01 August, 2010

Czech this...

We completed our tenure at The Salvation Army in Merced, California on July 15, 2010. It was sad to say goodbye to all the friends I made, but I knew that it wasn't forever. We packed up and away we went to Portland...

Our first week home we saw my family and hung out with friends. I've really missed my mom and dad.

Last week we helped out at SAY camp. I taught Focus on the Arts and Confident Cook, while Kelsey taught Team Sports and Physical Fitness. For those of you who don't know, Kelsey and I met at Camp Kuratli.

The first day felt empty. A rush of memories and joy, but this camp was not mine; it belonged to the 30-40 other teens and young adults working this summer. I wanted to be apart of it.

A crazy storm hit camp last winter, damaging Cross Creek and the bridge leading into camp. With the repairs made, camp changed. Campfire was now at Cross Creek and the campfire pit was the nature center. HOW WEIRD.

As the mosquitoes came out to play, "we were throwing pebbles in the creek" was heard. I needed a walk. Kelsey and I strode up to Merlo Field. We swung and climbed and slid across the playground. The sprinklers came on. "I dare you to run through the sprinklers," Kelsey said. It was 60 degrees and 9:30 pm. I stared at the field.

"I will if you will." Kelsey took off running, I followed close behind. I met the water with a harsh deep breath. Kelsey dove-summer-saulted through a stream of freezing water, I ran in circles around and under each spring I could find. Huffing and puffing, we stood wet on the blacktop laughing. "I feel like a little kid."

"That's because you are a little kid." Kelsey said.

The second day, camp seemed a bit more inviting. I was greeted with warm smiles and, "hey, weren't you Nurse Red?" The day crept on slowly. After releasing my girls from Art, I quickly found Kelsey and we drove into town. Menomena was playing Music Millennium and it was FREE!!!! There was no way we were going to miss this, even if we were at Camp.

200 fans were stuffed in the rows of a music shop. Menomena played four songs off their new album. I had chills the whole time. After the set was played, we lined up to get our CD signed. As the line shrank, my armpits grew sweatier, I didn't know what to say. "Hi, what's you name?" Brent asked.

"I'm Jess and this is Kelsey."

"Who should I make this out to?"

"Both of us." I said smiling.

Kelsey inhaled and said, "Do you remember about three years ago, some guy got on-" (Kelsey asked me to marry him on stage at their concert in November of 2007)

"YOU!" Justin said as he pointed at both of us. They remembered us. It felt nice to know that our favorite band, even though growing in popularity, was still cool and down to earth. We joked and laughed, "we could do your divorce too". We talked about moving to the Czech, "come 'check' us out there!" And we said goodbye.


Okay, okay. I'm getting a little carried away, let me get to the part that pertains to my Česky sen. Wednesday evening we received an email from Hector-THQ Missions Department Admin.

This is what we were given via email from Major Mike Stannett (Regional Leader, Cz)

Just to confirm. They will be stationed in Brno. This is the 2nd city of the Czech rep. It is unique as a city that it is more cosmopolitan than any other city in the country. The Armada Spasy has extensive work in the City including a Men's Hostel , Night shelter and Day centre. Attached to the Corps building is family in crisis accommodation flats. There are three day centres run by the Corps each proving social services to either youth or children. Then of course there is a small corps. The corps is also unique in that there are several young students from the university that come from all over the world and enjoy the Corps fellowship as the meetings are usually bilingual.

Their role will be as Corps assistants, with an emphasis on youth and children's work, especially to develop a link to the Corps/Church and the Community centres. Each Community centre provides a 'registered' social service with qualified non Salvationist staff. We would like to develop some 'freetime' activities with these children and relate them more to the life of the Corps, also to develop where possible links to the families. The majority of these children come from Roma Community.

We would also like the Pearce's to be involved in other parts of the Corps ministry in supporting the Officers especially in the Hostel, Prison ministry and with the International students as well.
Yeah-yah! Needless to say, I'm excited.

The rest of camp went well. My girls made sculptures and mac 'n' cheese. Rest, teach, remember and experience, what a week!

Next order of business... getting our visas.


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