The trip home was pleasantly uneventful. Thanks so much for your interest in following the blog. As a finishing bonus, I am elated to share that Robert Hodanko baptized a man today he met through his website. Thanks again, and God bless.
Thursday and Friday were both very good days. Each afforded an opportunity to walk a bit in the process of getting to where I needed to be. I’ve included a few photos to add so local flavor. These include things like the impressive interior of a mall I actually like, a really long escalator, some hard working mimes, a 500 year old tower, and a couple of night scenes from the river area. One more subtle picture incorporates a 500 year old place of worship with American “culture” not at its finest.
On Thursday I finally had my official visit with the Novaks. Ferdo, the family dog who hasn’t always liked me greeted me like a long lost friend. Pavla prepared a delicious meal. The kids were around, and Honza and I had a good talk. It was a good night. On Friday I was scheduled to meet with Petr Unger. It has been a couple of years since I have been able to see him. Not only did he and I have a great
It began as a walk down memory lane as I walked several miles taking me from my hotel through our first neighborhood in Prague. It was cold and rainy and wonderful. Too bad they hadn’t built this mall prior to the great toilet paper shortage on 1991. It also took me past Prague’s iconic eye-sore television tower. My destination for the evening was the Vlcek’s. Honza and I had a good study and discussion before enjoying a wonderful meal of smazeny veprove rizek. (I don’t know how to spell the word we use in English for it.) After dinner we laughed, talked, and played with their delightful children.
For the first time in some time, the church in Prague decided to hold a public lecture. It is an ongoing series of experiments to choose an appealing topic advertised optimally in the best venue on a good date. They were bold in selecting both the place and advertising. They were optimistic about the topic based in its success in Brno, but concerned about a date this near the holidays. The area they selected is very much a working class area with a huge concentration of people living in the old style blocks of flats. The commercial area reminded me of something you would have seen 20 years ago. Attendance was good overall, but the number of visitors was small. It was a good evening, but they will continue tweaking the process. I admire their determination to use this means of taking the gospel to their city.
I spent several hours today meeting with Czech Christians to discuss a variety of issues including recent challenges. I dearly love the folks here. I had so e time, so I walked to the last meeting. Along the way I took a few pictures of the castle and Charles Bridge as well as an old school butcher shop.
Sunday was an extremely busy day. It began with worship in Prague. In spite of the challenges, it was great to see so many of the folks I have known and loved for so many years. I cut the sermon by about 5 minutes to be sure I had time to get to the train station for the trip to Brno. Jan met me at the train station and we had about 20 minutes to visit before their assembly began. It was great to be with them. One of the highlights was meeting Tomas and Andrea. This young family was converted as a result of studying with Robert Hondanko, but since they live closer to Brno they worship there. Following the assembly, we discussed plans for the spring. Jozef drove me to the train station giving he and I a few more precious minutes to visit before the train back to Prague. My first meal of the day came at about 10:00 PM, so the next time some says that I don’t look like I have missed many meals I can cite a few examples.
The “Brno Study” is now held in Prague more often than Brno. I’ll stick with the Brno Study moniker for a while at least. It is always a main highlight of the trip. The numbers were down a bit this late in the year, but the turnout was still very good. Brethren gathered from around the country to spend the day together in study. We met in a portion of the office building Honza Novak owns which is a short walk from the end station of the metro. As usual, the number of children in attendance was quite impressive. The three hours of study were well received and created lively discussion. Though we had taken an hour break for lunch and to visit, many stayed for more than an hour afterwards just to visit.
Friday was a unique day for this trip. It is the first day, including travel days that I haven’t had a meeting scheduled. (I did have a couple of phone calls.). This train trip from Brno to Prague was even better and more productive than before. After arriving in Prague, I had to go shopping for a dress shirt. The one I had planned to wear tomorrow was somehow left in the bathroom of the hotel in Bratislava. (Steam from the shower helps a bit with wrinkles.). I hope Nancy doesn’t find out about the shirt. The more relaxed day gave me needed time to finish preparations for the study tomorrow. My speaking g time will be the equivalent of several sermons. I’ll include a a couple of street pictures for a little flavor.
The train ride to Brno was wonderful. I’ll share a couple of pictures. The scenery was spectacular and I got a lot of work done. Almost immediately upon arrival, a couple of old friends took me out to see their new office building. It’s rewarding to see good people doing well. I had just time to grab my stuff- including some glad communion cups I brought for the church in Brno before Jan picked me up to take me to his home. His wonderful family is thriving. Hana cooked a wonderful meal including village-grown lamb. As great as that was, the study was even better. Jan is a wonderful student who always has demanding, thought provoking questions. We can speak freely and even disagree while maintaining the friendliest atmosphere. As I walked back to the hotel, I was struck by the amazing work done on a nativity scene populated by large, hand-carved characters.
I had a good afternoon and evening in Bratislava. The group study was cancelled, but it did give me one more opportunity to have a good visit and spiritual conversation with Lucy. When I arrived at the hotel, the man at the desk welcomed me back and asked if I wanted a room with a view. I said that it was only for the night, so I didn’t care. He said that I should care and would enjoy one with a view. He was right. An ice rink was also nearby. Watching Slovak kids skate is amazing.