*Tonight is the time when the most serious conversations will take place related to the gospel. My evening message is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that being the basis for returning us back into relationship with God, which is what He has wanted from the beginning. Please be praying Colossians 4:2-6 for us. Pray for open doors, clarity, grace, and for God to work in the hearts of Czech students to be open to the gospel.*
Now the update: What a glorious morning we have here in the Czech Republic. The last two days have been national holidays in the Czech Republic. July 5 celebrates the arrival to the Czech lands of two brothers who were missionaries named Cyril and Methodius. They came from Thessolonica in the 9th century. How ironic that such an atheistic nation celebrates missionaries. The irony continues in that July 6 celebrates John Huss (Jan Hus) who was a reformer of the church preaching Prague. He was martyred in 1415. We will visit Bethlehem Chapel in Prague during our free day. Our camp has been full of visitors to the mountains on these two holidays and today promises to be much quieter with the holidays over.
Now that we are nearing the end of camp Jason and Lauren are excited to still be with us at camp and not in the hospital like last year (Lauren had surgery here last year). Our veterans are all doing great. Alan came on the trip last year just days after he started as our Youth Pastor. He made connections last year and has spent the last year regularly discipling two of the Archa Church youth leaders. His investment in them is paying off. This constant connection has never happened in the past and I am really seeing the benefit of it this year. This is Zach’s fifth English camp and he is a huge asset. This year Zach wrote a song to go along with the camp theme which is “Did You Get My Message?” It is kind of an anthem and the kids love singing it every night. Kari is back for the second time after skipping three years and has quickly eased back into the Czech culture without skipping a beat. Austin Orvin still blows me away with how quickly he is picking up the Czech language. He may not be learning the most useful phrases (“I have diarrhea.”) but he is very good with the language and can even say a few Czech tongue twisters. Karis Martin continues to be a dancing queen and adds a ton of excitement to the camp.
She keeps saying she is an introvert, but it is a lie. Finally, Beth Milligan is a rock star over here. Whether it is hiking in the woods or singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with water in her mouth (thank you Lilly Robinson) she is amazing and loved by everyone. I never want to do an English camp without her.
All of our “newbies” are handling the week like pros. Whitney Harris leads all of our games and is a natural in front of a crowd that needs to have fun. Laura (Alan’s wonderful wife) is not only a huge asset to him, but is an anchor for our team. Always smiling, she understands the dynamic of the week is making great connections. Morgan Thomason is here for the first time and doing great as well. She continues to shepherd our girls like she does back in Conway. I see her walking around in deep conversations all the time. What can I say about Heather McKinney. I may not have to say much because she keeps saying she is staying here. She fits in so well I am starting to think that McKinney might be a Czech name. Casey Griffith is such a natural teacher. Her English classes are all well prepared and her students know they are getting fantastic lessons. (By the way, Casey cannot sing as well as Beth with water in her mouth).
All of our high school students are blowing me away. Cade Griffith gets up every morning and runs 10 miles with Dolec and Zuzi. Tomorrow they will run all the way to Poland. His positive attitude and constant smile are starting to get on my nerves. Just kidding, well maybe just a little bit. Hannah Martin seems like she has been on this trip ten times already. She leads the camp dance and all of the prayer songs before meals. She just makes me smile. Surprisingly, Lathan Tipton has a new future in ballroom dancing. Who knew? Evan Fulmer is always building relationships and unfortunately he lost the beauty contest. But the vote was close. His family should be proud (or ashamed, I am not quite sure which one).
As you can see we are doing well and having a great time. However, I want to ask you to be praying for us, especially today. We loving being here but need your prayers more than ever tonight because we cannot do this without God moving in the lives of the students we have grown to love so much. So please take a moment today and pray for us. Forget about the time difference and pray. We need it.
For the Only Cause that Matters,