Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Mayflower has returned to Europe!

 Another year of a gigantic turkey and lots of fun celebrating Thanksgiving with about 50 Czech friends.  This year we were fortunate to be visited by some visiting Pilgrims and an Indian who told the story of the First Thanksgiving. We were once again able to share why we are thankful to God: for creating us, loving us and saving us...

Mom's Club


This Fall we started a new Mom's Club as a spin-off of the Mom's class at English camp.  We meet on Fridays: sometimes for a little English conversation, knitting lesson, baking cookies, reading from the Bible, praying together... but in whatever we do, we want to encourage these young moms and point them to Jesus.
The lady in the right picture is Joyce. Joyce and her husband, Dale are believers from Michigan, and they are here for about a year while Dale is working in a nearby town. Joyce has been awesome!  She has jumped on board. She loves on those babies and the mommas too! She has been a great blessing!

A Week for Remembering!

Seven years ago this week (October 8) we landed in the Czech Republic with our family and 18 suitcases.  It has truly been an adventure!  Today (October 10) is also a memorable day. Four years ago (10/10/10) we had our first official church service in Plzen. Through good and bad we are so thankful to be a small part of what God is doing in Western Czech.  Here are some of our special memories from the last seven years:

  • meeting the Dominik family our first week in Czech. From the very beginning of our time here, God has provided countless precious friends who we are so thankful for. But I will always remember that first offering of friendship our first week when everything was so strange and new. I took Laini to kindergarten and tried to communicate with the people when a sweet mom stepped towards me and said, "Hi my name is Dominika. I speak English, I will help you." and she and her family have been our great friends ever since. 
  • being part of a new church (we love our church family here)
  • English camps with FBC Forney, TX
  • Thanksgivings with Czechs (whose reactions to seeing such a big turkey is priceless) 
  • working with some awesome American mission teams
  • European tent vacations
  • being able to play/coach American football
  • the people (everywhere you go, people are people-good, bad, nice, grumpy... so sometimes the people are included in the blessings and sometimes in the challenges, but we absolutely love the Czech people and are thankful to be here working with them.
  • great friends for our children

Monday, May 12, 2014

Starý Plzenec

Stary Plzenec is a small town located just outside Plzen.  It is first mentioned in history in 976 A.D. and was then called Plzen.  In 1295 the king moved Plzen to a more advantageous location at the confluence of two local rivers and the original Plzen became Stary Plzenec (Old Plzen).  It is a city of about 4600 people.

One family in our church lives in Stary Plzenec and for the last two years we have had Bible Studies/ English lessons in their home.  They operate an English school which gives them many contacts in the community.



There is no evangelical church in Stary Plzenec.  We are currently meeting weekly in an English Bible Study with the majority of those attending being seekers.  Please pray that they will believe and a group of believers can be formed.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

BLATNA



Blatna is a city of almost 7000 people.  It is located in the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic.  The main industry is light industrial factories that produce parts for machinery etc.  The economy is not good and jobs are hard to find and low paying.  Drugs are a problem among young people.    
There is no evangelical church in Blatna.  There are however a handful of evangelical Christians.  We are in our second year of work in Blatna, which to this point has consisted of teaching English in two schools and building relationships.


We are hoping to begin partnering with the believers in the city and an evangelical church in a neighboring city.Please pray for the people of Blatna.  Pray that when they seek answers to their problems they will turn to God and not to drugs, alcohol, etc.  Pray that partnerships will form among believers who live there or have contacts there.  Pray that believers will step up to begin a work in the city, that people will see Christ in believers and come to know Him themselves.


Links about Blatna:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blatná

http://www.zsjak-blatna.net

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pilgrims, Indians and Why we are thankful!


Thanksgiving day we celebrated with our Thursday evening English class and their families along with our church group.  It was a great outreach evening to meet new friends and to think about why we are thankful.
Those of you familiar with small European appliances will appreciate my fear when Larry came home with an 18 kilo turkey.  The meat market here isn't used to orders for turkeys, so every year we get whatever the farmer has available. This year was the biggest we've gotten yet and when Larry came home with it I was certain there was no way it was going in the oven.  Maybe some of you can relate, but I have a husband  that -when I say it is impossible-he WILL find a way to accomplish the impossible task.  Needless to say, the turkey fit into the oven and tasted absolutely delicious.
We enjoyed the story of the first Thanksgiving and were able to share why we are thankful for what Christ has done for us and to Whom we are thankful.
Honestly, when we looked around the room at the precious people there, we knew we had a lot to be thankful for.  We are constantly humbled and eternally grateful that God has allowed us to be a part of what He is doing in Plzen, Czech Republic.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Celebration time!


On Sunday, September 1, we celebrated with Martin and Kuba... their new life in Christ.
After a long time of struggling to have a baby, God gave Martin and his wife a beautiful boy.  Martin's wife recognized that this was from God and sought out a church where they could thank God. They found our church. Martin was so interested in what was being talked about in our discussions and so every week he came back with more questions. Martin has a beautiful testimony about how God changed his life and he boldly takes every opportunity to share what Christ has done for him.

We first met Kuba at English camp.  On the last day of last year's English camp, Petra gave her testimony. Kuba was sitting on the front row crying. After the program Petra talked to Kuba more about a relationship with Christ. Kuba comes faithfully by himself to church every week. He is the first to offer help with anything that needs to be done and always eager to learn more about Christ.  God really blessed us when He added these 2 wonderful people to our body of believers!



Monday, April 15, 2013

Victory!!!!

We had our first football game of the season on Sunday.  The Pilsen Patriots defeated the Prague Hippos 39:0.  It was my first game as a coach and not a player.  It's much less stressful to play.



Show me the EXIT

Last week we were able to partner with other churches to bring Exit Tour to Plzen.  Exit Tour is a program that brings topics that youth need to hear about, like sex, drugs, racism, etc., into the schools.  The main attraction is always an American band.  This year the band was Matter (matterband.com).
We were in three different schools and every afternoon we had an "Exit Party" with games, food, music, and the gospel.  on Friday night there was a concert.  At least 200 youth in Plzen heard the gospel.  Please pray for the Christian youth here as they continue with weekly Exit Clubs.


Catching the Vision

In February we took a group from our church to a church planting conference.  There were 19 church planting teams and a total of over 125 people at the conference.  It was led by a group of successful church planters from Norway.  It was great to see others are being called to plant churches in the Czech Republic as well as to spend time together planning and seeking God's vision for us in Plzen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Feeling like a rock star!

The children in the elementary school in Blatna are so precious.  They enjoyed the English lessons so much and hated it when the bell rang for class to be over.  In the halls they were asking for our signatures like we were rockstars. One cute little boy pulled off his shirt and said "Please sign my back."  I wondered how that might look, when his mom went to give him a bath that night and saw MELISSA written across his back! 

It is fun to go into a new place and be the star!  It is important that we keep our focus on why we are there..it's not about us!  



Communication!

So I looked at the blogspot and noticed that we are horrible at updating and probably communication with people in the states in general! I admire people who can manage it in the midst of living life.

Life is never dull at the Lewis house... our guest bed has been empty 1 week since we returned in May!  So if you're planning to come, schedule in advance!

So even though we are months behind in reporting, we do want recognize how God has been working in western Czech Republic this summer.

  • English camp Plzen was unbelievable!  There were about 140 students (all ages) who had a great week learning English and we were able to have countless conversations about Christ and our faith.  Maybe the highlight of the week was how the Czech believers worked together with the American believers: they opened their homes, they cooked, they participated in the classes so there would be czech believers in the classes....Both Americans who stayed in Czech homes and Czechs who housed them were so encouraged by praying together and spending time together even when they couldn't understand each other.
  • Other English camps that our family participated in around the country were also great times for building relationships and sharing Christ.
  • We went to our annual meeting in July in Greece, and we were able to enjoy a few extra days with just our family around Greece.  It was a great family time for us just before Zachary left for college.
  • Zachary, Larissa and Laini went to Czech Baptist church camp. (Zachary as a leader and the girls as campers.)  Czech camp is real camping where the kids chop the firewood and start the fire for supper. Zachary invited Honza (son of my friend Ivana) to camp. While at camp, Honza made a decision for Christ!
  • The Czechs in the church here in Plzen continue to grow in their faith and reach out to those around them.  Every week brings a new challenge and a new story of how God is working.
  • Zachary left for college in the states. The truth is we really miss him.  Because our family is together 24/7 and we do all our ministry together, his leaving has left a big hole. He is a godly young man, and we are excited to see how God will use him next.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sweet victory! 32-18 Pilsen Patriots vs Pribram Bobcats
Larry and Zachary enjoying some American football.

What a celebration!


Sunday, May 27 we celebrated with Jirka, Lenka, Ivana, Petr and Daniela as they publicly confirmed their faith in Christ.  Sunday really was a day for rejoicing as these 5 were baptized.  They all have beautiful testimonies of how God was drawing them to Himself and how he used their believing friends and neighbors to share the Gospel with them.

Because believers boldly shared their faith...

  • Last year, Jiri and Lenka came to our church for the first time when their neighbor Bara invited them to come to her baptism.  They have since accepted Christ and on Sunday were baptized.  We are thankful Bara was bold in sharing her faith with them!
  • Petr came because his girlfriend Vera invited him and told him about a relationship with Christ!  Vera is a new believer and was baptized last May.  She has been so bold in sharing the Good News of Christ with those around her.
  • Daniela is the daughter of Daniel (the czech leader of our ministry here in Plzen). She is an awesome young lady who has been praying for her classmates every day that they might know Christ.
  • Ivana (so maybe her story makes us smile the most...)  Ivana and I met as roommates in the hospital 2 years ago.  I had just come out of surgery and she was waiting to go in and we became instant friends.  She is such a sweet lady and we absolutely love her and her family!  Within the last 2 years she has accepted Christ and her faith has grown, but making her decision for Christ public was really difficult for her.  On Sunday, she was certain that she must obey what God was asking her to do and she chose to be baptized!