spare, 

tori





11 comments:

  1. Hey Tori! Madrasta is "step mother" in Portuguese. Please don't do away with your blog! I love reading your missionary updates no matter how many days or weeks it is in between! Love you! Take care and keep serving the Saviour!

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  2. Please don't close your blog. I love reading it :)

    Blessings,
    Michelle

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  3. Tori~
    I just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed your blog. It is so good to see the work that God has going on around the world.
    And I would much rather read what is going on in your life and it be real life - than people that only blog what they feel will bring them popularity.
    May God continue to bless you all,
    Lisa :O)

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  4. Tori~
    I am really new to this blogging world but I think it is customary to let someone know when you have posted a little something special for them at your blog. I know you are a very busy lady - but you are a ray of sunshine!
    God bless,
    Lisa :o)

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  5. Hello Tori,
    I've never commented on your blog before, but thought now would be a good time. We are Ind. Baptist missionaries in Ghana, West Africa. I ran across your blog as a link from a friend's blog. At first I read every once in a while, but as you've written more about the work, I've enjoyed your blog more and more!
    Keep up the great blogging! It's a blessing to hear what God is doing in Croatia!
    Patty Sommer

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  6. Hey! I left you a comment at Thimble Thoughts, but figured you might miss it.

    Justin is not going away to school. Right now he is working full time at World Wide Baptist Missions as their indoor/outdoor maintenance man and will begin the Fire Academy in January. He is already taking his EMT classes.

    There is, however, a Bible college here you might want to look at. It is in Lattimore, NC and run by Doctor Ron Comfort. AMAZING preacher and quotes scripture like you wouldn't believe!! It's a solid, IFB Bible school. We have several of their students that come to our church. They're encouraged to find a church within a few weeks of school starting and get involved in the ministries. It's called Ambassador Baptist College...here's the link.

    http://www.ambassadors.edu/index.php

    Happy hunting!! :D
    ~Kristi

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  7. Hey, Tori, I too, am hoping you won't close down your blog! I know we're all busy these days, and most of the time, I just have enough chance to speed read through my google reader, but I *do* read when I can! Anyhow, we'd all miss you if you just up and left us. :)

    When you're on furlough, I hope you'll get a chance to come through the midwest and visit our church. I can email you the link to our website and our pastor's email... let me know what you think, okay? :o) Either way, I hope you guys have a great furlough!

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  8. Tori, I totally understand how you feel. But I do want you to know how much I enjoy hearing what's going on over there in Croatia. It is such a blessing to me to see and hear about your life in missions. In all honesty, it does make me pray more for you and others on the mission field. And I think about you more often. I, too, hope you continue to keep your blog up. I know with furlough coming up you won't be able to blog a whole lot, but it sure would be heart breaking to see A Home Away from Home come to an end.
    Now with all that said, I love you and would understand if you felt it in your best interest to close it. I'd still pray for you and still think of you. But I sure would miss ya! :0)
    How exciting to have another family come to mission in Croatia!! I know that has been a burden on your heart for a very long time and God has been so good to answer that prayer. You'll have a different furlough knowing these Missionaries are there and filling in the gap while you're away. Praise GOD!

    Love ya,
    ~Kristi

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  9. I am glad you have not closed down your blog, I have been reading it for awhile now, and while I have enjoyed your 'homemaking' posts,you seem really creative and have given me some neat ideas, I REALLY enjoy the missionary posts, as I love to see what the Lord can do. I love your soul -winning , and tract giving, I've prayed and cried when you lost church families due to the cultural misconceptions, I rejoiced when others have come over because the Lord layed it on THEIR heart.
    I dont comment because I usually just dont know what to say ( I dont really know you after all), but I usually check your blog every week or so
    ( its about all I get on the computer for FUN anymore, and cant seem to keep up with my own blog!)
    and I figure if nothing new is there, well the Lord must be keeping you hoppin' and thats alot more important than bloggin'
    Enjoy your furlough, and keep posting when you can, you never know who you might be blessing that day!
    Susan Douglass

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  10. Love this post! I love reading about Croatia and the churches and the work and whatever projects ya might be doing. Please don't stop blogging. I know how it is to feel like ya might be losing readers especially when no one comments much anymore but blogging is theraputic for me tho I also don't get to blog like I once did since my mom got cancer and I work daily with Josiah (boy with Autism). I have to drive 7 miles to use the internet at church so it makes it harder to get there now. But I like doing it and reading all the other's.

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  11. Hi Tori! I just wanted to drop by and say I'm still here, reading. :) I understand how busy life can get. Thank you for all you've done to help me with my blog. Blogging is the only "me" time I have right now, and I always feel good after taking a break and doing something fun.
    Praying for you all and happy to hear what a great work God is doing through you all in Croatia! :)

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Hey thanks in advance for leaving a comment, sure do appreciate it!!

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