You see that word in the blog title? It's Czech for "four" and I cannot say it. I try and I try and my American tongue is just not able to say it. Despite my struggles, I'm going back to the Czech Republic for mission trip number čtyři.
If you know me at all, you know I love the Czech Republic. I went there for the first time in 2011 with hesitance and am returning now with a backbone and an ever-increasing love for the people there.
One of the reasons I go over there is to see these people and meet more people. I could do this in the United States for much less of a hassle, but I feel called back to CZ time and time again. The other reasons are as follows:
1. I teach English lessons, lead classes in discussing stories from the Bible and other literature, and lead artsy activities. We sing songs together, share testimonies and our lives, go on hikes, have spirited competitive games, and explore the beautiful forests and Prague together. The best part of summer is camp.
2. I return to Prague each year because God is undoubtedly working in the Czech Republic and I love being on mission for Him there. I love hearing the stories of the missionaries, pastors, and Christians there, I love hearing their testimonies and encounters as they simply love one another. I love getting up early in the morning to worship in English & Czech and read the Bible together.
3. The relationships I have are too important for just Skype. I love that I can keep up with my friends across the world through Facebook, e-mail, and video chats. But the day spent on an airplane, the jet lag, the cost, all the planning and preparation - it's all worth it when I sit with a camper in person and tell them they are wonderful, intelligent, and loved.
4. I mean, have you seen Prague? Can you blame me?
5. There's work to be done.
So! What's in store for this year? Last year, we discussed the world's problems, how God is seen through those problems, and what we can do to alleviate them. This year, we're learning about the encounters Jesus had with people during his ministry - what he said to them, how he spoke to them, and how they responded. It's called Truth And Dare. Jesus is a personal being and knows our hearts; we'll be talking about how to listen and respond.
The majority of the teens at camp are not Christians but we want them to know they are still loved by Christ. We're introducing them to the idea of a personal and loving God. I think that's pretty great. If you think it's pretty great, too - there are a couple of ways for you to get involved:
1. You can support us financially by giving through this link. Thank you to those who have donated already or have in the past - it means so much to me.
2. You can pray for us. We heavily rely on prayer every day during camp and we feel its power. If you would like to, please pray for the courage of the Christian students in Prague to invite their friends to camp, non-believers and believers alike. Please pray for the ministry of the Prague City Team to be strengthened and encouraged each day as they show love to a city where God is not discussed. And please pray for each member of the American team as we prepare physically and spiritually for our time in the Czech Republic.
Thank you so much for reading about what is dear to my heart. If you would like to read and learn more about our Prague trips, please visit our Facebook page. Our Facebook page is something of a visual history of our times spent serving in the Czech Republic. There was no natural place to slip this in so I'll tell you now, we're leaving August 6th and return on the 19th - America, please don't do anything too terribly exciting while we're gone.