I have a super good excuse too!
This week I'm not focused on writing or promoting my writing (an exhausting task if you ask me) but I'm heading out of town. Out of the country in fact.
I'm going to Europe. Again.
But even better than returning, I'm taking my daughter. How awesome is that?!
I'm heading to Coventry, England and attending EuroSummit, the 20th Anniversary of Next Level International (NLI).
About 5 years ago I accompanied Aaron on one of his mission trips. He was traveling half way across the world to help identify and train church planters in Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic. I went once and was instantly 'all in'.
On that first trip I saw for myself what the Christian Church in Europe doesn't have. And how much work they have to do. And how faithfully and persistently they work at it.
They had no fancy sound tech people with flashy powerpoints. No pulpits or worship team. In some instances, they have just a simple rented room where a handful of believers met.
We have no idea how lucky we are to have so many churches accessible to us in America. I've been in cities three times the size of my hometown where there are no known believers.
I can choose from 14 churches in my little 9,000 member community. I met people in Europe who don't know one other Christian.
Can you imagine?
Can you put yourself in my shoes for a second? Imagine traveling to the heart of Europe and meeting good and decent people who want nothing more than to find a way to tell their neighbors and coworkers about the Good News of the gospel? Where your neighbor still lives in the communist housing build by the Soviet Regime decades ago? Where there are no such things as "Christian" bookstores, meaning you couldn't get your hands on "Christian" books or music if you wanted to?
This isn't the jungle or the dessert.
These are white people like me. Who don't know that the Creator of Heaven and Earth knows them and loves them and cares about their plight?
How could I not go back? How could I not take my daughter to witness? How can I keep my eyes closed to the women I've met and the necks I've hugged and the stories I've heard....
So off we go. We're heading to England to attend EuroSummit and promote the Women's Development Department of NLI. I hope to meet new friends from countries where EMERGE has not been. Hope to solicit some invitations to take this life changing, emerging leader, women's conference across the continent of Europe.
To find new necks to hug. To speak encouraging words on fresh ears. To hear the stories of women who all across that land are answering the call of destiny on their lives.
I'm going to Europe. And I'm taking my heart and my daughter with me.
Follow me on Facebook if you'd like keep up with the happenings of our week!
Thanks my readers! xo Stephanie
p.s. I hope you'll click the links for NLI and EMERGE that I've included above. It will give you a great picture of what these trips have been about and also I created the EMERGE site .. I'm a little proud of it!