News from the Harshes - October 2020
YWAM Camps & Courses
We took part in a summer family camp here in the Czech Republic. It was the first Youth With A Mission (YWAM) family camp to be held here.
Since the family camp took place during the the COVID pandemic, it could not be operated on sight, and it was run via ZOOM through the internet. It was great to have our US and Slovakia speakers attending on ZOOM though! It was a challenge to do the family camp via the internet, but, we were pleased at how people joined the family camp from the comfort of their own homes.
Leadership & Pioneering
As YWAM Prague we all participated in a Pioneering / Leadership (zoom) conference during quarantine. We had wonderful speakers who have had long term experience in Pioneering and Leadership. It was also fun to hear from some younger people who are doing new creative, innovative outreaches! It was a great week with people from all over. YWAM in Romania organized the conference and they did a super job with the technology and having break out groups for discussion and prayer as well.
Coaching: Business as Mission
Roger also took a coaching Business As Mission course, with the Global Membercare Network, on line for the month of August. The course dealt with knowing your purpose, strengths, and calling, and how to deal with cultural differences. It was great to obtain some new skills for coaching.
Czech COVID-19 Update
The situation with COVID continues to be a concern here. This week Czech ranked as having the highest number of COVID cases per capita in Europe. In Prague we are not going into a total lockdown again but more restrictions are being put in place. Government offices are only open 2 days a week, Restaurants are open only for take out. Theatres and most cultural events, gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports are once again shut down for a minimum of 2 weeks. Only 6 people can meet together indoors.
The Ukraine border has still not opened up for us to visit our friends and ministry partners there. We continue to pray for them and look forward to when we can see them again!
Elizabeth and Josiah will be staying in the States for the school winter break holidays. Between the cost associated with flying back to Europe and the current COVID situation in Prague it seems better for them to stay in the States. We will certainly miss them and we would appreciate your prayers for them.
Elizabeth and Josiah have started at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's really amazing that they both started at the same University. We didn't see that coming but what a blessing it has been. It was great to see them together raiding the internet looking for the best textbook deals - going back and forth between each other to see where the best deals were. It's been an unusual start to a school year but we are thankful that they have been able to be in class in person. At "home" in the dorm they have a daily app symptoms check and have to send it in every morning. Masks and social distancing are required in the classroom and walkways. The cafeteria food lines are longer due to COVID practices but things are coming together. They are getting used to the rhythm of studies at University. It's a lot of work but they are doing well. We are also glad that they are making new friends and that friends and family members are not tooooo far away. WhatsApp has been a great way to keep in touch. Thanks for your prayers for them for safety, good studies and good friends!
Telling People About Jesus
During the past several months people seem to be much more open to talking about Jesus. Most of the people visiting Prague these days are from somewhere in Central or Western Europe. Also a lot of Czechs from other cities or towns are visiting Prague. Many of them ask questions about what we think of COVID and all the regulations that go with it. Most churches in Prague were holding their services in person. One young man from Northern Ireland found the church on the internet. After the service he approached me and asked me about Jesus. In our conversation, I realized that he didn't know Jesus and had never visited a church. I explained the Good News to him and asked him if he would like to accept Jesus into his life. He said, "Yes I would." As we prayed together I could tell the Holy Spirit was working in his life.
Healing Rooms has also started services. A woman from Prague came to visit us after finding us on the web. She didn't know that we are a Christian organization. After explaining what Healing Rooms is, we asked if she would like to receive prayer. After praying for her, we asked if she would like to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She said yes. Now, she comes to church every Sunday.
On another occasion we were ministering on the main square in Prague when I spoke with another young man visiting from Poland. In our conversation I could tell he was ready to ask Jesus to be the LORD of his life.
It is so exciting to see how Jesus is touching lives.
As of Wednesday we have had to go back on line for church for 2 weeks! Let's prayerfully see how God works!
We are so thankful for those of you who gave towards the "new to us" (used) car we bought. We purchased the car in March shortly after COVID 19 hit the world. It took three months for us to receive the paperwork needed to complete the transaction because of the regulations that were imposed and waiting for things in the mail. We donated our old Ford Mondeo to the YWAM Prague base. Hopefully it may have a few more trips left on it!
We are able to get around town to do food drop offs to people we know who are in quarantine due to COVID. This Saturday we made pumpkin pie and apple butter for delivery!
Homeless in the Prague Hotel
We are looking at reaching out to the homeless people who are staying in some of the local Prague hotels. We are talking with the owners of the hotels to see how to help. One idea is to provide meals for the homeless and another is a baked goods and Bible distribution! Pray with us to see how to best meet the current needs.
The YWAM Prague team has started Brave Art! Brave Art seeks to inspire, empower, and restore purpose and identity in youth and young adults through creativity and the performing arts. It is a 10 week creative arts outreach ministry that creates impactful artwork which releases hope, encourages community, and calls out the true identity in both the performers and audience.