We love our city! In a few weeks we will have been here a year now, and while there are still so many things to learn and adapt to, this is our home and our friends here are practically family. Between our church, Pioneers team, and the conversations we've had back home, this year of change has been made much easier than it could have been. I cannot tell you how grateful to God we are for all of the encouragements along the way. There have been a lot of highs and lows, but we feel more strongly now that this is where we're supposed to be. We're still tired a lot, but now it's mostly in the afternoons, so some energy in the morning is a good sign. It will be nice when our bodies catch up with us from all of the changes.
We've found getting our kids involved has actually opened doors to Gospel conversations along the way, since the question we often get is "Why are you here?" when we introduce ourselves. There are many in this country (though not all) who do not have a high view of their homeland. But not only is that an opportunity to share Jesus, but it's also an opportunity to explain to them that there are a ton of redeemable aspects of their culture worth celebrating. While Atheism tends to be the outward image the Czech Republic presents to the world, it is actually an apathetic agnosticism that possesses most of the people here. So, getting involved in our city practically opens doors to more opportunities to invite people to meet Jesus and see what that looks like in community.
The kids are now students at a Czech school, and they will begin their new schools in the Fall. It's really nice, as the school admin is inviting a Czech tutor for each of the kids to learn Czech as they're taking their classes (What a blessing!). And the girls are already going to be apart of a ballet recital in a few weeks. Andrew's Muey Thai classes are still going strong, and he's showing more confidence, as he interacts with the other boys.
It is a great privilege to work with our church here in Olomouc. Our friends have been very patient with us, as we work hard to understand their language, and it's been fun to have different opportunities to teach & preach along the way as well. This summer we're putting on a parenting workshop once per month and a bi-weekly International Bible study. And come this July there will be a number of English camps and events that we will be apart of. So, please pray God would use us along the way to His glory.
On top of language training, teaching, and acclimating to our new home it has been a season of travel for us, and some of that has involved going to various conferences. In April we were apart of Pioneer's Euroconnect, where missionaries from all over Europe came together to reconnect and be encouraged by our mutual vision for Europe. Pioneers is the church planting organization we are apart of, and our European branch seeks to equip and send missionaries to the unreached corners of this continent. It was really good to meet new people and have coffee with those who have been here for decades. Getting to learn from other's mistakes and successes made the short trip to Hungary worth it.
The most recent trip to Poland was for the European Leadership Forum. This is a conference for Europeans leaders to come together by their respected disciplines and network/share ideas about how to best reach our countries. Getting to know and hearing the stories of European church planters was a huge highlight and it gave us invaluable insights as to how we can do this in a way that is glorifying to God and Czech in nature. Sitting under the teaching of world class scholars and teachers was a huge joy as well, as John Lennox took us through Acts and Michael Reeves gave us a great reminder of the centrality of Justification for the Reformation today. Walking away from this it was immensely motivating to be in the work of planting Gospel Centered churches in the Czech Republic.