Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Inspiration for my future in Czech

I've been reading through some older emails in an effort to get a nice clean slate on my inbox. I have to admit that there are many unread emails that I've taken a quick glance at and then marked unread again - never getting back to them! I've been changing that today and it's been so encouraging! I've read updates about what God's been doing in the lives of missionary friends in the Czech Republic, old emails of how God has provided as they've raised support (the position I'm in now) and have just been reminded of why I am pursuing God's call to Czech.

Earlier this year my friend/boss Nate Hughes posted a blog entitled "Losing my religion?" That title has stuck with me as I've considered the overwhelmingly atheistic population of Czech and students I know who have not yet given their lives to Christ. It does break my heart.

This paradox of hopelessness and yet seeing fruit from this ministry gives me great hope for the future. I see God working amidst the chaos.

Below is an email from Mark Krupa that again got me thinking on this subject. His thoughts as a long-term missionary who has been living in Czech for many years is really insightful. I hope it blesses you as you pray for Czech and wrestle to live out your faith genuinely in this world.

Mark Krupa:
Here's what's in the news:

"A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is
set for extinction, say researchers."

"The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas,
US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those [Nine]
countries. The team took census data stretching back as far as a century
from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia,
Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New
Zealand and Switzerland."

So that's our situation here in the Czech Republic according to mathematical

And if you spend time here you'll see we are not in good shape.

I am once again amazed at the spiritual condition of the Czech Republic.
Evidences like: extremely low numbers of believers, bickering churches,
missionaries who won't don't or can't stick it out and stay, exhausted
pastors, leaders caught in sin, political frustration, a very disheartening
Christian history, a lack of evangelism, a lack of response to evangelism, a
lack of converted believers growing into tall trees with deep roots,
virtually zero Christian teachers in the universities, virtually zero
believers in politics, very few model Christian homes, unhealthy Christian
communities, unhealthy families, foreigners who come to work in Prague but
can't get into the culture, language or disciple-making, missionary
revolving door syndrome, troubled teens, troubled families, troubled
schools, a rejection of God, no eternal life secured before death.

And much much more.

It can get you down, huh!

But it's not getting me down for long!

It's not keeping my team down. We are united and strong.

All these statistics draw us to live here and stay here and be active here!

That is why you are praying for our work here.

That is why your moral support has been so helpful!

This is why we are out training workers, discipling souls, sharing the Good
News with individuals through camps, youth groups, small groups, TV
programs, media, School & City Concerts and Seminars, café meetings,
distribution of Christian literature, etc. This is why we have the
Malenovice Center for Training and Evangelism where we build up and train up
hundreds of Christians. That is why we pray over and take care of effective
key leaders in this country. That is why our team is planting new churches
and groups like evangelistic home youth gatherings and evangelistic rock
choirs. That is why we are praying so hard for softer soil and fertile
ground for a coming spiritual renewal for the empty souls of these busy but
barren people.

God is at work! We are fighting the good fight! We have hope! One of the
most encouraging things I read as I'm finishing my final class for my
Masters Degree is that at year 100 there were still less than one-half of
one percent Christians in the Roman population. The Holy Spirit changed
that radically from years 100-400. In Czech we have the most atheistic
country on earth but not the least-Christian (that's the country of Turkey).
We have ½ of 1% believers. Pray with us that the Holy Spirit moves through
our willing hearts and changes the nation visibly!