SummerLINK Prague: The Glory of God in the Czech Republic

SummerLINK Prague: The Glory of God in the Czech Republic

We prepared for this experience. Our team practiced reciting the gospel to one another and interceded on each other?s behalf. We applied for passports and boarded a flight across the ocean? all because we felt burdened by the reality that in a country of 10 million, only 60,000 consider themselves evangelical believers. The Czech Republic is a country desperately in need of the hope of the gospel.

Upon our first day on campus, I quickly learned that we could not save these people. The chasm between the Czech language and our own is wide and there is absolutely no amount of eloquence or perfectly worded articulation that can compel someone to belief. This act of salvation is the work of the Lord. Only the indwelling Holy Spirit is powerful enough to cross language barriers and cultural divides. Only the Spirit can persuade biology majors and devout atheists to place their only hope of a reconciled relationship to God in the crucified and resurrected Jesus.

Three weeks have passed and our team has experienced our fair share of ups and downs. Some days, meeting with students for lunch in the Menza (cafeteria) seems fruitless. Their hearts are often so hardened towards the Gospel that they refuse even the possibility of God?s existence. These days are more difficult to swallow and I get frustrated ? as if God is less glorified in these moments. However, I recently came across a quote by C.S. Lewis: ?A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on his cell.” The hard days have taught me that despite the surrounding cloud of nonbelief, His glory still fills every nook and crevice of the Czech Republic and it has driven our team to plead that these people would be granted eyes to see that glory for the first time.

Other days ? the ones that include encouraging conversations and receptive hearts ? remind us of the faithfulness of the Lord and the work that He is doing in Prague. They make the hard days endurable and they show us how deeply God desires a relationship with all people from all nations.

On Thursday, Matt and I sat down with a girl in a coffee shop on CVUT?s campus. We introduced ourselves and started asking about her major ? she eventually asked about mine and when I explained that I study English Literature, she told us how much she loved reading. She pulled out a book called Buddah Jde Do Baru, which translates to Buddah Walks into a Bar. We asked if she was Buddhist, and she responded by telling us that she?s just interested in religion ? she wasn?t exactly sure what she believed (she even wore a cross around her neck; entirely unaware that it was a sign of the ultimate truth that she so longed to know). She was frightened that this interest made her strange. The Czech culture doesn?t exactly promote pondering the eternal questions that she enjoyed talking about. When Matt explained that we were Christians, she responded with excitement. She rarely came into contact with any and she wanted to know what we thought about these things. We are meeting with her this week to share the Gospel again and to study scripture together.

Kayla and Summer met another Czech in a bookstore at the mall. She was working, but decided to keep talking to them anyways. She explained how she had read the Bible in its entirety during her school years, but had not professed belief. She loved the stories of the Old Testament, but she struggled to understand the connection between those stories and the New Testament. Kayla and Summer explained the metanarrative of Scripture ? they helped her understand that every part of the Bible points to the incarnation of God in Jesus. They walked through the Gospel with her. When asked if she thought she was a sinner in light of Romans 3:23, she said, ?Absolutely. There is no doubt that I?m a sinner.? She said that she is starting to believe that Jesus entered the world in order to take on the penalty for her sins ? she just needs time to think this through. We are praising the Lord for the work He is doing in her life and for the ways in which He is using Kayla and Summer to reconcile people to Himself.

These interactions give us hope. They remind us that the Lord has given all those who bear His image the desire to know how they got here and what will happen when they pass away. They remind us that there is a harvest to be found in Prague. There are people who are searching for a lens through which they can make sense of the world and by the grace of the Lord, we hope they will find it in the Gospel.

We ask that you remain constant in prayer for the contacts we are making ? that Christ would reveal how He has conquered death and given life meaning and they would recognize their sinfulness in comparison to His holiness.

Pray that the message of the Gospel would overcome the obstruction of language ? that the Lord would raise up Czech disciples who are able to engage in Gospel conversations in their native language.

Pray for our team ? that the apparent contempt for God would not drive us to despair but would drive us to a greater urgency in our proclamation and that we would be granted the strength to stay faithful to the word and in prayer daily.

And lastly, pray for the missionaries that have made the Czech Republic their home. Pray that these people would have the strength to endure, that God would send other laborors to work alongside them, and that they would see people come to salvation in this country.

May the glory of God be revealed in Prague this summer, and in every season thereafter.

– Katherine Bowers