week 5: chaos.

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For those of you faithfully reading my blog this summer (hi mom, hi dad), I apologize for the lack of posts recently. As you can see by the title, the last three weeks have been complete chaos. So instead of a day-to-day journal-type entry, let me tell you a story:

After an incredible week of Media Academy, a camp the C-Team put on to equip nationals to document their own ministries, my half of the team left the comfort of the Czech Republic the next day on an eight hour drive headed towards Belgrade, Serbia for our first camp of the summer. Five of us and bags upon bags of equipment were packed into a decently small car on an increasingly hot day. We made some stops, sang some songs, took some naps, and enjoyed each other’s company – overall, a pleasant drive… for the first few hours. Just a few kilometers outside of Budapest, Hungary, the engine malfunction light came on and the car completely broke down. Four hours on the side of the road, three packs of beef jerky, five tow trucks wanting to make money off us, and multiple phone calls later, the insurance tow truck we called for finally came for us. Praise God for Amy, one of the full time JV staff members traveling with us, because she had connections in Budapest, and within an hour of getting towed, we were fed, clean, and in bed in a free apartment owned by a missionary she knew.

Stranded in Budapest – which is not a bad place to be stuck – we tried to understand what was wrong with the car and plan what to do next, while also trying to enjoy our time in what I’m convinced is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In our few days there, we walked nearly 20 miles, became regulars at a local coffee shop, rode on sketchy subways, and took lots (I mean lots) of photos. While our time was somewhat stressful because we didn’t know what was happening next, it was also restful and I think exactly what our team needed.

After days of waiting for news, we found out it wasn’t simply a dead battery, but the car needed a whole new engine. At that point, we had already missed the camp in Serbia and the first of two in Bulgaria, so that day we set out for a long journey by train to Bulgaria. It was no fun while it was happening, but all that matters is that we’re here now and God provided all along the way and continues to every day we’re here. Camp starts today and after a week of unexpected chaos as well as unexpected rest, we’re about to hit the ground running.

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Thank you for your constant prayers and support, we’re going to continue to need it. After this week of camp, my team has no idea where we’re going or how we’re going to get there. Please pray for clarity, patience, and that we don’t lose sight of the real reason we’re here. Thanks for reading and praying, ciao for now!

country count: 5

Yours Truly,

Rachel Joy

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