For the past five days we have had the joy and privilege of having our friends Steve and Judy with us here in Czech Republic. As has been true of our sending church for many years, they sent us Steve and Judy this week to be an encouragement and to just spend some face to face time with us. We have know Steve and Judy for a long time, but we’ve never had the kind of time with them that we had this week. It was special, fun, encouraging, and they leave us with our hearts full of thankfulness.
Since today was our last day with them, I really wanted to make sure they get to see where I work and meet more of the Josiah Venture (JV) team. This morning we went in to Frydlant where the JV office is and did just that. In typical Steve and Judy fashion, they were meeting people, asking lots of questions, and I think just trying to be an encouragement. Anyone who knows this wonderful couple knows that they just love to encourage others and I think that happened today. I snapped really candid moments of them talking our office today which you can see below. I love how Steve has his notepad and is taking notes (no doubt so he can pray for things) and Judy is talking with my teammate John. A little later they gathered everyone in the office just to pray for us and for the ministry here. In the best sense possible, I can honestly say that whenever I spend time with Steve and Judy I realize just how much my prayer time is lacking! They are truly an example of a couple who prays.
Speaking of prayer, that’s exactly what we spent time tonight doing with them after dinner. We put the kids to bed and talked for a while, but then we just prayed. Every Christian knows you can’t pray enough. We are in a constant state of reliance upon our God for everything in life and prayer is one way do just that. I’m reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Steve and Judy are without a doubt an example of a couple who prays without ceasing, but I would add that rejoicing and thankfulness are also very characteristic of them.
Earlier this week Steve asked us, “What are you thankful for?” and I’m still thinking about it. I was able to list off a few things, but I even realized this morning I left out our new daughter that’s due in a month! How could I not think of our baby girl on a list of things to be thankful for?! Steve again reminded us tonight to be thankful. In fact, he challenged me with Proverbs 31:28 “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” He was reminding me to vocalize my thankfulness for Bethany and all that she does and to make sure I teach and train our kids to do the same. Such a helpful reminder from God’s Word and from a man of God who is an example of this.
Steve and Judy, we are so thankful for our time with you. Thank you for taking the time to be with us and for sharing your lives with us. Thank you for the parenting help, the reminders to pray and pray often, and most importantly pointing us to Christ through His Word and your example. We are blessed to know you and call you our friends.