Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Missing the Air in the South

Alan and Sally
Sometimes you don’t know how much something is worth until it is taken away.  Living in the “Bible Belt” it was relatively easy to find spiritual nurture.  Yes, it still required work to get up early to read our Bibles and pray each morning, but the soul food that we got from Christian radio, our small group meetings, sermons, and Sunday school classes was sort of like air – it was just there all the time.  When we moved to the Czech Republic, the “air” was all gone!  

Yes, we do still go to church on Sundays, but the messages are all in Czech, there is no Sunday school, and no Christian radio.  We have started a small group, and those relationships are growing deeper, but many times the conversation and the prayers are in Czech.  “Don’t you guys already speak Czech?” you might ask.  Yes and no.  Our Czech skills are still at a pre-school level.  We often don’t get much from the prayers or conversations of our dear Czech friends, and very little from the sermons in church.

So, we are really appreciative of the ministry plan that MTW has in place to send PCA pastors to visit mission teams at least once each year.  We are doubly blessed by this plan since the pastor assigned to our team happens to be Alan Carter, the pastor of our home church in Birmingham!  In May, Alan and his wife Sally came for a long weekend and went with our team on a two day mini-retreat to the nearby city of Olomouc.  There are some pictures from the retreat posted nearby.  We enjoyed some English worship, times of extended prayer, and several encouraging messages from Alan.  Alan and Sally also took time to be alone with each of the missionary couples here to nurture and to encourage them.  It was a blessed time.
So, the next time you are bored by your pastor’s sermon, or distracted in Sunday school, or weary of the regularity of your small group meetings, please think about losing all of those things.  They are more valuable than you might imagine.  

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