Tuesday, November 25, 2008
*Adult English classes--we've had 5 consistent students and they are hungry to understand the Word of God. One student specifically asked if we could begin reading the Bible together. We began in John's Gospel. One man, Dereje, was quick to say that he didn't understand anything about the context because he's never read the Bible before. He began asking questions, "who was John the Baptist", what is difference between the New and Old Testaments, What does it mean that Jesus was in the beginning with God? The best part was that the other students joined in explaining the parts they understood. One student even suggested if he wanted to learn more, he should watch the Jesus film. It was a great night. Since then Dereje has accepted a bible and agreed to begin reading on his own. He continues to be faithful and left one night, telling people on the way out that he was excited to begin studying the Bible. Also, two of the students from last year (Susan and Susan) who were so full of questions have returned in the last 2 weeks.
*Gabriela--this woman was one of my (Karen) students from last year, went to extra legnths to contact me personally so that we could continue "talking" like we did before. We met for coffee and talked in depth about where she was spiritually. She is not ready yet to accept Christ, but we continue to see each other weekly as Jessica is meeting with her daughter to help her with English. We have developed a nice friendship.
*Dasa and Petr--This couple from English camp have pursued a friendship with us. Dasa and I have been getting together weekly to go to her gym. We never see each other when she doesn't ask spiritual questions. She's reading through scripture and we discuss it over lunch. Our families have gotten together a couple of times as well. They are interested in visiting our international service at church. Petr considers himself a follower of Jesus now, Dasa is still uncertain.
*High school girls bible study has been an absolute pleasure. The group of 15 is consistent and searching for answers. Most are believers, some more firmly grounded than others, but one girl is not yet a believer and is quite honest about that. She asks great questions and has told me personally that she feels God drawing her. It's scary for her because her parents and her whole culture (she's from California) is anti-christian. She's truly having to count the cost. She hasn't told me that she's committed her life to Christ yet, but I do see changes in her countenance.
*After 2 years of trying to reach out to my neighbor, there has been a breakthrough. Twice in the past few weeks she has been crying in the hallway. Both times, either Preston or I was there and we were able to talk to her and comfort her. She hugged us both times and thanked us. It has really opened up the door for a friendship. She is elderly and very forgetful, so its kind of hard to continue conversations with her. But we are reaching out to her through and she is receiving it.
*Lubos continues to be a pleasure. He and Preston meet as often as possible, though his work schedule has been a problem lately. He's growing. Preston is considering inviting some others to join them--Petr, Dereje, and a new believer from Int.' church.
*Krystina is doing well and has continued to English Club. She has also visited church a few times with her father, Honza, who attends the adult English class. Pepa, unfortunately, has been scarce.
*The kids have all become pro-active in seeking out personal ways for God to use them. Its been so exciting to see. David has begun playing the guitarand helps lead worship at chapel and youth group. He continues to minister to the homeless in the square, although they are not an easy group to get to know, nor are they grateful. Lauren is playing drums regularly now in a worship band, youth group, chapel and in church. Jess is singing at chapel and church. They are all seeking to bring their friends to Christ. Jess is tutoring Gabriela's daughter in English which gives her opportunity to share with her. Lauren has been a big part of bringing the unbeliever at bible study (Coral) to the place she finds herself. Andrew is faithful to come to Czech church with us and participate in Sunday school and English Club to help reach out to the Czech kids around him. As grateful as we are to see how God is using the kids, its an even great blessing to see how he's at work in their personal lives. There is no greater joy.
*Last but not least, we have been asked to stay in Prague and continue in the roles (though there will be some changes) we currently serving in. We are very excited about this. We will have some new people coming here and some of our friends will be re-locating, so the changes affect us in many ways. As the new organization becomes clearer, we are excited about what God is doing.
So, there's an update...lots of reasons to praise God and lots of reasons to thank you, our prayer warriors. Please don't stop!! God is definitely doing something in the Czech Republic! We are not the only ones seeing responses. Many of our colleagues are seeing the same thing happen in their midst. One family is discipling 4 new believers and preparing them for baptism. Another girl has just given Mere Christianity to a friend and she is devouring it--after a year of witness and testimony to which she was unresponsive. Our (missionaries) kids are growing and owning their own faith, praying for kids at school and actively sharing Christ. These are exciting days!!