“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
Throughout the year we have various outreach opportunities including evangelism training and other gospel sharing outreaches. One missions outreach we’re excited about for this summer is a group going to the Czech Republic. The missions team going will lead a week long camp for students there locally. Our team will be doing their best to post updated info so you can follow along with this adventure.
Tomorrow marks one month since English Camp ended. Again, I am surrounded by the familiar sights and sounds of home. As I sit in my study writing this, the fan silently swirls overhead, two wall clocks tirelessly tick away their endless rhythm, and an episode from “Adventures in Odyssey” entertains my children in another room. From all appearances, life is back to normal. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. God has used the trip to change my perspectives on global missions in two primary ways. Let me explain.
This is it. The trip was over 4 weeks ago, and now I’m sitting here in my living room writing the “final blog” for our mission to Czechia. I’ve been asking myself: “How do I sum up the whole trip in a single blog?”, and it’s definitely quite the challenge. I think the simplest way I can share this is by telling you about one of the biggest lessons I learned during the trip.
We have been home a week and a half now, and I am still putting together my thoughts and feelings that can best describe what the trip meant to me and how it impacted me. When I prepare for a trip like this, I try not to spend much time imagining what it will be like, but rather go with an openness to experience each day as it comes and see what God has in store.
I had written briefly about this verse in a previous blog post before the trip! “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so we could walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 NASB1995)
After almost a week of processing this experience in Čzechia, I am nowhere near finished. What I can clearly say is that God has reminded me how amazing these good works are that He has prepared for me.
We are nearing the end of our last day in the Czech republic. Tomorrow we begin our long journey home. Thank you for all your prayers and interest in this ministry. A full sharing of what we have seen and done here in Czechia is tentatively scheduled for after church on 8/21. More information will be announced later.
Signing off for now.
-Doug Sandy, for the entire Czech Missions Team.
Words can’t really put into focus the array of emotions going around the team right now. I would say most of us are tired from the week, sad to say goodbye to so many good friends, joy to see the Lord’s faithfulness at the end of a beautiful week, and excitement for what the next chapter will bring with the new relationships we formed.
Yesterday burst with a variety of activities. We started the day with an amazing Czech breakfast that featured a selection of meats and cheeses as well as fresh vegetables from our hosts garden. Next we met at a coffee shop in town for a tour of both the Polish and Czech parts of the city. The rest of the day was filled with youth group activities that included bubble soccer (football), fellowship, food, and more fellowship. We used this time to continue building friendships and further the spiritual discussions that we had begun with the Czech students.
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.
It is hard to believe that tonight is my last night in Malenovice. Today was the last full day of camp, featuring our last English classes, workshops, and evening session.
As I suspected, this camp experience has flown by and has been a whirlwind. I must say that while staffing any summer camp is difficult, staffing a summer camp with a language barrier is far more taxing. On the other hand, it is hard to think about this when you can see the joy of the students when they talk about camp highlights during our last roundtable discussion group.
A common device for sharing the Gospel is known as the bridge diagram. It is a simple picture that shows God and man separated by a giant, un-crossable chasm: the chasm of sin. No amount of human effort is able to get you across this gap. It cannot be jumped across. It cannot be scaled. We are hopelessly separated from God. However, when Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins, he created a bridge by which the chasm could be crossed.