I spent this past weekend in Ostrava, which is a town three hours east of Prague on the Polish border. Petra and Jonny live in Ostrava. You may remember them from my pictures and stories about English camp this past summer. God worked in their lives and hearts during the camp and I was encouraged that they were beginning a new journey with our Creator. I had some fears though after they returned home from camp. Petra was nervous that her mother would be angry that she was not a believer and Jonny felt that his friends at school would ridicule him. I’ve been praying for both of these students over the last 3 months and was so excited to finally visit their homes and see what life is like for them. I arrived on Friday afternoon and was greeted by Petra and her family at the train station. Her family consists of her mother, Vladanna, her mother’s boyfriend Vojtech and her brother Kuba. They live in a small flat outside of the city center. None of them speak English so it was also a good test of my knowledge of Czech! I learned that Petra’s mother is not upset about her decision of faith but very supportive that her daughter seems happier and is sharing her future dreams more.
On Friday night Petra and I joined two of her classmates for a movie night at a local church. Since becoming a believer this summer, Petra has been attending this church every Sunday and recently got involved with a local Young Life club. I was really glad to see Petra meeting new people at church and seeing her school friends received warmly into the group. On Saturday morning I was given a four hour walking tour of Ostrava. The city does not have the amount of history as Prague but it was beautiful! Saturday night Petra invited a handful of friends over to help celebrate her 18th birthday. The girls practiced their English with me and asked questions like “Why would you move from California to the Czech Republic??”
Sunday morning I attended a Czech worship service and met Jonny for lunch afterwards. Since camp, Jonny has chosen not to share his decision with his friends and family out of fear. He also has not found a church he likes and is not growing in his faith. We had a good discussion during lunch and I was able to set up a meeting between Jonny and one of the Young Life leaders in Ostrava. Jonny asked me to pray for courage because he thinks it will be difficult to really live as a believer and a “regular” person at school and at his home.
I left Ostrava with a desire to keep in touch with both Petra and Jonny more often. It is encouraging to see the ways that God is bringing his people back into relationship with him. There is light even in this dark land!
Thanks for your part in what Christ is doing in the Czech Republic! Keep praying!!