Our team has now been divided. It was all in the plan but I sent Bob and Tommy back to Prague today where they will spend a few days with Tomas Polivka before I join them again on Saturday Evening.
Our time in Poland was awesome as I spoke to a group of men In Zory on Saturday night and then Preach at a church in Bielsko-Biala on Sunday. This is a church where I have preached twice before and it was great to be there again. I preached in their series on the Ten Commandments and addressed the sixth Commandment, “You should not murder.” (Remind me not to offer that as an assignment for a guest speaker.) I think it went well anyway as I taught part of the lesson from a ladder trying to illustrate that the laws are not a ladder to get us to God but a window that shows us the heart of God. The sixth commandment shows us that God loves people and so we should as well.
After church we went to an amazing restaurant in the mountains. I will attach a picture of the scene with Greg and Heidi Carlson and their two girls Kealsy and Jillian. They are Josiah Venture Missionaries in Poland and have been there for 17 years faithfully serving. Greg recently turned over the leadership of JV Poland and the National Organization (Fala, which means “wave” in Polish) to a young Polish leader named Michal (pronounced “me-how”). Greg, Heidi and I talked all day Monday about Greg’s future and how he can best use his gifts here in Eastern Europe (I did Greg and Heidi’s premarital counseling 17 years ago. Meanwhile Bob and Tommy went to Auschwitz/Birkenau for the day. That is a hard day and it is even harder to talk about the experience. I will let you ask them when we return but know it is not an easy thing to describe the impact that place like that has on you.
On Tuesday we headed back to the Czech Republic and stayed with Pavel and Magda Mecovsky in Olomouc (pronounced O-lo-motes). Pavel and Magda have been to Fellowship and he is the man who organizes the Men’s Conferences here in CZR.
Tonight, after Tommy and Bob left for Prague, I got to speak to a group of 24 Czechs from a few different churches in Olomouc about marriage. It was a great evening and we talked for two hours.
It is so interesting to see how many issues in marriage are cross cultural and how many times the solution seems to be taking yourself out of the center and serving your spouse in order to see them flourish rather than using them to meet your needs.
Tomorrow I head to Pardubice and an English camp reunion and then Friday and Saturday I will be at another Men’s Conference.
Please keep us in your prayers as we finish here. Pray that we will represent the Lord well and be an encouragement to our hosts and especially to those who are serving the Lord here in a country that is in desperate need of a clear presentation of the gospel. Ololouc, for example, is a city of over 100,000 and they have only eight churches. One of them, the Hussite church, has only 20 members. The largest is still less than 100 in attendance on Sunday morning. So in a city a a good bit larger than Conway only 400 people were in church this past Sunday. But, I am encouraged when I see how the people who know Jesus love Him and are working to make Him known.
We are having a great time and trying to stay as warm as we can. We have not had one day above freezing and Saturday night it is supposed to be below zero (F). We will all have many stories to tell when we get home, just ask us.
For the Only Cause that Matters,