Friday, September 25, 2009

Thoughts on My Time in Czech, 2009

My time in Czech this summer was such a stretching experience. I'll tell you more about it below, but just know that this blog post has been delayed because I had to jump into things (and ministry) right after coming back home.

I think of this summer as one of the hardest in my life, but I mean it in a good way. God used people, challenges, and problems to further shape me into the man of God He wants me to be. As I look back on the summer, I am so encouraged that He worked in me and though me in these areas:

*Conflict/Confrontation - I've always heard the biblical edifying view of confrontation, but I was always afraid to address it before. This summer I saw much more of a need to do so. By the end of the summer I was almost moved to tears by the direct impact confrontation made on someone's life. I definitely owe many thanks to my co-leader Erica for pushing me forward in this direction and helping me show love in it
(My Team in Prague at Cream & Dream)
*Leadership - This summer I got to really lead! Last summer things were in place for us, and at the same time both Erica and I felt lost and confused through most of the summer. God worked through me to really lead and encourage my team this summer, and I was blessed through it.

*Falling in Love with God's Word - What a privilege it was to share God's Word at 3 camps this summer. This summer we told unbelievers the story of God's redemptive history. Straight up Bible stories told as stories. I saw everyone involved get a clearer picture of God, and barriers to accepting Christ started to break down. Three students responded specifically to the Gospel call, with many others expressing deep interest in these things. God's Word is more powerful than our fancy crafted deliveries.
(Story of God Icons...can you guess what each story is about?)
*Resisting Spiritual Warfare/Attack - Satan tried to attack me in two main ways: 1. almost getting me to bail out right before even going to Czech, and 2. introducing fear and uncertainty in walking by faith at the beginng of the summer especially. Both times I wanted to be home, but God showed me the spiritual attach through friends and brought me through it.

**MY CALL** - While being in Czech this summer I was rejuvenated for the ministry that's going on there, not only through English camps in the summer, but through the depth of relationships throughout the year. All summer He was clarifying my call to come back to Czech sooner rather than later. So here's more details.
(Me in Old Town Square, Prague)
I'm currently in the beginning stages of working my way back to Czech. This will require a commitment to be there for two years, with the outlook of staying there until God calls me elsewhere. After my application is accepted, I can begin to raise support, attend missionary training and language acquisition school, and figuring out more details. I know it's a crazy time to be raising support to move overseas for ministry, but I am confident that God will provide in His timing. Praise the Lord that people so generously supported me this summer, in the midst of a financial crisis.

My goal would be to get back to Czech in less than 2 years, and if He provides the funds before this summer or next fall, I would not be opposed at all. Two things I know for certain: God is calling me back to Czech and He's not done working on me in the process of getting back there.

Please keep me in prayer as I serve in my church back home and further pursue ministry in Czech.