God is not dead in the Czech Republic – He is alive and well in the youth! Our proof is in our gracious hosts: Filip, Nina, and Josefina. We could not have asked for a better group of young people to guide us from the airport at Prague to the train station to Poděbrady, their home town about an hour's ride from the city.
Through enjoyable, honest conversations we are beginning to learn what it means to be a youth in a post-Christian society. It requires a strength of character and fortitude to walk in the counter culture and that's exactly what young Christians are doing.
While drinking iced coffee, Filip's mother described the Czech people this evening: For so many years, the Czech people were being persuaded on things [communism] over and over again that turned out not to be true. Now they are very wary of people who try to persuade them to believe something. Christian missionaries have been trying to sell Jesus to them for a while now, but only recently have the seeds of faith that have been planted in the youth start blossoming. And, from what I gather in talking to Filip, Nina, and Josefina, their faith is a product of their faith communities and the relationships they have built with each other – not single weeks of English camps like the one we are going to lead (although those certainly seem to help).
We recognize our ability to build lasting, life-changing relationships with all of the students at the camp next week is not the easiest thing to accomplish. However, if we can encourage and strengthen the young leaders we've met today and encourage community and relationships after the English camp, perhaps we can play a small roll in nurturing the young plant that is the Church in the Czech Republic.