Nyheitsbrev frå Joshiah venture Opprettet av frode.skarland 12.10.2020 12:48:29
Siste nyheitsbrev frå Terry English og Josiah Venture. Oppdatert 16.12.2020.
A movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society
Terry, Hanka, Míša and Sammy in the Czech Republic
Summer Plans, Equipping leaders during COVID, Hanka's book, Family Update and more.
Last month Míša, Sammy (and Hanka!) did something they have not done in a while – they went to school! For now, it seems we have said goodbye to online learning!
Like much of the world, the Czech Republic is slowly starting to reopen. As well as returning to school, restaurants are open, and our church can now meet in person (though with some restrictions).
Both Míša and Sammy have rejoined their local “handball” teams, Terry has started playing badminton again and Hanka is playing volleyball, so we can look forward to returning our bodies to their pre-COVID conditions! :>)
We have even been able to enjoy some mini-breaks: a weekend in the beautiful Jeseniky mountains with 3 other families, and a 36hr trip to Prague for the 4 of us.
Having said that, there is still a lot to do before the various summer ministry activities happen, so our home is often full of teams planning one event or another!
This month Hanka has appeared on the news channel of 2 different TV stations – why? The book she was producing with her students has finally been published!
Teaching her students how to publish a book (and learning herself along the way) has been a labour of love, and typical of Hanka’s selfless approach when working with young people – giving her all, whether leading a bible study, planning a camp, or teaching in school. She decided to create the book when she read the essays from her students who were asked to write on any topic inspired by their COVID experience. If you read any of the stories, you will also see that Hanka is a great English teacher!
You can download the book (it was written in English!) here.
To practice your Czech, you can watch one of the TV reports here.
Still Equipping Leaders (from) All Over Europe
One year in, we have now developed a clear rhythm of developing and leading equipping events for youth leaders from all over Europe. One example is the youth ministry network of the European Leadership Forum, helping equip 25 committed (and tired!) ministry leaders from across Europe. Terry has lead this network for many years now, and it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience for him and his team to lead this network online again this year.
Last September in place of our annual Fall Conference, usually attended by 450 youth leaders from across Europe near Ostrava, we created a 1 day online “ReCharge” equipping event which helped just over 1,000 youth leaders in 60 locations have a renewed vision for how they can work with young people even during COVID.
One year later, youth leaders are even more tired, and many local ministries are struggling – but the spiritual need and openness amongst young people has never been higher.
In response, this year we are again putting together a “ReCharge” event which we expect to be attended by up to 1,500 youth leaders in 130 locations throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
This month Terry began to lead the team responsible for this event, in which we hope to help youth ministry leaders Re-New their passion for young people, Re-Connect with youth, Re-discover disciple-making and Re-Vision their youth ministry post-COVID.
One big change this year is that we are using younger speakers from across our region, equipping them to become better public speakers as they seek to equip local youth leaders. The picture below shows our first meeting with the speakers last week.
Leading this event is a big responsibility which has also meant changing some of summer travel plans (less time at camps, more time in the office).
Please be praying for God’s guidance as we create this equipping event, that we would be sensitive to what God is doing in the hearts and minds of young people, and would be able to walk alongside youth leaders as they too are “recharged” to bring young people in their community from darkness to light!
Summer Ministry Plans
Last summer we were able to serve at our church’s Fusion camp which saw several young people give their lives to Jesus (these are the young people Hanka has been discipling all year). This year our local Fusion leader, Shelby, asked Terry to lead the camp as her team is exhausted from keeping the ministry going through COVID. Knowing how open young people are to the gospel right now, and the impact camp has on all teenagers, it was impossible to say no.
God has been very faithful in helping us put this camp together – somehow we have been able to promote the camp in person in two local schools (and in one more online), which means we have 17 totally new kids signed up, as well as over 25 “regular” kids we already know and work with. We also created a very young main team – the adults are tired, but older teens were eager to be involved, so for Terry and Shelby it has been “back to basics” – equipping teenagers to take up new responsibilities as they discover God’s calling for their lives. Teenagers (with adult mentors) are running most of the program, and the evening small groups are also being co-lead by those teens who trusted Christ last summer. We were praying that we would fill the camp, and last night the 54th (and final) place was taken – Praise God!
One big change for this summer is that Hanka will not be serving at the Fusion camp – she will have a very well deserved week to herself (Míša and Sammy will be at camp), but as usual, she is co-leading the other “wilderness” camp run by our church later in the summer. This camp is aimed at younger kids, is under canvas and in an extremely beautiful valley in the middle of no-where. It is our great joy that every teenager who came to Christ last summer will be serving at this camp – from the harvest to the harvest! You can see some of them in the picture above, taken during a planning meeting in our living room.
In between camps we are planning to have a vacation – our annual canoe trip with 3 other families, and some time in either Slovenia or Croatia, depending on COVID restrictions.
Last month we had a very special Sunday – we baptized 4 teenage girls (3 of whom came to faith through Fusion). This was the first time since September that our church met together physically, and even though it was cold and rainy, over 100 people came to the baptism. Praise God!
Coming out of lockdown, we were curious to know how many people would meet in person, and so far we have been pleased to see that even people who are on the “outskirts” are joining with us again – we believe our strong house church emphasis is the reason we have even seen growth during COVID, but of course are happy to be meeting together in person once again!
Sadly, our church is currently “homeless”, as the club we have met in since we launched has closed down. We are blessed that another local church is letting us use their building this summer. It’s a little strange moving from a “club” to a traditional church building, but it is also a nice new experience for people who came to Christ in the past 5 years – it’s the building where we launched Ostrava Sings the Gospel, so for some it feels like “coming home”. Please be praying as we search God’s will for how we and our ministries will meet from September!
Our church will have a very active summer, running the 2 camps and preparing to launch a new ministry, our own “Scouts” troop in the fall, but this month has been a great reminder of why we exist as a church – to bring people closer to Christ, and be loving and caring community to those we meet.
Please pray that early in the fall we will be able to baptise people who make the decision to follow Jesus this summer!
Join our Ministry Partner Team!
God has been very faithful in providing for our needs. Even during COVID we were able to buy a car, funded by some fellow JV staff and 2 partners who heard of our need to finally replace the 16yr old "second" car which finally died a sad death, having faithfully served all over Central and Eastern Europe.
Even so, our currently monthly pledged support is only 56% of the total we need to stay on active in ministry long term. One of our goals for this year is to raise that to 100%. If you have not yet joined our monthly partnership team, could you please prayerfully consider doing so? We would love for you to be a part of our ministry here in Central and Eastern Europe!
You can click on the orange button to see how easy it is to do so!
Support By Giving
Current Prayer Requests
1. Give thanks for the opportunity to baptize four more people, and pray for many more to turn to Christ this summer!
2. Give thanks that our church can once again meet in person, and that we have not "lost" anyone during COVID. Please also pray that we will not be "homeless" come the fall!
3. Pray for new ministry partners to join our team - both prayer warriors and financial supporters.
4. Pray for our camps - that they would be life-changing experiences (in a good way!) for all involved!
5. Pray for the creation of ReCharge Vol2 - that God would use this event to "recharge" many people in youth ministry.
6. Pray for Hanka's health, and in particular healing for her back - this is a continuous issue not yet resolved!
Thank You for Empowering Us
Your support means so much for our family and this movement of God. Thank you for being a part of it!
The English Family
Terry, Hanka, Míša and Sammy
Equipping young leaders to fulfill Christ’s commission in Central and Eastern Europe through the local church
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