Monday, May 25, 2015

Blessed Sunday in Havirov

Twenty two years ago, on our first Sunday living in the Czech Republic, we arrived here to become part of this fellowship of believers.

Církve bratrské in Havířov welcomed our little family into their midst and loved on us from day one: when we didn't speak one word of Czech, when they didn't know us, when we couldn't contribute anything into the fellowship.

Yet they hugged us each week, spoke to us though we didn't understand, held our babies, invited us for lunches, and prayed for us and the vision God placed on our hearts to reach young people in their city with the Gospel, and throughout the region.

And each Sunday I sat in church, with a child on my lap, looking up at this verse thinking to myself, "Someday this language will not look so strange to me!"

"Jesus is here and He's calling you." John 11:28

After eight years there, we moved to Frýdlant and became a part of the church here. But because our first roots were planted in Havířov, we feel such love, warmth and fondness for the people there, and how they ministered to us in our early years.

Yesterday, we were back at the church so Dave could preach ... in the pulpit where he gave his very first sermon in Czech. He began by reminiscing about all the funny mistakes he made in his first sermons, and how kindly the people there responded when he did. Much laughter ensued as he reminded them of the time he talked about Jesus healing the blind, but mixed up the word for "blind" and instead said Jesus healed the chickens!

My first Czech friends are still there...some of the precious ones who faithfully talked to and hugged me each week even when I had no idea what they were saying! How good it is now to have real conversation with them.

As if the blessing of being there at our former church wasn't enough, we had yet another one still to come in Havířov!

Not much has changed at the train station where we used to leave on youth group trips and pick up people when they were arriving.

Out on the platform, we made it just in time for the train's arrival.

Only to find out that the person we were waiting for wasn't on that train.

Thankfully another one arrived just a few minutes later with the passenger we were waiting for.

Although somehow we didn't see him get off, we ended up meeting each other at the front doors of the train station.

Yep, Caleb came up from Slovakia to see us for the night!

He and Haley have been there for a week visiting her parents, and are now just days away from the beginning of JV summer intern training which starts on Wednesday. But he was able to slip in a quick visit before that gets going!

Sunday nights were always "family night" at our house, so last night was no different (except we were missing a few family members!). What fun to sit in our living room, with a cozy fire burning, and catch up in person with Caleb.

And a little furry girl was happy to have him there too!

Caleb and Haley leave on Wednesday for Prague where they'll meet up with the rest of the JV summer interns and begin two days of team bonding through our version of the "Amazing Race". After all sorts of challenges finding their way across the country, they'll eventually make it here to Malenovice on Friday evening where they'll begin five days of training.

So very thankful for the blessings God gave us in Havířov yesterday!

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