Ales and Eva (CZ08)

by Angela Kim

I had the distinct privilege of interviewing an awesome married couple from the Church in Ostrava, Ales (pronounced “Alesh”) and Eva Novotna. I first got to know them during our second mission trip to Ostrava back in 2001. From the very first time, I knew they were very special. Individually and as a family, they stood out because of their extreme gentleness, kindness, love, and commitment to live completely for the Lord. Their love for one another, their children, and even to “strangers” is so clearly evident in how they treat one another, the fun activities that they do together as family (just ask them about their spontaneous excursion to Southern Italy), and how they give up their own beds for us when LBC team members come almost every summer. Now after many years, my initial love and appreciation for them only continues to grow. I hope you will get a glimpse of who they are and their heart for God through their responses to my questions.

How did you two meet?

Ales: We actually knew each other since we were young, around 15 years old. Our families knew each other. Our grandparents were friends. It was before we became Christians. We started dating and after a few years we broke up when Eva became a Christian.

Eva: It was kind of funny because actually it was Ales who gave me the Bible as a gift. Then a half year later, he became a Christian. [Ales has a big sheepish grin on his face.]

So, how did you both become Christians?

Ales: Through a student ministry called “Students for Christ” on campus when we were in school—University in Ostrava. It’s similar to Campus Crusade for Christ. A friend shared the gospel with me. I was 21 years old.

Eva: Same for me, through this student ministry in the university.

When and how did you come to this church?

Ales: It was one year after the church started in 2000. We were part of another church but moved to this one. Just prior to getting married, there was a Bible study that had begun meeting at Yarka’s house. It was during that time that Eva happened to be renting a room in Yarka’s house to attend school in the area and she would often join their Bible study. And then soon after we got married, we decided to move to this one.

In what ways are you currently serving in the church?

Ales: I preach every 5-6 weeks, teach children’s class, and help organize things for church events.

Eva: I also teach the children and pretty much support Ales in…everything he does [they both laugh]!

What kind of work do you do, Ales?

Ales: Well, I’m in the middle of a change right now. [Ales & Eva look at each other; they smile] Actually, my last day of work at my job was this past Friday. I resigned. I was kind of the head of controlling department, middle management… Recently, one of third of the employees got laid off. They kept on letting people go around me and I was about the only one left in my department. So my work got busier and busier and they kept promoting me to higher responsibilities. So I wondered if I should stay or go. I wasn’t able to spend much time with my family any longer and Eva and I have been talking about this for the past 2-3 months. We prayed about this for a long time. So when we decided that I would quit, it was a surprise for everyone. But I was so thankful that everyone at work wanted to know why I would leave this kind of a job. People thought I was crazy for leaving such a high position. And I wouldn’t get any severance pay. For the seven years I worked there, I tried to share the gospel with my colleagues but they didn’t want to hear much about it. Now, because of my decision, everyone wanted to know the real reason for leaving and why my values were different. My boss asked me “So, why are you leaving?”. I said, “Do you really want to know why?” He said yes so I said, “Can you give me 20 minutes?” And then we talked for a real long time. I started with Creation and we went all the way to the gospel!” [they both laugh again] And my colleague in Hungary even called me to ask the same thing. So I got the chance to explain to him everything as well. Because of this, I got to share more about the gospel the past few weeks than the whole time I worked there. Before, no one was interested in hearing me share about God. Now, everyone was curious and wanted to know why I would make such a decision. I even got to give a Bible to 6 people.

So, how would you summarize your reasons for leaving?

Ales: First, this job was taking so much energy and time from me. I wasn’t able to give much to my family and church. Often, I would have to miss attending events and I haven’t been able to have much family time. Also, I thought that my time at my job was fulfilled. There were many changes in the structure. It was the right time for me to leave.

Eva, how are you taking all of this? How do you feel?

Eva: I’m happy to have more family time. We both talked about this a lot and prayed for God’s direction. [smiling big] It’s okay. Ales: I will look for another job…but later, maybe to start in October. Next month, we have a church camp so after that.

Wow, that’s incredible. I’m sure God will provide the perfect job for you. What do you do, Eva? What is your day like?

Eva: I take care of the children and the home. I also homeschool my children. It’s been mostly for Misa, but Eliska will begin this year.

So, what do you appreciate the most about each other?

Ales: How she cares about me and the children. She supports me with ministry and work. I’m always encouraged by her words like when she says that I’m a “good husband” and “good father”.

Eva: His patience with me, with everyone. And he has also a good…how do you say, [they say something in Czech] practical care for the family and the home.

Would you share your prayer requests with us so that we may keep you in our prayers?

Ales: Thank you. That we would both have unconditional love for our kids and for their salvation. Also for our marriage, for our relationship. We have Friday date nights – we play games, talk, ask questions to one another and talk about them. And also for a new job!

So, let’s faithfully pray for our Czech friends, Ales, Eva, and their 3 children. Ales is truly Meinolf’s right-hand man at the Church in Ostrava and serves as one of the church leaders there.

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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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