Happy Sunday night! So I have to apologize to you my faithful reader (if I have any left!) after my lack of posts. I am not doing a very good job in the blog world right now! I hope you will forgive me for my lack of posts. I am trying to get used to my daily schedule for the year, now that school has begun! Hopefully things will begin to level off for me now.
I did think it would be fun to post my answers to a question I recently answered for a missions board application for a church back in my hometown area. The question that was posed was, â€œWhy should we support you?â€ I love when people ask me this question and it was fun to actually get a chance to type it up and put it to words. Please know that this isnâ€™t a ploy to get more support, but hopefully it allows you to see my passion and my heart for getting back to Czech and doing ministry there as soon as God wills! So here is a little vision for you this night! Have a blessed one and be a revolution!
A Unique ministry that lines up with many churches ministry and missions philosophy
What I love about my work is that it is transferable to the â€œaverage church going Christian.â€ All too often I see churches support missionaries that donâ€™t do work that will encourage the average churchgoer to live a life of mission. For instance, when someone looks at what I do they can see principles, methods and thoughts that they can transfer to their lives which then will send them out of the church doors as missionaries to their work places, their neighborhoods and etc. My work with AIA is simple; we work through a grid â€“ Serve. Resource. Speak. See a Revolution. â€“ that the average churchgoer can work through as well. As we serve and resource people it wins us the opportunity to speak to people about our faith and as we speak to people, Lord-willing, a revolution will take place in their hearts and they will come to know Jesus. I feel my work will help your church catch this vision and live it!
My Desire to be partners and serve the church
This flows with the previous reason as well, but yet it should stand on its own as well. I desire to have dialogue with churches and ministry partners that have joined me. All too often missionaries seem to have a monologue of sorts with their ministry partners, meaning that they donâ€™t take the time to serve the church in anyway they can. I offer the church my service in any way that I can â€“ whether it be coming and not just sharing about statistics, but offering the church practical missiology and theology that will encourage them to love the Lord and their neighbor more or even partnering with the church in some way, when Iâ€™m back on furlough, to offer workshops about how to share their faith or what it means to live a missional lifestyle. The possibilities are endless.
I could go on and on about the lives that have been changed through our work in Czech, but I would much rather let the changed lives speak for themselves. I want to remind you that it takes the average Czech 10 years to become a Christian, so these sections from the larger stories of these new believersâ€™ lives are amazing! Below you will find some quotes from studentsâ€™ and athletesâ€™ lives that have been touched through our AIA movement.
â€œIf I had not met Zach I would not have met God. I thought about this lately, how would my life looked like if I didnâ€™t meet Zach, if I didnâ€™t study at FTVS, if I didnâ€™t study in Prague. What would be the chances of meeting God then? As I see Czech preachers I know they wouldnâ€™t be able to get my attention because to tell you the truth I get frightened when I see Czech church services. It feels like dark weird sectarian assembly. But Zach showed me right from beginning that it is all about joy, friendship and love in todayâ€™s real life.â€
â€œThe most important people in my life were Jessika Stratton [my STINT teammate] and her friend Zach Harrod – they showed me Godâ€™s love, strength, hope and faith. And it gives me Joy to my heart. I think that anyone could not be happy without Joy in heart. Iâ€™ve found Joy with God. He believes in me, he helps me in all my steps of my life. I saw what faith is, it is not to belong to some religion, and I didnâ€™t know this before. They didnâ€™t speak about it, because Christianity is not religion. They said that God came to the world in Jesus Christ and to offer them, and me, his friendship. These words mean so much to me; I didnâ€™t know it before and I didnâ€™t think about it this way before. A Christian is someone who trusts in Jesus.â€
â€œZach helped me a lot. When I saw, how he has joy all the time, I recognized that this must be because of his faith. I must find the way on my own terms with God, but Zach gave me the starting point to find the way to God.â€
â€œIf God will be in hearts of all people, that will be fine, but I am not sure, if it is possible. Czech peopleâ€™s thinking is very complicated. It was influenced by the history. It goes deep to the 16th and 17th century. Maybe deeper! I think, that this is long-distance run. The change of Czech peopleâ€™s minds will take more than 5 years. I think even more than 2 generations. But we can to try to be at the beginning of it all like â€œpilgrims!â€
A Unique Opportunity in History to be part of something bigger than we can imagine.
I like how my teammate and friend, Honza, phrased my and his heart in that last quote. The thinking, worldview, and the history of the Czech people is complicated and there are some extreme hurdles to see this country change, but like Honza said, we can be like pilgrims to these people! Pilgrims of hope, peace, reconciliation, redemption, forgiveness, true life and much more to a people that are longing for the truth of Jesus. I feel that we are at crossroad with ministry in Czech. I often tell people that I really, really do believe deep in my bowels that God is going to cause a monumental change in this country in the next 5-7 years through the ministry of Athletes in Action. Not because of anything we are or anything we do, but because His fingerprints are all over this. We have seen an increased openness unlike there has been seen in past years in Czech, more people are joining us to reach out to these people, and Czechs are coming to Christ! This is something new and leads me to believe that God could cause a COMPLETE REVERSAL in this country in the years to come. So I feel that it would be a tremendous opportunity for the people of your Church to be part of something bigger than we can imagine!