Monday, October 9, 2017

Church Family Week-end

Seventeen years ago, through the vision and courage of the Pitcher family (former JV team members), an evangelical church was birthed in Frýdlant nad Ostravicí.

Ken Pitcher began to pastor a small flock of people in his living room and ended up pastoring for nine years before God called he and his family back to the States.

Starting with just three families, it was slow going in the beginning. But look at what God has grown over these years...and this isn't even all of us!

We gathered with our church family this past week-end to celebrate what God has done in and through our church these past 17 years, ten of which have been as an official self-standing church in the Církve bratrské denomination here in Czech.

It was so meaningful to see pictures and remember the miracles of how God brought this church into being and made it to be salt and light in our valley.

A church gathering at our house many years ago!

After worship and devotions together on Saturday morning, we set off on a walk together despite chilly temperatures in the Jeseníky mountains where we were staying.

This is one of the things that I love about Czech culture...that taking a long walk, with the whole family, is considered a fun thing to do!

We walked by a famous pub that had chairs made into the likenesses of its patrons.

Wouldn't that be cool to sit on your own chair??!!

We made our way into the forest, enjoying all the fall colors, sights and smells.

We talked, laughed and enjoyed fellowship with each other.

And along the way I saw my first ever classic toadstool, the Amanita muscaria mushroom! Having only ever seen them in fairytales, it was honestly pretty thrilling to see one in person (I know Czech friends, it's a sad thing that this was my first time to see it in person!).

While they look beautiful, they're actually poisonous.

It really couldn't have been a prettier day for our five mile walk.

The rest of the day was spent in lots of fun games and conversations.

And in the evening we gathered for rich teaching from Dave...and then stayed up until midnight enjoying time each other!

The next morning we gathered for worship again...

And more teaching from Dave about what the church is and how we are made to function. Lots of great discussion took place as we made personal application to our own lives about what impacted us most.

The five pictures of the church: a family, temple/living stones, a body, the bride, and "ekklesia", the whole body of God's faithful people.

It was such a joy-filled week-end, being with our church family! I'm thankful for the years God has given us in this body, and pray that this "bride" will flourish and grow for many years to come in our valley, leading people to personal relationships with Jesus!

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