The photo below is of Avery running towards the doors of our church. We were about four minutes late this morning so you don’t see anyone standing around outside, but often there are many people fellowshipping and talking on and around those steps. Right when we walked through those doors one of the pastors saw us and greeted us by saying “Dobré ráno” (“Good morning”) and immediately pointed to his ears. He was motioning to remind us to grab our English translations headsets. Every week someone will translate via a little microphone to our headsets so we really don’t have any issues understanding the flow of the service and the sermon. It’s a huge blessing and I’m thankful for the different people who serve us this way. Even though we’re trying to learn Czech, it’s really nice to be able to come to church and understand most of what’s happening.
Today’s sermon was on putting on the full of armor of God from Ephesians 6. That was actually the first passage of scripture I ever memorized. I still remember it to this day and I even remember reciting it in front of my 6th grade class. At one point during the sermon our pastor put up a photo of a Roman soldier and just started to describe the spiritual armor that correlated with the photo. It was a good visual reminder to me and I think very helpful to the body. He even discussed that the “sword of the Spirit” (the Bible) is one of the only things listed in the passage that is offensive in nature and the other pieces of spiritual armor are defensive. His point was that even though a sword is an offensive weapon, he believes that in the context of the passage it’s defensive. Super interesting thought and something I’m still thinking through this evening. It’s a joy to watch these Czech pastors work through the text, try to understand the original intent, and preach it to us. To be honest, it wasn’t what I had expected we would find when we moved here and from what I’ve heard it’s not the norm throughout the entire country. For all I know at this point our church may just be the exception.
The photos above are Avery and Bethany going in and out of the grocery story this afternoon after church. I had taken the first photo just because I thought they were cute, but then watching Avery cary a few bags of groceries on her way out with Bethany was the cherry on top. Bethany even said that the Czechs were stopping and looking at her and admiring Avery as she was leaving the store because she even had the bags around her shoulders at one point like a purse. Cute kid.
Tonight we had some friends over for dinner and enjoyed a little “American comfort food.” Those are the best words I can use to describe any kind of Mexican food that Bethany makes. In fact, we finished off our only container of Pace picante sauce…let’s just pause and take a moment of silence…it was good run for our salsa, but as my mom always says, “All good things must come to an end.” Some sacrifices in missions are hard…even salsa.
We ended up video chatting with Bethany’s parents late tonight and it was extra special. They kids got to stay up late and say hi but we talked for a while longer after the kids went to bed. For all of the junk that technology produces, one of the incredible blessings is to be able to video chat with family who are over 6,000 miles away. Towards the end of our conversation Bethany’s dad asked what things they could be praying for and he wrote them down and prayed with us. That was special. I guess it was just really practical. He prayed for the things we mentioned and as I listened and agreed I was blessed. God is so good to give us family who care for us and even when life is a little disjointed for us we know that we have family and many others praying for us. And even though miles separate us and time zones separate us, we are united in Christ. Now that’s special.