In Fall 2007 I was leading a small group of 10 people in the Experiencing God Bible Study. One of the women in the group is from the Czech Republic. She moved to the US nine years ago and was introduced to Christ seven years ago and finally dedicated her life to Him.
We became quick friends because I fell in love with the Czech Republic during a research trip in 2000. There is no way to explain this love except to say God placed this country and its people on my heart.
During the EG class one of the lesson talked about international people within your congregation. Sona is one of the only internationals in our church, and our class began praying for the Czech Republic.
One night, as we were both cleaning up at church after Wednesday night supper I felt God’s Spirit speaking to my heart, “Czech Mission Trip.” I dropped the broom and ran to Sona. Her eyes were wide and she told me that God had placed it on her heart too and she’d been praying about it all week. We immediately went to class and asked the group to pray with us.
After that I started looking into mission trip possibilities. Word got out within church and soon there were ten people interested (including my husband and three teens). For months we prayed and I let the word out among my writer friends that if they knew of any opportunities of service in the Czech Republic to let me know.
In January, I heard of a missionary couple in Prague. I emailed Melissa Lewis and she told me she’d check about opportunities with IMB. (Yes, she was part of IMB!) Melissa got back to me a week later and told me there were no opportunities for that year. We continued praying, and by this time more people got on board, interested about the trip. We also met as a small group and prayed.
During one of the small group meetings we talked and prayed about what type of opportunity we felt would work best for our interests, talents, and the desire God put on our hearts. We decided a family camp would be perfect, and we began to pray in that direction, assuming it would be for the following year.
Well, two weeks after speaking with Melissa she contacted me again. It turns out that a Czech Baptist church was in need of a group of 15-20 people THAT summer (2008). We talked to the IMB regional director and found out that another church had committed to traveling and teaching but they didn’t get the volunteers and support they needed from their church. Sadly, they had to back out from serving at the ENGLISH FAMILY CAMP.
It was nearly March by the time we found 20 people. Then the fundraising began. We needed $2,500 each by July. We worked hard and God provided in amazing ways. We left with all the money we needed and even returned with $4,000 we hadn’t used! The camp was amazing and we went back for the second time this year–in fact we just got back last week! (For photos and videos go to: www.facebook.com/tricia.goyer)
This is truly an example of “Look what God is doing and join Him.” Now, two years later, reaching the Czech Republic for Christ is one of the main mission goals for our church … and I’m even more in love with the country and people than when I first started.
This years’ camp we returned to our FRIENDS. Their hearts were open and ours were too. It was a wonderful time of sharing about God and the hope we have in Him. Now, my continued prayer is, “Lord, show me where you want me to God. Use me where You desire.”
His plans are beautiful. Perfect.