Before we left Thailand we spent a half day at an elephant camp where we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with dozens of elephants. We watched them bathing and saw some really young calves. The elephant keepers did a little demonstration of what the elephants can be trained to do. Elephants kicked a large soccer ball, painted pictures with brushes held by their trunks and moved large logs. Edie was even kissed by one. It was a fun day.
We have been in the Czech Republic for a week now and have had a great time here. Initially, we spent a couple of days in a pastor's guest house getting accustomed to the time zone, and it was much appreciated. Just being in a small town like this is a walk through history. It has been interesting to come to Prague again. The weather has been much colder than it was in Thailand. We went from the 90’s there to snowing the second day we were here. We have been learning how to navigate the subways and trams and made our solo trips today without any problems. During our time off we have seen some of the sights in downtown Prague and around the area.
I also made a trip a couple of hours north to meet with some pastors who want to train in Sudan and the countryside was beautiful, although I was not able to get any pictures (I am sending some pictures of the area around Prague in other emails). The meeting was quite confusing as I tried to keep up with the conversation with part time translation. The men were really struggling with how to form a missions effort to send on pastor to Sudan for ministry. We all felt that their plans had many significant flaws and tried to gently encourage a new direction. Hopefully we were of some help to them.
I have been able to connect with several missionaries and Czech nationals concerning training here in the future. It looks like something may get started after the first of the year. Training in the Word is needed here as most pastors do not preach the Word well even though most have gone to seminary or bible school. We will see what the Lord provides as time goes by.
From Edie: I too have really been enjoying my time here. The friendships are growing and I have a great respect for what the women are doing here to share the gospel and their very lives with the Czech children and families in their neighborhoods. I had a really good time visiting the English classes. Judy and I were asked to play a 20 questions game with the students answering with something unique we have done, something unusual we did as a family, and an interesting place we have visited. There were three 1 hour sessions, each with varying degrees of difficulty. The 20 questions game was with the advanced group. Other groups just asked us simple questions. Another activity we did was to join Renee and her preschool Roma kids for a time of songs, activities, bible stories and a snack. She was doing the resurrection eggs with the kids this time and they seemed to really enjoy it. During the time we met with the team, the ladies asked that I share my faith story. I didn’t have much time to prepare but felt the Lord gave me a way of honoring Him, while at the same time talking about the life He has given me. It was a personal blessing for me to recall all His “mysterious” ways and to look back upon the seemingly obscure things he has done in and through me. Our God is so amazing!
Tomorrow Alan leaves for Uganda and I will leave for home on Monday. I am looking forward to celebrating Resurrection Sunday in the Czech Republic with our brothers and sisters here. It will be memorable as we all consider what His death, resurrection and life in us means.
Al & Edie