Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Our Time at Eurocast

First Ember excursion in over 2 years and it was something… Three of us spent a few days in Vienna visiting with an old college friend and his family, drove to Crikvenica, Croatia spending six days there with Communitas International and then a few more days in Vienna [unexpectedly]. Loved most of our experience and it was super fun to have our younger daughter Emily and her friend Karson to hang with me for most of this. 

I recently joined the board for Communitas International although we have worked with them on and off for about 15 years. They were previously known as Christian Associates and we were first introduced to them by some mutual friends who were planting a church in Italy. In 2007, we took a team to help run the kids care part of their staff conference and fast forward, we have partnered with them multiple times with either friends that are on staff or projects around the world. This has included 2008 [the same kids care for a staff conference], 2012 [Brussels, Europe vision trip], 2013 and 2014 [Aix], 2015 [Prague], 2016 and 2017 and 2018 [our Italy trips were not formally with them but one of their staff is outside of Catania]. I love their vibe - organic, decentralized, and culturally relevant. 

This event was meant to be an Eastern European leadership conference. Of course, global events in Ukraine put some limitations on who could be there. The schedule also included a board meeting right after the conference was over and it was super fun to meet all of these people face to face, mostly for the first time. There were about 50 people in attendance, most either church planters and/or community development folks. 

This trip was not easy for me. I developed hives all over my arms and legs about a week before I left. All 3 legs of my outbound flights were delayed. Five days into our trip, Emily got Covid. Luckily, it was just a mild cold for her. My mother had some issues while I was away and I had to have multiple phone calls with her retirement community. These difficulties make one wonder whether this conference was significant in some invisible way. While I don't feel like my participation there was hugely impactful, I do feel like there could be some truth to this for our field staff. Besides the past 2 pandemic years, living cross culturally in vocational ministry is incredibly tough and we know that these staff gatherings have historically been very important for our staff. I was privileged to be a part of it. 

Finally, Emily and I stayed a few extra days in Vienna because of Covid. In hindsight, we should have waited it out a few more days. This was a bit of improper planning, impatience on my part and frustrating with my ailments. 

Come talk to us at Communitas if you are interested in a season of cross cultural living.