Saturday, September 9, 2017

45 months and counting.

45 months!

Dear friends, 

earlier this week, doctors confirmed that i continue to be in remission.  With gratefulness for undeserved gift of 45 months in remission I continue to heal, gain strength, and pray for what is next. As i mentioned in the previous posts, a change of our address and starting a new church plant were the two big projects for 2017. We have moved in February and have enjoyed being at the house for the spring and summer even though all the outside and the bottom floor is still a construction site. The renovation will come to an end soon, and we will take a break before we work on the front yard and back yard next spring. 

At the moment, more exciting than finishing the house is tomorrow’s official launch of the new church plant called DoSlova (IntoTheWord). September 10th at 10 am marks a new beginning of a bilingual church in Prague. Over the summer we practiced how to best accommodate two possible groups of people - Czechs, who speak English and English speaking expats for whom Prague is their home. We also realized, probably like any other church, we are struggling with balance for looking inward to make sure we all (including kids) are growing in our faith, but that it would not consume us to the point that we won’t have any energy left to be with those who are asking questions, are interested in opening the Bible to find out more about what God we believe and what do we experience in our following the rabbi Joshua and his teachings…

Looking at the last six months since my last post, i see how God is teaching me about two major things. One can be summed up in a short phrase, that spoke to me in a preaching - “There is enough time for God’s will. “ Time is a commodity that we are all short of. Even if our days had 48 hours we would try to squeeze in more than what we humanly can. We don’t walk, we drive so we can be at more places. We don’t prepare meals out of fresh ingredients because it takes time, which we want to spend somewhere else. God is the Master of time management and that little phrase is slowly changing my life. Since i am aware of it, and talk about it with others, i see how leaving things up to God’s time management is worth the risk.

Busyness is loosing its’ grip on me. It’s not my idol anymore. I am learning how to manage time with God’s help. Especially as the other topic I am learning about is death. “It is not death coming to get me, but God,” was an inspiring quote during one of the hardest times fighting leukemia. Now I am in the process of putting together something that I hope to be the theology of death in written form. What does the Bible teach us about death? What are the major blocks for building a solid theology of how are we to approach the fact, that each one of us has a final day here on Earth. God knows my last day. Is it today? Is it tomorrow? When is it? I don’t know, but the bigger question is this: is my death a tragic end to  my life or is it an end of chapter 1? Someone compared our life and eternity to 9 months of pregnancy and life after birth. I like that illustration. I was not aware of what I was getting into when being born, but it seems that  God gave us a few hints what to look forward to when we will be crossing into eternity. My overall impression is that by not knowing in detail what God revealed to us about death and eternity, I am leaving room for speculations, I am choosing confusion and by tolerating lies opening doors for chaos and fear, that in death I am loosing something, while the TRUTH is that to “die is gain”.

And with this hope..
… that our lives are just a chapter 1 of something much longer then 80 years, 
… that forgiveness for turning our back to God and reconciliation with Him is made possible thru the cross of Jesus,  
… that Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Light

… let’s start a church!!!!!!!! 
ps. here is the link, may you ever wonder when and where we worship on Sunday www.doslovapraha.cz











Tuesday, February 21, 2017

38 months!!

Mili pratele,
Dear friends,

jsem moc rad, ze s Vami muzu sdilet nekolik dobrych zprav. Povazuji to za obrovskou Bozi milost, ze mame tak bohaty a pestry zivot, ale i tato radost a vdecnost nejsou schopny prekryt moji bolest, kterou nesu spolu s jednim z mych pratel.

It is with great gratitude for God’s mercy that I write to you today. My heart is rejoicing for three reasons, that unfortunately cannot outweigh the pain I feel for a friend of mine.

V pondeli jsem byl na pravidelnem odberu krve a vysledky jsou ciste!!! Pristi tyden tak muzu slavit 38.mesic remise! Jsem velice vdecny za to, ze navsteva nemocnice je “pouze” 4x do roka. 
Pridejte se k nam a dekujme spolecne Bohu za moje zdravi.

On Monday, I had another blood test that came back clean. That makes me in remission for 38 months next week!!!!! I am very thankful that my trips to the hospital are “only” 4 times a year!! Please join my family and me as we are praising God for my recovery. 

Ta dalsi dobra zprava je ohledne naseho bydleni. Uz dva tydny bydlime v nasem domku!! Holky cely proces stehovani trochu urychlily. Za vysvedceni jsme ji slibili prespani, a hned po prvni noci nas presvedcili, abychom uz tady zustali. Zacali jsme tedy postupne privazet vic a vic veci. Je to uplne jiny pocit po 2 stehovanich v roce 2016 se “konecne” stehovat do sveho. Pomalu si tak zvykame na nove prostredi. Postupne jsou dokonceny ruzne interierove detaily jako treba dvere na zachod a do koupelny, nektere jsou stale v procesu jako satni skrine a ulozne prostory, a nektere nas cekaji az povoli mrazy a budeme moci dodelat vstupni lavku mezi chodnikem a domem. Nase “kempovani” trvalo nakonec 7 mesicu oproti planovanym 3, ale kdo to ted bude pocitat, kdyz uz jsme prestehovani!!!!!! Jsem moc vdecny Bohu za takovou moznost, nikdy jsem si nemyslel, ze budeme nekdy bydlet v domku se zahradou.. A navic ted uz muzeme znovu privitat navstevy, pochutnat si na domaci kuchyni a peceni od Jane, a uzit si spolecny cas! Takze pokud budete na Praze 6, nebo planujete cestu pres Prahu, dejte nam vedet a radi Vas uvidime!! Mezitim nez k nam dorazite, muzete se prosim spolu s nami primlouvat za moudrost jak nejlepe dokoncit rozdelanou praci a taky za papiry a dokumenty, kterych je porad neskutecne mnozstvi k vyrizeni. Moc dekujeme!

The second update is about our housing. For the last two weeks we have been in our house!! Our girls talked us into moving into barely finished house as they were excited after sleeping here for one night as a special treat at the end of school semester. From that one night we never fully went back into our rental apartment and instead started to bring more and more things into our home.  It is quite an adjustment after two temporary moves during 2016 to be unpacking knowing that we have arrived and this is our future home. Slowly we are settling in. We appreciate details that are already finished, (like doors to the bathroom), are in process of being finished (closets and storage spaces) and some that we still have to wait patiently for until the weather permits outside work again (connecting bridge from the street into the house).  
So our family “camping” took 7 months instead of 3, but who is counting now, when we are in house, right? Very thankful to God that this is even possible at all. I never dreamed that it would ever be an option. Now we can open the doors, have family and friends over, enjoy together Jane’s cooking and baking and have a good time together!!  So, may you find yourself in the neighborhood of Prague 6 or may your travel take you to Prague, please don’t hesitate to contact us and/or come on over!!!!!! In the meantime, can I ask you to pray for us as we settle in and there is still a lot of projects ahead of us that we would love to finish as well as paperwork that we need to deal with. 

V jedne z predeslych zprav jsem psal, ze v roce 2017 se nejenom prestehujeme, ale take se pripojime ke skupine lidi co pujdou zakladat novy sbor. Uz tretim rokem jsme soucasti mezinarodniho krestanskeho spolecenstvi Faith Community Church, a nekdy od leta by tento sbor vyslal skupinu cca 20 dospelych a deti do noveho mista. Spolecne se modlime a hledame misto i nazev pro tento sbor, kde bude zaznivat Bozi slovo anglicky i cesky. Radi bychom, aby v novem sboru nasli svuj prazsky duchovni  domov jak Cesi mluvici anglicky, tak cizinci, kteri ziji dlouhodobe v Praze, stari i mladi, proste vsichni ti, kteri jeste zadny sbor nemaji.. Jsme velice vdecni za tuto prilezitost, ze spolecneho vikendu pripravneho tymu jsme prijeli nadseni a tesime se na dalsi kroky, ktere jsou pred nami. Modlete se prosim s nami, abychom opravdu nasledovali Bozi vedeni. 

As I mentioned in my previous post,  in 2017 we will not only change our home address, but also be a part of a church plant. Growing out of Faith Community Church in Prague, which we have been part of for about three years now, a group of about 20 adults and kids is committed to follow God’s lead to a new location to present the Gospel to Czech/English speaking Czechs, expats and internationals. We came home from a weekend away with the launch team very encouraged and praying that God will open our eyes to things that we need to see to make good choices about the location and the name. We would love to have a name that somehow reflects who we are and what we are about, but it also needs to work in Czech and English.  The group is a great mix of Czechs, internationals, US expats, singles and families, old and young (I can say that, because I am the oldest at the moment..). We are very grateful to be part of this group and would you pray for us and with us that we literally go where God opens the doors. 

Tak a ted to co me trapi. Uz jsem psal o tom, ze otazka “Proc ja?“  me netrapila na zacatku me nemoci, ale trapi me ted behem uzdravovani. Nekolik z mych kamaradu uz nezije a jeden z tech kdo je pod tezkou palbou rakoviny, je muj kamarad Brian. Jeho diagnoza melonomy prisla cca 2 mesice potom co jsem si ja vyslechl tu svoji s leukemii. Od te doby Brian statecne valci, obcas se zda ze se mu podarilo vyhrat a nemoc se zastavila nebo dokonce malinko ustupuje, ale pak se zase objevi novy nalez a ten je vetsinou horsi nez co bylo predtim. Mohl bych Vas pozadat, pokud se pridate k nam a budete dekovat Bohu za me zdravi, muzete se take prosim primluvit u naseho nebeskeho Otce za Briana? Kdyby jste meli zajem o vic informaci, ktere chodi v emailove podobe, rad Vam predam kontakt.

Now the hard part. If you read my past blog posts, I struggle with the question “Why me?” as I am recovering and some of my friends have passed away. My friend Bryan, who was diagnosed with melanoma about two months after I heard the diagnosis of leukemia, has been fighting for five years with small victories in battles, but the war is still raging big time. May I ask that if you join me and my family in giving thanks to God for my health, you will pray for my friend Bryan, his wife Bethany and their two small children, Thad and Sage?
If you would be interested to be on their email updates with prayer requests, please let me know and I connect you. 

Nepovazuji to za samozrejmost, naopak za velikou nezaslouzenou milost, mit okolo sebe skupinu tak vytrvalych a vernych pratel. Radi bychom se modlili i my za Vas, poslete nam prosim jednu nebo dve veci jak se za Vas muzeme modlit. Jeste lepsi by byla navsteva a videt se nad salkem dobre kavy, ale budme realisti a vdecni za to co mame.. Dekujeme Vam vsem, ze nadale vytrvale jste temi, kteri prispivaji svoji pritomnosti v nasich zivotech k memu uzdraveni.

It is a privilege to have such a solid group of friends close and far to stand around me and my family. May you take a minute to let us know how can we be praying for you? It would be awesome to catch up over good cup of coffee but lets just be realistic and work with what we got..Thank you friends, your presence in our lives is part of my healing journey!


In Christ,

Martin