Three years ago, Brian and I sold our house, left our careers and moved across the ocean to serve as missionaries with Josiah Venture. It was no doubt a step of faith. However, there is something that stirs my heart even more. In Central and Eastern European countries, 99% of the population does not follow Jesus. Churches are often small and struggle to reach their communities. It's often a matter of the number of workers. When I read Luke 10:2, I think of Europe--the harvest is ripe, but the laborers are few. Last week, I spent time with some of the most inspiring people that I have met in a long time. They are nationals who serve with JV. Pictured below are Latvians, Slovenians, Czechs, Croatians, a Serbian, a guy from Macedonia, a Ukrainian, three Slovakian girls, and a Polish guy.
They all are in full-time ministry serving in their own countries or a near-by country. Many of them have given up careers to be a part of a mission that they believe so strongly in. Many of them came to faith through a connection with Josiah Venture. Many of them are going counter-cultural to serve in full-time ministry. Some are not supported by their families in this decision. They all have big dreams for their countries, and they want the people of Central and Eastern Europe to know the love of Christ. And, when they talk about wanting their people to know Jesus, it stirs my heart and even makes me cry (especially when the Polish guy speaks:)).
Last week, I had the privilege of co-leading the first ever Josiah Venture national orientation. JV has had nationals serving almost since the beginning, but this was the first formal orientation. We spent Tuesday night to Friday afternoon together at Hotel Malenovice.
It was one of my favorite weeks since moving here. I absolutely loved hearing the stories of all these nationals. The future of the church in this part of the world rests heavily on these nationals. Please pray for them, and pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send more workers to this part of the world.
If you want to read about the orientation from Zuzana who attended, click here. Also Connie wrote about it on her blog, which I would highly recommend. She blogs very regularly about her life as a missionary here in the Czech Republic.