Saturday, July 20, 2013

Czech Gifts

This English Camp this year was the largest the Brown's had put together in the Czech Republic and it had the smallest team from America.  This is fitting because the Gideons were leading it.  God took the smallest team so far and did great things. At the team meeting before camp Marshall gave us a pep talk and shared his excitement of the gospel and it's transforming power.  He mentioned Romans 6:28,   "The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus," and  “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8,9) He went on to make the word picture of being a gift and either opening it or leaving it. I remember him giving us this same pep talk two years ago on our last trip and I was excited to see what God would do this time.

The camp is made up of people from the Brethern Church in Celekovice and their neighbors, co-workers and people in the community.  One of the first years that the Brown's were involved in putting on the camp they advertised in the village paper.  From that advertisement there are a half dozen people that have come back for their third camp.
"Why do you keep coming back?" they ask us.
"Because we love you and want to share God's love with you," we say.
"Why do you keep coming back?" we ask them.
"We have a good time, the people are very nice and our family has a great time," they say.
Throughout the year the church has a weekly English Club for kids.  This is a great way to introduce the kids to the church.  The translator for my class brought their neighbor's daughter to the kids club during the year and then invited the mom and daughter to the camp.  She was an attorney and didn't really believe in God. She didn't feel comfortable saying who God was. You can imagine her discomfort level about going through the creation story and talking about sin.  We knew that it was only the Spirit of God in her heart that would soften her heart and receive the message.  By the end of the week we could see her softened heart and we were rejoicing in her desire to enter into conversations with us.  My translator Jara and her husband as her neighbors will continue to reach out to this woman after I go home.
I had the beginning/intermediate class so there were many conversations that I couldn't take part in because of their level of English vocabulary and my level of Czech.  But I was told that my class was having those conversations with their Czech friends outside of class. During our last class there were a lot of doubts and disagreements shared and even the one lady in our class who is Catholic and I had previously thought was a believer said she doubted whether Jesus really died and was resurrected. And class time was up at that was time for group class and I still had my class gifts to hand out.  I set my translator gifts down at their feet (because they were still involved in their the Czech language) and all of sudden the conversation stopped and they reached for thier gifts.  I stopped handing out gifts and told them to wait.....
"Are Jara and her husband excited about their gift," I asked my class? "If they open it and take it home they can use their gifts but if they leave them here unopened then they haven't received their gift.  This is the same with God," I told them.  "You can take this gift He is offering you and make it yours or you can leave it, it is up to you."
After I gave the class their gifts, the sweet couple sitting on the couch next to me gave me a gift.  I told them I would hang it next to my sink and would think of them all during the day while I did dishes. And it has been a great reminder to pray for them and that the Gift of God would grow in their hearts and minds.


Gloria said...

What a sweet gift. Love being able to see God softening hearts!

SenoraSabrosita said...

I'm so glad you got the opportunity to go to the Czech Republic with your son. What was his experience like? Was this his first mission trip?