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Wow. Time flies. It’s been a week and half since our plane landed back in California and we feel like we’re just getting settled back in to our routine (especially sleep!). The Lord was so gracious during our trip! With over 48 hours of travel time (there and back), a 9-hour time difference, a 7-month old, and severe jet-lag, we had energy throughout and really felt your prayers. That said, we wanted to follow up and tell you what the Lord did at camp.
Finishing Up At Camp
One story that still breaks my (Shay) heart was while I was sitting in “cabin time” after the Wednesday night talk on sin. The young men I was with were asked a question about whether they have ever felt hopeless and what that was like for them. As they began to answer, and as the translator began to share what they were saying, tears started to roll down my cheeks. Five out of the six of these 14-year-olds shared how they all had gone through a difficult time at some point, and all of them had considered suicide as an answer to their problems. This is just an example of the despair and hopelessness in Czech Republic. The need for the Savior is great!
We asked you to pray for the Thursday night camp meeting (aka: “Gospel night”) as the students heard the gospel, many of them for the very first time. That same night they were given an opportunity to respond and by God’s amazing grace, 8 out of the 40 students professed Christ and a few others desired to know more–praise the Lord! 8 is an incredible number, especially in a country where God is a distant thought on the hearts of many. What a blessing to see God change the hearts of these young people! The following week (after we left), the Czech youth leaders (who were also the leaders at camp) invited these new believers to go to church with them the following Sunday, right after camp. This gave the students an oppurtunity to experience church without the intimidation of going alone, or not knowing anyone. We are excited about what the Lord will do with these changed lives in the future.
One of the blessings of camp was the we felt like we “fit” while we were there. Both with the leaders and the students, we saw a connection and trust that God was working through those relationships. This was a huge blessing to us and really helped confirm our ministry there. Everything from playing games, doing crazy things with the students (e.g. Shay and 9 other guys stuffing themselves into a shower to make a “steam room”…don’t worry, we were wearing shorts), and having open conversations which led to deeper relationships were all part of what made camp a great experience and a God glorifying time.
As we have been home and thought and prayed about our future ministry, our desire is to move forward with full-time ministry with Josiah Venture in the Czech Republic. Would you continue to pray for us in this process? We are praying that the Lord would open up the soonest possible timeline for us to be there full-time. A lot has to happen, but we are trusting the Lord’s timing in all of it. Please pray that we would be wise as we make decisions, as we work alongside our own local church, and as we push forward with what we believe the Lord is calling us to. We look forward to keeping you up to date in this process. Thank you for praying and for your continued support of our family and the work the Lord is doing in Czech Republic and Eastern Europe.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot