Though we've only been in Prague a few days, it feels that we've had a month's worth of powerful experiences. Here are a few.
Saturday we toured the city. It is charming, elegant, and even playful, feeling at times as if it were a page ripped out of a storybook about princes and princesses. Perhaps the most indelible memory for the team was visiting the Museum of Communism. Though emotionally taxing, it helped us better understand the context in which our mission partners live and serve.
We began Sunday by worshipping with a Czech evangelical church, after which we had brunch with the Phil Davis, our host and the pastor of Faith Community Church, with whom we worshipped in the afternoon. Faith Community is an English-language church that ministers primarily to Prague's large English-speaking international community. Their community is vibrant and worship vital. Alex and Sabrina were able to take some wonderful photos and videos. Given that the Czech Republic is one of the most atheistic nations in Europe, it was encouraging to see how God is so powerfully at work.
Sunday night we had dinner at the Davises' house with the Savants (the husband, Wade, is the assistant pastor at Faith and a good friend of mine from seminary). Before dinner they sat us down and asked if we could spend some time in prayer. God has been doing incredible things through their team, which means that Satan is eager to oppose them. They shared with us a number of things, from the tragic death of a close friend to illness to visa troubles. We were very burdened for our friends and prayed and cried. It was a holy moment and, as the team later told us, it was obvious that even if we left after that night the trip would have been worth it.
Today our creative team (Kasey Hayes, Alex Brito, and Sabrina Poratta) began the process of helping Faith Community think through how they portray their story visually to the community and to donors in the States. We'll continue this work on Wednesday, but it was evident even from this first session that we are contributing to a felt-need. As Wade said, "They REALLY know what they're doing."
Later we met with Jessica Forbes, a City Church ministry partner who is working in anti-human trafficking efforts and women's ministry. The profundity and importance of her work makes it hard to do it justice in a few words. Please ask one of our team members to share with you about it when we get back to Richmond!
We're taking a quick break before heading to dinner. In true City Church fashion, we're going to a place that we've dubbed "Meat Hall", a food hall where you order various meats by the pound. It's not the Harvest Party, but it'll do.
Thanks to everyone who has sacrificed to make this important trip happen. We are thankful—for those of you who have given financially; for those of you who are praying; for our team members who have left behind children and work to learn from our friends here and serve them by listening and crying and taking pictures and making websites. Especially for our mission partners, who have sacrificed so much to follow God's calling upon their lives and invited us to see it firsthand.