Friends! Happy Wednesday!
We are officially halfway through the camp week. I still can’t believe that we’re sitting in the middle of the Czech Republic teaching an English camp and talking about Jesus. What is this incredible life? I want to take in every single detail of this place. I love the lack of frenzy, and how I need a sweater in July, and how every time I look out my window it looks like something out of a Jane Austen novel.
We woke up yesterday to cooler weather which was absolutely glorious. There’s something so satisfying about experiencing autumn weather in the middle of summer. We had devotionals with our team, prayed for our classes, and walked into breakfast. Breakfast yesterday marked the point where I could wave to the sweet girls I’ve been building relationships with and really start to feel like “there’s something really good and meaningful going on here”. Building new relationships is hard, and with a language and cultural barrier it’s extra hard. I’ve found myself thinking, “I don’t even know what to do with my face right now”. In all of it, though, the Lord has been so kind to us by moving the “getting to know you” process along. The people are precious, and I can feel my heart being tied to them more and more with every meal and every conversation.
After breakfast we met briefly with our classes and then jetted off for “hike day” and wow, it did not disappoint! Hiking is an every day activity here and the Czech’s begin at a very young age. We are in a location for camp that is much higher elevation than last year and we began to be anxious for this day from the beginning but were excited as well. Hike day is typically a day to spend more time with the campers that we have made connections with and begin to have those deeper conversations. We could have not asked God for a better day to get out and climb the side of a mountain! It is so awesome to see God’s hand in placing kids in your path and bringing along side of you the right person and the right conversation during hike day. It is awesome seeing God work this way.
We had some team building with our English class during the day and had to take three different pictures during the hike. First was a “family photo.” Most groups mimicked a real family in different forms and the kids came up with the idea with scarves and other props. Next was an animal photo and it came in many varieties. The best one of all was when each group had to create a scene from a movie and this made for a great picture. It was a great time to bond as a class and allow for all of the Americans to catch their breath!!
We completed a 10 mile hike and when we rested a bit one of the leaders offered to take anyone that wanted to go down to the village below us. The hike leader, Kuba, said it was only a 10-15 min hike down and about 30 minutes later we experienced the beauty of a small Czech village. We made it back up the mountain but not until we experienced every imaginable emotion on the way back up. It was a great day filled with great conversations with the campers and some of us were able to share our testimonies. Everybody had a great time and I felt God’s hand in every minute of the day. It is my favorite day of camp and I am always amazed at what happens as we are walking through the forest.
The rest of the day was taken slow in order to recover from the hike. We danced and Ken talked about the life of David. The talks here have gotten down to the basics, which has been so good for my soul to remember what I believe and why. The process of getting to know Jesus here is a slow one, which is so opposite from the normal pace of my life. I can see the Czechs in my discussion group taking their time to chew on every part of what it means to trust Jesus. They weigh the cost and take their time. I’m learning so much by watching their patient process. I want to allow more of that in my life.
In our evening programs Ken has been telling the story of God from Genesis to Jesus. The gospel will be clearly presented tomorrow night and our groups go through a personal journey we call a labyrinth. I’m praying that we would be brave and free from insecurity as we share about our own relationships with Jesus. I’m also praying that the unbelievers would come to know Jesus and believe and trust Him for their salvation. More than anything, I think we’re all just wanting more of Jesus and less of ourselves.
You are loved and missed! We’re loving what we’re doing, and can’t wait to reunite next week.