(Written 8/6 by Doug Sandy)

Yesterday we said our farewells to both English camp and the young people that we had come to love over our short stay here.  There were photos, hugs, exchanges of contacts, and some tears.  As each person drove away, the camp lost some of its character and life until it was left much as it started: quiet and empty – a silent cluster of buildings.  Much like a dream, memories of laughter and struggles played in my mind as I walked through the grounds a final time.

Yesterday was the beginning of a pivot in our mission here.  With the end of the English camp, follow up activities transition to the church youth group in Český Těšín.  This consists of several activities through Sunday.  Follow-ups include a dinner in the youth group room on Friday night, a walking tour of the city, bubble soccer, a church service, and final farewells to the Americans.  The goal of these activities is to enfold the students in the local church if they are not yet attending.

Another pivot in the ministry has to do with our accommodations.  Up until this point we have been staying hotels or at the camp center.  With the end of the “All Good” camp, the American team has split up and is staying in the homes of Czech hosts.  Each of these stories will need to be shared separately at a later time since I can only speak to my experience.

Sarah and I are staying in the home of two of the biggest-hearted servants of Jesus you could ever meet: Radek and Dorka.  During camp, they both tirelessly worked behind the scenes to make sure that camp ran smoothly.  We continued to experience their gentle hospitality yesterday as they helped us, together with Chris and JD from the Nevada church, settle into their home.

The youth group meeting last night was a lot of fun.  We shared a meal, played games and danced.  We knew the faces of most of the people who attended, but sadly there were many that were missing.  Perhaps we will see them today as we resume our follow-ups. Or perhaps, our ministry to them is over – to be continued by someone else at a later time.  Either way, I pray that they, like us will continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Youth group meeting