You never know what a year will bring. We began 2016 like any other, but midway through, God redirected us to Central Europe where He opened our eyes to what He would have us do in this chapter of our lives. The Keynote presentation below, which can be expanded to full screen, will provide you with a glimpse of how God has worked in our lives.
Prague Church Plant Presentation
We actually felt our roots being loosened eight years ago on a snowy Sunday morning in Asheville, North Carolina. Occasionally, our church would call when the roads iced or there was a snow storm and worshipping together was impossible. This particular Sunday was one of those days. So we loaded a sermon CD that a friend had given us into the player and sat back to listen. The sermon title, Live to Die, certainly should have warned us that something incredible was about to happen in our hearts, but we were more focused on the falling snow outside and our change of plans for the morning. However, fifty minutes later we sat speechless gazing at each other. World missions was now front and center in our thinking.
God grabbed our hearts that day and began expanding them for the world. We prayed together and told God we were willing to go anywhere He would have us go. Weeks went by and nothing changed, but after a few months Brian asked that we consider moving to Charlotte, North Carolina. My heart skipped a beat. Charlotte! Why would I want to move to Charlotte? What’s in Charlotte?
As it turned out, new ministry opportunities resided in Charlotte. So we sold our home, downsized into a small mill home (that would make a great rental if God were to call us elsewhere), and joined Sovereign Grace Presbyterian Church in south Charlotte. Brian went to work at JAARs, a Bible translation support center, in their communications department. He also worked as a volunteer at Brookstone, an inner-city Christian school. Together we taught Sunday School and involved ourselves in various other ministries of the church.
After a few years, we thought that God may just want us to remain “senders,” not “goers.” But then one Sunday morning the mission committee chairman half-jokingly asked us if we spoke Czech. This conversation led to a commitment from us to go to Prague on a short-term mission trip. (It appears that tectonic shifts in our lives come on Sunday mornings!)
Prague proved to be a visionary trip. We learned much about the culture and the darkness of atheism that grips the Czech Republic. We engaged with missionaries on the field as well as with church members from multiple ethnic backgrounds since Prague is an international city.
Since that event, we have walked through all the doors that God has opened for us, including missionary assessment and orientation. Now we only have one door left and that is what we call the “big green door” of support. We are excited as we begin this final step because we know that our kind Heavenly Father is going to lead us to those whom He is preparing to partner with us in this ministry. We also know that we are going to be stretched in a good way so that we only depend on God and not on ourselves.
As we think about Prague, a city close to our hearts but far from all that is familiar to us, we realize how desperately we need the prayers of our friends. Would you please pray for us? I know you will and that God will answer those prayers. Here are a few things that come to mind when we think about the future.
1. That God would increase our faith and trust in Him.
2. That we would be diligent in studying Czech, a crazy-difficult language to learn, and count it all joy.
3. That we would live one day at a time on God’s promises.
4. That we would always find our identity in Christ and rest in His righteousness alone.
Thank you for joining us on this journey of faith.