I am updating everyone about missions in the Czech Republic with this blog. Currently, I am in my host family, typing away in with my droid & getting ready for bed. It is 12:07am now (9 hrs ahead of San Diego time).
A lot has happened in the last 3 days and I can hardly begin to tell where to start. Here’s the recap.
Day 1 (Tue/Wed)
-an intense traveling experience, but thank God all persons (and luggage) are on board. Loads of small stories to share about this day…
-1st sight of Czech Republic= I was struck back by the secularism that dominated this country. Even the very architecture oozed (post-)modern idealism (depending on locale),.. a very artistic/aesthetically/visually-pleasing country, but extremely humanistic and secular.
-things move very fast in CZ. There’s no time to waste for us with loading/unloading luggages. =( note to self: assembly line =)
-Chris T. and I met our host family, the Pidrovi’s, for the 1st time. Sam is the father, Silva the mother, Kristinka the 11 yo daughter, & Michael (Misa) the 5 yo son. Such a kind, hospitable family. 1st time meeting them & we were blown away by their love & care to us.
-general thoughts/meditations: the Czech people (from the churches there) are extraordinarily gracious and hospitable, which deeply convicts me. Do we demonstrate such care & love to strangers in our own midst?
Day 2 (Thur)
-an entire day ministering at 2 convalescent homes with Pastor Meinolf Mellwig, the pastor at KSOP (the church at Ostrava, whom we partner with)
-different environment, but same feel. Both denizens at the convalescent homes feel neglected & unloved by overall CZ society.
-spent some time at TESCO, the CZ version of Walmart/Target/Costco, to resupply.
-I am challenged to practice guitar more. The 1st home we visited, I forgot 2 songs in the set. Not very good of me… but God is still gracious.
-met Hanka today! A very cool, calm woman. Even her voice *exudes* coolness. 😉
-finally met Mattias Mellwig, my “future friend”, according to Facebook. A fellow who is quite genial. 🙂 I look forward to more fellowshiping (:
-had my first monopoly deal victory at CZ.
-also had my first nap in CZ… maybe more to come? Hope not.
-played *intense* volleyball at a gym in Polanka. Still sore.. seems like most Czech are *natural* athletes.
-general thoughts/meditations: Am I truly being zealous for God’s glory? Especially with those I do not feel comfortable with (such as people in convalescent homes), am I looking past circumstances & looking directly to the state of their souls?
Day 3 (Fri)
-the first good sleep in Czech.
-shopping, errands at TESCO, and ate at McDonalds. Now I understand why America is sometimes called “land of the free condiments”
-played killer with mellwig kids & team, then teaching time for men.
-met Jirka, Katrin, and Monika. Very friendly CZ folks. Also very *cool*, cooler than cucumbers 😉
-also met Sergei, an atheist who visited that day. Spent the entire time at bbq discussing with him. Sergei had 2 questions = 1. What is the difference between God & Harry Potter/any other fairy tale. 2. If there is a God, why does He make salvation so difficult (why could he not make it obvious?)
Hard. Not because of the questions (easy questions to dismantle), but because of the heart. Complete refusal of submitting to God’s authority.
Sergei & I had good talk and it seems like he likes me. Perhaps we can continue to stay in touch (though I am hardly the robust, logical thinker like Stephen R…)
-general thoughts/meditations: The zeal of God’s glory & the servant heart of mercy is one and the same. The passion for God’s glory is the same passion to meet our needs as sinners needing salvation.
-more dinner with Pidrovi’s & played games with them. Extremely blessed by the family. They really pull so much effort & go out of their way to express love to us. I am completely blown away by their incredible hospitality.
A few lessons from CZ.
-appropriateness. The Czech knows how to be appropriate & proper. A part of that may originate from their overall cultural demeanor, as they are an overall stoic nation.
-efficiency. Time is important & being punctual is greatly valued. They do their best to make it on time to things & even the people who are habitually late do *know* that they are habitually late (and naturally deride themselves for it).
-hospitality. The way they show love & care is amazing. They really know how to minister & bless in ways that I never considered before. Self-sacrifice is seen among families and they treat us like families.
The Czech are a unique, rugged folks who work hard. But they pray a LOT. They do so much, even with what little they have, but their child-like dependence on God challenges me more.
I look forward to more days ministering and serving alongside them. Already I am beginning to miss these days. This has been such an amazing blessing.
Please pray for us. English camp is tomorrow & it is the main event that KSOP hosts. Please pray for:
-our hearts to be right with God.
-all of us to be depending on God for teaching, preaching, & evangelizing.
-hearts to be softened to Jesus Christ. Czech are mainly atheistic & cold. Christianity is culturally derided and ridiculed (which makes Czech Christians a rare, hardy group of believers). Pray that unbelieving Czechs will be open to the Gospel.
-opportunities to share the grace of God in our lives.
-physical/mental/spiritual help. English camp will be a 7 day ordeal which will demand so much of ourselves.
-relying God for everything (& practical demonstration of this faith).
I don’t know if I will be able to update much, if at all, after this post, but we shall see.
I must go sleep now, but please keep us in your prayers! Thank you!
For the sake of His name,