The past couple of days have been some of the most gratifying I have experienced in a long time. We have been told by the Josiah Venture leaders that this camp has been, by far, the best one that has happened in the whole Czech Republic this summer (several are happening throughout the country at once at any given time in summer).
During our morning English classes, we break into smaller groups based on a number things, including English-speaking ability and age. Being in these small groups have helped a lot in the relationship building as the classes are pretty loosely structured and can be easily modified to accommodate the specific needs and interests of the students. So far, we have covered everything from parts of the body to pick-up lines to non-verbal communication.
The group Alisha and I help lead consists of the older campers who have a stronger grasp on the English language. That combination has led to some incredibly deep discussions -- especially in the evenings when that group's focus turns to studying the Bible and faith.
If I had to describe the Czechs in our group in just two words, I would say they are "deep thinkers." While Czechs are traditionally reserved in their willingness to voice personal thoughts and opinions, our group has been exceptionally transparent and vulnerable in its conversations.
I feel God moving amongst us as we seek to share our faith, lives, and experiences with one another. I have felt my study of Anabaptist theology -- especially the approach of interpreting all scripture in light of Christ's ministry -- has really been utilized. I find that the idea of Christ modifying/shedding new light on the teachings in the Old Testament is not one that has been discussed as often here and there seems to be some struggle rectifying things that seem to contradict in the Bible.
I had a conversation with one of the Czech students that was especially affirming. He told me that he is "not quite a Christian" but he has a lot of respect for some of the ideas I have introduced.
I pray that God can continue to use our words and insights to leave a positive impact on these campers and I also pray God continues to teach us, the leaders, as well.