It has been a while since Lucie and I have sent an update letter, but I have finally been able to take some time to let you know what is going on; many things have happened! From outreaches to regular FreshPoint nights, structure changes and introducing new elements, FreshPoint has undergone some “spring cleaning.” We are excited to share the news with you!
Outreaches and events
In November we celebrated Thanksgiving, (not a Czech holiday) and we had around 30 people in attendance. It was a great night of playing games, getting to know new people, and enjoying good food; just like Thanksgiving ought to be. Some new faces showed up and have been with us ever since. Also, around November we were trying to get an international, English-speaking group going at the University. While that is still in development, some good things came from it mainly that some of those students have started coming to FreshPoint or meeting with me regularly during the week. We will continue to build relationships with the students we have now and try to engage more people in devoting more time to it.
New Years and Christmas
One of the things about FreshPoint is that even though we are about average in size, we are influential across the Czech Republic. We helped organize and put on “Silvestrovská chata,” which means “New Year’s Cottage.” It is a retreat that lasts for three and a half days over the New Year’s holiday. The event is relatively small, consisting of youth groups from all over the north-western region of the Czech Republic, but it was a fantastic time where we discussed the challenges that we face daily in our walk with Christ, and how important it is to meet them head-on with Jesus.
Lucie and I were involved in many things, but most importantly we worked with discipling the guys and girls. The retreat lasted about three days, but they were three days of enjoying the presence of God and each other as we opened the new year, ready to pursue God to the fullest and meet every challenge head-on with Jesus.
January: pause and refocus
In January, I was blessed to be able to kind of just “attend” FreshPoint (in truth I was doing other things in the background, but I didn’t need to speak from the front so much, which was great!). We had guest speakers, and we continued the theme of meeting our day-to-day challenges with faith and an attitude of “This, and everything I do, I do for Christ.” In January we began to have some “experimental” changes with the main one being how we would come up with themes for each month. In an attempt to get students more involved, we decided to discuss what people deal with and how we can learn to face these things as Christians. It was a sort of “elective” and “democratic” way of discipleship. In some ways, it was a great idea, and in others, it had its shortcomings. One big positive, though, was that more students began to take responsibility for FreshPoint and the inner workings of the ministry.
The final Thursday in January was Family Night and, usually, we all spend a fun evening together in an environment that is easy for people to invite their friends. This time, however, we had guy/girl’s night, where we still had our “regular” activities and games. However, we also had a slightly more focused discussion on what it means to be a man or woman of God, what that means for our relationships, and how we should carry ourselves.
Relationships and love
February is the month of Love, right? We talked about the various types of relationships we have in our lives and how we, as followers of Jesus, ought to act and respond to each situation. Stan and Jiřina talked about dating, Simona and Jaromir (small group leaders in our church) talked about how to have Jesus as the center of a relationship, and Kirk McAteer (an Australian pastor from Birmingham, England) spoke on the importance of sharing the gospel with people around us.
On Family Night, we watched the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and we talked shortly about “seeing the impossible” and “expecting more from your life.” It was a great set-up for our topic in March!
Living differently: Life to the full
Just this past month we talked about living our lives to the fullest. To be honest, I was looking forward to this month more than all of the others, partially because I would be speaking to FreshPoint again after a 2-month “break.” Even more than this, though, I honestly believe that our lives with Christ should make us more active, more creative, more productive in everything with the root motivation for this found in the JOY that we have from knowing Christ.
Also, on March 28th I and some other people from various churches in Liberec decided hosted to have an event English movie night on the university campus at the university dorms. We hosted an English movie night on campus, and this alliance is through Young Life. The idea is to build relationships with students and show them the love of Christ. Honestly, I was quite surprised to find out how many of the college students I know and how much influence I have been gaining with them. For the moment, the idea is to continue with these English movie night outreaches, then in September to have a slightly more gospel-oriented yet “seeker friendly” program.
How can you pray for us?
As you can see, we have been and are working very hard. We would be honored and so grateful if you would join us by praying for two main things:
1. As Lucie and I prepare to get married (it’s coming fast, May 27th is just around the corner!), we pray that God would help us to put each other first, but also that he would use us for his Kingdom and his glory.
2. We have seen a decline in attendance in the last month. While this is due to a myriad of things (sickness, activities, trips, etc.), we are looking for ways to better our service. We have implemented some of our “experimental” changes in some areas, and “gone back to the basics” in others. Please pray that God would give us His favor, wisdom, and an open door. Also and that He would lead us to the right people while leading the right people to us.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! I know it is a lot, but I appreciate it that you have stuck it out this far! It has been a long time since I have posted, again I apologize, I will do better in the future.
Have a great day and be blessed!