This story is taken from the newsletter of Rev. Clinton Hoff. Rev. Hoff is the Career Missionary pastor for the English-language Lutheran congregation in Prague, Czech Republic. In addition to serving as the pastor for St. Michael’s Lutheran Church’s English congregation, Pastor Hoff is learning Czech so that he might work to plant new Czech churches. In his February newsletter, she shared about three young Czech visitors to St. Michael’s youth group meeting.
–By Clinton Hoff
Once a month we host youth group at our house. We open with a half-hour Bible study then move to snacks and games. In February, three native Czechs joined us: Filip, Ivana, and Anna. Our oldest daughter Violette struck up a friendship with Ivana and Anna after we attended an event at a Prague high school last month. Violette invited them to youth group, and they both agreed to come. Anna’s boyfriend Filip, a college student, was invited, too. With customary Czech etiquette, they showed up Friday night with gifts of flowers or chocolates. They also began to take their shoes off upon entering the house, again customary etiquette (“Keep them on” I said).
I opened the Bible study with a lesson on the Apostles’ Creed: who is God? (He is Father…Son…Holy Spirit); who is Jesus? (The Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary); what did Jesus do that is so important? (He suffered and died – for our sins – and rose again on the third day); and so on. While it was likely the first time these Czechs heard the Gospel, it was a good refresher for the rest of us who call ourselves Christians. Knowing who God is and what He has done for us in Christ is easily forgotten in the rush of daily life. It is something to be remembered every morning, and Martin Luther taught us as much when he wrote in the morning prayer, “In the morning when you get up, make the sign of the holy cross and say, ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” My great hope is that Filip, Ivana, Anna and all Czechs who hear the Gospel from my lips would someday soon recite the Creed from their own lips with joy, believing that Jesus died for their sins.
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