This year has been a time of growth for our family. The kids are getting older, my (Dan) beard is getting grayer, and we’re just becoming more accustomed to life in Czech. The first semester of school is almost over for the kids, and we’re working on new and creative ways to get them acclimated to the language. One thing we would hear from parents before moving here is, “Oh, the kids will catch on to the language so quickly,” but this isn’t always the case, and a lot of work must go into it for this to come true. I would be lying if I said the kids don’t struggle, but we are seeing the fruit of keeping them in the Czech school system. Walking with this alongside them has helped our family grow stronger, and our kids to become more confident with their world.
We were also given a few more opportunities to travel around CZ this year, with a few trips around Moravia for church retreats, and to see interesting sites. Recently we were able to see Andrspach park, where they filmed some of the Narnia films. There is so much beauty to this country, and we long to see that beauty matched with a desire for the true King of the Czechs, Jesus.
While our main focus at this point is to study the language and grow more proficient in that area (this is a major part of our first term), we are also finding many different ways to connect with other churches and people along the way. We have a three fold aspect to our job: 1. Language development, 2. Church, and 3. Things outside the local church. And the need/our Pioneers team determines how big each of these areas will be. While we are working with Metro church and focusing on the language, we’ve also had the opportunity to work with a like minded church from Šumperk called Kostel Jinak to help develop a future layout for a new church plant in the next few years. So, connecting with this community has also been a joy, as we would love to see a bridge between Metro and this new church plant as the years progress.
Over the last season, we’ve had a number of retreats with different churches, where we’ve been able to have a slower pace and more “relaxed” atmosphere to talk about life, meaning, and Jesus. Another retreat had a small group of guys out to focus on preaching. There we watched a series of popular sermons by people like Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, and even Steven Furtick, as well as a number of our own sermons. We would then critique the style, exegesis, and application. Most of these guys are also a part of a men’s study, where we are reading through the Gospels/Acts, the Major Prophets, and a book on Biblical Interpretation.