Leah Cox's blog of youth ministry in the Czech Republic with Josiah Venture (plus stuff)

Friday, December 16, 2005

2 Red Hot Prayer Requests!

English Winter Camp, aka E-WC: Dec 26-Dec 31. Brad, Nate and I and Marisa (Nate's girlfriend) are going to do a mini English camp with the youth group from Pisek, S. Bohemia. Please pray for us and the Pisek team: Martin, Lucka, Mistr and others. Please pray for the 20ish students who will be coming, that God's light would shine in their hearts!

Girls' and Women's Conferences! Jan 4-6; Jan 6-7. Our women's ministry team is hosting two conferences, one for the young women of Kam (Josiah Venture Czech) and one on the weekend for the public. Pamela Hall from Christ Community Church, St Charles IL, is coming to speak on being God's daughter. Please pray for our preparations and for girls and women to come and be transformed!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

There and Back Again: what's been happening and what will be happening

Nov 19: Thanksgiving party with the Cesky Tesin youth group

Nov 24-27: Josiah Venture Thanksgiving at Malenovice

Dec 2-4: Cesky Tesin youth group retreat

Dec 24: Czech Christmas at Lucka's parents' home
Dec 25: US Christmas with the Ellenwoods

Dec 26-Jan 1: Christmas English camp in Pisek

Jan 4-6: Women's Conference for Kam (Kam=JV CZ) and Staz (internship program) babes
Jan 6-7: Women's Conference for all chicas/holky/females

Jan 11-25: Home in the States

Feb 3-4: Moravia camp training weekend

March 3-4: Bohemia camp training weekend

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

a little story of God's faithfulness...

In my last fall e-mail update, I talked about feeling kinda blurred and frustrated about my local ministry. A lot of my confusion had to do with the church plant I was involved in, and increasingly feeling like that wasn't the place for me...and also feeling like I had to be involved in it, because I'd already told our church leaders and others that I would be. I talked to different people about what I was feeling and thinking, but everything still seemed kinda fuzzy.

HOWEVER, God is faithful! At the beginning of every month at Malenovice the Czech team (Kam) gathers for a few days to have different meetings and reconnect. One of those meetings was for people involved in local ministries, where we together discuss and work on whatever issues we have in our separate ministries. SO, we talked about my issues with the church plant in Karvina, with Cesky Tesin, my future...and everything started to crystalize. God made it clear through the counsel and wisdom of the group that I shouldn't be in Karvina (the church plant) and that I may eventually be headed to Southern Bohemia (more about that later). But also that for the rest of this school year I'm full on in Cesky Tesin with the church and youth group there. What a relief! I felt a peace that I hadn't had in months after that meeting. But there was one unpleasant task: I had to talk to one of the elders. I was nervous about it, and our evangelism team was praying a lot for the conversation.

When I met with the elder, I told him everything from start to finish, and it was so amazing...not only did he not guilt me or try to reason with me, but he totally blessed me in ministry in Cesky Tesin and wherever God leads me in the future...also, a week later the elder told me that he explained everything to Pastor and even kinda defended my decision. God is so good. And it's funny...I still go to Karvina (I hang out with some high school girls and the Greek Federation from last year) once or twice a week...but I know how to prioritize time and energy now. WHOO HOO!!!

the evangelism team at our monthly meetings at malenovice: lucka, brad, romana, me, nate, cassie and trevor

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Why Europe Rocks: Reason #8

Curse the Darkness!!!

disclaimer...this actually has nothing to do with Europe and everything to do with latitude...and I realize we have it way better than, say, Estonia and Latvia, but you know...

At 4:15pm yesterday I was walking to the grocery store, and I thought, "Huh, do I take the shortcut behind the gardens or go the long way by the road?" Why this dillema? you may ask. Because it's pitch stinking dark already at 4:15, and I never take the garden shortcut by myself at night. But guess what, it's not night, it's the afternoon.


...railing against brief hours of light...


Thanksgiving Outreach: Cesky Tesin 2006

50 twice baked potatoes, 4 pans of stuffing, 2 big turkeys and 3 leftover green bean casseroles...the Saturday before the real Thanksgiving our youth group team threw this party for our friends from camp and school and life. It was fun, the food all worked out, and people stayed until 11 talking, playing, cleaning up together. I'm SO THANKFUL for our youth group and my dear friends here!!!

Note to self: next year, one pan of the beans is more than enough...

zuzka and the girls

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lenka and anicka diggin turkey from the zagora family farm

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iva and ika trying to avoid the paparazzi

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Eve to Eve: A book for teenage girls not only about sexual purity in the Czech Republic

***The girls' purity book is almost finished! Here's a recent letter from Agnes (Jana) about finishing the project...her blog is www.godventure.blogspot.com ...please e-mail me or call in the middle of the night (love you seester!) with questions--Leah***

90% Czech teenagers agree with premarital sex.
Half of Czech teenagers used no contraception during their first sexual intercourse.
65% of Czech teenagers did nothing to protect themselves from contracting an STD during their first sexual intercourse.
42% Czech teens prefer not getting married to their partner.
Most Czech teens find out about sexual issues from their peers and/or the media.

Hello! My name is Jana Hekalová. I come from the Czech republic. I have been involved in youth ministry since 2000 as a girls´ pastor.
As interdenominational ministry I am leading a project of purity retreats for high school and older girls.

I held my first retreat in April 2002 and since then I have started organizing retreats and training female leaders all over the country.
The two-day retreats help girls to begin building informal mentorships with women from their church community, to learn medical and biblical truths about sexuality, to commit to keep sex out of their relationships until the wedding night, to gain a deeper understanding of the covenant purpose of sex and its blessings when the covenant is protected, to begin the process of healing from any sexual sins in the past and to accept themselves by understanding God´s acceptance.

For the retreats I have been using a book and a leader´s manual by American author Dannah Gresh called And the Bride Wore White which has been a great tool for this ministry. As the ministry is developing, I began to see the need for materials that would be specifically designed for the Czech environment by Czech authors. As I started to pray about it, God opened doors and a book has been written by a team of about 10 women using their different life stories, experience, giftings and wisdom. The book covers topics such as:

· How to understand God´s original plan for sex
· How will I know he is the right one?
· Satan´s lies in the area of sex, purity, dating, marriage
· Self-image
· Healing from past sexual sins and emotional wounds
· Masturbation
· ...and others

Everything is ready, even the illustrations for the chapters, waiting to be published by a Czech Christian publishing house Navrat Domu. It can be quite difficult to publish a book as a new author and it is even more difficult to publish a Christian book here in the Czech Republic.

On behalf of the authors´ team I would like to ask you to consider taking part in this exciting venture of reaching out to Czech teenage girls. They are under enormous pressure from the society to conform to the ways of the world and its ruler. The book wouldn´t be a magic all-purpose cure but it would give them guidance, support and encouragement to be different and go against the flow. No such other Christian book especially for this target group has been written in our country.

We need help with the price for printing which is about 2,000 US dollars.

It is possible to send a check to the address below:

Navrat domu
P. O. Box 25
150 06 Praha 56
Czech Republic

Thank you very much for your interest and prayers.

In His service,
Jana Agnes Hekalova