Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The missionaries say it better....

The missionaries share with us through email, when we get back, what an impact the ministry has had on them. Enjoy this email from Becky that serves in Ukraine. You made a difference in her life through your praying, giving, gifting, and going.

Love you all,


Dear Vickie,

I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know what a wonderfully renewing time the retreat was for me.

When I left Ukraine on Monday, it was snowing and cold. Nothing was quite yet in bloom...but had signs of the promise of blossoms. Today, as I look out my bedroom, Ukraine is alive with spring. The birds are singing, the cherry trees have sweet smelling blossoms, and ground is alive and growing (unfortunately with some dandelions, too!).

In reflection, this is a valid picture of myself. When I left Ukraine to come to the retreat, I was tired, cold, and frozen....spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The last year, as you know, has been filled with war, deaths, separations, and disappointments for me. In protection, I had shut down. I was functioning on auto-pilot and had lost my joy.

Within the first 24 hours of being at Pure Joy, the thaw began. I remember Jerre Moore (not alone....she was with others!!!! :-) stopping me on the streets of Naples even before I had registered. Her words began the thaw as she told me how intensely she had been praying for me this past year. (The ice cracked.) She hugged me (crack!!!) and introduced me to the others. That was the beginning of the great thaw. And it continued... from the warm greetings of the leaders as I registered, the hugs from ones met in Prague, and on and on. The newly thawed and wet ground was ready to hear the Word of God speak truth into my heart through the gifted speakers and renew the joy and PEACE that comes from Him.

Thank you for the safe place to allow the Holy Spirit to work! I thank God for the vision He gave you to begin this ministry, and for your obedience to His voice. I truly can say that this time away with Pure Joy was an answer to a desperate prayer!!!

In His Hope,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Day 10.....Home

We are back in the States! We are glad to be back and headed to our own homes! However, we honestly already miss our new friends! You cannot imagine how closely God knits our hearts in the days we spend together. Praying that all of the ladies make it safely home to some dangerous areas.

We are all totally moving in coma mode right now. Please pray that we all get some rest tonight (Sunday). It will take several days for our bodies to readjust.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and support of this trip! The women were truly convicted, challenged and affirmed!

Love You,


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Day 9...

We broke bread together today for the last time as this group of women. Many new connections and friendships were made for His Glory!

The team road the metro to Steve and April’s (our contacts) to have our last meal of Pizza! It was great hospitality!

We are all packing and weighing bags right now 11:02 p.m. Saturday night here. We leave for airport at 4:00 a.m.

Please pray as we make our way safely home. Also, please pray for the families in Nepal that were devastated by the earthquake. Pray for encouragement in the chaos and the peace that only Christ can give.

By the time you get this we will be in the air a little closer to home.

Love you,


Keep praying!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Day 8 Wow!!

I think it is safe to say we are all being saturated with the word of God!! The teaching has been incredibly strong. Today, I had to free us up from our evening meeting time because I could sense everyone needed some time to just rest their minds and hearts. Janet, JerryAnne, Iva May and Laura all spoke.

Since we had free time tonight I met with all the single women that are here. They were good sports today when we spent time on the married couples issues so we decided to give them their own time. Ha ha ha. We had about 11 or 12 of us piled up in my room.

I must say it was pretty entertaining as we considered and discussed single life on the field and the pro's and con's of it. We had some serious laugh time!!!!! It was sweet to see and hear hearts sold out to God and His will for their lives!

Tomorrow for us and today for you as you read this (Saturday) we will finish our time together. Please pray that we finish strong and don't miss God on anything!

Love you all,


Note: They are spell bound by the number of you that are a part of this team from the state side perspective!!! Thank You for Loving God and Pure Joy International!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Day 7 God continues to move on our hearts....

The ladies are having a sweet time, lots of fun, seriousness, laughter and tears. God's Word is being spoken in a very clear way through those doing devotionals, messages, hospitality and worship. Please continue to pray that He will do His work in each of our hearts.

Speaking of working in our hearts.... I received the following comment on the blog today in reference to something I said on yesterday's blog, Day 6......

"Read your blog. This will probably not get posted but it always is great being a guest in a country and learning about their culture and food.
Consider these things and embrace the parmigiana and expression in Napoli and try and eat and drink what is set before you in a positive manner. Glad you are there to encourage the Americans, but remember your witness to the Italians."

Normally I would not post something that someone is not willing to take ownership of as this came in nameless. However, I do believe what was spoken has merit and was meant as a loving rebuke. Therefore I have posted it. My heart would never be to dishonor God, a person and or a country. Rebuke acknowledged and received as an encouragement to be more mindful.

Note: We are ministering to women that are from many other counties as well as American women. Praise God for the opportunity to be an encouragement to all of them.

Keep praying as the women are being poured over with the Word of God. Laura, Iva and Janet all shared messages today and Anna gave her testimony tonight.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 6 Missionaries and Trunk arrive together....

A big Praise God! The trunk came in and April our contact person was able to pick it up from the airport on her way in. Danke (German for Thank You)!!! I believe all the prayers lifted up were answered!!

All the missionary women made it in, except two, today. This is an incredible group and so ready to be ministered to. So many young ones in this group or maybe I'm just getting old! Ha ha ha

Nikki did a great job leading us in worship tonight and Julie's testimony was wonderful! Of course we have had lots of chocolate and gifts so far. They are so enjoying all the things so many of you sent to encourage them.

Tonight we had a seafood salad as one of our choices for dinner. Seriously we ate either octopus or squid in it, maybe both. Also had some eggplant lasagna, which was pretty good if you like eggplant. I don't think the servers liked it that I wanted coffee BEFORE desert time or maybe it was because it was my third time through! Ha ha ha! But in fairness I wouldn't have had to go back if the cups weren't the size of teacups from a tea set for children. Ha ha

Continue to pray as God ministers to our hearts this week!!!

I'll send more pics tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 5 - Still praying....

Today has been a great day! We got our retreat preparations done, finished up some last minute shopping, had two wonderful team devotionals by Anna and Julie, actually located a hamburger and fries for lunch on the street with a little entertainment. 
Click for video: Street musicians in Naples

Please continue to pray, we need one more trunk that has sound equipment in it. Also, pray for the missionary women as they travel in tomorrow for the retreat. Registration starts at 1:00 p.m., which would be 6 a.m. central time.  

Some of our preparation work today.

Headed to Bed...


Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 4... Answered prayer and keep on praying!

Yeah! We had all suitcases and trunks in our rooms when we came back to hotel this afternoon, except one. Please continue to pray for this trunk because it has our soundboard, microphones, etc., in it.

Today was our sightseeing day. We walked just over 11 miles exploring Napoli (Naples). I'll post some pictures tomorrow with the blog.

The team had sweet devotional time together sharing hearts and being encouraged.

Tomorrow we start putting together the final pieces of preparation for the ladies to arrive on Wednesday. If you know me ... You know that brings the Happy Face smile to me!! Can't wait to see what God has in store for these women because it has been a journey getting here, literally!!!

Ok headed to bed. Pics tomorrow!
Keep praying!!!

Love you all,


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 3 Italy.... We are here...

We all made it into Frankfurt, Germany, today. Where, once again, we were told that 3 of our team member had no flights booked. Again, God gave us favor and they finally put them on our final flight to Italy. We arrived short 6 very important trunks/suitcases, please pray. Several of us don't have clothes for the next 7 days along with important equipment that didn't make it.

The sweet part is this is an awesome group of women. We all went out and had some Italian food tonight with our Italy contact missionary, April. She and her husband Steve met us at the airport. She came to the hotel with us and to dinner, real Italian!! After dinner we took a stroll and had a dip of gelato ice cream. We came back to the hotel and had our team devotional. Thanks Rae D! We then all headed to our rooms for rest.

A call came to my room soon after our arrival back. Jerry Anne needed her pillow that was in one of the trunks that made it to Italy. When she got her pillow out she realized it was wet! Yikes! So we started checking all the trunks and Jerry Anne, Melinda, Anna, Sharon and I emptied out all the trunks to check for water. The storm in Houston must have gotten a good pouring over our luggage while being moved along the tarmac Friday night. Isn’t it amazing that God used that wet pillow to alert us to the problem and need! He is Faithful!
Ok, headed to bed, soooo tired!!

Love you,


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Day 2 competing with Day 1....

I can safely say after much prayer and some real craziness with the airline ... All of the team is headed to Frankfurt, Germany, to fly on into Italy. We lost a day in this journey but gained such an Amazing look at God’s continued Favor and Grace for that which He sets into motion and equips us for! May it all be for His Glory!

We are getting some serious team time together in our separated states! Ha ha ha

Love you all... Keep praying as we have one more connection. They are shutting the doors! Pray for our luggage to get there... All Of It!! That will be Amazing!!!!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Crazy Day 1

Well, it has been a crazy day and this team is incredible!!! We all flew into Houston International from different states to leave the country. Our flight out of Houston got canceled due to mechanical problems. (I believe God was protecting us.) Weather has been really bad in Houston this afternoon. It took over 3 hours for them to rebook the team. That was an awesome time frame and only because we had an incredible agent working with us. We actually had to divide the team up to get us all out on flights tomorrow. So pray that we all get out of the country tomorrow. We are all going to end up in Frankfurt, Germany, at some point tomorrow to fly out to Naples. Some will be routed through Washington D.C., some through Miami and some through Atlanta. That should tell you how to pray! Ha ha ha

It is 10:43 p.m. and we are on a shuttle to a hotel right now only to be shuttled back to airport at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow.  

As I said the team is great!! Attitudes are sweet! And all family members, do not worry I'm keeping them fed and watered in the middle of all this!!

Love you all... Pray our luggage all gets to Naples!


Monday, April 13, 2015

50 yard dash...

If you have followed our blogs over the years you will know this week is the 50 yard dash to the finish line of leaving the country!

One of our ladies left Saturday to accompany her husband on the first leg of a business trip in Italy and then she will join us as he travels on through other parts of the world. The rest of us will meet in Houston Friday morning before leaving the country. I wish you could enjoy the fun that comes with watching the team members meet in person for the first time. It's a blast!

Please remember to check the blog daily starting Friday as I will be writing a blog  to be posted each day so you can keep up with what is going on. Here are the instructions for getting the blog sent to your email if you haven't already done that.

Go to the Blog:
On the right hand side of the screen look for the subscribe area.
Enter your email address and press "subscribe."
A pop-up from Feedburner will require you to enter the code on the screen. A message will pop up directing you to your inbox. 
Look in your inbox for a message from "Feedburner Email Subscriptions" (check your spam or junk folder if you do not see the note).
Click on the link in the message to complete the subscription process.

As we finish up all the final details this week please be in prayer for our team. Many of the team members are experiencing extreme spiritual warfare. We see this every trip but it is major this time around. Can’t wait to see what God is up to! Will write again on Friday. For those of you that are interested Naples is 7 hours ahead of our central time.
Love you all and counting on your prayers …


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Praising God….and a good read from one of our Tanzania missionary couples...

I sooooo wanted to get this praise out to you sooner but life happened. Last week I shared with you that we still lacked 16 missionary women being sponsored! I asked you to pray! By 10:00 p.m. the day we posted that blog we had all but 6 missionary women sponsored! Ten missionary women in one day sponsored! It was so exciting to watch as people donated online, called in to say they were sending a check, checks were in the mail already, church members giving… Since that day more money has come in and I can with GREAT JOY say all our missionary women are sponsored as of this week!!! Thank you soooo much for being on the journey with us!!
Please continue to pray as we are making the last lap around the track before crossing the finish line of leaving the country! Please continue to pray concerning the things we asked of you last week and these things…
  • Pray for us as we check our list to make sure we have everything we need.
  • Pray as we pack trunks this week and next.
  • Pray for all our trunks to get out of the country and on to our destination with us.
  • Pray for team members still needing funds to come in.
  • Pray for our missionary women as they make final plans as well.
  • Pray for our flights to be on time, safe, and luggage/trunks to get to the destination.

Last week I received the following from a missionary and her husband in Tanzania. I love following the missionaries and their works through their newsletters. I asked for permission to print this one because I thought it was so good. I wanted to get it out last week when it got to me, but had too much on my plate in preparation for trip. However, I loved the message so much because it is simple but profound, so I still want to get it out….because I’m confident we all have “messy places”. Enjoy…

Love you all.


Wishing you a Blessed & Reflective Easter!
We started off Passion week this past Sunday with a home worship service with some new friends from the States, who are currently staying in our same village, while they are in language school and preparing for their mission which is just a couple of hours north of us in Kenya. It was such a blessing as we talked about and reflected on what was going on during this time and how the disciples must of felt, how Jesus must of felt knowing what was ahead. As I've pondered these things this week, the Lord has impressed upon my heart that there's purpose in the hard messy places in our life and that He uses those things to bring redemption to the broken places in our lives and those around us. The cross was an excruciatingly painful messy place, yet Christ endured it because of the redemption He saw.
This is Easter season we're praying for each of you that you will experience His Grace and Mercy and that as you walk through the hard messy places of your lives you will experience joy in the redemption that our Lord offers each of us.
"Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfect or of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

Jeff & Jen Schmidt