“After 8 years…” I was speaking with our international missions partner Vlada Donat. I had called him to find out how he was and to get his assessment of the outreach efforts he had made over the summer. As he talked about all that had transpired and everything that was continuing and his plans for the coming months, there was a lot of excitement.
Vlada spoke about the teenage girl who had professed faith in Christ just a month ago. She has not only attended church faithfully since, but regularly seeks out someone before or after the service to tell them what she has learned that week and how she is trying to share her faith with family and friends.
Vlada spoke about the baptism that the church will have soon and that the man who will be baptized may well be joined by 2 more people who have professed faith within the last year and are continuing to grow as they meet weekly for discipleship. The man who is being baptized has also shared his new found faith with family and friends and some from outside his immediately family will be coming to watch, more out of curiosity than anything else, because they can’t quite understand what all his excitement is about.
Vlada spoke about connections made through the basketball / sports camp and how he is now meeting with some of the guys who attended to continue talking with them about the gospel and how that relates to their hopes and dreams. He is amazed at how some of them have moved from being apathetic or disinterested about the gospel to having more questions and how others may not necessarily be closer to faith, but their thinking about what matters in life is clearly being reoriented.
Vlada spoke about how the Museum of the Bible they started a couple of years ago has visitors every day and gives them the opportunity to talk to unbelievers not only about the history of the Bible in Czech, but about the content of the Bible and why so many people would give their lives for what is written in this book.
Vlada spoke about the generosity of people who have supported and continue to support their work of planting this new church even as they continue to teach the Bible to people around the country through a distance learning course he and Milan pioneered a number of years ago.
For all that was wonderful, the best part came at the end. Reflecting on the work he, Eliska, Milan & Misa and others had done during the years leading up to this period of fruitfulness, he said, “After eight years of no conversions I began to wonder if anything could ever happen here.”
I believe God is working in Pelhrimov because Vlada and others remained faithful. Never lose heart, God’s work may not happen according to your timetable, but he is no less active, preparing the soil for gospel growth.