GEO Missionary Benjamin Helge Reports on a Recent Retreat in the Czech Republic

Mon, Apr 7, 2014

Czech Republic, News, Uncategorized

This post was shared with us by Benjamin Helge, serving the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in the Czech Republic. Benjamin is a Globally Engaged in Outreach (GEO) Missionary who builds relationships through teaching English, especially with youth. Stay with us on the Eurasia Blog all this week for a focus on Central Europe and to learn about how YOU can serve!

Crouching behind a pile of bricks, we begin out attempt to transport books of the Bible to the nearby cottage.  As the guard passes, we wait for the right moment to make our delivery. Don’t worry, no real threat awaited our group. However, at one point in the history of the Czech Republic, this could have been a situation.

Playing the game reminiscent of the Communist Era and sneaking Bibles into the country.

Playing the game reminiscent of the Communist Era and sneaking Bibles into the country.

Over the past six weeks, my weekends spent in the Czech Republic consisted of retreats and mountain get-a-ways. March 7th to the 9th provided another time to meet new people and establish new relationships. Retreating to the nearby Beskydy Mountains, a group of about 20 individuals from the Kumbál in Albrechtice and myself enjoyed the company and laughs of friends. The Kumbál group meets every Friday in the village of Albrechtice offering different programs for students. Founded as a mission and outreach club, a typical Kumbál Friday consists of games, snacks, hanging out, and a short testimony. Most of the students come as non-believers, and the setting provides an ideal space for sharing the Gospel.

Three high school girls, Jana, Klára, and Kristy, run and organize Kumbál. Here are their words describing Kumbál and the ministry involved with it:

Kumbál is a leisure club for teenagers, run by young Christians from Albrechtice. Every Friday since October 2009 we gather and spend our afternoons together with more than 20 kids. We play games, invite guests, and organize events. The main purpose of this whole project is to share the story of Jesus and His love to us with other people, to be true friends to the teenagers and to help them with their lives and issues. We are happy to see the progress in many lives, to see how their hearts long for something greater – God’s love. Thanks to various events held in Albrechtice we believe that more than 100 teenagers have heard the Gospel.

The retreat with Kumbál has allowed for more opportunities for my involvement with the youth that attend the club. Following the retreat, a few of the club members invited me to go ice-skating and for pizza. The following Friday, I gave the short testimony for the club meeting. Inspired by the warm air and chirping birds, I shared my love for Springtime. The flowers are blooming, people are walking outside, and the sun is shining. The Earth becomes new. And Spring reminds me of God. How He makes all things new. How He makes us new through His Son, Jesus.

The group outside the cabin where they stayed for the weekend.

The group outside the cabin where they stayed for the weekend.

As different individuals share the Gospel message each week, people continue to hear the Good News. I thank God for the love that Kumbál shares with each teenager that comes through the door.

Jana, Klára, and Kristy leave you with these words. “We are very blessed! This ministry is both joyful and demanding. The leading team and all the people still need many prayers.” Please join me in praying for this ministry in Albrechtice and for the leaders of Kumbál. May God continue to guide the leaders and bring more youth to know His saving grace.

  • Learn more about Ben by reading his missionary profile from January.
  • Support Ben’s work in the Czech Republic.
  • Pray for the students who participated in this retreat that they would continue to grow in faith.
  • Are you interested in serving in Central Europe? Keep checking back all this week for more stories to learn more, check this link for short term team opportunities this summer and contact David Fiala (david.fiala@lcmsintl.org) for more information!

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