Missions in the Czech Republic (CZ07)

by Stephanie Shin

Since 2000, God gave Lighthouse Bible Church the opportunity to serve at the Christian Church of Ostrava in Czech Republic, and we have been returning annualy since. He has been faithful in building the partnership there and strengthening relationships with Meinolf and Martina Mellwig, the missionaries from Germany, have spent much of their lives in ministry to the Czech people and also the church members.

In past years, LBC’s primary ministry in Ostrava was focused on the English camp—a one week program devoted to teaching conversational English and to sharing the gospel with the unbelievers that attended. God has been sovereign in softening the hearts of many of the Czech people to the gospel message. And, in His constant and superabundant goodness, we have also been able to encourage and spur on the Church of Ostrava and genuinely see a spirit of likemindedness in Christ grow—this is the heart of this year’s Czech mission trip.

Now in the year 2007, much has changed for both LBC and its ministry in Ostrava. For this year’s team members, preparation and training finds an emphasis not only on the motivation for missions, which is wellexpressed by John Piper: “Missions exist because worship doesn’t,” but also on the correct theology of missions found in the book For the Sake of His Name by David Doran.

“Missions should be an extension of the local church and people should see the importance of not only them going but who’s sending,” said Pastor John. “What is the end goal of what we want to see happen? An ongoing work? A church being established? Or if someone is just going to share the gospel, while that’s good, is that the complete mindset?”

Training is not the only thing that’s changed this year. The Meinolf and Martina Mellwig won’t be there this year due to home-service in Germany. Although they will be sorely missed, this gives the Church of Ostrava different opportunities for ministry. Seasoned simply by virtue of the many years spent going to Ostrava, LBC has been made aware of the needs of the Christian Church of Ostrava for leadership training and a proper view of ministry in both the family and the church. Working closely with Ales and Eva Novotny—leaders at the Church of Ostrava—the team will be helping out with the church’s family camp. “The nationals are going to have to step up in terms of providing leadership and running the program,” Pastor John remarks. There will be a direct focus on building up the church in terms of investing in them and going over the lessons of the camp’s theme: Disciplines of Godly Man and Woman. Unbelievers are also invited to come out and efforts will be made to reach out to them as well during the course of the camp.

There is a hope that the team will be able to invest more in the church people, not only to strengthen the relationship with the Church of Ostrava, but also to cultivate a mentality of ministry in the LBC team members that will extend beyond the trip itself. “Since every person on our team is teaching at one point or another, we want to be well prepared and to be able to encourage them in the way they need to be encouraged and challenged,” Courtney Chow, one of the team members, says. “I expect to learn a lot and be humbled. I expect to grow a heart of compassion for the Czech people.”

Needs for Prayer:

    – Full provision of all the resources our team needs for this trip in terms of financial and prayer support
    – Team unity and training so that the team would be fully prepared for the work of ministry
    – Many opportunities to share the gospel, including on the plane trips over and back.
    – Preparation of the hearts of the unbelievers to hear the truth of the gospel.
    – Preparation of the church members to be receptive to training.
    – Safety and good health of all the team members.
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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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