Czech Team Reports
Sunday, July 1
Last update on the Team from this end!
Wow! What a great time we had with the Women of Grace. That is what they were, a representation of God’s love and grace to us and to the Czech people that they met.
This morning at 3:00am we said good-bye to them as we put them in the taxis to the airport. The van is not available on the weekends so we had to get them into two taxis. Everyone made it and they were off to the airport by 3:30 for their 6:00am flight to Frankfurt, Germany and then on to the USA and then to their various final destinations.
We will miss them but are thankful to the Lord for the time that we had together. We are also thankful for their husbands and families sharing them with us for the past two weeks.
Thanks for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our follow-up and fruit from their ministry.
Saturday, June 30
This morning the ladies had time to do some last minute shopping and packing. At 12:30 we left for the Prague Lions football game against the Brno Alligators. George is the defensive line coach for the Lions. The ladies made up the cheering section for the Lions and some of the students from the English classes joined us as well as some of the Lion’s fans. The group led cheers for the team, waved the Lion’s team flag and posters they had made and talked with people during the game. They helped explain the game to the students who had never attended an American football game before. It was an exciting game with a final score of 40-14. After the game they were able to talk with Michal, one of the players who had been a student during the English lessons and others who attended the game.
After the game we went out for dinner and to spend some time debriefing the past two weeks of ministry. We made tonight an early night because they have to be up and ready to go to the airport by 3:30 am in order to make their 6:00 am flight.
We will miss them but we are thankful to their families for lending them to us for the past two weeks.
Friday, June 29
Today the team had an opportunity to go to a Czech porcelan shop in town. The Czech Republic is known for its porcelan and crystal. They viewed some traditional patterns as well as some more modern ones. After this several went with Cindy to the outdoor vegetable market which also has a Vietnamese market. Miriam and Mandy looked around the marketplace while Cindy waited in line to buy the fruit. The others went to the shopping center with George to do some gift shopping.
Thursday, June 28
Today was the last day of English classes. In the advanced class the ladies played a game that one student led. They showed pictures of their families and gave gifts they had brought from the States for the students. The intermediate class showed and talked about pictures of their families. They talked about contractions. They had a key verse from II Corinthians 5:20. They also gave gifts to the students.
Several of the students joined us for lunch and then a trip to the top of Petrin hill and a hike up the tower to look out over the city. Jakub took some pictures for Marsha at the top since she didn’t want to make the trip up the steps. From the hill we walked to the castle and they had some good discussions with the students.
After supper the team returned to our house for a team meeting praying together for each other and the students and discussing what the Lord has been teaching them the past two weeks. Following the meeting we played games together.
It was a great day of conversations about spiritual topics with the students who walked with us in the afternoon.
Wednesday, June 27
Today the Women of Grace Team spent the morning again teaching English to Czech students. We had the students bring in pictures of themselves and studied about the Amish people in America. We prayed as a class at the beginning for two of the boys who were taking an entrance exam for university in the morning. The other class played a game and also talked about the subject of health and vital signs. After lunch we went with several students to Vysehrad, which is the site of the first castle fortress in Prague. We talked about the history of the area and went to the National Cemetery there. We visited the gravestones of Dvorak and Smetana, two famous Czech composers, and also Milada Horakova, who 62 years ago today was executed by the communists after a kangaroo trial.
We returned home and Marsha prepared Taco Soup for our supper. Vera came back with us and helped her. After supper we had the Bible study. Ashley, Mandy and Miriam shared their testimonies and George shared from John 4. After the Bible study we talked some about what had happened that day and prayed together for the people we have met during the past week and a half before the ladies returned to the Pension for the night.
God used the testimonies and His Word to touch hearts this evening. Thanks for your continued prayers.
Tuesday, June 26
On Tuesday we began teaching English classes again at the Language Center. The day was bookended with technical difficulties with the copy machine in the morning and the computer in the evening.
At the Language Center the groups sang the Do-Re-Mi song with the students with new words describing the Savior, Jesus Christ. The intermediate group divided into 5 small groups, had intensive question and answer sessions with the students. In the advanced group they read a children’s book about the story of Jonah. Then they asked questions to have the students explain what they read to make sure that they understood the meaning. They also had a lesson on homophones.
We ate lunch with a couple of the students from the classes at the Akademik Klub. Nancy shared with Jana and gave her a Gideon Bible. Then we visited the Jewish Quarter of Prague where George talked some about the history of the area.
Afterwards we went with a couple of the guys to the Grand Orient Cafe, which is an example of cubist architecture near the Old Town Square. While we had coffee, George shared his personal testimony with Jakub and Michal in response to their question about how he became a Christian.
On the way home we stopped to visit a Chinese tea house where George knows the owner and then stopped at the Woodrow Wilson statue at the main train station. It was a delightful day and the time flew by quickly.
Thanks for your prayers for us and the students. Please pray for the students to have receptive hearts during the next two days of classes.
Monday, June 25
Today the team had a day to relax after a very busy first week and enjoy some shopping and a concert in the Prague city center. The ladies bought gifts for family, friends and those who supported them. We ate a late afternoon meal in town and then they had a planning session in the evening for tomorrow’s classes. We were able to talk about some of the things the team has observed in the culture and with the students.
Thanks for your continued prayers. Tomorrow begins the second week of teaching the English classes and touring Prague with the students.
Sunday, June 24
Thanks for praying for the Women of Grace team here in Prague. Today the team did activities with our church. Two of the women worked in the children’s Sunday school class. Susan and Mandy shared stories about Jonah and David and Goliath. With the adults at the same time, Nancy and Darlene shared their testimonies. After church, we had a picnic lunch in our kitchen and backyard. Everyone pitched in to help prepare the food and then clean up. In the evening the women led our afternoon ladies’ Bible study. They studied Psalms eight and nine. It was a great day!
Saturday, June 23
What a marvelous day we had today with the Women of Grace Team! God answered prayers in many ways. In the morning our water was brown because of a water accident in our area but by 9:00, an hour before the ladies arrived for the seminar, it was running clear. We were reminded how God answers prayer even about the little details. The seminar on “Being a Noble Woman of God” was a wonderful time for those who attended. In addition to ladies from the church, two of the students from the English classes also came, as well as some ladies from our English Bible study. The women shared on a variety of topics. Cathy began the morning with a devotional that prepared our hearts for the time together. Following that we sang together in English and Czech including some rounds. Ashley shared about using our gifts for God and living our lives for Him to bring God glory. We followed with a time of silent prayer with Miriam giving topics to pray about and Tamara closed the morning session in prayer.
We enjoyed a lunch together of soups and bread followed by coffee and some delicious desserts prepared by ladies from the church. There was time to talk and get to know one another better.
Marsha began the afternoon session with a devotional using examples from her husband and their cats (which she had permission to share) illustrating the story of the Good Shepherd from John 10. She presented the plan of salvation clearly for everyone to understand. Mandy shared some helpful suggestions for studying the Bible that have helped her and the ladies also shared some things that have helped them. Nancy presented the Gideon New Testaments her parents had sent with her and offered them in English to those that attended. Marsha led a session on sharing Jesus with our children and grandchildren by presenting some answers she received from her own grandchildren via email. Mandy also contributed to this session with encouraging ideas. The ladies opened up the session to questions and comments about sharing with children. Some of the ladies also shared things they have done or are doing. It was helpful and insightful.
We closed the afternoon with a time of sharing prayer requests for unsaved family members and then praying together for these people. It was a very encouraging time for everyone. The Lord spoke through the language barrier as we encouraged one another by praying for each other. The ladies distributed gifts they had prepared for each of the women who attended.
After those attending left the ladies helped with cleaning up and taking care of laundry they had hung on the line earlier in the morning. We relaxed a bit in the early evening playing games and had a supper of leftovers. We are looking forward to a great day of worship tomorrow with the church and students from the English classes who have said they will come and others who were invited that we met on our travels during the week. We will have a picnic after the church service. Pray that these people will follow through on their promise to attend.
Thanks for your prayers for the team. God is working in hearts here.
Friday, June 22
It has been great to have the Women of Grace team here in Prague with us! Today we went as a group to a castle outside of Prague called Konopiste. One of the students from our English classes went with us and a former student of Cindy’s met us with her baby at Konopiste. They spent the day with us. Mandy shared her personal testimony during lunch. The Czechs who were with us listened closely to what she said. After lunch the waitress asked about the group and was impressed with their behavior–different from anything she had ever experienced. She even thanked us for coming to eat at their restaurant. On the train coming home, a group of Czech eighth graders sat in the same car as the team. The women got to know several of them during their trip back to Prague. Once in Prague, the subway broke down, stranding the team several miles away from home. They stopped and got coffee while waiting, never complaining. In the evening, the team met for a planning session and extended prayer for the women’s meeting that will take place on Saturday (tomorrow, or in 26 minutes today!). The meeting will take place from 10-15 in our home. Several came over tonight to help clean the house and get ready for the meeting. The Women of Grace team will be there. Women from our church will be there and also some women that we have met through teaching English this week. It should be a fruitful time. Pray for us! Thanks.
Thursday, June 21
We had another fantastic day with the Women of Grace team today. God is answering our requests. Our day began at the Language Center with formal English lessons. In the advanced group we studied the Amish in America. The students asked many questions. In the intermediate class, they studied body parts and taught the students how to take their blood pressure and pulse. After eating at the Economic University’s Akademik Klub, we went on a field trip with a couple Czechs to the Prague castle. It was interesting to interact with them and let them teach us about their culture. In the evening, Sue and Ashley worked with Ken, preparing him for his TOEFL test, which will take place on Saturday. At the end of our time with him several of us prayed with him for God’s help during this very challenging time.
Wednesday, June 20
Today the team used a story from a children’s Bible to work on pronunciation and some grammar. They also covered homonyms, synonyms and opposites. The students worked in small groups and as a group they discussed the grammar. In the other class they spoke about Eric Liddell and the Olympics. Ten students attended today. After lunch we walked on the Charles’s Bridge and went to a cafe from the early 20th century with 2 of the students from the English lessons. We answered spiritual questions that these students had as they walked with us. One student, commented about how everyone in the group was thankful for everything. He said he just took these kinds of things for granted. It made an impression on him.
In the evening three of the women shared their testimonies with the Bible study at the Swain home. Also one Czech lady from the church shared her testimony. It was special how the ladies’ testimonies were prepared by God especially for a newcomer that attended the Bible study.
It has been very hot since the ladies arrived, but they are working hard in spite of the heat. It has been a spiritually encouraging time for those on the team.
Tuesday, June 19
Monday, June 18
Missionary George Swain reports:
The team got here at 16:21. They were scheduled to get here at 16:20 so we’ll take it! It took about 30 minutes for them to get their luggage. Everyone had good flights. Then we put them on a van and they traveled to a bed and breakfast that is near our home. It ook them about 40 minutes in the van. They then walked to our home. Cindy had cheese soup, open faced sandwiches and strawberry jelitan cake for them. We introduced ourselves, prayed and took their valuables from them so that they would be safe from pickpockets in Prague. Then we sent them back to the Bed and Breakfast. Hopefully, they will be able to sleep tonight as language classes begin tomorrow at 10.
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