(Written by Pastor Doug Sandy)

“That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!'” Acts 16:9 (NLT Version)

During Paul’s second missionary journey, he had some definite plans of what he would do.  When he set out, his plan was simply to revisit the cities that he and Barnabas had preached at in their previous journey together.  But Paul was also motivated by a heart to preach the good news of Jesus where it had not yet been heard.  Eventually , he found himself at the seaport of Troas, where he had a vision of a man from Macedonia pleading to hear the Gospel.

At this point, Paul had a choice.  He could be ruled by fear of the unknown and need to follow his own schedule, or he could follow God in faith, trusting in the grace of the Almighty to work out all the details.  Of course, Paul chose to follow God.  He set sail for Macedonia with his companions at once, and the western world was forever changed because of it.

This past week the Czech team had our own “Man from Macedonia” moment.  An American church backed out of their mission, and now there was a Czech church that had planned for a camp but had no trained English teachers/missionaries to carry it out.  It wasn’t by vision or dream, but the call and the opportunity were clear “Family Bible Church, come over to Ostrava, and help us!”

I am blessed to share that 5 of our missionaries will be extending their stay in the Czech Republic for another 2 weeks to meet the needs of this second church.  We know that central Europe will not be greatly impacted because of our extra two weeks, but we do pray that the additional students that we meet will have their world forever changed because of Jesus.

What this Means for the Mission:

The entire mission team will serve as planned with Church of the Brethren of Česky Těšín.  When that mission is done, those that are not staying will return home as originally planned.  This camp will minister to approximately 70 Czech youth.

After the original mission is completed, those that are staying (Pastor Doug, Betsy Sullivan, Carolyn Slater, Holden Carson, and Levi Sandy) will regroup, wash clothes, and prepare for the next camp.  There are expected to be some additional ministry opportunities at this time too.

After regrouping, another week-long English camp will keep the team busy from July 14-20.  We are planning for 5 separate English classes and a similar schedule to the first camp.  Immediately following the camp, the team will head home to the United States.

This expanded mission with the new church came about due to a specific need and is not expected to continue in future years.

About the new church we are working with

The new church is called “bridges to people” (Mostly K Lidem?) – a name which emphasizes the redemptive work of Christ to reach all people with the salvation of God.  They are evangelical in nature and have a ministry focus of multiplying believers.  Their church structure is house-based (cell churches) and they have the highest rate of reaching new people for Christ of any of the Churches Josiah Venture works with.  We will be joining them somewhere near Ostrava – Czechia’s third largest city, which is also about 30 minutes by train from Česky Těšín.

Expense update

For those of you who have been following along, you might be wondering what this does to the expense of the trip.  The original cost of the summer mission was projected at about $37,000.  The mission extension, is expected to only increase costs by a small fraction – between $2000 and $5000 depending on ticket change fees for the airlines.  We are awaiting quotes for this now, but must wait due to the Memorial Day weekend.   We believe that God has called us to this work, and we are also trusting that he will provide as he sees fit.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for final preparations for Aidan and Andrew
  • Pray for safe travels as the interns leave for the Czech Republic
  • Pray that preparation for the rest of the team goes smoothly.  We now have two camps to prepare for.
  • Pray for building communications with “Bridges to People”.  To date, we have been introduced, but not discussed the details of how we will be working together.
  • Pray for health of the mission team and our Czech counterparts.
  • Pray that God draws students for two full camps this year.
  • We are in the early stages of planning for having Czechs visit us from Česky Těšín.  Please pray that God provides clarity on how this should work.