But the atmosphere inside was nothing but warm, cheerful and inviting!
What was the occasion for this gathering??
The 20th anniversary of KAM, our Czech JV organization! (an acronym for "Křesťanská akademie mladých", or in English, "Christian Academy of Youth").
I remember the celebration at our home in Havířov, twenty years ago with just a handful of people, when the organization was formally started. We'd already been living and doing ministry in Czech for four years at that time, but that April 1997 saw the beginning of KAM as an organization.
Today, there are nearly 70 full time workers in KAM, all serving young people here in the Czech Republic.
The evening was full of stories and reports about what God is doing through them across the country.
As well as hearing the five priorities of KAM from our current director, as the team continues to work towards bringing the Gospel to young people: Building more partnerships with churches, providing personal mentoring to youth leaders, training in core values, bringing young people into the church, and greater spiritual faith for the building of God's church here.
We rejoiced in the resources that God continues to be so generous at providing.
And we heard personal testimonies from young leaders who are continuing the vision that KAM established twenty years ago.
Dave shared the story of JV's beginnings, and of our early days in Czech as we prayed for and worked towards a movement of God among youth in this country.
|The picture is Dave and Caleb, on our first day in country, November 1993!|
We worshipped under the leadership of Cory, who leads Divine Attraction, the band that tours with the EXIT ministry here in Czech.
And we laughed and celebrated over many things, including awards that were given during the evening together.
My heart was utterly full of praises to the Lord for what he has established in this country.
We came all those years ago with hopes, dreams and prayers, believing that God had led us here to be part of what he wanted to do among the youth.
Being at this celebration confirmed that he indeed had a plan! What amazing things he's already done. And he is STILL at work here to accomplish his will of drawing young people to himself.
We pray that KAM's work will continue to thrive and grow for many, many more years!