Ahoj! Here’s another update from the Pardubice GO: Czech Team:
English Camp is officially done and we are back in Pardubice for follow-up and the Archa worship service tomorrow morning!
Our final two days at camp went smooth, as we had opportunities to talk about Gospel truths and introduce them to the idea of joining mladez Pardubice. For Gospel Night, our groups had a wide contrast of camper response to Labyrinth and the Gospel talk. For some, it looked like eating cookies and talking about American culture – recognizing that a relaxed approach can be important in long-term connections. For others, it looked like engaging emotions and thoughts in deep conversations. Both were important, and quite frankly, both happened simultaneously at the same table. For this trip, camp is a big element to inviting students into a story that many have not heard before. Perhaps the biggest win each year, however, is for students to recognize that there is a community of students who care about them. It is not just the case at camp – in fact, the things that campers like about camp happens year-round in their city.
Friday was our final camp day, and we started with an interesting experience: no running water until 4 PM at camp. This meant that we had enough water for food and drinking, but that was it. While this would have sent wide-spread panic and ended up on the 5:00 news in America, it was business as usual in the Czech. Our team did an incredible job finishing strong under an unexpectedly odd scenario. We closed camp with a bonfire, note writing, and our final night discussion. This night highly resembles American camps where the last night is bittersweet and campers are very tired. Our students finished strong in making sure to take photos, write notes, and invest time in conversations until the finish line.
This morning, we boarded a bus and headed to Pardubice to stay at our host homes and join mladez Pardubice for follow-up. Each home stay experience is unique and is a great cultural opportunity for team members to see inside the life of Czech students. We just finished playing games with the campers and leaders, and are headed back home for the Archa church service in the morning. Joining Archa for worship is a fitting end to each summer partnership and reminds us of who we are serving alongside. Archa has great leadership under the direction of Pastor Taby. I had the opportunity to sit with Taby earlier today and hear some of the ministry vision for the next few years, and it is exciting to hear. God is working in this church, and we are grateful to be a small part of God’s story here.
Tomorrow is the beginning of the final stretch of our GO: Czech trip. We are ready to re-unite with the Pisek team in Prague and hear all about their experience at camp. Thanks for praying for all that we have taken part in so far on this trip. Each of us has felt God’s presence in our efforts and each of us are grateful for a church body that understands the importance of taking Gospel opportunities to the Czech.
– Alan Greenwood
We are wrapping up our last night of English camp. There is a mixture of emotions as we prepare to depart in the morning. The labyrinth was a very special night, and we got to witness some incredible things that evening. A sincere thank you is due to all those who prayed for that night! It could take hours to type all of the specific ways we got to see God move on gospel night, but there are a few specific highlights.
Overall, there was a transparency that was experienced among the campers (Christian and non-Christian). It seemed like deep conversations were being had everywhere after the labyrinth. Lastly, we were able to welcome a new believer into the family of God that night! Please continue to pray for him in the days ahead as he tries to live out his newfound faith in an atheistic culture. To hear more specifics, you may need to take your son or daughter out for coffee when we get back.
I have been very impressed with the perseverance of our team this week. Not only has God done great things in the Czech’s lives, but it is evident that Jesus is changing our team as well. There is a maturity among our team members that is greatly appreciated and encouraging! God has been moving in very encouraging ways this week, and as we cherish the next few hours together, we are also excited about follow-up this weekend.
Follow up is a special time that we get to partner with the Czech youth group in a few events they put on to encourage campers to participate in after camp. We are encouraging the campers to make lasting relationships with the Czech team that will carry on throughout the year. Sunday morning will look very similar as camp. We will be coming together as one body. Alex Velte will be leading worship and Zach will be presenting a message on John 10. We will also have an opportunity to share a meal with the members the church before heading to Prague where we will be reunited with the Pardubice team.
How you can pray:
~ Zach, Kari, and Heather