Tonight is our very last night in Czech. As Ryan said, it is a bittersweet time. It will be good to have a short but much needed time of rest, but it is always sad saying goodbye to those we have met. I feel that I have just barely gotten to know the people we have worked with over the past week, and it will likely be at least a year, if not longer, until I have contact with them again.
Our last day was spent in Prague, wandering around the old and beautiful city. It was a refreshing break from all the ministry work we have been involved in. The big city was a bit of a shock compared to the small towns we have been in, but it is one step in the adjustment back into the very suburban southern Ontario. I must say I really did enjoy being in Dlouhy and Hlinsko. They are less busy than the GTA and people seem more relaxed. This is another reason why I enjoyed church so much yesterday. For me, church has always been something fairly organized and planned, and I felt the need to have all the details worked out ahead of time so that whatever the ministry facilitators were doing would not be distracting to our worship. But this service was quite different from what I am accustomed to. It was relatively informal, and very relaxed, with only about 35-40 people in attendance. After multiple individuals had shared a story or song with the rest of us, there was an invitation for anyone else to come and share whatever was on their hearts. It was comfortable, welcoming, and God was glorified.
One particular thing I have been reminded of during this trip is that the Holy Spirit is constantly interceding for us. Due to our busy schedule, and team meetings that went longer than planned (but for good reasons!), I was exhausted every night and got little sleep, making it very difficult to make time for God. Many days I did not. Often events would come to pass that I had intended to pray for, but suddenly they were taking place and I realized I hadn’t prayed hardly at all. However, there is a peace to be found in knowing that even when we forget or are unfaithful, God is faithful, and prepares us as much as we need to be for any given situation. Am I saying it is ok not to pray? Not at all. It is our primary way of communicating with Him, although when we miss the mark the Holy Spirit is there, communicating with the Father in ways we cannot understand. I am so thankful to be reassured of this, and I trust that the words we spoke and activities that took place were seeds planted in the lives of those we worked with.
Now that this trip is ending and we are returning to Canada, I am reminded that God’s mission doesn’t stop here. Even when we are far away and feel as though we cannot do much, we can pray. God doesn’t stop pursuing His people, and neither should we. Prayer is powerful, and God so desires to change the hearts of those who do not yet know Him. I pray for a burden to keep praying for those we have met, particularly the kids who stayed at the ICC with us this week.
Once again, I am so thankful for an awesome week where everything seemed to go right, and for an awesome team of people to work with. It was a honour, privilege, and so much fun to work with you, and I will miss our valuable and hilarious team meetings every night. Really hoping to be able to come back next year 🙂