Czech Team Update: Finishing Camp & Heading Home

By Jordan Smith,

Hello Everyone!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but we leave Vsetín tomorrow (Tuesday). It will be a time of both joy and sorrow as we give hugs and say goodbyes for only God knows how long (literally).

The whole point of writing this blog is to keep you all updated on what has happened this past week at camp, but as I reflect on this past week it would take a lot more than just one post to explain what God has done and is doing here at Maják. Each and everyone one of the team members would be able to write a blog or two about how they've seen God work at camp and in their lives, about the amazing community we have seen with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and the wonderful scenery of the Czech Republic. I will attempt to give a sufficient overview, but if you really want to hear about this trip then you should talk to us individually sometime in the near future.

Like Dave said earlier this week eternal and generational decisions are being made here. Yes, there were a few kids who prayed with some Czech leaders and put their faith in Jesus as their savior, which is awesome and praise be to God! However, one point that has stuck with me since our first few days of training is that our goal isn't decision making, but disciple making, and where there were two decisions for Christ there was much much more discipling being done in both the students at camp and the members of our team.

Camp ended on Saturday and the last two days have been a follow up time to encourage and allow students to get connected with the local church community. We have attended service at Maják, played baseball (which is a huge hit over here), grilled out, been attacked by large flying bugs and took a party bus to some local sights as well as another church that leaders at Maják are helping with. So even though camp ended the consistent time with students hasn't, which is both awesome and exhausting. 

Tomorrow morning there will be a breakfast and an official good bye from all Czechs before we get on the train to Prague where we will do a little over a day of sight seeing. Please be praying that we can end well. It can be so difficult to know what to do after an experience like this. It can be easy for us to doubt the work that God has done here and get caught in a downward cycle of lies and incorrect thinking. Short term mission work is tough, not because we weren't able to accomplish what we sought out to do, but because we very well did accomplish those goals: meaningful and intentional relationships. 

Most importantly pray for the Czech leaders because they now begin the hardest work of all. Just like summer camp in America there can very easily be a "camp high" that students feel that quickly wears off. I myself answered an altar call of sorts multiple times in my adolescence before the Lord finally saved me at the start of college. There is a weight that these Czech leaders carry that I believe few of us may understand. It's not like in the states where just around the corner is an older Christian who is willing and able to disciple a young believer. Praise God for the leaders that are giving up their lives for students here in the Czech Republic, because there aren't a whole lot of them. 

Once again thank you all for your support. Your prayers have been felt in real and tangible ways this trip. This is a special relationship we have with our sister church here in Vsetín and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.

To God be the glory,

Jordan V. Smith