One of our joys in Czech is coming alongside our friends to plant a church in the nearby village of Bilovice. In our predominantly atheistic culture, anything outside of the Catholic Church (the accepted traditional religion) is considered a sect or cult. We work to intentionally plan many opportunities for people to interact with Christ followers in order to dispel this notion. Because our friends have a cottage and garden area, we are frequently meeting in the warmer months for barbecues and parties of all sorts. People can easily see what we’re doing as they look on or come over from their nearby gardens– nothing suspicious about that!
“Night of the Churches” or “Museum Night” is a typical summer activity in Europe when churches and museums are open late and free for all to visit. Our Czech co-laborers wisely said, “Let’s hold our own Night of the Church at the cottage in Bilovice!”
The agenda was simple—a program of worship, stories of encountering God, and a Bible lesson. Loads of friends were invited and many of them came! It wasn’t fancy, just some hot dogs, fellowship, and a place to meet Jesus.
One particular long-time friend who has repeatedly shared he doesn’t believe was busying himself around the grill and staying put among a circle of men. What a thrill to see him edge closer and closer to our gathering as our mutual friend was sharing her God story. He couldn’t help but listen. Later, he found her and thanked her for what she shared.
We often wonder if people will think “open air cult” or “hmmm, maybe this is for real.” When the night was over our friends kept commenting on the wonderful atmosphere and how they want to come back despite our overtly Christ-centered agenda! We shouldn’t have been surprised but it was a great reminder to us once again that God is real: his presence, his peace, his power. We are praying for these not-yet believers to connect the dots and know that it is Jesus that makes the atmosphere special, and it is the sweet fellowship of believers that is actually so meaningful to them. Pray with us.
Jason and Kerensa McFrederick are Global Partners missionaries in the Czech Republic.