Thursday, July 19, 2012

One month down, one more to go!

I just want to start out by thanking you for all your prayers. I know that it is only by God's protection and grace that I have flourished here, and I know that having a spiritual covering of prayer over me has made all of the difference. Yesterday I was talking with the pastor here, and he said that he is amazed that even after weeks, they are still seeing fruit from my being here. (Totally God, not me!)

I've been keeping myself very busy ever since I got here. Hanging out with old friends, making new ones, having visitors and traveling to visit... all of it has been very enriching. Especially for ministry in the Czech Republic, it's important to have strong relationships with people. Czechs are known for not opening up to others very easily, especially when it comes to very personal things like religion.

I've done a lot since the last time I sent out an update. My Czech exchange-student sister came to visit me for a few days, and we always enjoy spending time with each other. I was really encouraged to hear that she is still pursuing a relationship with God, even though it has been over three years since she first accepted Christ while she was in America. (Please keep her in your prayers, as I don't know if she's yet had the courage to tell her family about her faith)

Last week, I also spent a few days in the small town of Lanškroun visiting my friend, and his family. His dad is the pastor of their town's church (the only evangelical church--about 50 or so people in the town of 10,000), and I had a lot of fun getting to know them. I also became good friends with his older sister, and the three of us even took a day trip to a village in Poland (it was an hour and a half by train).

This week has been more of a work-week for me. I have been spending the mornings teaching English to young children at a family center the church started. And in the afternoons, I've been either visiting with my non-Christian friends or helping the pastor prepare for our upcoming English Camp. We leave tomorrow, and prayers for it are appreciated! There will be about 70 people at the camp overall, ranging from small children to grandparent-age, and most all people are not Christians except for a team of ~10 church members who are running the camp. Please pray that the planning will run smoothly, that the team of Americans from North Dakota will build strong bonds with the Czechs (the Americans arrived last night), and that--most importantly--the hearts of the Czech people will be open to hearing the gospel.

I only have three and a half weeks left here, and I've already started to prematurely miss it here. As the saying goes, "Home is where the heart is." My home must be here, because my heart is here. Over the past six months or so, I have been seriously and prayerfully considering moving here after I graduate in May, and after being here for only a few days, I began to believe deeply that the place for my life is here, and I would like to move here permanently after I graduate. I still don't know the details on how I will make it happen--how I will support myself financially, where I will live, the logistics of acquiring a visa--but I have faith that where God leads me, He will provide for me. So, that being said, I appreciate any and all prayers you have for my wisdom and guidance in this. I have already discussed it with my family and a few close friends, as well as I spent some time the other day talking to the pastor here about partnering with the Czech church. I also appreciate prayers for the rest of my time here this summer, as I face back-to-back English camps and business.

Grace and Peace to all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved us by his sacrifice and reconciled us to His Father.