Pickled tomatoes and Promising partnerships

Steven Wendel on November 29, 2017

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Yeast soda, pickled green tomatoes, quince compote, and chocolate-covered dried melon; just a few of the delicious tastes of Moldova I was privileged to enjoy earlier this month. Well…the yeast-flavored soda maybe not so much, I do prefer to eat my bread rather than drink it carbonated, but who could resist a taste? 

While some of our taste palates were expanded considerably, we had gathered for the purpose of training, connecting with, and encouraging mission-minded pastors and leaders from Central Europe to Central Asia. It was simply amazing to hear what God is doing in various places, through various instruments, and how privileged we are to be able to partner with each other for God’s glory!

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 I was excited to have Oleg Gricyk, the pastor of “Church for the 21st Century” in Prague join me for the week-long event.  I was so encouraged to hear how the Lord has burdened each of our hearts with such a similar vision.  As a pastor, Oleg has also seen and sensed that our greatest and most strategic opportunity for revival and reaching the Czech nation with the gospel of Christ is through ministry to the youngest generation and their families.  His church has already taken the step of opening a Christian kindergarten in Prague, targeting primarily unbelieving families.  His broader vision is for a Christian primary school that would focus not on serving primarily Christians (of whom there are few), but rather students from unbelieving families.  The school would function as both a quality educational institution as any public school, AND as a platform for reaching hundreds of children and families with the gospel! Can you believe that in Czech Republic a public school can also be overtly and evangelistically Christian? It’s true! Since every family has the freedom to choose where to enroll their children in school, there is no restriction on religious education or affiliation for public schools.  Not only that, but the school’s employees and teachers can be paid as any other public school teacher!  Not only that, but the school has the freedom to employ Christian teachers and employees! The only requirements are that the school is administered by qualified professionals (Oleg already has these certifications), and that the school would purchase and construct its own facilities.  It’s hard for me to imagine a more worthy or potentially fruitful investment of resources for the spread of the gospel in Czech Republic.  If you would like to know more about this project and the people behind it, you can visit www.gospel4prague.org

In the meantime, we’re glad to finally be on the mend as like dominoes, our family has fallen ill with virus after virus. This week all of the kids went to school without someone staying home ill for the first time in 6 weeks.  The week before last we were in the emergency room 3 times with broken and sprained appendages. It’s been an extra challenge managing all of our ministry commitments while also caretaking sick ones.  We praise God that He has sustained us by His grace, though we would appreciate your prayers for some regenerative rest.

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We were able to gather with our teammates and co-laboring missionaries as well as several Czech friends, both believing and unbelieving, to give thanks together and enjoy a Thanksgiving feast, as we fellowshipped together and recounted God's goodness to each of us.