We have just finished the commissioning ceremony that we have here at training which marks the end of short-term team training and the beginning of English Camps! We leave tomorrow to travel north to Trutnov by train, metro, and bus where we will finally arrive at our English Camp location and meet our Czech counterparts from the local Youth Group. Over the last two days we have had various seminars about Czech culture, how to teach english classes, how to talk to them on a spiritual level, etc. The whole training has been super helpful and many team members have expressed their gratitude that JV has provided such an amazing time of rest and learning before we head out and run english camps. Everyone feels ready and excited to teach english and to be at camp, and we're most excited to get to finally be with the students that we have been preparing to be with for many months now! Please keep them in your prayers as we go forth and pray that God will use us and use the camp to point the Czech unbelievers to Him!
On top of that, a big reason we are here is to encourage our Czech Youth Group and the other Czech Christians that we will be working with. Only about 1% of young people in central and eastern Europe are evangelical Christians, and the journey can be a lonely one. To have a group of Christians such as ourselves fly out to the Czech Republic and provide encouragement to them means more than can be expressed, and we are so excited that God can use us to build up the existing believers in this Country. Be praying that they would feel built up and encouraged through our time together and that the non-christian students that we meet might get connected with the local church through the Youth Group that we are working with. This is the goal, and we pray that the church in the Czech Republic might grow as students come to know more about Jesus through english camp.
As I right, many team members from various different churches, interns, and leaders are scattered around the hotel playing games, talking, and preparing for the week ahead. The atmosphere amongst the people here is incredible and it has been such a blessing to be able to get fired up and trained up with such strong and driven believers. With this as a backdrop, one story before I go:
Worship is always such a special time when we are in the Czech Republic. The people that we worship with here at training mostly fall into two groups. The first group is the one full of Americans who have answered the call of Christ to come to the Czech and to put the money and effort forward for the Kingdom of Christ in order to make it happen. The other group is that of the Czech leaders who have encountered Christ in such a powerful way that many of them now stand out socially amongst their friends, families, class mates, and colleagues. Both of these groups have such a strong sense of purpose and calling and not a single person is half-hearted about being here. This shows in their worship. It is one of the most encouraging thing to listen to the body of Christ worship with such volume and conviction. Our main meeting room for our training sessions and worship is in an elevated room in the hotel which is FULL of windows on one side that all look out onto the hills, river, and castle above. The picture provided at the very top is a view from our hotel, and if you can envision what it must be like to worship with 60ish believers screaming at the top of their lungs, and to look out at such a breathtaking view, you can start to imagine that it really feels like a glimpse of Heaven. So, tonight as we were worshiping as a group for the last time, a string on the worship leader's guitar seemed so overwhelmed by the sound of Believers that it gave way and broke, and for the next five minutes the only sound ringing out the open windows and through the hills of Český Šternberk was pure, unadulterated, a capella worship.
Until Next time,