Outreach in Kalecany: Tomaš and Hanka Polivkovi are two of our missionaries starting a church in their small town just outside of Prague. On the map it is north and just a little west of the city. It is in the middle of a number of smaller villages that have all grown together. They live in an area where 20,000 people in a 20 square mile radius have no protestant church. The closet church is about 25 miles away and they have only about 40 people in that church.
Last night I was able to offer a community outreach event here in Klacany. The event was advertised by the community center in cooperation with Tomaš and Hanka’s church. We had about twenty people show up at 5:00 pm. It was an opportunity for me to talk about Islam and all that I learned for my study that I shared in church in November. The difference was that throughout the talk I was drawing comparisons and contrasts between Islam and Christianity and taking every chance I could to share the Gospel clearly. Every time I would get to a point about grace and Christ’s death and resurrection and salvation through faith in Christ Tomaš and Hanka were beaming. My presentation lasted an hour and then we had another hour of questions and answers afterward. The issues are fairly hot here in Europe with all of the immigrants coming here from the Middle East.
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings: Over the next few days I will have the great opportunity to meet with many people whom I have come to love over the years. Today I meet with Tomaš Živor who is now planting church Řepy (pronounced “zcheppy” – kinda). He came to my first English camp as an unbeliever in 2004. Now a pastor, it is a great privilege to be an encouragement to him. Tomorrow I will meet with Vlado who is one of the elders in the Prague church where I preached on Sunday. He claims to be taking me to eat the best steak in Prague. Tomorrow night I will spend time with and actually spend the night with Kia and Marie Stepanenková who just got married in September. Mary has been to our church, and I embarrassed her three years ago by introducing her as an available single woman. I think she may have gotten married just to get even. Thursday I will have a day at their flat in Prague to catch up and get some work done while they are at work. It will also be my second chance to roam around the city a bit. Thursday night I will spend time with the old Youth Leadership Team from Vinohrady. It will be a great time. All of these friends were just dating when I first met them, and each couple has three kids a piece now (Honza and Aellena; Tomaš and Hanka; and Blohoš and Janicka).
Men’s Conference: Friday morning I will leave for the men’s conference, which will last all weekend. I am looking forward to the conference. It will be at a medieval castle. My theme will be Daniel as a man of God. I am thinking about teaching the lesson about Daniel in the lion’s den from the dungeon – seriously. If you are on Facebook you can see pictures on Tomaš Facebook page. Search for Tomáš von Polewitz (his Facebook name is a long story and I am not on Facebook so ask me about it later). Tomaš took these pictures last weekend and there is a link to the castle Facebook page as well.
Short Night and Return Home: We return to Klacany Sunday night after the men’s conference. I will preach at Ta Česta Church Sunday night and I leave on a 6:45am flight Monday morning. Please keep me in your prayers. Pray that I would be an encouragement to everyone here (Church Planter – Tomaš Živor, elder – Vlado, newlyweds – Kia and Marie Stepanenková, as well as the men at the conference). Pray that Tomaš and Hanka will see some fruit from new contacts as a result of the Islam seminar and that we can find some ways to support them more in the future.
I miss you all, and I am so grateful that I am a part of a church that supports their pastor being gone six weeks a year on mission trips [at least I hope that is why you allow me to go so often -:)]. See you January 24th.
For the only cause that matters,