The Underdog

Steven Wendel on February 28, 2018

Ester Ledecka came to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang for the purpose of competing in the women’s giant slalom snowboarding competition.  However, coming into the Olympics she was rated a respectable, but distant from the podium, 43rd in the world rankings for downhill skiing, which qualified her to compete in the women’s Super-G event.  Competing in both events would make her the first woman to compete in both disciplines in the Olympics, so she figured she would go ahead and do both and make her distinctive mark in the Olympic annals.  To further illustrate just how ‘not expected to...

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A Man Died Next To Me

Steven Wendel on January 30, 2018

We loaded all 8 of us onto the British Airways flight with much exhaustion, heading home after a very busy but blessed time with family over the Christmas holiday.  We had managed the typical airport hurdles: rental car return, boarding passes that only partially printed out at the kiosk, overweight bags redistributed, additional security checks and body scans for most of us (seriously we’re a magnet for additional screening), and last-minute potty emergencies.  Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes....

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Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Steven Wendel on December 12, 2017

The pungent smells of mulling spices, frankincense, roasting meats, and trdelnik have returned to Bohemia as the Advent markets and their many charms and delights have signaled the inauguration of another Christmas season.  If it weren’t enough to alert us to the fact, the various concerts, school plays, and performances in which our children are participating have managed to fill our first weeks of advent with either enjoyment or endurance, or maybe both.   Last Sunday we stood in the icy evening consuming rye bread spread with lard and topped with fried lard and onions while sipping fruity tea, desperately trying...

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Pickled tomatoes and Promising partnerships

Steven Wendel on November 29, 2017

Yeast soda, pickled green tomatoes, quince compote, and chocolate-covered dried melon; just a few of the delicious tastes of Moldova I was privileged to enjoy earlier this month. Well…the yeast-flavored soda maybe not so much, I do prefer to eat my bread rather than drink it carbonated, but who could resist a taste?  While some of our taste palates were expanded considerably, we had gathered for the purpose of training, connecting with, and encouraging mission-minded pastors and leaders from Central Europe to Central Asia. It was simply amazing to hear what God is doing in various places, through various instruments,...

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Fall Fusions

Steven Wendel on October 30, 2017

As I was observing our boys’ basketball practice, I was surprised to run across our dentists (husband and wife) who were also previously our neighbors.  We found that we shared a mutual connection through basketball with the other missionary family in town with whom we cooperate in numerous ministries.  This has happened several times in the past year, as we’ve seen our spheres of influence frequently converge.  The dentists were also surprised that we shared the mutual friend, which got them to be curious about how they know 2 American families with the same professions.  We had an interesting talk...

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