March and April have been very good to us, and I am glad I can share with you all that God has been doing!
We changed the format for Freshpoint at the beginning of this year, and we have hit a pretty good groove. We alternate weeks of having a message and weeks of having a “relational night” where we hang out and build community. We have been experiencing quite a lot of new things, and these past few months we have been able to raise our leaders by giving them more opportunities to speak into people’s lives and use the gifts that God has given to them.
March also presented us with an opportunity to go on a mini vacation to Madrid (the city where I was born). Lucie and I were able to spend a week in that beautiful city, experiencing the food, language, and culture. On Sunday we went to Hillsong Madrid where we were able to meet a couple, an American businessperson and his Icelandic wife, that has been in ministry for years. They invited us to their home for dinner later in the week, and it was a wonderful evening of encouragement and fellowship; they prayed for us and greatly encouraged us in the work God has given us.
We are looking forward to seeing our new friends again in the (hopefully) near future!
April has been fantastic – the weather has been getting warmer, a sure sign of God’s grace! Everything has been progressing as usual (as I said, we have hit a pretty nice groove). I also had an opportunity to preach in our local church, and I talked about the importance of the decisions that we make. Also, I spoke on how we should lean into the Holy Spirit when we are trying to make life-changing decisions – that it is He who gives us the strength we need to carry out the decision. I believe that God powerfully used this message, and people have been sharing with us how God has been setting them free from various things because of this message.
The Church here is small, and we greatly need each other. We are very excited to be the youth group that started the meetings we lovingly call “Northpoint.” Youth groups from our region come together to praise the Lord, to pray, and to hear His word. We always ask a local youth leader or youth pastor from a different church to come and speak. It is incredible how many people come, and we are especially excited about what God has in store with these meetings. We pray that the students from our youth group would take this as an opportunity to grow as disciples of Christ.
Recently, a couple of young people started to come to our church on their own. What a joy! You have to understand that this doesn’t usually happen in the Czech Republic. The protestant Church here makes up less that one percent of the whole population. Surveys have shown that people view the Church as one of the most hated and least-trusted institutions. Our church is slowly being accepted and trusted by the local government, but it has been a long process. Despite all of this, God has been revealing Himself to people, who have then found their way to us on a Sunday morning. We see this more and more, and we pray that this continues to happen. We believe it is one of the ways God has always worked with this nation. The most significant movements in this country have invariably come through personal revivals in families and households that heard God’s voice. Now, there are quite a few people in our church who have come to Christ like this, and Lucy and I are praying for them and helping them to grow as much as we can. Some of these newcomers are going to be baptized this month!
In addition to this, Lucie and I have the honor of speaking into many people’s lives and helping them grow in their walk with Christ. Lucie is registered with a website called nepornu.cz (which, when translated, means “no to porno.com”), where she counsels women who deal with an addiction to pornography or have a partner who is addicted. I have been working with a couple of young men within our church who are either dealing with addiction or are new in Christ and need some guidance and teaching. It is on our heart to share more of this with you, so we will soon have another update that talks solely about this.
Prep for Kristfest
With Freshpoint there is the annual summer conference Kristfest, and we are incredibly excited about it. This year’s theme is “Game Changers,” and you know what? We believe that these kids are! Please, keep praying for us and this country, because there are huge things in store. Help us to fill up the cup of prayers for the Czech Republic to the point of overflow. We believe that the Czech Republic is in the middle of a revival and we know that God wants to reach this country and that He is doing so through this generation.
Changes coming up in the future
There are different seasons for God’s disciples, and we believe, that for our family, there are some changes ahead of us. It is not yet time for us to say what those changes are, but next month we will be able to share it with you – and we are so ready for what God has in store!
What you can be praying for
We have seen people coming to Freshpoint and connecting with God and the Church on a different level. Some of them wanted to keep coming, but their parents prohibited them for fear that we are a sect. We keep praying for them and stay in touch with them via the most efficient means of communication – social media. Please, pray with us that God would soften people’s hearts and give us favor so that we, in turn, can share the love of Christ with their children. Because many teens are still searching, we try to create the most loving and fun environment for them to develop relationships. This is another significant way that God has been reaching people in this country – relationships and friendship with believers.
A final story
There is one story that we wanted to share because of how encouraging it is. Our dear friends Helena and Leoš – the maid-of-honor and best man at our wedding – were trying to have a baby. When Helena first found out the first time that she was pregnant, it was such a surprise because she was told that it wasn’t possible for her to get pregnant. The baby’s heart, however, wasn’t beating. Doctors told her that the baby is either going to die or be very disabled – they suggested abortion as the safest option for Helena, as the mother. Helena didn’t want to do that; she knew that it is against God’s heart. She waited to see if the child was going to die or not. She prayed that God would decide. Every other day, Helena went to the hospital when eventually the news came – her baby had died. She then had to have surgery to remove the lifeless child. That alone was such a painful experience for her. She wondered, “Why did it happen, God? I don’t understand!”
After this, Helena was told that she might have cancer. It couldn’t be proven, but there was more sad news – she was told that she has a syndrome that would prevent her from ever having children. Doctors tried for three long months to treat her with hormone therapy, but a positive result couldn’t be promised. Helena kept praying. Every doctor repeated the same news: you are never going to have children.
A year later the doctors we shocked to find out that Helena had been completely healed! They didn’t understand how it was possible. The gynecologist even said, “it looks like someone replaced your organs.” After that, there was a suspicion of another severe illness. Against all the odds, Helena was, again, healed. The doctors were amazed.
The next pregnancy came soon after. This time, however, it was even worse than before; one day, she started bleeding, and her stomach cramped up. The doctor at the emergency room didn’t check up on her carefully enough (even though the care is usually excellent) and sent her home for the weekend. She went through the weekend with so much pain and fear. On Monday she learned, that an extrauterine pregnancy caused the heavy bleeding and that she had been bleeding all weekend. The doctors said that it was only a question of a few hours and she could have died. God protected her and held her life in His hands where the doctors had failed. She and her husband were praising God and reminding themselves of the promise that they are going to have a child naturally.
After recovery, the doctor she went to told her she should consider artificial methods because there was very little chance of another pregnancy. She was told to come in for a check-up when she had her next “visit.” Well, this “visit” never occurred, because God had a different plan! Nine months later, we are all rejoicing about Theodore, and we believe that God has a great purpose for him. May this powerful testimony remind you that the word of God has no expiration date. He is going to fulfill his promise against all odds. Trust him with your whole heart!
Thank you all for taking the time to read this. We love you and are so grateful for all that God is doing! None of it would be possible, though, if we didn’t have the support and care from our heavenly family. May God bless you and give your favor!
Yours in Christ,
Justin and Lucie