Thank you dear friends, family, congregation, Alan and Sally, Elders and Deacons, Czech mission team, and all those we have loved and been loved by for the past 33 years. God has used you to train, correct, nurture, and prepare us for the work that we are now going to do. We treasure the time we have had with you. It has been a privilege to serve the Lord with you. It is a great joy and privilege to be sent by you to the people of the Czech Republic. It is not an easy thing to leave your warm embrace.
Nearly all of our Christian lives have been spent here. The story of our call to missions started here with a series of short term mission trips to teach English in the Czech Republic. God made it plain to Annette in 2006 that we should go to the Czech Republic as missionaries; it took me a couple of years to understand that she was right. God is able to work with those who catch on quickly as well as those who take a good while longer. We have seen God’s hand in every facet of our walk toward the mission field. He has provided excellent training for us through Mission to the World. He has raised up financial and prayer support for us from people and places that we would never have thought about. He has used this congregation to encourage, supply, and bless us at every step.
The Czech people have a rich Christian heritage. After Jan Hus was martyred in 1415 for his bold reformist stand, the Czechs established a powerful nation in which the Gospel flourished for over 200 years. In the early eighteenth century, the Moravians established the first significant protestant missionary movement in history and held a 24 hour prayer vigil that lasted 100 years. Sadly, these things are largely forgotten, or simply ignored, by 21st century Czechs.
God has birthed in our hearts a great desire to see Him raise up another Jan Hus, another Moravian missionary movement, another 100 year prayer meeting. Please pray with us for the Czech people. Today, they are one of the most atheistic nations on earth, and proud of it. Pray for revival there. Pray boldly and regularly. Please pray with us for the tiny Reformed Church in Zlin. Pray for the Pastor and leaders of the church. Pray for the vision of the church members; they need to be stirred to action and prayer for their lost nation. Pray for the missionaries who are there; they have labored long with little fruit. Pray for us as we go; we will need God’s strength at every step. Please pray that God would raise up a new generation of missionaries to take our place.
One of our MTW trainers challenged us to consider that most of us have a very small vision for what God wants to do in His world. He asked us to think about the greatness of God and how our vision should match his glory. For God has said the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, even as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14).
Instead of desiring to see God convert our next door neighbors, why not our whole neighborhood; instead of our neighborhood, why not our entire city; instead of our city why not our nation? Instead of a healthy little church in Zlin, why not a Christian Czech nation? Our vision is that on the last day, that great day of the Lord, when the LORD Christ asks “Who is here from among the Czech people?” we want to hear a thundering shout, and we want the whole Czech nation to be shouting on that day.
We love you so much.