The following is the current prayer request for Freda. Monday, December 8, at 12 noon, EST, she is to have a series of spinal blocks to try and determine the source of the pain or at least to narrow down the area of interest. For this test and the one on December 10 she has had to be off blood thinner for one week and without food and liquid since midnight the night before. After the spinal block she has a MRI or something similar (3 PM, EST) where they will try to look at the spinal column from all directions. The front of the spine is of particular interest. Then she is to return December 10 with the results of these procedures and they have another procedure of some kind scheduled that I suppose should result in a conclusion as to what the problem is that causes so much pain. I will let you know more about that procedure and the time along with how thing go Monday as soon as I know.
Freda and I appreciate your prayers,
Remember Freda is in the US at John Hopkins Hospital while Floyd is in Bucharest.
Please pray for Chris, Jill and Christian W. serving in Russia.
Today Chris received a 3 day notice to leave Russia. They have been
struggling with visa issues for some time now and were recently told
they would soon have to leave Russia. Pray mercy will be shown by the
Russian government and that more time will be given to deal with this
issue. Pray for clear direction from the Lord.
Central Easter Europe Prayer Team
In Russia the missionaries have to leave about every 3 to 6 months to renew
their visas outside of the country. Pray for this family and others that
are having visa problems.
Thank you for praying!
Dear Prayer Partners,
I know I should not be amazed by what the Lord continues to show me but I am. This morning while looking my Facebook page to see what is going on (I have learned this is important when having a Facebook page) my attention was drawn to a link from a colleague who serves in Czech Republic. I am attaching the link for you to read. http://hope4cee.org/ceestories/index.php/2008/12/journeyman-from-russia-makes-an-impact-in-the-czech-republic/ The article is about a Russian journeyman that is now serving in Czech Republic. It is an amazing story of how she came to know the Lord and how God is now using her for his glory.
God bless you as he uses you in your community throughout this week. Pray he will use you to reach out to those that do not know the Lord.
Journeyman from Russia makes an impact in the Czech Republic
December 8th, 2008
by Karen Pearce
Natasha enjoys the first snow of winter
Natasha enjoys the first snow of winter
Natasha, an International Mission Board (IMB) Journeyman to Olomouc, Czech Republic, was proud of herself for buying her own train ticket, finding the correct platform and even boarding and locating her seat. However, since she had been in the country only a few weeks, she didn’t realize the train she had chosen was going in the wrong direction.
As she paused from reading her book to glance out the window, she saw valleys, hills, tunnels, towns and villages she had never seen before.
“For the first few minutes after I realized what was happening, I felt so sick I wanted to throw up,” Natasha said. “Instead, I prayed God would calm my heart and give me wisdom to know what to do.”
Natasha found comfort in the fact that she was listening to music that seemed to be playing just for her.
“Lord, I don’t know where all this is going, or how it all works out; lead me to peace that is past understanding, a peace beyond all doubt…” sing the Newsboys, a Christian group that’s words seemed appropriate for the moment.
After four hours of travel, instead of the necessary two, Natasha safely made it home.
“The good part of it was that I was not scared or having a heart attack, but rather enjoying the scenery and falling in love with this beautiful country, parts of which I would have never been able to see if not for a wrong train,” she said.
This is just one of many adventures Natasha has experienced since giving her life to Christ and following His call from Russia to America, and then back to Europe.
Natasha grew up in Tartarstan, Russia, and lived her childhood knowing of God only through the Orthodox Church, which kept Him distant and un-engaging. That changed in college when Natasha’s classmate returned from a year in America, now a believer, and shared about her personal relationship with Christ. Though Natasha faced accusations of betrayal and was ostracized by many, she committed her life to Christ, clung to her new-found faith and let it shape her future. Her church in Russia became the hub of her life, and there she learned through evangelism and discipleship in surrounding villages that “missions” is a vital part of her faith.
Through an American/Russian partnership with her church, she was invited to study dental hygiene in America, and followed God’s leading. Her love of sharing Christ continued in her new Texas home, and eventually she heard God calling her back to Europe as a missionary. In fact, God gave her such a strong burden for the Czech Republic that she considered moving there on her own, learning the language and culture and sharing Christ.
However, friends told her about the IMB Journeyman program and she looked into that, instead. When she saw a request for an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Olomouc, she was excited and started researching the Czech Republic, its people and religion. What she found about the low number of believers and the secular lifestyle broke her heart.
“I started crying—it was weird—I was bawling in the bookstore,” she said. “I felt like God was telling me, ‘Nobody goes there.’ I was like, ‘I’ll go. I really want to go.’ I felt like God was really telling me that was the place where He wants me to be.”
So, once again, Natasha followed God to a new country.
Since arriving in Olomouc, Natasha has started language classes, begun teaching English, and served cookies, candies and Bibles to passers-by at her ministry team’s annual Christmas booth. She has learned valuable lessons—making eye contact is not something Czechs value, saying, ‘Excuse me’ when trying to exit the elevator gets no response, and, of course, checking the direction of your train is very important. However, despite the cultural differences, Natasha loves her new calling.
“My life here is incredible, and God has been showing me His love, mercy and care over and over again,” she said. “I love every bit of my days here, and pray that they would be filled with … words and deeds for His glory until the end of my term.”
Steve and April Brown are the leaders of Natasha’s ministry group, Team Moravia. They consider their newest member a direct answer to prayer.
“We’ve been praying for someone to join our team for four years now,” April said.
Natasha’s arrival could not have come at a better time. God has been doing some amazing things in Olomouc in the past few months.
Not only are several members of the team’s home group awaiting baptism, but a young man named Honza recently accepted Christ, and the Browns have begun an international church in Olomouc that is averaging about 50 people each meeting.
“God constantly brings people to us and we are so grateful for it,” Steve said. “April and I are meeting with people weekly for cappuccinos and conversation–they talk, we listen; we talk, they listen. We have had great opportunities to share the hope that lies within us.”
In this atmosphere, Steve is grateful to have Natasha on their team.
“With her perspective and background, it will speak immensely into the hearts of Czech people,” he said. “She’ll be able to speak to them more clearly than us, since she has a better understanding of where they come from.”
For Natasha, she knows she is where God wants her.
“I went to America because I was sure God had a plan for me,” she said. “Now I know He took me over there so I could leave.”
Natasha’s friend who led her to Christ taught Natasha a lot. She didn’t push the Gospel on her, but lived what she believed. Her attitude, perspective and conversation evidenced her faith.
“I remember her being different,” Natasha said. “She was just an attractive person you wanted to be with—and then to find out what changed her—I knew I needed that.”
Now Natasha wants God to use her in the same way. She desires to truly love the Czech people.
“First Timothy 1 says that love comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith,” Natasha said. “My prayer is that I have those qualities to show the love of Christ and to be a bold witness.”
For more information on how you can be involved in what God is doing in the Czech Republic, visit the Web site.
Spread the word about Hope4cee.org Stories:
Read more stories from Czech Republic.
Since this posting is all about missionaries and MK’s, I’ll add my latest missionary/MK story. Miles, almost 9, broke his right wrist at soccer practice this afternoon. Before taking him to the doctor, Jennie gave him medicine for pain. The Czech doctor asked Jennie if Miles had had any ????? (new word to Jennie). Jennie said yes, ibuprofen. The doctor looked at her with a strange expression. ?????? was the Czech word for X-rays! Miles has a new cast. Jennie has a new Czech vocabulary word.