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!