Friday, April 18, 2008

On the Road Again

Our new family picture

The CEE Summit takes place in Sherwood, AR next week. Preston is there now preparing to present the needs of CEE to churches and pastors who are interested in partnering with us. It's a great opportunity. Please pray for a good response and many volunteers to catch a vision for winning the lost!

While in Arkansas Preston will be preaching at Fellowship Baptist Church in Batesville. This was the first church where we served. He's excited about the opportunity to see friends again. Sunday night he will be with more friends--these served with us in Romania--at their church. After the meetings he will spend a few days with his mom. Please pray for him during his travels.

My English class continues to go well. God is giving me one-on-one time with my students right now. Last week was Gabriela. To read about my time with her, click here.
I also wanted to share one more article with you about what God is doing in the Czech Republic. Your prayers are accomplishing much.
Czechs Begin to Show Interest in the Gospel
Steve boarded the train expecting an uneventful ride to the capital city of Prague, but soon after departure a man in his cabin took out a bible and began reading. When Steve asked him what he was reading and why, he told Steve that he wanted to know about Jesus. “Holy Cow,” Steve said. “We had a 20-minute conversation about who Jesus is.”

This sort of thing just doesn’t happen in the Czech Republic—called the secular capital of Eastern Europe by some. However, as droves of teams have prayer walked and missionaries have fasted and prayed for breakthrough, God has begun doing something amazing.

Jiri Bohacek is a native church planter in Prague who is trying to reach people with the Gospel through adult English classes. Karen, leader of the advanced conversation group, shared that the women in her class are initiating discussions on spiritual matters and asking a lot of questions.

“I was explaining about Jesus’ resurrection but had to stop half-way through because we ran out of time—and it was an hour-and-a-half class.” Karen said. “When we started talking about Jesus being the only way to God, the discussion really got lively.”

Jiri is excited about this new openness to spiritual matters among his people.

“A few years ago when we were trying to reach people through a bible discussion group, they were totally uninterested in spiritual things, and I was so discouraged,” Jiri said. “But now, God is doing big things in peoples’ hearts. It is so fantastic. I am sure our prayers are being answered.”

Harold Johnson, a missionary in Eastern Czech Republic, gave out flyers around Christmas offering a New Testament CD and a pocket-size New Testament. Over 130 Czechs responded asking for Bibles and CD’s, and many even wrote letters of thanks. Steve Warren, Strategy Coordinator for the city of Prague launched a new evangelistic website and received over 1000 hits in January alone with multiple downloads.

Larry and Melissa Lewis, new missionaries to the Czech Republic, shared the meaning of Easter with their language teacher, Michaela, through Resurrection Eggs*. She was overwhelmed. “I’ve never heard this before,” she said. Michaela took the eggs home to share them with her 10-year-old son, who immediately took them to school to share them with his teacher, who had told the class that there is no God. “I have to tell my teacher,” the boy said, “she must not know about Jesus.”

Radka, a Czech believer, says that Czechs were infatuated with freedom after the fall of communism, but it has failed to satisfy them, so they are now looking for something to fill their emptiness.

“I think this is a new time for the Czech people,” she said. “I feel it. God is doing something.”

Steve and April met a girl in the park last year and invited her to house church. She refused. They saw her recently and again, she feigned disinterest in God. This time, Steve challenged her. “I think you are,” he said. Sheepishly she admitted that the week before, she had purchased her first Bible.

Please continue to pray for Czech hearts to be open and discerning. There are many false religions being proclaimed as well as the Gospel. With their new interest in spiritual things some people are being misled. For more information on joining the ministry in the Czech Republic visit Republic.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Open Doors

I just recently finished this article about the things that God is doing in the Czech Republic. Since you are my prayer warriors, I have posted it here so that you can keep up with what your prayers are accomplishing. To read specifically about what is happening in my English class, click here.

Breaking Concrete
April 11, 2008

Evangelism is often referred to as “plowing concrete” in the Czech Republic (CR) because hearts are hard and unreceptive to the Gospel. However, in Olomouc, CR, missionaries Steve and April Brown, the concrete is beginning to break. In fact at their weekly bible study, where unbelieving visitors are coming regularly, a professing atheist recently said that she knows that Jesus is the only way to God, she just doesn’t want to believe it.

“This is huge,” Steve said. “You can see the Word of God moving in their hearts.”

This bible study began over a year ago and still no one has repented and followed Christ, but the people continue to come back and bring their friends, even when they vehemently disagree with what the Bible says.

One of the regular attendees is a girl named Lucie. She met April in the park and a week later joined her for coffee and a talk. Within minutes of arriving Lucie shared with April about her involvement in the occult. April told her about the truth of Jesus. Within two days Lucie was at April’s door.

“She called and asked if she could come over and talk,” Steve said. “For three hours she asked questions about God, salvation and the Bible.”

Lucie regularly attends Bible study.

In the Park
At Easter, Steve and April hosted their annual Easter egg hunt in park close to their house. A woman they had met a year ago, also named Lucie, passed by and they struck up a conversation. She knew about their Bible studies and had never shown interest in coming, but she asked if they were seeing fruit from their efforts. As Steve told her about some things God was doing, she commented that she was just not into the “God thing.” When Steve challenged her comment, Lucie sheepishly confessed that she had, indeed, bought her first Bible the day before.

“I about fell over,” Steve said. “She admitted that she wanted to know about God and thought the Bible might be a good place to start.”

Lucie heard the Gospel message that day and is now interested in attending Steve and April’s Bible study.

On the Right Track
Steve was recently on a train, sitting in a cabin with two Czech men, when another amazing opportunity fell into his lap.

“No sooner did the train pull away from the station than the guy sitting next to me pulled out a New Testament and began reading it,” he said. “Then the man sitting to my left pulled his Bible out and began reading it. At one point all 3 of us were reading our Bibles.”

When Steve asked Jakub, the young man sitting across from him, why he was reading the Bible, he said it was because he wanted to know about Jesus. The second man was already a believer, so together, he and Steve told Jakub about Jesus.

“I may never see Jakub again,” Steve said, “but I trust the Lord to work through His word.”

For His Glory
What Steve and April are experiencing is not isolated. Other missionaries living and working in CR are also seeing fruit for the first time. English classes are serving as discussion times for spiritual topics, Bibles are being readily accepted and evangelistic websites are getting hits. One missionary in Prague was able to share the entire Gospel with her English class in response to questions that the students had initiated.

God’s movement in a country that has been so unresponsive is inspiring and energizing the missionaries laboring there. They need your prayers and involvement to capitalize on this time. To find out how you can be a part of Steve and April’s ministry, visit their website. To discover all that God is doing in the Czech Republic, click here.