News from the Harshes - July 2020
We are so glad to announce Josiah's graduation from high school. He worked hard in school and was very active with extracurricular activities. We are so proud of him and how he put so much effort into all he did. Most of all we are glad to see the young man he has become. He has character, integrity and a good sense of humor.
While in high school he was involved with ice hockey, guitar (contemporary band) and drama. He had a very full schedule. He also was on the Student Leadership Team and helped lead the school homeless outreach - preparing food, going on the outreaches and translating. Throughout the years we appreciated all the times he went with us on mission outreaches to Ukraine to minister to the Roma community, Roma churches, orphanages, and to our Ukrainian friends. He's been traveling there since he was 6 months old!
Like most graduating students Josiah had to finish the school year online at home. That was a challenge, but he pulled through well. We were glad that the Czech Republic eased some restrictions and the school was allowed to hold a graduation - masks and social distance protocols.
If you would like to send any congratulations notes or grad gifts to Josiah feel free to send it to the CCNC address on the bottom of the newsletter. If you feel led to provide a financial gift it may also be sent to the church/ CCNC by mail or PayPal with a note that it is for Josiah. (mail is really backed up getting to Europe. It took 6 weeks to get a letter from the States!).
Now Josiah is preparing to start at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA where he is planning to study biology, pre-medicine. He has been saving up for a new laptop to have at school and he will be looking for a part time job on campus. Have to find some more ways to bring that tuition down. Thank goodness he has received some good scholarships but still working on it.
We wanted to thank each one of you who have cheered Josiah along in his journey - praying for him, attending ice hockey games, plays, music performances and just being there in thought and deed.
Thanks again for loving and encouraging Josiah!
When COVID-19 hit in March everything was put on hold. The Czech Republic was pro-active in dealing with the virus when it hit Europe. Now after quarantine, restaurants, churches, and other service industries have slowly opened up. People are still encouraged to wear masks on the subways, in hospitals and doctor offices. The country is allowing most people from the EU in, but North Americans are not allowed to travel to Czech yet. YWAM Prague has a single guy and a family with 4 children who would like to join the ministry. We all have to wait until the borders open for them to come.
We had to cancel our trips to Ukraine for May and July. They are still watching their borders, wearing masks, and social distancing. They have not fully opened up the stores and restaurants. We are praying for our friends there and hope to see them as soon as possible.
In the picture above Petr Kacha, our Czech pastor, is blessing our kids before they head off to University.
The past two years Elizabeth has been working with YWAM in New Zealand, Vanuatu, Spain and North Africa. Through her missions experience she has grown in her faith and relationship with Jesus. She said that her experience on the mission field has confirmed her desire to go into medicine.
Elizabeth will also be starting her first year in biology, pre-medicine at Calvin University. Elizabeth is a Godly, beautiful young woman both inside and out! God and we are so proud of her.
We never thought that Elizabeth and Josiah would end up going to the same University studying the same subject the same year. We are amazed at how God has worked in their lives.
During the past months we have been doing most of our ministry via ZOOM - YWAM team meetings, leading bible studies, counseling, coaching, YWAM Central Europe Area Coordinator meetings, prayer meetings, etc... Some days we felt zoomed out! In just the past few weeks churches in Czech are starting to hold their meetings on sight. We have also just been allowed to do evangelism in the city squares in Prague. The ministry of Healing Rooms has also started again. People are truly hungry to receive personal prayer.
We had the opportunity to bless the hostels who helped us with the YWAM European Leader's Conference in Prague February 2020 that we hosted. Our team baked a number of platters filled with homemade treats, as a way of letting them know that we really appreciated their service. They have opened several of their hostels to the homeless during the pandemic.
The regional Christian magazine, Život víry, had a wonderful interview with YWAM founder Loren Cunningham when he was here for the February conference. We have it translated into English if you are interested. The magazine will also run part 2 in the fall.
We have experienced a loss of support because of the shutdowns. If you would like you to consider sending a one time gift to help us through this time that would be helpful. We are praying for you, your families and the communities you live in. We understand it is challenging for many. Robin, Elizabeth and Josiah will leave for the States from Prague on July 22nd and quarantine for 2 weeks in Michigan. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!