It was a very full season of ministry, traveling, documenting, and transitioning. With each new day, I grow more and more in love with Czech and the greater region of Central and Eastern Europe and all that God is doing here. Jesus is changing lives. Through the proclamation of the gospel and the response to follow, He is transforming and equipping young leaders to be His ambassadors, no longer living for themselves, “but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15.
Let us keep our eyes and our hope fixed on Him and His plan for salvation, in us and in those living amongst us who so desperately need to hear and know the love of Christ. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2. May God receive all the glory!
Most of my summer consisted of visiting many of the different outreach camps that are ran through Josiah Venture. I travelled to roughly 10 different camps in 6 different countries gathering video and photo of camp life and testimony of how Jesus is changing lives. Let me tell you, constantly hearing the personal stories of how God reveals Himself to people and saves them out of sin and darkness and brings them into a restored relationship with Him never gets old…NEVER! Right now, my team and I are working on constructing together different videos that share and communicate these testimonies in a creative way. As it is my greatest desire to first reveal them to you, I unfortunately will not be able to release them to you until after our fall conference at the end of this month. Our fall conference is an event that gathers leaders from the different countries that Josiah venture is associated with to train and equip them with a better understanding of Christ and how to serve Him greater! Currently we are working on training materials and resources for the conference. Please pray for myself and my team right now leading up to the conference as there is still a lot to accomplish and prepare.
At the end of August I had the opportunity to serve as a counselor at our Josiah Venture Kids Camp. This camp was not a camp for nationals designed around english, music, or sports. But it was a camp for third culture kids, or “missionary kids.” This is a very special and looked forward to time for these guys, as it an opportunity for them to spend time with other American kids, indulge in pieces of American culture (like lucky charms for breakfast and s'mores around the campfire at night), and be personally encouraged and challenged in their walk with Christ as an “MK.” It was a such a great week. I was in charge of three 8 year old dudes who definitely gave me a run for my money in regards to energy and spontaneity. These guys are rockstars. I was encouraged to hear about their different experiences living as youngsters in a foreign country and their perspective on their purpose on life at such a young age. You are never too young (or too old) to start intentionally serving Jesus and following all that He calls us to live in. King Josiah was the same age as these guys when he became king of Judah!
As many of you might be aware of, I was also in Norway for about a week right before our Josiah Venture Kids Camp. A few of my close friends who were in Czech and Slovenia this summer as interns with Josiah Venture had plans to travel there following the end of their internships. They extended an invitation my way to join them, and I accepted. After a very busy and full summer, a trip like this was a huge blessing to have. We spent our time hiking, camping, taking photos, and reflecting on the ministry from the summer and praising God together. I am very thankful for these Godly men and their friendship in my life.
What’s next? As I mentioned earlier, I will be doing a lot of work to prepare for our upcoming fall conference at the end of this month. This looks like going into the office nearly everyday of the week and working on projects with my team (mainly video projects for me). I live about 30 minutes away from our offices so I either take the train, borrow a car from one of my roommates, or hitch a ride with one of them when our office schedule line up right. I am also starting to invest a lot more time into language learning. For the past week, I have been taking lessons almost every day from my tutor. His name is Jirka. It was a battle this summer with trying to do as much Czech as I could on top of the very demanding travel schedule that I had. At times it was kind of discouraging. But even over the course of this week and doing 2 hour lessons each day has definitely brought some encouragement and renewed energy to take on the giant that is the Czech language. Pray that God grants understanding and comprehension as I continue to move forward with learning the language! I am also really looking forward to getting more plugged into local ministry in my city (Ostrava). Since hitting the ground running with a lot of traveling and camp ministry, it was a slow process of deciding which church I would be attending faithfully and begin serving in. Now that things have slowed down a bit from the summer, I am really really exciting to start pouring into the people and ministry within my church and my city!
***Stay tuned. I will be updating my photo albums and putting together another short blog post with more photos from my recent travels.