Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sharing with friends

Kristyna is a 16-year old girl that has been coming to English club for several years. She is a new Christian. I was chatting with her on Facebook the other night and this is what she said.

"Something very strange but very encouraging happened yesterday. I was chatting with my best friend, who had started to believe in God at camp, and then I felt something inside and I knew that God wants me to tell my friends about Him. So this week I have told a lot of my friends about God and Jesus. I have never told them before. It is exciting. I am very glad he is showing me His love and mercy."

Isn't that precious?! It is so exciting that God is speaking not only to her but through her. She came over today and we talked and prayed for her friends. Since sharing her faith, she has found two of her classmates who also believe in God and are trying to follow Him. She was very encouraged!

We had our first English class last night and had 6 people come. We used Matthew 1 as our text and talked about many things from there, i.e. genealogy, dreams. There were no real spiritual questions or discussions. Please pray for this group.

Bridge Community, our church planting effort, is going pretty well. We had several visitors last Sunday! Please pray for more to come and for those who come to really hear. Pray especially for a young man named Tonda.

My Jr. high girls bible study is great. Precious girls! I met with my student helper today and our time together was really nice. Please pray for her. Her name is Joana. Pray that she will grow spiritually and continue to seek God in her life.

We are having lots of new people at Youth Praha, including some Czech kids from camp this summer. Kristyna is also going to come this week. Please pray for her and a boy named Andrew, who has also visited (his parents are in our English class).

Thank you so much for your prayers. I will keep you posted.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Did you Feel that?

Steve and Lubos baptize Lubos' mother, Sonya

Zdenka came to Bridge Community for the first time last night. She is a friend of Sonya. After the service Zdenka turned to Sonya and asked, "did you feel that?" Sonya asked her what she was talking about and Zdenka said that it was like the preacher was talking only to her. "That's God drawing you to Himself," Sonya said.

Sonya is a new believer. She came to Christ last year through the testimony of her son, Lubos. She's been telling Zdenka about her new relationship with Christ and gave her a bible, which Zdenka is faithfully reading. Please pray for her as God draws her. Pray for her to respond and not push away. Pray for Sonya's consistent testimony.

Lubos is a fairly new believer as well. Preston is discipling him. He is faithful to come several times a week to our home where he and Pres talk about scripture and work on memory verses. Pray for him as he continues to grow in his faith.

Bridge Community is the church plant we are working with. It is headed up by the leaders of the Prague team, Steve and April Brown. Lauren and I are leading music on Sunday nights and Preston is preaching every other week. We have a young Czech couple who is working with this effort as well, Martin and Tereza. Please pray for them as Martin is beginning to preach some and they are key to helping us reach the Czechs in Prague. Pray for them to be continually drawn to God. They have such sweet spirits, are newlyweds, are seeking to follow God. Martin is a seminary student.

Thank you for your prayers. I will keep you updated.

Friday, August 27, 2010

God's Working--quick update

Summer is winding down for us--just one more week until school starts! It's been a long one for us since we got out of American schools in May. The kids are ready to see all their friends and teachers again.

The last 6 weeks have been really busy and very blessed. God is working in Czech and we can see a difference in the spiritual atmosphere here. I've been collecting information for articles from all the different teams in Czech about their camps this summer and I'm amazed at how many people are coming to Christ. Our Ms all over the country are excited and encouraged. If you would like to read more about God's work in Europe, click here.

You have prayed in the past for a friend named Dereje. He is very close to baptism and is seeking our our fellowship since we've returned. He is married to an unbeliever and it is hard at home right now because of his faith. Please pray for him and for our time with his family.

You prayed in the past for a young girl named Kristyna. She became a believer recently. She is noticing how her friends are not interested in God. Please pray for her continued growth, as well as for her sister Kayja.

At our family camp this year, we continued to build relationships with 5 families. Lauren was able to share quite a bit with a teenager named Ondrej (Andrew). He is interested in coming to Youth Praha (an international youth group) this year. Pray for him to follow through. I also will continue to meet with Dasa once a week. She has not yet made a decision for Christ. Please pray for God to draw her. We're excited about taking over the English class with these families. As we plan and prepare for the year, pray for us to know how much spiritual content to put into our lessons and that our conversations on Mondays will be redemptive.

We had some friends over this past week and they brought a man they met in the park with them. He was from Texas. We shared Christ with him and he is spiritually open. Please pray for David. He invited Preston to come play basketball with a group of men every week. Its a great opportunity! We've invited him to Bridge, the church plant we are working with. Pray that he will respond.

Youth Praha will start soon and I will be discipling a young girl named Joanna as well as leading the Jr. High girls. Joanna is thinking about helping me lead but is hesitant to take on the responsibility. Please pray for her to listen to God's voice and be obedient.

In addition to God working in Czech, we've seen him doing some great things in other places as well. Preston and I have been to a meeting in Germany, planning some training events for our missionaries and we've been to Serbia and Romania talking to theological institutions about how we can help them reach their own people. Both trips were wonderful and God opened doors. We're excited to see what he's going to do. Preston will return to Serbia in October to teach Hermeneutics to the first 2o students at the seminary. He also has bible schools to visit in Ukraine, Spain and Germany.

That's a quick update of what we've seen God doing here. We so appreciate your prayers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We're Home

We are finally back in Prague. It feels so good to be home. Our year in America was truly blessed. Absolutely no complaints. But now we're back with our stuff, and we can finally relax. We pretty much had to move back into our apartment because most of our stuff had been put in storage in our attic. We had a busy week getting our home set up and getting phones and public transportation passes. We have been blessed by many friends helping us out and cooking for us. Things are getting back to "normal" now and it really feels like we never left.

Our time in the States was full. Some highlights were:

*Preston loved teaching at Louisiana College all year. Being back in the classroom was great and he was able to impact many young minds.

*The kids all did remarkably well--God blessed them all with friends, good grades and a sense of His presence next to them as they experienced new things and turned to Him when things got tough.

*Great time with family--We were about 2 hours from Preston's mom during the school year and got to spend 2 months with my family as well as some holidays. We celebrated Preston's mom's 85th birthday before leaving and still managed to leave everyone in good health.

*David had a good first year of college and was able to get a job over the summer. He's living with Preston's sister and her husband in Kingwood, Texas. The job pays very well, and he's been able to save up some money for a trip home to Prague for Lauren's graduation. He will head back to school in Virginia in about a month.

*We were able to re-connect with several friends we haven't seen in years. It was such a blessing to us to catch up and see how God has been working in their lives. Thank you to those of you who made the effort to come and see us or welcome us into your home.

Now that we're back, we're eager to see what God has for this phase of our life and work. Preston is beginning his new position as Theological Education Consultant for Europe. Please pray for him as he evaluates current teaching institutions and programs as well as places that need new work, and determines how we can partner and help in each of those.

I will continue to write for teams working in Europe and will help get their stories out to supporting churches via internet and special projects.

Lauren will begin her Senior year in September. We will be applying and preparing for college. She will join David at Liberty next fall. Jessica will be a Freshman in high school and Andrew will begin 6th grade. They are all really excited about returning to CISP. (Christian International School of Prague).

We are leaving for English Camp on Saturday. This is a family camp. There will be a total of 40 people including Czechs and volunteers. None of the Czech families know the Lord. We will have conversation classes every morning, group activities in the afternoon and a time of singing/bible study in the evening. Please pray for God to work in the hearts of these folks. They have been part of a weekly English club for a few years and have been exposed many times to the truths of scripture. (Preston and I plan to take over this club in the fall so pray for good friendships to develop.) Lauren will be leading music and teaching pre-schoolers. Jessica and Andrew will be helping in their "classes" as the native English speakers. Preston and I will both be leading small groups.

We have also begun working with a new group here in Prague called Bridge Community, an evangelism church planting effort begun by our Prague team. God has just provided a perfect location for us to meet and has given the team here a great vision for reaching people with the Gospel in a way that is culturally relevant. Please pray for the team and for us as we find ways to intentionally form relationships with Czechs and introduce them to the claims of Christ.

In August Preston and I are taking a trip to Serbia to see what is happening there at a local seminary. The same week Lauren, jessi and andrew are going to an MK (Missionary Kid) camp. Please pray for the camp leaders to challenge and encourage the kids in their walks with the Lord and for Lauren and other seniors who will be serving as counselors.

Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

An Overdue Update

Well, it's been way too long and for that I apologize. Life in America has kept us just a little busy, but that's no excuse. Now that we've passed Christmas, it seems like no time until we return to Prague. There are mixed feeling all through our house about that. We all miss it, but we have also enjoyed being here. I'm continually amazed at God's provision for us. He has provided cars, friends, ministry opportunities, time with family, and much more. At ever turn, we have met unexpected needs and never, have we come up short. We've seen with stark clarity how God does indeed go before us and give us everything we need, and much that just makes us happy.

The kids have done beautifully at their appointed schools. All have made friends, received honors and enjoyed themselves. Highlights for them: David ended his first semester with a 3.6 and is going to Ethiopia on a mission trip in March; Lauren was the mvp of her soccer team, taking them to play-offs for the first time; Jessica made it into the Honor's choir at her school, and was asked to try out for a special workshop by her ballet teacher; Andrew played football and his team won the league's Super Bowl.

More importantly all the kids have continued in their spiritual maturity. They have been given multiple opportunities to share Christ with the kids around them and, even better, they've taken these opportunities! That's been the most rewarding thing to me--to watch them growing and obeying and learning what it means to be a follower of Christ in a different context. Pres and I realized that a year in a new place could bring all sorts of challenges and hardship, as well as blessings. We weren't exactly sure what to expect, although we felt sure of God's leading us here. We've been so pleased to see them flourish here.

That's not to say there haven't been rough patches too. Loneliness, missing Prague, missing David, feeling like they don't belong, trying to fit what they know of following Christ into this context of public school and kids who say they are Christians but don't live like it. These things have brought heartache and tears from time to time, but God has been faithful to meet us in our moments of need. Thank you all for your prayers.I know they have helped sustain us.

Preston loves being back in the classroom. He taught New Testament and Missions last semester and is teaching 2 hours of New Testament and Preaching this semester. I have just begun discipling a lovely young lady whose husband works at the college and with her, have gotten involved in a bible study for college students. Both of these are huge answers to prayer as I have been asking God to open a door for me to get involved in some girls' lives since arriving here and now he has.

We've also had some much needed time with our families. Spending holidays with them was really great this year. We haven't done that in a long time. We've also been really blessed by seeing old friends during our travels.

When we left Prague, IMB was undergoing a paradigm shift, so some of our time here as been spent learning about our "new and improved" jobs once we return. We're getting excited about what God has in store for us. Pres will be the European Theological Education Consultant and I will continue on the media team as lead writer and liason to the Roma people. For now we will continue on in Prague, though eventually we may move to another location in Europe.

There's lots of good news out of Prague too. In our absence lots of new folks have moved in and some have started a church there called "Bridge Community." God has faithfully brought people and some have become believers. Our friend Lubos was able to see his mom come to Christ and she was baptized recently. The new wave of missionaries there are settling in and finding their own niches of ministry. There have been some exciting things happening among the Russians of Prague as well as in the Roma ministry.

There are some that you prayed for from last year, specifically Dasa and Coral, who have not taken the next step and are complacent in their search for truth. Please continue to pray for these two. We've continued to talk, but only sometimes about spiritual things.

We've still got lots of travels yet to do this year and maybe we'll get to see many of you! I'll try to keep you updated more faithfully.