08 Jun See the True Savior
Hello from SLINK Prague! We have been in the Czech Republic for two weeks and boy, have we learned a lot. Our first few days here were spent primarily getting acquainted with Czech culture and working on the practicalities of sharing the gospel here. In a lot of ways, Czech people are very different from Americans. They are gentle, quiet, and introverted people, which means that we’ve had to drastically alter our tone & demeanor when approaching them. It may sound silly but as a group of 12 Americans, we are overwhelming and louder than I ever realized before coming here. Czechs even have a word for the big, toothy grin of Americans, which we thought was funny. We are praying that the Lord would help us to balance our personalities considering what Paul would say is becoming all things to all people so that by all means possible we might win some. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
The social barriers in the Czech Republic are another thing that’s different from the U.S. in a lot of ways. In the U.S. (especially in the southern states) we partake in a lot of small talk & friendliness even to strangers whereas Czechs don’t interact with each other in those ways as much. It’s harder to make friends here, but you are friends for life once you do. We’ve been told that it’s like becoming a part of the family.
Regarding religion, Communism reigned in the Czech Republic for 40 years, the worst of it being in the 1950s. The effects of that time have trickled down generations. This is one reason why Czechs are largely irreligious & atheistic. During the reign of communism, atheism was enforced, even to enroll in schools & universities. In America, it’s probably ?safest? to say that you’re a Christian. In the Czech Republic, it is likely safest to say that you’re an atheist.
Czechs are also not offended easily, especially when you say something that they disagree with. We have a southern-American-nice-ism culture that leads us to often go along to get along; agree verbally even if we don’t at all internally. Because of this, we need to lean into more honesty & authenticity. A couple of things that some of our leaders here shared with us:
We’d rather be rejected because of Jesus than because of our dishonesty. Let Jesus be the stumbling block. Not you.
Be aware of what southern-American-nice-isms are acting as a hindrance to getting across the gospel. Jesus doesn’t want us to look like nice, sweet Americans. He wants to make us look heavenly.
All that we learned in the first week was overwhelming, but it helped to curate in us a deep love & compassion for the Czech people. We want them to sense love, not a savior complex. We want them to see the true Savior in us.
We want them to sense love, not a savior complex. We want them to see the true Savior in us.
Our first two weeks of ministry here have deeply encouraged us. The Lord has thrown open doors to have spiritual conversations. Throughout the week, we’ve eaten lunch in the Menza (cafeteria) with students, and that has provided the most opportunity for sharing the gospel. Along with that, we bring a free juice table with us to campus. Free things are novel in Czechia, so this has opened up a multitude of conversations and we’ve been able to get contacts from lots of students. Every Tuesday we’re hosting cookouts at our hostel and on Thursdays we have an outreach Bible study. As we follow up with students, please pray that they would join us in fellowship at these weekly events. We need the Holy Spirit’s aid in having the energy, stamina, and wisdom to continue in spiritual conversations, especially with people that are deeply apathetic & atheistic in their beliefs. Pray that the Lord would open the eyes & ears of students to see the beauty of Jesus. We know that He has worked before us, He will work with us, and He will work after us.
Continue to pray that the harvest would be plentiful as we labor for the Kingdom.