God did some amazing things on this year’s trip to Czech.
More than I could ever describe in a post.
He brought 5 young people back to Himself.
He set countless youth free from believing lies that they weren’t good enough.
He encouraged them that they are called.
He set a passion in their hearts for something more.
He united people with similar burdens.
He showed them it’s okay to be broken.
He healed marriages and gave hope to the single.
He helped them walk in courage to make a difference in their world.
It was a very powerful trip.
But beyond the workshops and outreaches, beyond the youth retreat and prayer times, beyond all the ways God moved in the lives of the young people on this trip, there are three areas that stuck out the most to me.
It’s become somewhat of a tradition during our trips to Czech. We lead a youth retreat, I get nailed in the head with an egg. Or three. It started in 2009 with a game where I was the President, and my “bodyguards” were protecting me from various projectiles: water balloons and eggs. They didn’t do so well. Since then, the youth have become more creative in finding ways to hit me in the head with an egg.
Except this year.
Instead of trying to hit me with an egg, one of the young people hard-boiled the egg and gave it to me as a symbol of the impact I’ve made in Czech, and a reminder that no matter what happens, I have made a difference in the lives of some young people around the world.
The last night of our retreat, the youth put on a talent show. Some sang. Others put on skits. One young woman topped them all – she pretended to be me and over exaggerated my little quirks. The way I play with my ring from Poland. The way I bounce up and down on the balls of my feet. The way I talk with my hands, pray over people, and hold my bible.
I laughed so hard I cried.
The Czech culture can be very sarcastic, but when they take two days to plan and make fun of you in front of everyone, you know you’re loved.
At the end of each trip to Czech, the team spends a day in Prague doing some sightseeing, enjoying the European culture and getting ready for the plane flights home. When we leave for Prague, it’s usually the last time we see any of the youth we spent two weeks working with.
Except this year.
As we were making our way through the airport Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m., we looked up and were surprised to see five of the youth there in Prague. They made the four hour drive at night to spend roughly an hour with us before we went through security, and then drove another four hours back to their side of the country. There were many more youth who wanted to make the drive to see us one last time, but with only one car, they had to pull straws to see who were the lucky five.
You know when young people are willing to drive four hours for the chance to see you one last time, you’ve made a real difference in their lives.
That is why we go.
That is why we fundraise and plan and pray.
That is why we travel for 30 hours and deal with jet lag for weeks.
We are making a real difference in the lives of young people in the Czech Republic.
Do you know a young person interested in being part of an Ignite mission team? We have two trips planned for 2013! Get more information and download a team application on our Missions Page.