Friday, January 18, 2008

A Hostile World

As we began English classes last week, we were excited that 11 people signed up for this session. We had advertised it on the web and through flyers. We had said that we would teach Beginner and Intermediate English and use Bible stories to practice what we learned.

One man showed up with a bad attitude. He wouldn't sign up because he wanted to "check it out" first and make sure we weren't going to push the Bible on him.

"If you teach me English,that's good, but if you start reading the bible to me, I'm leaving," he said. "I'm an atheist and I'm happy being an atheist."

Since he was in the beginner class, there wasn't any bible reading on the first night because they aren't able to understand well enough to do that yet. The lesson was basically simple English.

As he left he said, "So why didn't you read out of the Bible? Are you going to use the Bible?"

Our Czech colleague was intrigued by him and said, "Why, do you want us to read the Bible to you?"

Though it was a question asked lightly, we all wondered later if he was protesting about hearing the truth a little too loudly. Since we advertised that we would indeed use the Bible, why did this man come to "check us out" if he was so opposed to hearing the truth. We're thinking he's hungry for something and that maybe he isn't so happy being an atheist after all. Please pray for this man, Mirek, and for the other students as we begin another session.

In the intermediate class we are using bible stories from the beginning. Right now our students are Honza, Honza and Katerina. Please pray for the truth to sink into their hearts and make them hunger for more. Please also pray for the relationships that we will build with them--that they will be a bridge to their salvation.

Along with English, the next month will be full of training events that will keep Preston hopping. Being an introvert, these conferences always leave him pretty drained. Beginning Feb 27 we will have the Ebenezer conference. This is for our first term missionaries. They come to Prague and have opportunity to de-brief their first year on the field. We have found that it is a vital part of their longevity as it helps them to process the stress of cross-cultural living as well as the inevitable spiritual battles they face. This conference is the one I speak at as well. I will have 2-3 sessions and always spend the rest of the conference just trying to be a good sounding board for the folks, ladies imparticular. This conference will be especially challenging as many of the folks are actually living here in Prauge and I know them very well. It is one things to talk to folks who see you once a year and quite another to talk to those who walk and talk with you daily. Please pray for all of those who will come and for us as we lead.

Immediately following this is Strategy Coordinator Training. This is the biggest training event of the year as it trains our key personnel to reach their particular people group. Preston will be facilitating and teaching and counseling and advising and so forth. The families come with kids and stay for 31/2 weeks. It is an intense time. Please pray for participants, families, children, and volunteer child-care workers.

Thank you for your prayers. We serve a mighty God.