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.

Nora getting ready at her školka/kindergarden

Nora’s kindergarden class

Playing American football with Andrew in the park

At the gate in Andršpach. Also a spot where they filmed the Narnia movies.

More Andršpach

Watching the new street art develop in Olomouc

We had the privilege of having Devin join us for the last week of his trip to CZ! It was a really sweet time connecting with him.

I don’t know if what this guy was doing was legal, but his layout looks better than the previous guy.

Addey’s 2nd grade class

Meeting the administration of the kids’ school

Andrew’s class

Sometimes we run into random things going on in the city. In this case we found cotton candy, face painting, and horse rides near our neighborhood.

The kids’ textbooks for this school year

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.

A part of the men’s study requires you to visit another local church to get an understanding of their differences/areas of emphasis. I decided to visit the Apostolic church of Olomouc. It is much like the Assemblies of God denomination in the U.S.

Our Pioneers team had our Thanksmas meeting at our place this year.

We started a whisky tasting group for men a few months ago. Here we were drinking history (and possibly one of the last bottles) of the 1992 Czechoslovakian Gold Cock.

We have a bi annual meeting called the Institut, which takes about 4 hours on a Saturday to cover different topics in depth. Our recent Institut had a psychologist from Prague join us to have talks/panel discussions on the issue of homosexuality and Bibical ethics.

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.

Walking through Olomouc

We joined Kostel Jinak for their weekend retreat. It was a great time connecting with them and the American team that came out to talk/pray/dream about the future church plant in Olomouc.

The kids going on a scavenger hunt.

Our Community Group meets every Wednesday for dinner and a group discussion about the previous Sunday’s sermon.

Lisa helping to lead worship at Metro.

We had our Metro Relax weekend, with a guest speaker from Slovakia to talk about the Bible and family.

Our new members at Metro Church