The Circle Meets

 

Well US training is here! Our team has been in the town of Brejlov for this past week, and we leave tomorrow for camp!! It has come so quickly, I can’t believe it’s here already!

But before we get to camps, we need to tell you about our last school visit. This town is close to both mine and Tyler’s hearts. Podebrady has done camps with JV for several years now, and this year they are already full! No more room for students, which is a blessing! While we were there our team did one school visit and spoke in four classes. Why we still promoted camp if it’s full you ask? Because there are camps in near by towns that still have room and also to give them a taste of camp for next year! It went well and the students seemed to be interested.

Podebrady team with us!

Podebrady team with us!

The church student leaders were so hospitable. They through two barbecues for us-both were so delicious! And to top it off they had a dog! Our team loves dogs.

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Tyler has done English camp with this church before, and it is the church we visited while we were engaged, about two Christmases ago. The pastor and his family are dear people. We were so happy to be back and this time do camp together with them!

As we begin camp, Internet will be very limited, but we wanted to ask that you keep up with us when we do post and that you would playfully consider supporting us with prayer and finances. We still have 30% to go! Please Click hereto support Tyler and I!

During this first camp we do not have an American team doing it with us, so we are paired up with our dear inter friends! Jeremy Mueller and his team will partner with us! There are going to be 24 Czech students from Nove Mesto pod Smrkm. Please pray fervently for their hearts, that God would show himself to them and that they would grab onto the truth and life he gives! Thank you so much for all your support!

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The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of The Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:7-8

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Visit to Liberec

We are a little behind on updating, sorry about that! Internet here has been friendly in some places, and not so friendly in others. But we wanted to update you on our second town visit in Liberec.

Liberec is a city of about 100,000 people so the church has a lot of hearts to speak into!
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The church we visited was very hospitable. In Czech it is very common for the pastor and his family to live at the church and for there to be extra beds and showers, so we stayed in the church! The view of the city from there was beautiful and it was right near the town square which we walked to every day and experienced a little bit of their culture.
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Our team was there only for two days, but we got everything accomplished. No school visits because we could only visit on the weekend. Please pray that they have more students come to camp! This camp will actually be two towns coming together. The other city is called Usti nad Labem. Please also pray for the unity of the two leadership groups from each church. They will all meet each other for the first time at camp, so pray that we can all come together and have no conflict! They are both truly great groups of people and are excited to put this camp on.
On our last day there they took us to the oldest zoo in Central Europe. It was awesome!
Their camp starts the second week of August. Please continue to pray for our team as we prepare and train again for our first camp- which starts this Friday! This camp is with the church from Nove Mesto pod Smrkm and we will have it high up in the mountains!
If you have already supported us financially, we are truly greatful. We could not be here without you! Please consider helping us as we still need 30% of our funds to be raised. Click The link on the left if you want to support us!

Czech Hospitality

One of the things I love most about Czech culture is their hospitality. If you ever find yourself in the home of a Czech family, you will be lavished upon with breads, sauces, treats, deserts, and an abundance of tea. Grandmothers, or “babičky,” are notorious for always assuming you have been underfed before your visit. 

We have the privilege of spending a portion of our summer in Czech homes. What better place to be exposed to culture? While in Nové Město pod Smrkem, Lara, Petra, and I stayed at an elderly couple’s house who attend the church. 

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Every morning we were greeted with a glorious breakfast and sent on our way with bagged lunches. Most of our team was sick at the time so our Czech grandmother was eager to make us herbal tea from scratch – perfect for our sore throats and sniffles. But best of all, when we returned in the evening, we all sat around the dinner table to share stories. 

The Novotnys shared with us their story of romance, as well as their story of conversion. The couple met as leaders at an outdoor camp, and thus began their five year road to marriage. After their marriage, they moved and started a family in Nové Město. Mrs. Novotny was a staunch atheistic teacher, and Mr. Novotny was a nominally Catholic engineer. When they were both forty-five years old, the Lord drew them to himself through the ministry of some charismatic Catholic priests, who first introduced them to the Gospel. 

Both shared with such genuineness the change that had come over them since their conversion. They shared with such joy of the love that Christ brought to their marriage, and what peace their relationship with God has given them as they have served in the evangelical church in Nové Město. Finally, as is customary at departures, we were given a Czech “well-wishing” when we left on Sunday. To Lara and I, they said, “We wish you to fully experience the love in your marriage that can only come from Jesus, as we have come to know.” 

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We may have come to Czech to serve this summer, but we are not the only servants here. Although scarce, Godly families are leaving their mark upon the men and women of this country. What a joy to be able to served by the Novotnys, and to witness the ways God has been working in this country for decades. We gladly join that greater stream of His redemptive work, knowing that He will continue to work even after we have left. 

The Study of the English Language

While we are on break in the beautiful town of Pisek, we are spending our morning to early afternoons preparing our English lessons for camps! Luckily, there are nice coffee shops with WI-FI so we are able to go out.

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The first camp we will be doing is with Nove Mesto. After visiting their schools and church we decided most of the students at camp will be beginners to intermediates. And so, these are the lessons we are tackling and prepping this week!

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The lessons that are prepared are so Well done! We are loving every aspect of them! The main theme is to take the students to america and tell them about the culture while learning English. We will do a lot of repetition, games, videos, and discussions throughout the week.

Please pray for the students as they learn this language. Pray that this will be a great avenue to talk about God and life. And pray for us and our team, that we would be diligent in our study and teaching!

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Tyler and I are still at 70% support! As we continue to serve here the Czech Republic, will you consider helping us financially? You can click here to find us!

Church Visit #1 – Nove Mesto Pod Smrkem

Following intern training, we embarked on a 8 hour long train ride to the other side of the country. Team Patty was blessed to be united with Team Mueller, so we were a happy group of 10 travelers! Both of our intern teams will be partnering with Nove Mesto Pod Smrkem to put on their second English Camp this summer.

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The denomination that the church in Nove Mesto is apart of is called “Jednota Bratrská,” or in English, “Brethren Unity.” This is an evangelical Presbyterian denomination with roots reaching all the way to the Moravian church from the mid-15th century. The Moravians were some of the very first modern missionaries, sending the Gospel to Australia, Greenland, and the United States. Portraits of John Comenius, a Moravian pastor and educator from the 17th century, still hang in the schools of Nove Mesto pod Smrkem, providing a strong visual reminder of the roots of faith that this area of the world has.

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Yet most have forgotten about the God of their fathers, much like the Israelites in the Old Testament. I spoke to a teacher from one of the local grade schools today, who happened to be Catholic, yet was so thrilled that we were working with the Jednota Bratrska church to reach these students for Christ. She sees the need for something more in the lives of these kids and their families, and we couldn’t agree more. It is a privilege to be here and to share our lives and the good news with the Czech people.

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One ministry that the Jednota Bratrska church has is a after-school club for at-risk kids. The church provides their facilities three times a week as a safe haven to students struggling at school, caught up in drugs, sex, and alcohol, and needing someone to confide with about the hard issues of life. We had the opportunity to interact with these students while here, and see the incredible ways God is blessing this church and its ministry.

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Camp for this church starts in 21 days – would you pray that the Holy Spirit draws students and softens their hearts to hear the good news? 

The Beginning of Something Great

Intern training has come and gone, BUT it is the most prepared any interns have felt for camps! Josiah Venture did an amazing job at getting us ready both physically and mentally for what lies ahead.

Training lasted five days. Each day we would start with worship and devotion, then we would break into seminars. These included topics of how to teach English, how to share the gospel to Czechs, and learning the camp dance of course! You can watch it here, done by the wonderful Rob and Audrey Chestnut.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OoFLghfNGYc

One other thing we are trying out this summer is called the WIC 5. This is a weekly intern check up for us as leaders to do with our teams. We have already set goals for the summer, skills to work on, and areas we feel God is asking to grow in. Please pray for Tyler and I as we grow with our guys and girls through this! Pray that God will grow us and give us strength when we are challenged to keep going!

Our team is on fire for what God has in store. They all did such an amazing job at learning and being a part! Please pray for us as have already gone out to start school and church visits. We will be promoting camp from now until the end of June. Pray that God will open hearts of students and that they will come to camp!
Thank you so much for you continued prayer and support! We are at 70%! We still need 30%! Please prayerfully consider supporting Tyler and I as we continue ministry here this summer. Click here if you are interested.

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