(Written by Doug Sandy on 8/3/2022)
As I think back over the days since my last blog post, two key skills pop into mind: flexibility and humility.
As we came to Czechia, none of us know what to expect. There were many questions that we had that simply could not be answered until after we set foot in the Camp. Schedules and roles needed to be finalized, messages needed to be tuned, and most of all, we needed to reach out to students that we had never met. These were just the things that we knew about. For extra measure, God allowed additional challenges our way. Rain forced plans for outdoor activities to be modified. A power outage yesterday led to an all-acoustic worship time in the morning and concern by some campers and staff about the remaining charge on their phones. Loss of power also meant loss of WiFi, forcing many of us to adapt. Flexibility has been key.
The second skill that comes to mind is humility. It is an uncomfortable fact that we are beginners when it comes to ministering for God in the Czech Republic. Most of us have strong ministries back in the United States. We teach, we lead podcasts, we share our lives and the gospel. We are used to doing this and have good “spiritual muscle memory” to do it. Unfortunately, this same muscle memory can get in the way of being effective here. We are not in America. The students that we are here for have different life experiences and a different cultural lens through which to view the world and understand God. We need help to understand. We need to ask before we act. Thankfully the Czech leadership has been very kind and patient with us.
Yesterday was a physically demanding one, but also a fruitful one. Most of us set off after breakfast to hike Lysa Hora (or Bare Mountain). This is the tallest peak in the area and the top features stunning views (when it is not foggy) and two restaurants. The 9 mile round trip was scenic but challenging. We hiked through evergreen forest with occasional streams of water that were fueled by the recent rains. At times the trail was quite steep and I was always thankful when we stopped to catch our breath. After reaching the summit, we relaxed inside the restaurants while eating and talking. Throughout the hike we were able to connect with students in meaningful conversation about who God is and what it means to live for him.
As the team has been challenged this week, I am convinced that God is using these circumstances to work on our team as much as the students that we came to serve.
Thank you for your continued prayer support and interest in our journey!