Interacting with Christians from other countries brings with it some unique challenges for us as Americans. We are proud of our country and our way of life, and it is easy for us to think that others around the globe would benefit from duplicating it as well. The apostle Paul, who had every reason to be proud of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen, saw neither of these as his primary identity. Instead, he says that “… our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” As I write this, my American passport sits beside the computer as a reminder of my earthy place of residence, but the Bible reminds me that it is not my home.
Today we drove two and a half hours into Poland to tour a magnificent salt mine. Two of the elders from the CB Těšín Church (Marcel Boszczyk and David Rajca) graciously took the day off from work to get us to and from the mine. We were also joined by Radek and two of the students from camp.
One of the questions that came up during the car ride was related to the health of the Christian church in the US. At a recent global church leadership summit, a speaker raised a concern about the American church’s confusion between political agendas and the gospel of Christ. Our Czech friends wanted to know how much of a problem that really is. They certainly didn’t want to import this part of American church culture. Perhaps an outsider’s eyes can see things that we are too close to recognize.
It is a good reminder as we work to build a relationship with the church in the Czech Republic, that we as Americans don’t have all the answers. This particular church has been ministering here for decades longer than FBC has existed. They know the culture and the people. Our primary mission here is to love, encourage and support the mission of the local church. As we do so, we might also be learning about ourselves too.
Today we had a great meeting with several of the pastors and elders of the CB Těšín Church. We were all encouraged by the possibilities of working together more effectively for the gospel of Christ in both countries.
Thanks for joining us on our adventure. We look forward to sharing more upon our return.