Students on Mission: SummerLINK Prague
The Glory of God in the Czech Republic
We prepared for this experience. Our team practiced reciting the gospel to one another and interceded on each other’s behalf. We applied for passports and boarded a flight across the ocean… All because we felt burdened by the reality that in a country of 10 million, only 60,000 consider themselves evangelical believers. The Czech Republic is a country desperately in need of the hope of the gospel.
Upon our first day on campus, I quickly learned that we could not save these people. The chasm between the Czech language and our own is vast, and there is absolutely no amount of eloquence or perfectly worded articulation that can compel someone to believe. This act of salvation is the work of the Lord. Only the indwelling Holy Spirit is powerful enough to cross language barriers and cultural divides. Only the Spirit can persuade biology majors and devout atheists to place their only hope of a reconciled relationship with God in the crucified and resurrected Jesus.
Our team experienced our fair share of ups and downs. Some days, meeting with students for lunch in the Menza (cafeteria) seemed fruitless. Their hearts were often so hardened towards the Gospel that they refused even the possibility of God’s existence. These days were harder to swallow and I got frustrated – as if God was less glorified in these moments. However, I recently came across a quote by C.S. Lewis: “A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on his cell." The hard days taught me that despite the surrounding cloud of disbelief, His glory still fills every nook and crevice of the Czech Republic and it drove our team to plead that these people would be granted eyes to see that glory for the first time.
Other days – the ones that included encouraging conversations and receptive hearts – reminded us of the faithfulness of the Lord and the work that He is doing in Prague. They made the hard days endurable, and they showed us how deeply God desires a relationship with all people from all nations.
One of the greatest acts of grace that we experienced was meeting our friend, Denise, in a bookstore at the mall. She was working but decided to keep talking to our team anyway. She explained how she had read the Bible in its entirety during her school years but had not professed belief. She loved the stories of the Old Testament, but she struggled to understand the connection between those stories and the New Testament. A few girls on our team explained the metanarrative of Scripture – they helped her understand that every part of the Bible points to the incarnation of God in Jesus. They walked through the Gospel with her, and when asked if she thought she was a sinner in light of Romans 3:23, she said, “Absolutely. There is no doubt that I’m a sinner.” In the following conversations, we realized that the Lord revealed his Gospel to her — she repented of her sins and trusted in Christ as her savior. We have a new sister in one of the most atheistic countries in the world… A sister who is in the Czech Republic long after we have left and will have the ability to proclaim the Gospel in her native tongue. This has been one of our biggest prayers since our arrival, and the Lord has answered it. Hallelujah to our Father!
These interactions gave us hope. They reminded us that the Lord has given all those who bear His image the desire to know how they got here and what will happen when they pass away. They remind us that there is a harvest to be found in Prague. Many people are searching for a lens through which they can make sense of the world, and by the grace of the Lord, we hope they will find it in the Gospel.
We ask that you remain constant in prayer for this nation — that Christ would reveal how He has conquered death and given life meaning and they would recognize their sinfulness in comparison to His holiness. Pray that the message of the Gospel would overcome the obstruction of language – that the Lord would raise up Czech disciples who can engage in Gospel conversations in their native tongue.
And lastly, pray for the missionaries that have made the Czech Republic their home. Pray that these people would have the strength to endure — that the apparent contempt for God would not drive them to despair but would drive them to a greater urgency in their proclamation. Pray that other laborers would be sent to work alongside them and that they would see people come to salvation in this country.
May the glory of God be revealed in Prague this summer, and in every season thereafter.
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