Hello from a Czech Republic where we are still subject to coronavirus measures.
Masks don’t need to be worn in the street anymore but in shops and closed spaces they are still required. Schools are still shut and probably will be until summer. There are restrictions on the borders.
Despite the measures, quarantine has been generally uneventful in this country. Czechs are strict on themselves about colds and transmittable sicknesses so there was not too much resistance to the measures.
At first we had to cancel things such as physically meeting up together, weekends away etc. So the first week and a half was pretty quiet as we took stock but then we worked out how to meet the students and other groups with Zoom and Skype and keeping in touch by phone.
At one point Jirka was leading two Christianity Explored groups a week. They were really well attended for the whole course (about 16 people) and there would be discussions for hours afterwards. Please pray for those who came. One young person in particular made a commitment to deepen his faith and to be baptised. Six who attended are now coming to Discipleship Explored (also on Zoom).
In the picture here Jirka is having a Zoom Discipleship Explored meeting during a thunderstorm (the second meeting of the course) and everyone kept getting cut off – this is why he is on the phone! However it was still a really good meeting and everyone wanted to keep going despite all the difficulties.
Please pray for them as they understand more. Some are very young in the faith and one is probably not a Christian.
Jirka was also helping with leading a youth bible study from north east Czech.
Now that the quarantine has lifted slightly, Jirka has been able to meet up with some students and young professionals for outdoor activities and has been sharing the gospel with them. Some of them also know students who come to the Olomouc group so we are praying for them to know the Lord Jesus.
We have continued with the bible studies, also on Zoom. They have been really well received and also gone on longer than usual with questions afterwards. The students have really appreciated having some ‘normality’ and the connections online. We were thrilled that at one of the meetings a relative of one of the students was listening in and said afterwards that it was very good and he wanted to hear more.
We are looking forward to a bit of normality and meeting friends again. We feel we need time away from sitting at screens. Also it has been hard to keep our home quiet for the duration of the Skype/Zoom meetings (they can be very long because people are comfortable at home so there is no rush to leave!)
Some visits from the UK were cancelled which was a big blow to us as a family. Also, Jirka was hoping to come to the EMA and we were planning to visit some of you.
Please pray for the camps coming up. Our children are planning to attend Christian camps and Jirka teaches on camps too. It looks as though they will be going ahead. Please pray for Jirka as he prepares for these.
With lots of love in Christ,
Jirka and Keira
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