Thursday, January 29, 2009

Overjoyed Indeed.

My group didn't get very far in our Conversation Club Conversation. On the other hand, it was a jaw-dropping hour of watching God work. We barely touched the first question. "When is a time you have been overjoyed?"

I knew that the other 3 in my group were Christians, which is a strangely wonderful since there aren't tons of Christians in the city...and 3 of them were at my table. We got no further than the first question on our topic sheet before one of them started sharing about some mission trips she'd been on. Each time she serves somewhere for Christ, she is 'overjoyed', she said. How cool, and what a great witness, to have another in the group to share about mission trips! At that point, I sort of let the others find out on their own that they were all Christians desiring to follow God. The rest of the hour just turned into mostly the 3 of them totally encouraging one another. I found that it's difficult for each of them to even share about Christ with their families, as most of their family members think it's crazy and that they are in a sect. They were able to help each other and share ways that the Lord has comforted them. We also talked a lot about evangelism and how that works here and how it can be so hard to share Christ with friends who will think you're crazy. It was really neat to see how each of them are working through these things and how they are relying on God and the Word for help and guidance in sharing Christ with friends. It was great to be a part of such Christian encouragement! We even ended our time with prayer (which doesn't usually happen at a regular conversation club) and as soon as I mentioned praying together, all three of them just got so excited. Just to be united with other Christians and know they aren't alone. Wow. I even got a little teary during the prayer time, just to that God IS working here, even though things take a little longer in this environment. It was so invigorating to be involved in a conversation about serving God with people who want to do that with all their heart. You can see it in their eyes. They are overjoyed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Christmas Greeting

video

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Shopping - Modern and Medieval

Christmas shopping here in Czech Republic is both really similar and totally different than in the USA. Don't worry, there are plenty of malls where you can find anything and everything you need, and of course, all that you don't need as well. They are all well-equipped with big food courts, lots of stores, ATM machines, and big Christmas trees and snow men! Oh yeah, and just as many people as you'd find in American malls. Some of my friends claim that they don't really like shopping at the big malls, but there are definitely a lot of Czechs who do like it.


But if the crowds INSIDE get you down, there's always the outdoor Christmas shopping! In the outdoor Christmas market in the main square in town. I don't know how long this market has been a tradition, but it must be a long time. Here you can find some actual hand-crafts, some claimed-to-be hand-crafts (that probably aren't), and some random little shops with purses, pillows and other things that have nothing to do with being a hand-craft. And then there's the unique Christmas market food! You can try a bramborak (potato pancake), langosh- my new favorite - (a big piece of fried dough with garlic, cheese, and ketchup on it), klobasa (sausage), or a trdlnik (an amazingly delicious hollow cylinder of fried dough coated in cinnamon sugar)! And of course, everything there is totally greasy! There also a stage set up to watch some traditional dances.

So, please don't think that this country is a stranger to the modern mall or that the modern mall is the only way to shop here. I must say we've got the best of both worlds for Christmas shopping!

Friday, August 29, 2008

End of Summer, Beginning of Fall...

Euro-Conference and more!
Each year, we get together with others serving in Europe and have a great time of worship, sharing, and teaching for a week. This is always a great time. And this year we were in Germany...my first time there! After that, our team spent an extra day in the area just enjoying spending time together - at LegoLand and a really cool castle!


Testimony Night



LegoLand

A not-so-crazy roller coaster

Castle Neuschwanstein, Germany
(Walt Disney took his idea for the Disney castle from this one!)

Me, with a nice German hat
Me, with a dark, forboding castle...or just stormclouds

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Kids' Day!

One of our big events at Majak this summer was our Kids' Day. It's been awhile since we've had a time for the community to come and see what Majak is all about. We had lots of families come during the day and some good connections were made!



Friday, August 08, 2008

Camp!

We just finished with our English/Sports Camp and it was really a great time! In fact, of the 5 Czech camps that I've been a part of, I think there was more of an openness about spiritual things at this one than the others. Each day, I taught a beginner English class, did some fun/crazy team games (I can tell those good stories later), and I led worship for our evening rallies (when I had a voice to sing with!). I was also able to share my testimony with the group of over 80 campers and tell about God's leading in my life. It just seemed like there were so many who had some really good, spiritually-seeking questions. I'm looking forward to connecting with a lot of these campers in the next few weeks! Here are a few pictures I have, but there'll be more to come as I grab them from other people's cameras! :)



My English Class

A funny skit from my English class

Honza and me

2 Phils and 2 Peters

At the after-camp worship service/cookout at Majak


me, what can i say

what's left after the cookout

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hillsong/Matt Redman



A few weeks ago, our church had the awesome opportunity to go to a Matt Redman/Hillsong London worship "concert" in a town a couple hours from Brno in Czech Republic. It was a very cool experience for our youth group to be a part of (and me, too, 'cause it was just cool!). There was some great worship music...although most of it was in English, of course (but they did sing a bit of one song in Czech)...but even better than that was the chance to see how many other Christians and churches there are here, represented at the concert. I went away reminded that God, indeed, is at work in this country! I pray that we'd continue to love as Jesus loved and share His amazing love with all we see.