Hello, everyone! I am really, really sorry that I haven’t been so great at keeping up with our newsletters. After reading this one, though, you will hopefully be able to see that there is a reason for it. :)
These past season had been quite a challenge as Lucie was finishing up her Bachelor’s Degree. However, God has provided for us and blessed us in many ways. Personally, we are doing well – I have taken a new role at the school where I teach English that has allowed me to give more time to the ministry. Lucie has begun her Master’s Degree and we are doing what we can to see God glorified in the Czech Republic!
We have also seen some great growth in our youth. It is amazing to see how when you work and put in your effort, God gives the growth. Some of the kids have matured so much, both in faith and in their behavior. Some are sharing their faith more and more at their schools – and that is no easy feat. People are more distrusting of religion here and –students especially – can be pretty hostile within the school. One girl is trying to start a Christian group at her school, another girl shares her faith with her friends, despite being made fun of for it, and nearly all of our students actively help in some sort of ministry, either within the church or at the national level.
This summer, we also facilitated a rap concert on the main square in Liberec. The rapper, a native from Prague, though his music, spoke of God and Christ and the change that Christ brought to his life. We are really excited, because the Gospel was preached and we believe that a lot of people were affected by it.
Shortly after that, we had Kristfest, our summer youth festival. There was a great speaker from London, an awesome atmosphere, but even more important than all of that was the presence of God. The theme of the festival was “Fearless” and we wanted to leave the students with the courage to go out and be the generation that brings Christ back to the Czech Republic. There were some difficulties and outright attacks from the enemy against us personally before and during Kristfest, but that was just more confirmation that we were right where we needed to be, doing exactly what we needed to do
This past summer Lucie and I had also hosted a high school graduate who wanted to come out and see what it was like on the missions field. He stayed with us in our home for about 2 months. We organized some speaking engagements for him and he helped us do many different things – at our church offices, for the rap concert and for Kristfest.
After Kristfest, I went to America for a month to visit some supporting churches while Lucie stayed home to finish up her Bachelor’s thesis and tests. On my way back i made a stop in England to guest speak at a youth conference in London called WAVED Conference. It was a hard, fun, exhausting, and amazing month, but Lucie and I were so happy to be reunited in September.
September was the start of the new school year, so that meant a new kickoff of Freshpoint and a lot of preparation for Sjezd, the conference that we put on at the end of October. Lucie has a larger hand in this, organizing guest speakers, counselors, prayer teams, and what seemed to be a million other things. For this conference, my largest contributions are graphic design for all of the media and taking care of the main speaker. This year, or main speaker was one of the campus pastors from Hillsong London, a wonderful man of God named Phill Kyei.
While we were getting ready for Sjezd, on the home front we had two guest speakers back-to-back. Jason Vana, the founder of Ignite Ministries in Illinois and Doug Pitman, a pastor and missionary from San Antonio, Texas, both came and ministered to us and encouraged us to go in the direction that God is calling us, even when we can’t always see what the next step holds, and trusting for the harvest.
Also, while in the middle of getting ready for Sjezd and having guest speakers, we as a church were looking for a new place to have our Sunday services. The location that our church had met at for almost 7 years had decided to use the space for something else and we were required to move out. God is good, though, and we found a new location that I believe will be an even greater blessing to us.
Now, as I write this, we have literally been home for just a couple days from Sjezd. God has really moved and I feel that He has some great things in store for us. We are currently getting ready for the next big thing – an evangelistic ourtreach to students in schools called EXIT Tour. We will go into schools with a band, play songs and games, then invite the students to what’s called an After Party, where we will be more free to talk about Christ. Later on in the week we will invite everyone to a concert that the band will play and it’s there that we can really present the Gospel. Please be praying for us as we get ready for this!
Friends, we want to sincerely thank you for all you do to make our ministry possible. It is hard being on the field – there is so much that I personally miss out on, but Lucie and I believe that God wants us here, and that He is with us; we see it all the time. We are blessed that you have been called to support us and to pray for us, and we sincerely and humbly think you for your obedience (and for your patience with my forgetfulness when it comes to sending update letters). We love and thank you so much!
If you would like to know how to pray for us, please pray that we continue to follow His voice and go where He goes.
Please pray for our students, that they will be bold.
Please pray for the harvest to come in.
Please pray for the lost to be found.
Please pray for our protection and encouragement – the enemy has been working so hard to discourage us and take us out.
Thank you, once again, for your care, giving, praying, and especially for your love.
Take care and God bless,
Justin and Lucie
P.S. – Here are just a few more photos from this time period. :)