We worshipped in the apartment where I am staying on Sunday morning. In addition to all of the regulars, Joto was able to join us. It was an encouraging morning. After lunch, Biss and I headed to see Draga. We stopped and bought here some groceries. Her smile was big when she saw us. We visited and studied with her. She was enthusiastic during the study. She seems thinner, but is holding her own. Sadly, the cell phone we got her last rip has been stolen. She was understandably upset. I hope to get another one for her. All in all, it was another good, long day. The significance of most of the pictures is self- evident. The seemingly random ones are of a Hari Krishna march in the center.
I spend several hours today studying and talking with a fascinating brother in Christ. He is a middle- aged Bulgarian man who lived in the states for 16 years. During the latter part of that, he became a Christian. Difficult circumstances resulted in him returning home to a small town about 70 miles from Sofia. He found a group of people there who were assembling as the result of a variety of denominational influences. They are allowing him to try to teach them on a regular basis. The work is challenging and he gets discouraged sometimes, but he is soldiering on. His opportunity provides an exciting opening for the spread of the Gospel here. He will worship with us tomorrow. I encouraged him to set his schedule to allow that. Being with his fellow- countrymen who are mature in their faith will mean a lot to him and hopefully establish a relationship.
This evening I joined Biss, Savella, Aaron, and Dinyu near the National Palace of Culture for some refreshments and a visit. We had a good and enjoyed one another. I couldn’t stop looking at Dinyu and giving thanks for the fact I was able to see him as a free, 84 year old man.
I am safely in Sofia. The series of mess- ups that led to me not only being here but ahead of schedule leaves me feeling very blessed and a little dizzy. My ticketed route included a flight from Prague to Budapest followed very quickly be a flight to Sofia. The cancellation of the first flight resulted in me getting to Sofia an hour earlier than scheduled. My evening included a good visit with Biss as well as conversations with Aaron and a Christian from a town about 70 miles from here named Joto. I will spend the afternoon with Joto tomorrow before meeting with Biss and hopefully Aaron tomorrow night.
The last two day on were busy. My opportunities to teach shifted from the brethren to discussions with non- Christians. That included a very pious religious person who doesn’t understand the New Testament concept of Christianity, two atheists, and an Egyptian Muslim who is eager to convert Czechs. The latter was especially frustrating because he appeared to be persuasive but was not careful with his facts. One of the atheists is an old friend that I’m not willing to give up on. As his changes, I think his perspective will also. I am optimistic that two of the other discussions will resume productively at the next opportunity.
I spent Monday evening with the Fojt’s. Hana cooked a great Czech meal (fried pork cutlets and mashed potatoes). We were able to spend a lot of time discussing the impending birth of their child, their possible move, the upcoming lecture we will do here in Brno, and several general spiritual topics. We also laughed, told stories, and listened to some music. It was a wonderful evening with a family whose faith reminds me why I keep coming over here.
Sunday afternoon I had the chance to be on the sidelines as the Brno Alligators played the Prague Blackhawks. It was great to be at the game and see a lot of old friends. Unfortunately, we lost. As the Brno players let the field after the game they made a special show of recognizing my presence. Needless to say I was touched by that.
To be in Brno in time for worship Sunday AMI had to leave for the train station a little before 5 AM. I was concerned about the train’s arrival, but made it in good time. A few were missing, but the attendance was good. It was great to still have the Foijt’s in town. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to worship with them again and to preach.
Saturday evening was spent with the Novak family. That included Katka’s boyfriend. It was a great evening of laughing and talking with people I have known now for twenty years. They face a new set of challenges in their lives which we spent a lot of time thinking about from a scriptural perspective. I am confident they will do well. it has been a hard week, but am thankful that I have had opportunities to teach every day. I’m including some pictures from the visit.
Friday evening I visited the Hondankovi’s. Tami cooked a tasty supper and we had several hours to visit. It was great to be with them. Their children are old enough now that I was able for the first time to really communicate with them. Robert and Tami had a long list of spiritual questions prepared for me. I hope I was able to hope. I surely enjoyed the opportunity to try. I’m including a few picture of the family. On the way, I saw an older couple who reminded me of what a challenging place to live this is for those who are older or in poor health. They have had to navigate countless stairs by the time I saw them. He is so stooped that he is using ski poles to help keep himself upright.
I spent the afternoon on Friday with Honza Novak. We met outside a bustling British owned department store. This kind of scene always reminds me of how much things have changed here since my first trip. We studied and talked for about three hours on a wide of topics that included Romans, fellowship, and child rearing. It’s is always great to be with him. For lunch, he took me to a small garden under Prague Castle I had never seen before.