Atkins’ Archives – May 2014

Dear family and friends,

It was SO GOOD to see and talk to many of our family members and friends while we were on vacation during the month of May! We’re also so grateful for the beautiful additions to our family, namely Summer, and her parents, Robin and Pam! Trey did his calculations and we went 2,500 miles by car and 13,000 miles by air. Whew!

Ryan’s graduation class was the largest in California Baptist University (CBU) history, and Ryan and Summer’s wedding was just beautiful and perfect! It was in a gorgeous, Southern California outdoor setting with a sunflower theme and had so many touches that displayed their unique and winsome personalities! We also had the privilege of spending time in Newport Beach with Trey’s parents, San Diego with cousins, as well as Napa Valley, San Francisco, and Muir Woods with our sons.

Atkins’ Archives – March/April 2014

I’m sorry we didn’t get a newsletter to you in March but, once you read this one, you will understand why as we have had lots happening on the Atkins front!  We have been doing lots of traveling visiting our colleagues in Central Europe as well as attending meetings in relation to our job.  It is often so encouraging to hear how our colleagues are building into the lives of those God has called them to reach for the gospel as well as seeking to encourage their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to extend His Kingdom where they live.

March 9, 2014

Dear friends and family,

 Spring is almost here, winter really never came, and we are very glad about that!  It seems that Europe had hardly any winter and America got hit really hard!!  However, in early February Elise experienced a severe ice storm and nationwide power failures in Slovenia while she was there helping to lead a Grip-Birkman Team Build.  News sources said,  ‘A disastrous ice storm in early February has caused some 194 million euros (267 million U.S. dollars) to Slovenia’s forests, and sustained120 million euros (164 million U.S. dollars)in damage to infrastructure.’  It truly was like ice skating and we had to put on crampons to walk from our hotel to our colleagues’ home!  February ended with Trey preaching and teaching a business seminar and Elise leading prayer and Grip Birkman coaching and team building sessions at the Nordic Cluster meeting in Malaga, Spain!  To put it mildly, these were quite the extremes in weather!

Atkins’ Archives – January 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Please remember Elise today and tomorrow as she is in Slovenia meeting with the team there.

We had great Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, although we missed being with our sons and extended families. God’s grace in sufficient! We did have a nice surprise, however, when we were visited by Trey’s brother and girlfriend on December 29-30th! Our holidays were very eclectic with a Swedish/Brazilian Christmas Eve with our neighbors, an American Christmas Eve and Christmas with our colleagues, and a Slovak New Year’s Day with friends from our church!

Atkins’ Archives – December 2013

Merry Christmas!

We hope this letter finds you enjoying this very special time of year when we celebrate our Savior’s birth! I love reading the Christmas story at this time of year and God always teaches me new truths! Here is just one of many…THOUGHTS… This year, He has shown me that peace is not for all, but for those on whom His favor rests and with whom He is pleased – “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14 NIV) “…on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14 NASB) We please Him when we walk by faith – “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NASB) I pray that you experience His peace in your life as you seek Him and trust Him to be “the author and perfecter of faith..” (Hebrews 12:2 NASB)

Atkins’ Archives – November 2013

Dear family and friends,

October was a flurry of activity and now the holidays are quickly approaching! There have been no complaints about the beautiful weather we have had here in Bratislava! We are just now having temperatures in the 40’s after having tons of sunshine and temps in the 50’s and 60’s! In all of the 15 years we have lived in Europe, this is the BEST FALL EVER!

Atkins’ Archives – October 22, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We are seeing the leaves turn to beautiful colors of yellow here in Bratislava, but not the brilliant colors of red that we experienced in Arkansas! Thankfully, however, the temperatures have continued to be quite mild. We’ll see how much longer that will last….

Atkins’ Archives – August/September 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, summer has flown by as it always does! We hope each of you have had a summer filled special memories of times with family and friends. We were so blessed to have Bret come and visit us here in Bratislava!


He stayed with us for 7 days and also visited his ‘homeland’ of Croatia for 6 days.

It was a wonderful time together and so hard to say goodbye!

Pray that Bret would make choices that foster his walk with the Lord and for wisdom, as well as discipline, as he begins his third year at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU).

August 2013


Dear family and friends,

Wow! It’s been awhile since we’ve sent you an update. Thanks so much for your prayers as the Ouachita Baptist University Mission Team came to help our teams in Central Europe with various mission projects and, most importantly, to build relationships with students in these different locations. Trey and Elise accompanied the OBU Team that went to Debrecen, Hungary for two weeks and saw God open doors through the hard work of our colleagues so that the OBU students could perform concerts and drama in 3 orphanages, 4 churches, 5 schools and a coffeehouse! God used each of the students and professors in amazing ways, kept them healthy, and they came back to the States changed by His Spirit. Pray that the seeds of the gospel that were planted in the lives of many people in Hungary and Czech Republic would come to fruition and they would bow the knee before the King of kings.

May 2013

Dear friends and family,

We hope you are gearing up for nice weather and a wonderful summer! Summer truly is Elise’s favorite time of the year, while Trey would chime in that Fall is his favorite time!  I guess you could say that ‘some like it hot’!

Atkins’ Archives – February 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been awhile since you have heard from us! We are hoping to get this newsletter to you ‘just under the wire’ as we do want to keep you up to date on our news on a monthly basis.

January 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  This has been a year of many changes and LOTS of travel. We spent the first half of the year having an awesome time continuing to connect with the students, faculty and churches in the community of Arkadelphia, AR and Ouachita Baptist University as well as spending as much time as possible with our sons, Ryan and Bret, before going back to Europe as empty-nesters. We were able to make 2 trips to CA to visit Ryan and 3 trips to OK to visit Bret as well as take a big road trip to the Grand Canyon. We count ourselves blessed to have had so much time with our sons and family members while in the States.

November 2012

Dear family and friends,

October has been a whirlwind of activity for us in the cities of Warsaw and Wroclaw, Poland to Prague, Hradec Kralove, and Vysoko Myto, Czech Republic as we had a great time visiting 4 of the 14 teams that we supervise and attended meetings where we met several national partners that are working with our colleagues; it has been exciting to see them have such a passion for their communities hear and receive the good news of Jesus.  November has begun with yet another trip to Austria for a leadership meeting with colleagues and it was very encouraging.  The icing on the cake was being able to see Trey’s parents in Prague, Czech Republic and spend a few days with them touring the city.  Prague truly needs to be on your ‘bucket list’ if you want to see a breathtakingly beautiful city!

September 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I must be getting older as time sure is ticking away right before my very eyes!  Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone!  Our new country actually celebrated a holiday as well this week on the 29th of August. The holiday is called the Slovak National Uprising as Slovakia sent in over 60,000 rebel troops to fight against German occupying forces in 1944. 

August 2012

Hi Family and Friends!

Well, the overseas adventure has begun once again!  We began the adventure by getting bumped up to ‘premium economy’ on British Airways as we flew from Chicago to London!  We sure enjoyed this nice little surprise and had our best recovery from jet lag EVER!!  We spent the first few weeks exploring our new city, meeting with colleagues and looking for a place to live.  God has provided a wonderful apartment for us in the center of the city!  It is two blocks from the Danube River (which has bike and running trails along its banks!) as well as the newest mall in Bratislava, and is a 5 minute walk from the main bus station!  We got the keys to the apartment today and will spend our first night there on the 1st! We do hope many of you come and see us at our new location! Please see the view from our balcony and a brief look at the inside of our place in the pics below!


May 31, 2012

Dear family and friends,

Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun and all four of us have been having fun on our road trip to and from Arizona!! It has truly been AWESOME to have our both of our college age sons with us over the last month. We have enjoyed visiting some amazing sights such as the Montezuma Castle National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano National Park, the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon as well as some amazing family members in both Arizona and Texas!