As I sit at the airport waiting for my flight back to Phoenix to board, I've been reflecting on the experience Alisha and I have had. What have we accomplished? How did we enable God to move in the hard-to-reach regions of the world? What do we do next?
First, we were able to genuinely connect with students from a different country and build relationships that, thanks to technology, will be able to continue to grow as we continue life here in the United States.
We were also able to encourage and support the local church in Poděbrady and affirm their ministry. This is important, as local churches don't always seem to have a lot of support and are constantly swimming against the current in the Czech Republic.
We were able to provide Eastern Mennonite Missions with much-needed feedback they will use as they continue to establish themselves in the Czech Republic. As I (think I) said before, we were considered a team of pioneers -- the first to interact and build relationships with existing ministries and churches.
Finally, Alisha and I were able to make a lot of progress in discerning God's call in our lives regarding mission work. We're not sure when or where we should go, but we know when the time comes, we're ready and excited.
To be realistic, two weeks (three, if you include training and travel) is really not enough time to build the deep, meaningful bonds with people required for effective relational evangelism. However, I feel like we were able to plant a few seeds and instill an urgency in questioning "what do I believe" and "why."
So, what's next? Alisha and I will be hosting a presentation at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale at a to-be-named date and time. During that time we will tell our stories, answer questions, and express our thanks and gratitude for the support we have received during this Worthwhile Adventure.
God is not dead in Europe. In fact, the contrary is quite true -- He is very much alive and the young people thirst for God's message of peace, love, and redemption (although they may not always realize it). Amazingly, those who do believe have faith of unquestionable strength.
Pray for the church in the Czech Republic and surrounding countries -- that they may be resilient and encouraged in their difficult mission.