We continue in home stay accommodations through today (Dec 19).  Yesterday Aidan and Andrew had a great side trip to a local school to teach in English classes.  The rest of us had a pretty calm day recovering from the intensity of the weekend.  In the evening, we all regrouped for a follow-up event with the youth group.  It was another great time of fun and conversations with our mini-camp students as well as many that were unable to attend this past weekend.

As for the Sandy family, Sarah and Caleb continue to deal with a head cold, but both are on the path to recovery.  We are praying they are completely recovered in a day or two.

There were many highlights for me yesterday.  One of them was a meeting with our host family, the Czudeks.   We are living in a completely separate apartment above their home.  The children speak English to varying degrees.  Honza, an elder at the church who oversees youth ministries, and Kateřina, his wife speak very little.  Between my limited Czech, Honza’s limited English, and help from Tobias (the oldest son), we were able to have a nice visit where we shared photos from English camp and life in Arizona.

Honza asked a really good question.  He said “why is it that you come here?”.  Meaning “why Český Těšín?, why our church”.  The answer is a complicated one, but I wanted to share it with you.  When we began our short term missions in the Czech Republic, Josiah Venture determined where we would go.  The CB Těšín church was looking for Americans to help with camp, so Josiah Venture put the two of us together.  I think we were hoping to get an assignment near Prague where we could serve alongside Josh and Anežka Dietz.  God had other plans, however.  I think the heart of the question really is “why we continue coming back to us.”  The answer to this question is much simpler.  We have come to love the people here.  Our Czech brothers and sisters have such big hears for Christ.  They have welcomed us into their homes, they allowed us to serve alongside them with genuine love, and they continue to authentically share their lives with us as we do the same with them.

As you can see, I am tremendously thankful for our partnership for the Gospel.  God is doing a work here among the students, just as God is doing a work in all of us who serve.

Today most of us will visit a museum then take a walking tour of town.  Caleb, Sarah and Levi will be staying back due to health issues, and Betsy will be taking a trip to Auschwitz, which is nearby in Poland.  We will regroup tonight for a dinner meeting with the elders.

Tomorrow ends the planned mission trip.  Betsy, Jenn, Aidan and Andrew will head back to Prague, while the Sandy family stays on.  The farewells will be sad.  But as we leave each mission trip, we leave with the hope of return and we rejoice knowing that God continues to work in the lives of our friends even while we are away.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.  We appreciate your prayers and support and we look forward to sharing about everything God has done when we return.