Last week we joined a team of leaders who put on a children’s camp for foster kids and those in children’s homes. We had a little over 70 kids ranging from 5-18 and they were incredible. We didn’t know most of the leaders going in, but despite our language level we had a great time getting to know each other and working to give the kids a good time and show them who Jesus is and what He’s done.

The children’s camp leader team

This years theme was about Westerns, Cowboys, and Native American’s.

Czechs have a love for Westerns like Americans have for medieval knights. So we fit right in.

Addey getting ready to do archery

Camp food is always interesting in Czech. This is a noodle/poppy seed spread (Sladké nudle s mákem). I had no idea how this would taste at first, and it wound up being pretty good.

Waiting in line in the dining hall.

We had over 70 kids this year

Sharing the story of Squanto, as well as the first Thanksgiving turned into Thanksgiving in July

Getting ready to say goodbye is always hard at these events.

You always take off your shoes when entering a house in CZ. I cannot tell you how good this room smelled.

While American’s do Smores at campfires, Czechs do Špekáček sausages.

Family (Nora surgery, school/school changes, visits, neighbors)

We went back and forward about taking the kids out of Czech school early, but in the end we’re all glad they were able to stick it out for the rest of the semester. The kids feel accomplished with their scores, and we’ve been working hard to make sure they get plenty of closure with their friends. By the grace of God Addey’s old school from Oklahoma decided to allow us to do distance learning with them with accreditation to make homeschooling legal here in Czech. So, we’ve decided to go that direction for the time being. We will have to supplement their Czech language learning and find after school programs to keep them integrated, but this seems to be the best decision for the health of the kiddos.

Nora had extremely swollen tonsils for months, while the doctors just kept putting off the idea of surgery. But after some time they softened to the idea and she finally had them removed. The medical system here is quite different than the U.S., in that they have patients stay overnight for a typical outpatient surgery. But it worked to our benefit, since we were able to get to know some new friends who were sharing the same room as us.

We also had a few great visits from friends in the U.S. It’s always a joy to invite people from back home to see what life is like here.

The kids on their last day of school.

We’re missing a member of the family here (Dan’s beard), but it’s only for the summer

We loved having Eddy and his wife Carolyn out here to visit us from OKC. They are great leaders and very encouraging.

Addey and her best friend Sofie getting ready for their end of year class dance.

Nora’s new friend she made in the hospital. They became BFFs right away.

Right after tonsil surgery

This is the hospital room Lisa and Nora stayed at with another mother and her daughter

Nora’s been losing teeth left and right, and also bankrupting the tooth fairy.

Nora being evaluated in her Czech/education level.

Nora’s Školka class

We often get neighbor families and random kids to come over to hang out.

Kids often go on walks around the city with their classes

Andrew’s class

In March we were invited to join the team from Bridgeway Church in OKC to visit the church in Celje, Slovenia for an intercessory prayer workshop. This was one of the most encouraging weeks for us in a long time. It felt like the beginning of a revival, as we saw multiple churches in the area praying and repenting together over various issues. We also saw people coming to faith for the first time. Watching a man sit in front of me at church, who had just become a believer after having never stepped foot in a church was very heart warming. All of this gave us a glimmer of hope in the Czech Republic, since both these countries are post communist nations who have had a rough history in Europe. The team was also an immense blessing to us. We went back through the border of CZ with a strong reminder of the Holy Spirit’s power and role in all that we do to make much of King Jesus.

The church in Celje, Slovenia

Visiting old ruins in Slovenia

Most cities looked gray and bare like this during the communist years

Matt from Bridgeway talking to the group on the topic of prophesy

Multiple churches came together to pray. It felt like the beginning of something special in this region, since nothing like this (in terms of church unity) has happened like this in a very long time.

Praying with the Celje young adult team

The missionary kids and U.S. kids were a great team on this trip

Visiting an old castle in Celje. The kids loved the massive chess board

The week with the Bridgeway team and Celje church was incredibly encouraging

The Pioneers conference in May brought us back to Slovenia, and it was a different kind of encouraging. These meetings are great reminders of the role we’re playing in the bigger picture, and it gives us a bigger taste of what God is doing throughout Europe. We got to meet up with the friends we’ve made over the years, and the kids reconnected with other MK’s. We were also given a lot of helpful advice from mentors of ours, who have seen what longevity on the mission field really looks like. So, we’re now in a place where we have a better idea of what paving the way for the long game in Czech Republic can look like.

The missionary kiddos giving their recital of the songs they learned during the week

Each of the families went through Security Training, and they had a special training for the kids as well.

Steve Richardson (president of Pioneers) teaching on our place in history.

Hearing Mark Oshman preach again was a treat

Praying over each region of Europe. The leaders help up the name of their areas for over an hour as we prayed

Kids in the stairwell.

Praying for the nations

Mini Harbor Okinawa reunion. 14 years later

Last month we were able to connect with our small group on a weekend retreat, where we invited friends from outside the church to better connect. Czech’s have a love for nature that is really inspiring, and times like this create an atmosphere for conversations to happen more naturally.

For Good Friday Metro split up the celebration to the small groups, and Lisa and I put together a Sedar/Passover meal that helped us tie the Old Covenant feast with the fulfillment of Jesus. All of the details of the meal pointed to Jesus, so it was a great time of worship in community.

As we’re drawing toward the end of our first term in the Czech Republic, we’re grateful for all of you who have stood by us in prayer and support along the way! We’ve loved serving Metro church, and look forward to seeing what God will do with this upcoming church plant in Olomouc when we return in the Summer.

Finding a random lookout point in the woods

Kicking off our small group retreat

We went on a short Czech hike through the woods

We had a Gospel focused Passover meal for Good Friday. It’s amazing to see how the details of the ancient celebration meal points to Jesus in every way!

Kostel Jinak “Different church”