Saturday, March 29, 2014

Quick Visit

We were in the States earlier this month to see our newest grandson.  Lincoln Johnson was born in early February and we didn’t think we could hold out until our HMA starts in the fall.  So, we made a really quick visit to see him.  We are blessed to have him!

Thanks to all our family and friends who let us blow in and out like the wind!  It was great to spend a little time with you.

Friday, February 21, 2014

At Work in Athens

Church in Central Athens

We traveled to Athens for a series of meetings with other MTW missionaries from all over Europe.  It was a refreshing time of praying for one another, worshipping (in English!), and talking about the future of our work.

One of the many treats was a tour of the work that is going on in Athens.  The churches with whom MTW has been working are involved in a broad range of ministries in the city including a church plant in the Southern suburbs, a community center in an Albanian neighborhood, an outreach to women working in the brothels, some of whom have been victims of human trafficking, and a church in the anarchist neighborhood of Exarcheia.  Yes, you read that correctly; there is a neighborhood in central Athens that is home to one of the largest concentrations of anarchists in the world.  And God is calling out a people for himself from among them.
Bema (rostrum or judgment seat) in Corinth

We also had the privilege of visiting ancient Corinth during our time in Greece.  Our excellent tour guide brought a new perspective to several passages in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians as she explained how he had carefully woven images and words from everyday life into his explanation of the gospel.  Imagine hearing the gospel for the first time and walking away with a mental image of something you would see nearly every day of your life as you walked through your city.  Talk about something that would stick in your mind!  This is a real challenge to us to learn how we can do the same thing in our context.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

They’re Here!

Last Friday morning we got up early and drove to Vienna in eager anticipation of something we have prayed and waited for since late 2012.  Around 11:00 a.m., Miriam and Evan Grady rolled out of the baggage claim area at the Vienna airport, laden with tons of bags.  They were pretty tired, having slept for only three hours on the flight over the Atlantic; so we got into our car and headed back to Zlin. 

Both of them were sound asleep within minutes of leaving the airport, so we just kept going until we arrived in Brno.  We stopped for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Brno – the IKEA restaurant (plainly, we don’t get out much J ). 

Thank you for praying for Miriam.  Thank you for supporting her.  Thank you for sending her to us.  May God bless you for all of this.

God was gracious to us yesterday.  We had to go to the local offices of the Foreign Police to register Miriam’s and Evan’s presence in the Czech Republic.  Everything went smoothly.

Please pray with us that we will quickly find an apartment for Miriam and Evan, a school for Evan, and that we would be able to get visas for them without any trouble.    

Monday, January 27, 2014

A New Cultural Experience

Something that has become very obvious to us is this: even if we lived in the Czech Republic for the next 50 years, we would not ever truly become Czechs.  Your culture is something that you learn, at least in part.  But far more of what we “know” from our culture is simply absorbed in everyday life as we grow up.  Going to balls was never a part of our cultural experience as children, or as adults.  We had no reference for this very common aspect of Czech culture – until very recently.  

We were invited to attend a rather small ball in a village about 30 miles from our city.  There was a live band, lots of excellent food, and a huge helping of time together with friends.  One thing we have learned about our new culture is that people here truly value time spent together - the longer, the better.  A ball provides a great opportunity to be with those you care about.  And we enjoyed the ball for that reason more than any other.