Tomorrow morning at 3:30 am we begin a 28 hour journey that will eventually bring us to the camp facilities in Malenovice, Czech Republic where we will spend the better part of the next two weeks.  Some of the team members are in their final stages of packing, but for most of us, the work is done.  We have trained, we have planned, we prepared activities and lessons, and now our main task is to rest and wait.

For me, one of the most challenging elements of preparation for this trip has been the logistics.  Here are some statistics to help you understand:

  • The camp facilities are just less than 6000 miles from Family Bible Church.  Shipping is not a practical choice because of long and unpredictable delays.
  • The Czech Republic is 9 hours ahead of us.  Communications by email, phone and conference call must take this into account.
  • Two American churches are working together to prepare for the camp.  This adds an extra layer of coordination.
  • There will be 69 Czechs at the camp.  This is up 50% from last year.
  • Family Bible Church is sending 14 people (up 100% from last year).
  • Almost 1000 pages of English lesson materials have been prepared/studied by the 6 English teaching teams.
  • Between the two American churches that are supporting this camp, over $800 in supplies were bought to support English and sports activities (Family Bible Church bought additional supplies to support workshops that we are leading).
  • Family Bible Church is bringing over 250 pounds of supplies for camp.
  • My carry-on luggage is filled with 11 family-sized packages of Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies for making s’mores. (In case you are wondering, 11 packages pretty much fill up a standard carry-on).
  • Over 50 pounds of candy will be shared with the students at camp for prizes and incentives.

As impressive as some of these numbers are, there are a few more numbers that are even more important to us.  First, about 0.6% of the population of the Czech Republic are Christians.  Imagine the task of reaching the 99.4% if you are one of the Christians.  The task is huge. Second, we and the Czech believers serve one God, the only true God.  When we serve together, there is unity in the spirit despite the cultural and language barriers.  We are coming to help, not as “gospel experts”, but as fellow workers alongside our Czech brothers and sisters.  Lastly, Jesus Christ is the one and only way to eternal life.  There is no other name by which people can be saved.  These are the numbers that motivate us.

Below is a rough outline of our busy schedule.  I have included it so that you can better pray for us.

  • July 10 – 11 Travel from Phoenix to Malenovice
  • July 12 – 13 Missions training with Josiah Venture
  • July 14 Preparation for Camp
  • July 15 – 22 Camp with Students.  Each day will begin with devotions around 7:15 and end around midnight
  • July 23 Attend Church service with our host church, Travel back to Prague
  • July 24 Debrief with Josiah Venture, visit sights in Prague
  • July 25 Travel from Prague to Phoenix

To see more about the mission and the people involved, I invite you to read our earlier blogs.  I will try to post daily when we are on the road so that you can follow along. Thank you to everyone who has supported us to this point.  We are thankful for you and your continued partnership in this ministry.