Monday, September 20, 2010

Roots by the stream

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water who sends out it's roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; it's leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

Coming across a passage like this, it's difficult not to see the particular measurement of time, "a year" and compare it to our situation.  We are here in the Czech Rep. for a year, so what is this stream?  How can I remain ever-quenched?

Far before we made it here, maybe even before we knew it was Brno or even the CR, we knew that one of the most important keys to our success would be support.  The prayer many Christians pray when they know they're at a crossroads is, "Lord, shut the doors that you want shut and open those which you'd like me to walk through."  It has been the catalyst prayer for me and my wife through this whole process. God has used the support of so many to get us where we are today!  It's like he has handed all of you the keys and said open this or that door for the Pearce's. 

We found out that part of the application process was to raise $2,000 before we left.  The door stood locked before us, friends, family, rich and poor busted that door down.  The application process was fairly long and tedious, looking back at it we may have asked for an unreasonable departure date knowing now all that had to be done in time.  What better way for God to clearly throw a door off it's hinges than to have everyone from your Corps Officers, your DC, and especially the Missions Department at THQ (Hector, Colonel Judy, and Major Eloisa) not only help, but find a way to expedite and support the process in every way.

In an attempt to curtail what could go on forever, I just want to say thank you! Your support is an example of His love, and therefore a constant reminder to trust in Him. If you've prayed for us, if you've supported us financially, if you've shown us love in any way, then you are the stream that God has so convienently placed just to our side.  Just in reach for a refressing, (even though we're miles apart) just close enough to be assured we'll bear fruit this year!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vacation or missions trip?

I found myself on the stage of Prague Corps during the Sunday service this morning, giving what I was told two minutes prior would be a "short testimony."  With little planning, one of the first things out of my mouth was, "I promise I didn't come to Europe for a vacation!" The translator laughed a bit just before trying to communicate my awkward defense.  This of course was a joke, but it may of stemmed from a bit of guilt.  Jess and I have been spoiled all this past weekend by our National Commanders who asked us to come stay at their house. Majors Mike and Ruth Stannett, (who insist we ought to call them by their first names) are humble officers from England.  So, not only were we blessed by great people, but also by what now is the most amazing place I've ever been in my few travels.  PRAGUE. Put it on your bucket list folks! I've yet to even comprehend it still, so I doubt I could do a proper job expressing in words how ornate and brilliant it was. 

Brno is where we live, and we took a bus with a very nice company called Student Agency to and from Prague. As amazing as Prague is I think it would be very unfair to say Brno isn't magnificent too.  Brno is filled with trasures both in it's magical architecture and in the hospitality of it's people.  We've met so many friends already, but none more special and altogether neccessary than the Malach family. Our bosses and their children, I know Jess already talked quite a bit about them in her blog so I'll spare you, but let me just say they've saved our lives more than once.

Sounds a bit like a vacation so far, but the fact is that we work throughout the week in three centers scattered throughout Brno with children.  It's nothing like the work we did in the States. It's often done in more of a social setting, with a tone not centered on God.  It's the way it works in a lot of countries in Europe.  Because the Armada Spasy isn't recieving many private donations and therefore isn't self sufficient, it must rely on the state for funding.  So when we want to talk about God we have to let people know ahead of time and give them an option to be there or not.  Most of the staff at our centers aren't Christian.  This is where we come in, the goal is to get these kids to be a part of Christian clubs and ultimately be coming to the Corps on Sunday.  We've got our work cut out for us! 

So, no we're not in Africa without water or a bed to sleep on, and we aren't being persecuted for our beliefs in China, but let me remind you that we are in the heart of the most secular part of the world where it wouldn't be uncommon to say the word Jesus only to hear in reply, "nerozumim!" (I don't understand)  God has us here for a purpose, so please stay tuned!