Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adventures at Summer Camp

We have been in the Czech Republic for 13 days now. The first English camp is over and the second is half complete. The days are racing by - full of classes in the morning, afternoon activities, and the evening program. There are a few moments here and there for rest.

The first week of camp Johnny and I thoroughly enjoyed “teaching” the 2 and 3 year olds English. Vendi, one of our dear Czech friends, was an immense help to us. We could not have done it without her help. The children actually did learn a few English words. The word fish was one of the primary ones, as we had goldfish crackers to eat almost every day for the morning snack. So we would hear, “Fish, please” quite frequently. I remember sitting with one of the precious little ones on my lap, looking out over the town of Bystřice pod Hostýnem and thinking what a blessing it is to be given the opportunity to love and care for these children. We do not know exactly what God will do with the seeds sown in their hearts, but He does.

Recently I read the story of a young man. As a child he had heard the name Jesus in a summer camp sponsored by missionaries. Years later, he met others who spoke of this Jesus. Because of his contact with Christians earlier in his life, he wanted to hear more about this Jesus. He soon became a believer and is now a leader in his church. His story is just one example of the many ways God is at work to sow, plant and reap a harvest for Himself. I pray that He would do this very same thing in the hearts of the little ones we had to privilege to love and serve.

One evening during the week, Johnny and I had the opportunity to share our story of God calling us to the Czech Republic. Afterward, one of our friends asked to hear more and we shared our blog with him. As he read, tears began to fill his eyes; he looked up and said, “God has not forgotten the Czech people.” It broke my heart. Surely, God has not forgotten His people. His promise is that there will be a great, uncountable number from every tribe, tongue, and nation.

We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the hope and encouragement that has been expressed by our Czech friends. Our hearts are prompted to pray all the more fervently for the workers and harvest that is to come. We continue to be encouraged by the words of the Czech believers as they tell us their stories of coming to Christ. Over and over again, we hear how they began to read the Scriptures and God opened their eyes. So we pray that our God would cause the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to shine in their hearts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Defining Moment

The defining day for us came on Monday when we visited with René and Renata Drapala and their family. René is the pastor of the Zlín Church. He took us out in the countryside to his chata. (A chata is a cabin built for the purpose of recreation. They range from the very basic to luxurious. Some are merely sheds made of whatever was at hand. ) Many Czechs garden, raise fruit trees, or simply relax and read when they go to their chata. René raises bees. We hiked up to his chata and spent a lazy morning enjoying the view and the neighbor’s sheep with him and his young daughter Viki.

A chata or two in the countryside.

Views from the chata

Before we left, René lead us up the hill through some trees to view a glorious field of wild flowers. As we stood there, Johnny says that he heard Smetana’s symphony Má Vlast, which means “My Country” in Czech, running through his head. That was when God spoke to him in an undeniable way about his specific call to the work in the Czech Republic.

Listen online at to the second movement of Bedřich Smetana’s symphony entitled the Vltava.