Jan 2015 Europe Report
I returned last week from my first trip of 2015 into Europe. Thanks to the massive snowstorm (that wasn’t) along the east coast, my arrival into Lubbock was delayed a day, but it made the coming home all that much sweeter!
I began this trip by spending a jam-packed 48 hours in Bratislava. For the second time in just a few short months, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach and minister in the discipleship training school there led by Marek Krajci, the part-time pediatric cardiologist and founder of Bratislava’s Christians in the City. The presence of the Lord was incredibly strong in our midst as approximately 80 students representing over 20 local church congregations were in attendance as we spent Friday night and most of Saturday on the topic of “Secret Life With Christ.” This course presents the need and call for elevated prayer and worship in our lives, and then targets the transformational tools of intercession and how to combat the enemy’s attack on our prayer life. In addition, we spent time learning and practicing the power of God’s word, as well as how to approach devotional and themed Bible study. Stirring in my spirit the entire weekend were the lyrics of a song by Jesus Culture entitled “Come Away.” in which the Father is singing over us,
Come away with Me, come away with Me. It’s never too late. It’s not too late. It’s not too late for you. I have a plan for you, I have a plan for you. It’s gonna be wild, it’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be full of Me. Open up your heart and let Me in.
I love the Father’s admonition here, assuring us that our pursuit of Him WILL BE wild, great, and full of Him! The corporate prayer, intercession, and personal ministry time throughout my time in Bratislava was immeasurable! God is doing a great work there!
On Sunday, I was given the opportunity to preach and minister in a local church in Bratislava. Throughout the days leading up to this particular Sunday, the Lord had been revealing some exciting things from Scripture to me about the essential ingredients to establishing a generational Kingdom legacy. The Holy Spirit helped me craft a message and then faithfully transferred this excitement in my heart through the translator and into the hearts of the people in that church!
Following my Sunday in Bratislava, I was able to travel with friends of Prepare International from Slovakia to Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, a city of approximately 100,000 people located in northern Czech. It is there that our friends, Lukas and Dita Targosz, live. I was in Hradec Kralove for just over two days, spending relationship-building time with Lukas, the lead pastor of Element Church (http://www.element.cx/en_index.php), along with several key leaders in his church.
Following my time in Hradec Kralove, I traveled by train to Prague and spent a couple of days touring and sightseeing this historic and beautiful city (the site of the original Mission: Impossible movie… the famous bridge is captured in one of the pictures below). While there, I re-connected with a key European leader for Prepare International, a man by the name of Stanislav. He is the leader of the church-planting school in the Czech Republic, from which he has been directly responsible for almost 30 brand new church plants over the last 20 years! His father was the founder of the underground Pentecostal church movement in Czech during the communist years, and also spent some time in prison due to his relentless organization of Christians during those tense years. Needless to say, Stanislav carries the Kingdom legacy in his veins and is whole-heartedly committed to seeing many more churches planted in Czech! The work of Prepare International there is in direct connection to the church-planting school he leads, which was where I spent my second weekend on this trip teaching and ministering, using the topic of “Discipleship and Spiritual Fathering.” Through the work of a translator and the help of the Holy Spirit, I spent several hours in the city of Strakonice with approximately 30 eager and hungry students, representing a wide range of ages, focusing on this topic. This course presents the clear need for spiritual fathers & mothers to accept their calling and the importance of devoting one’s life to both being a disciple and discipling others. Perhaps the most important segment of this course is focused on Scripturally addressing the “orphan spirit,” a trait that a vast majority of people, including born-again Christians, exhibit in their lives. What a joyous event it is when people truly receive freedom from the truth in Galatians 4:6-7, “…God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore, you are no longer a slave (or orphan), but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
On Sunday of last weekend, I traveled to Jindrihuv Hradec, Czech to preach and minister in one of the church plants overseen by the aforementioned Stanislav. I was confidently prepared for a message that morning, but once the service began, it was clear that the Spirit was leading me in a different direction. With little time to prepare, I was “privileged” to stand before approximately 30 people and deliver a Kingdom-focused salvation message to many ears who had never heard this Good News before. I found myself using the pause for translation as my time to listen to the Spirit’s leading as to what I needed to say next! It was a humbling, yet exciting 30 minutes! At the conclusion of my message, the pastor invited the congregation to respond by receiving the work of Jesus. All in all, we prayed for 4-5 to receive Christ for the first time, for 3 or 4 others who needed a physical healing miracle, and for a couple more who simply wanted more of His Spirit. The pastor later excitedly told me that about half of the attendees that morning were either first-time guests, or had not been there in years. Considering it was a cold, snowy morning, he considered that a miracle in and of itself, and was looking forward to building upon what the Lord did that morning among us.
I departed Jindrihuv Hradec, and again spent my final night in Prague before the snow-filled trip home concluded.
Thank you to all of you who continue to pray with us and for us, and stand with us as partners in this great adventure. May the Lord bless each of you with an increased awareness of His presence this week!
Upcoming travel schedule:
March 6-13: Trinity Christian School mission trip to Macedonia
March 13-22: Prepare International’s Pastors Connection trip to Israel