Czech Republic 2011


Dates:  July 10 – 27
Ministry Partner:  Josiah Venture
Ministry Focus:  Friendship evangelism among teenagers, English camp

This team from Grace will partner with a Czech youth group to provide a camp experience for believing and unbelieving Czech teens, with the team members serving as English conversation partners.  The team will again partner with a youth group in the city of Cheb, continuing existing relationships and building new ones.  The ministry focuses on relationships and friendship evangelism.   


Team Czech: kneeling (l-r) Natalie Johnston, Rachel Berkebile.  First row: Jonathan Aguirre, Davey Marvich, Jackie Thomson, Rebecca Rand, Ashley Anderson, Josh Shada, Zach Shada, Bryce Rankin.  Back Row: John Thomson, Gregg Henn, Matt Johnston, Andrew Avila, Landen Llamas.  Not pictured: Jenny Llamas

Updated Thursday, July 28
The Czech team had a wonderful ministry, and arrived home safely yesterday, full of excitement about what the Lord did among Czech teenagers.  Thank you for praying them through their trip.

Updated Saturday, July 23
E-mail from Natalie
Hey guys!  Sorry that it's been a while since we have last updated you guys...the internet was turned off at camp on Wednesday night, so we had no way of emailing! 

Well, camp is officially over, and we are now in Cheb with all of the students for follow-up! Me, Matt, Greg, Landen and Jenny are all staying with Viktor's family tonight and tomorrow night, and we got totally spoiled with some great food, fellowship, and comfy beds! We will all go to the Cheb church in the morning and present a little part of our English camp program to the congregation. However, I will not be going since I have recently come down with an 101 degree fever tonight :(  Please pray for the health of everyone! Most of us have gone the entire week without getting sick, but now that we are able to slow down a little bit, I think our bodies are getting back at us for working them so hard this last week! 

English camp went very well this year! I have heard from many students that have gone to multiple camps in the past that this year was the best that they had ever been to!  So many students were asking really hard questions and truly seeking Truth for their life throughout the entire week. And as far as our team goes, we have been doing great! Landen and I were just talking tonight and saying that we could not have asked for a better team. Everyone has been getting along great and there haven't been any boy/girl issues at all, and everyone is very responsible and does what they say/we ask them to's awesome! So praise God for that!

Well, I think that's it for now! Thank you for all of your prayers as we've been gone! We'll be seeing you all in just a few days!!

Updated Monday, July 18
E-mail from Natalie
We just started English classes today and, for the most part, all went well. I think everyone is just trying to get the hang of things...including myself :) Matt will be speaking tonight during our evening program, so you can be praying for him! He is speaking on the adulterous woman and how Jesus interacted with her.Our team is still getting along great. Seriously, the Lord has definitely answered our prayers on giving us a united's awesome!

Updated Friday, July 15
E-mail from Landen
We send you our love from the Czech Republic. I am writing you all from our training facility in Tynec. This is the first year that JV divided the training into two locations. All the teams that are doing an English Camp in Bohemia (the western side of the Czech) are doing their training here instead of taking a 5 hour bus ride to Malenovice. Tynec is only an hour outside of Prague and has been a great place for our training. The building that we have been meeting in every day is right on a river and as you would imagine, our team has taken advantage of the river during our free time.

This year Rob and Audry Chestnut lead our camp training as Nate and Emily Hughes were leading the other training site. Rob and Audry did a great job. They led several great seminars on cultural differences, English class dynamics, discussion groups and evening talks. All of this great training has helped to prepare our team for the work that we will be doing at our camp.

The team we have this year has bonded extremely quickly. I have been pleasantly surprised to see how well the team has united.  There has been a lot of laughter, intentional conversations and great teamwork. We are feeling well prepared as we head to our camp location today. Tomorrow will be our first day of camp and we all are getting excited to begin the camp and meet the students that we will be investing into for the next week.

One of the highlights from training this year has been having Doktor (Michael) at our training. Every year 3-4 Czechs from the Cheb youthgroup come to the training to start developing relationships with our team. Doktor was in my English class last year and was a strong atheist who added a lot to my discussion group. He was a very respectful and kind young man but was not ready to accept Christ. Four months after camp he accepted Christ and now this year he has been at our training. I have loved talking with him and hearing how God has been at work in his life this last year. He will hopefully be in my English Class again this year and I can't wait to hear all that he shares with the other students about his journey to find Christ.

Well, we will be getting on a train in a few hours and heading to camp!! Please pray for us as we enter into this part of the trip. Here are some of the major prayer requests:
1. For the continued unity of our team. I have found that people's attitudes play a huge role in how the team unites as a hole. Pray that we would continue to be patient and considerate with each other as we head into the busy and tiring section of the trip.
2. For the discussion groups. This is where many great spiritual conversations take place and students share with each other what they learned from the evening talks.
3. For the love and unity between the Czech and American youth groups. When we are working together well and showing love to each other it sets a great example for all the Czech students who attend the camp.
4. For the Holy Spirit to work through our labor and change the hearts of the students who come to camp.

Thank you for partnering with us and praying with us for the young people in the Czech Republic. There is a movement of God taking place here and we are excited to be a part of it.

Updated Thursday, July 14
E-mail from Natalie
I just wanted to update you all that we're here at training and it's been going really well so far! We are headed off to camp to tomorrow morning and we're all really excited for what's in store! The team is getting along really well and we are getting closer every day... it's awesome :-)  We will try and update you in a few days once we're at camp!

Updated Monday, July 11

The Czech team was prayed off in the church parking lot on Sunday afternoon, and we received word today that they arrived safely this afternoon.  They will rest and prepare for three days of training and orientation before starting their evangelistic English camp ministry later this week.