Friday in the Village

With all the storybook glamor of Prague, it can be easy for folks who haven’t gotten out of the tourist areas to get a feel of normal life for typical people.  A couple of photos may help with that.  I Made these on the way to the suburb/village where the Novak’s live.  I sent a delightful afternoon with them and with the Vokal’s.  we enjoyed time in three garden as well as a hike through the forrest.   Mira, who was there with his family for the study he next day, had a set of Bible questions he brought for us to discuss as well. as always, Pavla was a most gracious hostess.

“Brno Study”

We still call it that though it is often held in Honza’s office building in Prague.  That  makes a great venue for it.  This teaching opportunity is always a highlight of the trip.  Though Brno folks were not able to come this time, it was very well attended.  That was especially encouraging in light of them having to move it a couple of weeks to accommodate my schedule.  As I occasionally do, I used a workshop format for the study that included them breaking up into small groups to address questions and then briefly present their conclusions.  It is great to see how they work together.  Though you want understand the language, the short video may give you a sense of this.

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My trip to Prague was wonderfully uneventful.  As I was checking in, I was quietly informed of major changes for the airlines brought about by their financial issues.  The fact that no other passenger was within “spitting distance “ probably explained why they are having issues.  As usual, Honza disrupted his busy day to pick me up and take me to lunch before delivering me to my accommodations.  Yes, he had the salad while I had the classic Czech dish.
As recently as a couple of weeks ago, I was frustrated that the trip was as back-end loaded as it turned out to be, but with the life disruptions of Irma I’m thankful it is.  Wednesday gave me a chance to catch my breath a bit and work on some lessons.
Thursday felt like a bit of a throw-back day.  I was able to spend a few hours with one of the first people we met and baptized here almost 30 years ago.  Though he is now internationally known as an economist and director of the World Bank, Filip is as warm and engaging as he was as a college student hanging out at our apartment.  His lovely wife was more than hospitable, and their younger child, who I had not seen before, and I bonded quickly.  It made for a pleasant and productive day.

Safely Home

I arrived safely in Lakeland on Saturday evening, June 3.   I am so blessed to have been able to make the trip and play some small role in the work in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.  Thanks so much for your interest in the effort.

In Prague

My last day in Prague was wonderful.  I spent most it with Honza doing what we typically do- walking for miles through the city and talking.  Though we dabbled in politics and economics, we spent most of the time on spiritual matters.  The conversations ranged from the text of Hebrews to me teaching him the Hebrew alphabet using mnemonic devices.  After eating a final meal together we said our farewell, and it was time for me to prepare to return to the states.

Mlada Boleslav

To encourage a new Christian in a nearby town, Robert arranged a lecture for Wednesday evening.  Everything about it was experimental.  The crowd was quite small, but one lady did show a good deal of interest.  I was thankful for the opportunity and the effort on the part of those who participated.   The most encouraging part for me was effort that four brethren from Prague made to go and support the effort.  We traveled together and had a delightful time.  By the way, I have wondered which post would earn the title of having the poorest photos.  I think we have our answer.

Ceske Budejovice

Several years ago, a young man named Mira finished his army service in Prague and, upon his release prepared to go back to his home in south Bohemia not too far from the Austrian border. His life had changed during his time in the army. He had become a Christian. His desire was to help create a group of Christians in his home city of Ceske Budejovice. I’ll never forget the emotions I felt as Jim Smelser and I met with him in his hometown that first Sunday. Through the years many things have changed there. Several American brethren have done fine work both long and short term, and a solid group of mature Christians meets in that city.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go there for the first time in more than a decade. (I’ve seen most of the brethren regularly through the years, but in different places.) I was only there for a couple of hours, but was able to eat and talk with Jindra about several topics important to both of us. It was pleasant, productive, and the pizza was great!

I took a few pictures along the way I want to share. Prague is known as the “City of 1000 Spires” for the picturesque skyline of churches. It might be known as the “City of 1000 Spires and 1 ugly, modern TV Tower.” At least when we lived in that neighborhood we could always find our way home. I also took a few shots in the main train station for those of you who remember what it looked like “back in the day.”

The landscape in south Bohemia is characterized by gently rolling hills, and a variety of types of farms. The solar farm was new, and indicative of how advanced the people are technologically. On the way back to break, the train broke down for an hour, but the thunderstorm made for some lovely cloud formations.