Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thirty-five months and counting...

Kdyz stojite na vrcholu hory…
Once you get to the mountain top…

Mili pratele, 
Dear friends, 

v jedne z minulych zprav jsem pouzil ilustraci toho jak se moje udoli bolesti, tezkych zapasu o zivot, chemoterapii a tisicu prasku promenilo v nadherny vyhled jako bych stal na te nejvyssi hore a Buh mi dovolil videt cele Jeho kralovstvi. Byla to chvile kdy jsem si nemohl na nic hrat, nemel jsem cim se pred Bohem chlubit a nemohl jsem si ho nicim ziskat. Byl jsem srazen na kolena, ja jsem nemohl nic a presto jsem diky vire v Jezise mel vsechno co pro zivot potrebuji. 

In one of my previous posts, I used the illustration that the deepest, most painful experiences of the treatment were also moments when experiencing God was something so deep that it felt like reaching the mountain top with a beautiful view all around. I couldn’t perform, I couldn’t deliver, I had nothing to offer. I was defeated, but glad that I know that my faith in Jesus’ sacrifice satisfied what God’s righteousness required. 

Vite co vas ceka, kdyz stojite na vrcholu hory? Jedina cesta vede dolu. Moje remise trva uz 35 mesicu a uzivam si s vdecnosti naplno kazdy den co mi byl pridan. Stejne jako v Himalajich, ne kazdy kdo vystoupa na vrchol dojde dolu do bezpeci. Nadale prochazime zmenami, ktere ovlivnuji nas kazdodenni zivot, a to do te miry, ze nemam ten luxus ze by novy den byl stejny jako ten predchozi.

You know what happens when you reach the mountaintop? The only way left is down. 
I have been in remission for 35 months, and with thankfulness, I enjoy each extra day. Just like in the Himalayas, not all who reach the top of Everest return home safely. Our transition and life changes continue to challenge my daily routines, not having the luxury of having the same day twice. 

Jeden z tech prijemnych zazitku posledni doby bylo prokousavani se knihou od pastora Timothy Kellera s prostym nazvem Modlitba. Nejen ze  me drzela nad vodou, ale bylo to narocne cteni pri kterem jsem chtel co nejvice prijmout za sve nektere z tech pribehu, ktere zazili realni lide v realnem case sve doby. At uz to byli velikani krestanske viry v historii nebo “obycejni” lide soucasnosti. Osvedcene navody a osobni zkusenosti prispivali k tomu, abych touzil po jedinem - jeste vice prohloubit svuj vztah s zivym Bohem. Chci prozit zivot s Nim, a pro Nej. Vim, ze to co jsem v te knize chtel najit byl navrat na vrchol hory, odkud se znova rozhlednu. Ale to jsou momenty, ktere jsou velice vzacne. To v knize nejde predat. Ted je cas prozit “normalni” zbytek zivota.

On the uplifting side, I have enjoyed reading a book on Prayer by Timothy Keller. I took several months to go thru it, trying to absorb the wealth that the book contains regarding personal experiences, recommendations from historical giants of faith, offering guidance and exercises all pointing us to have a better communication with God. I desire to experience Him in a way that ALL I do is about Him and for Him. In a way, I was hoping to go back to the mountaintops. But those were rare moments. Now let's hope that its time to live thru the ordinary. 

Na jedne strane obrovska touha poznat Bozi lasku vic, na druhe strane me doslova szira otazka “Proc ja?” Byl jsem usetren zavaznosti teto otazky na zacatku me nemoci, a o to vic je neprijemne, jak me doslova pronasleduje ted. Behem poslednich let zemrelo par lidi, ktere jsem znal. Nektere vic, nektere min. Proc to oni nedali a ja ziju? Mam to v hlave, brzdi me to, mam obavy a zaroven se ucim vdecnosti. Buh si me jeste nevzal k sobe domu, tak proc me tu chce mit? 
Longing to experience God more deeply had its shadow in a question of “WHY ME?” This question was not something that came at the beginning of my disease, but it is disturbing my peace now. Over the few last years, I have become aware of the number of people who didn’t make it. Some of them were more distant; some were close. It stops me; it slows me down, it makes me thankful but fearful as well. Knowing that God didn’t call me home yet, makes me wonder what does He have in mind that I could be part of.

Nejsem typ co sedi a ceka. Jsem rad, kdyz jsem ja i veci okolo me v pohybu. Rad se chopim prilezitosti a jednam. Jednou z takovych prilezitosti, kde se ted veci opravdu hybou je projekt rekonstrukce stareho domku z 30. let. Cely proces jak jsme se o nem dozvedeli, porizeni, vyrizeni hypoteky, stavebni ohlasky atd. vnimame pri ohlednuti se zpet  jako  zazrak vedeny Bozi rukou. 
Naturally, I don’t sit and wait. I like to move. I like to seize opportunities. One of them is our project of renovating a house built in 1930  in a quiet corner of Prague that will be our next home. The whole process of finding it, purchasing it, mortgage negotiations, building permits, each step of the way there was something extraordinary that we look back at and shake our heads in disbelieve that it all happened. Our version is simple - God provided. 

V kvetnu se nam podarilo prodat nas byt a od te doby si pripadame ze kempujeme na ruznych mistech. Nejdrive jsme pres leto bydleli v garsonce ve vezaku, ktery mel 21 pater. Uzili jsme si to jako “dobrodruzstvi” v malem byte, za ktery jsme byli moc vdecni. A kdyz nastal cas uvolnit byt lidem, kteri uz meli byt zarezervovany po nas, otevrela se moznost prestehovat se do bytu kamarada, ktery se prestehoval do jineho mesta. S vdecnosti to bereme, ze nas Buh doslova vedl z bytu do bytu. Byt s tremi  pokoji byl po nekolika mesicich v garsonce uplne novy zazitek. Ted muzeme hrat znovu na schovavanou!!!! A taky musime po sobe zhasinat svetla. V garsonce bylo jedno svetlo - budto zapnuto nebo vypnuto. Ted jsme v byte, kde je tolik vypinacu ze se musime znovu naucit po sobe zhasinat. Co tim chci rict - ze i pres tu divocinu baleni a stehovani z mista na misto, kazdy den mame kde spat, mame pitnou vodu, mame teplou vodu na sprchovani a nadbytek jidla. A co byl nejvetsi zazitek z letnich prazdnin? Dovolena s rodinou Jane v USA! Tolik Bozich daru a to jsou jeste vanoce pred nami! Nic jsme neudelali proto, abychom meli takovyhle zivot v prebytku!! Diky, nas nebesky Otce!

We sold our old apartment back in May, and have been “camping” since then. First over the summer we were in a small studio apartment in a local sky scrapper. It was a great place for the summer, and we see it as one of those stories where we can only say one thing -  God provided. Right as there were scheduled tenants to move in, another friend offered us to stay at his place that he was going to leave empty because of moving elsewhere. One funny experience that we learned as we moved from studio to 3 bedroom apartment is that we had to re-learn switch off lights. In a one-room flat, there was one light. It was clear that it's either on or off. It took us a couple of days to get used to so many switches and so many rooms.  We could play hide and seek again! Bottom line - every day since May, we have had a place to sleep, drinking water, warm water to shower and plenty of food. Highlight of the summer - vacation with Jane’s family in the US!! These are all God’s blessings. There is not much that we did to deserve this kind of life. We are not lacking; we have enough, and for that we are thankful to our heavenly Father!!!!

Co se tyka samotne rekonstrukce domu, byl to pro me uplne neznamy svet kde lide mluvili jinou reci. Puvodni plan byl velice prosty a jednoduchy - nechat puvodni domek, zbourat puvodni pristavbu, postavit novou a o neco vetsi. Realita se od puvodniho planu ponekud lisi. 
Z puvodniho domku zbyly ctyri steny a k tomu jsme postavili novou pristavbu. Ted zacinaji dokoncuji prace a verime, ze se uz brzo budeme stehovat. (Neptejte se prosim kdy, terminu uz bylo nekolik, ze uz se neodvazuju nic odhadovat) 
As far as the construction goes, it is a whole new world (and language) that I have discovered. From a simple plan of building a small addition to an existing house, it became a project of building a small addition AND demolishing everything else except for four walls of the old house. We are entering the last phase of completing it and hope to move sometime soon. (Don’t ask about estimated time to move in, because we changed it so many times that I dare to pick another deadline. )

Aniz bychom to tak planovali, zda se ze kazdy rok remise s sebou prinasi nejakou velkou zmenu. Minuly rok jsme po 12 letech spolu s Jane odesli z Young Lifu, letos jsme prodali byt, ktery pro Jane, Sofii i Miu byl jejich prvnim domovem v Praze. Co nam zustalo? Nas sbor, nase cirkevni spolecenstvi. V zari pastori naseho sboru Faith Community Church oznamili novy plan na pristi skolni rok, ve kterem se cast sboru oddeli a pujde na nove misto nekde v Praze  zalozit novy sbor. Dali jsme si dost casu na premysleni a modlitby a vcera jsme se oficialne prihlasili do teamu lidi, kteri budou novy sbor zakladat. Plan je takovy, ze by tato nova skupina lidi se mohla zacit schazet uz na podzim 2017. 
With each year in remission, there is a new phase of a major life transition for our family. Last year  Jane and I  stepped down from a full-time ministry after 12 years, this year we sold and moved out from our apartment that was the first home for Jane, Sofia, and Mia in Prague. What’s left? Our church!  This fall the pastors of Faith Community Church officially introduced a plan of starting a new church plant in a different part of Prague. After a long process of considering and praying where God would lead us as a family, we committed to being part of the launch team yesterday. The plan as of right now is to have some sort of gathering in a new location by Fall 2017.  

Nejvice nas na celem planu nadchla vidina moznosti byt soucasti skupiny krestanu, kteri jsou budto Cesi zijici v mezinarodnim prostredi (firmy nebo treba manzelstvi (jako ja)) a/nebo cizinci zijici dlouhodobe v Praze (jako Jane). Oba s Jane se radujeme ze v tomto novem sboru bude dan vetsi prostor ceskemu jazyku a ceske kulture a tudiz i bude spolecne setkani vic otevreno pro ceske lidi. Ale zaroven to bude mit i “prichut” mezinarodniho prostredi kde si najdou sve i lide ze smisenych manzelstvich a rodin, studenti mezinarodnich skol, lide, kterym se libi prostredi globalnich trhu a svobody pracovat kdekoliv po svete.. A to jsou presne lide, se kterymi prirozene travime nas volny cas.
We are especially intrigued by the possibility to be part of a group of believers, who are either Czechs with some kind of international exposure or family  (like me)  and expats, who consider Prague their long term home (like Jane). For Jane and I, this future church represents a format where Czech language and cultural influence will dominate the “feel” of the church and thus make it more accessible to Czech speakers with less demand on their English. But at the same time acknowledging the multiculturalism in marriages, freedom to move and work anywhere in the world, options of international schooling, business involvement in global markets, etc. We don’t know many more details, but the vision of an international yet Czech church fits right with the group of people with whom we spend time.

Nove povolani, novy domov, novy sbor. To jsou velke ty velke veci. Ty obycejne, normalni, vsedni veci kazdodenniho zivota ted bezi celkem hladce. Asi pred mesicem jsem upravili nas rodinny kalendar a zvolnili jsme tempo rodinneho behu. Holky by nejradeji bezely z krouzku na krouzek - ve skole jich letos nabizeji celkem 23- a tak to nebylo jednoduche vybrat jen par aktivit. Vsechny jsou urcite dobre a prospesne, ale  neda se to stihnout. Mia bere prvni tridu velmi zodpovedne, bavi ji ucit se cist, psat a pocitat (vzorna po mamince) Sofia je ve 3. tride a uz objevuje kde se da co osulit nebo odflaknout aby bylo vic casu na sport (po tatinkovi, samozrejme) Rozvrh Jane se ve skole kde uci uz taky zabehl, ted k tomu jeste pribyly hodiny, kdy se sama vzdelava v ramci Mgr. studia.
New careers, new home, new church. Those are the big things. The ordinary life has a good rhythm at the moment. About a month ago we made some changes in our calendars to keep a good margin for life. The girls want to try everything possible that is accessible and believe me- to pick one or two after school activity out of 23 options is not an easy choice for 6 and 8-year-olds. All of them are great options, but we can’t run from activity to activity.  Mia is a very responsible 1st grader, who enjoys the process of learning new letters and math (taking after her mother). Sofia is becoming the “experienced” 3rd-grade student that is discovering what shortcuts she can take,  to have more time to play.(yes, she is taking after me). Jane is slowly settling into her new schedule of teaching English at the local middle school and studying for her Masters. 

Uzivame si cas, ktery mame dohromady jako rodina  a tak nejak “rosteme” spolu.
Minuly tyden nas holky ukecaly abychom sli s nima na horolezeckou stenu, aby nam mohli ukazat, co se vsechno za tech par tydnu treninku naucili. A my jsme se nestacili divit nejen jak dobre lezou, ale taky ze me Sofia jistila kdyz jsem si ja zkusil neco vylizt!!! (Pro ty co si spocitali rozdil vahy atd. male ujisteni, Sofie me jistila prichycena k podlaze)
Our family life is growing in all kinds of ways. Last week the girls begged us to go (indoor) climbing with them so they can show us what they learned in barely two months since they started regular trainings with a coach.   We couldn’t be more than happy to see the progress they made. Sofia even can belay me! (For those who question the weight ratio, yes, she was anchored to the floor of the gym. I am not going to risk my life in a gym after all I have been thru !:-)

Mame spoustu zazitku a zkusenosti, za ktere jsme vdecni. Tricet pet mesicu v remisi!!! Jsme vdecni, ze jste nadale soucasti naseho zivota a stale jste s nami v kontaktu. Jeste vic nez duveruji Sofii kdyz me jisti na lane, duveruji Bohu, ktery me ma rad a stara se o me. Jsem si vedom toho, ze si nic z toho co pisu, nemuzu narokovat. Je to Bozi milost, ze mam takovy zivot jaky mam - ted, v listopadu 2016.

Lots of things to be thankful. Thirty-five months in remission!! We are also thankful for you, our friends and family who are part of our lives and keep in touch with us!! As much as I trust that Sofia can belay me on the climbing wall, it is much bigger trust that I have in God, who loves me and keeps me. From all the things above, I don’t deserve any of it, but by God’s grace, it is my life in November 2016.