Saturday, November 18, 2017

Czech National Day of Freedom

What is the Czech Republic National Day of Freedom?

The Czech Republic National Day of Freedom started off as a demonstration by university students in Prague in 1989 and quickly turned into a protest that created a movement, now known as ‘The Velvet Revolution’ or ‘The Gentle Revolution’.
Research carried out by the Medea agency found that although 84% of Czechs know the 17th of November is a public holiday to celebrate The Velvet Revolution, only 30% of people under the age of 30 are aware of this fact.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 11th

Czech roast duck with cabbage and dumplings. That's Christmas dinner then!

In the United States, Novemeber the 11th is known as "Veteran's Day", but here in the Czech Republic it is known as "Saint Martin's Day". He is the patron saint of soldiers, horses, riders, geese and wine makers; most often he is depicted on horseback with his half coat and the beggar.

Saint Martin was born in 316 AD as Martin of Tours. His father was a pagan Roman senior officer in the Roman province of Upper Pannonia, present-day Hungary, and forced Martin to become a soldier as early as the age of fifteen. He was named Bishop of Tours in 372, but continued to lead the life of a monk in a hut by the Loire River, where the Marmoutier abbey was later founded. Saint Martin died at the age of 81 in Candes near Tours, in 397.

Saint Martin’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year since early history. This day is associated not only with the coming of the first snow, but also with annual festivals and all that belong to them. It is impossible to separate this feast from a well-fed and roasted St. Martin's goose, usually served with bread or potato dumplings and red cabbage.

On a cold, dark night Martin encountered a half-naked beggar who asked him for alms. However, Martin had no money on him and, as he wanted to protect the beggar against the cold, he cleaved his coat into two halves and gave one to the beggar. The following night, Christ appeared in front of him dressed in one half of the coat. It is likely that this apparition caused Martin to be christened at Easter 339 and to decide to devote his life to God.

One says that the goose is eaten because geese disturbed Saint Martin’s sermons so they are now punished in the pan.

The other one holds that Martin was so modest that he concealed himself in a goose house to avoid his appointment as a bishop, but the cackling of the geese gave him away.

Country's weather lore:
Saint Martin is supposed to bring the first snowflakes to us.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Printing and future outreach

The three tracts I mentioned in my last prayer letter are being printed at this time. We praise the Lord for offerings that came in for this printing. The tracts will be distributed near the train station and in the underground tunnel beneath the station. We pray the Lord will use these new tracts to convict people of their false ideas and idolatry.

We are planning our outreach to the homeless that we have done in previous years. We collect necessary items as well as food. Every person is given a Bible along with clothing items to help them keep warm, and gospel tracts. Many homeless here are mentally ill with nowhere to go and no family to help them. Jesus went about doing good, let us follow his example while we spread the gospel.

Along with handing Bibles to interested people, we have placed a few on benches to let people pick them up. Many Czechs will not be seen receiving a Bible from us, but are willing to take it from a park bench. The other day, we placed a few Bibles out and when we returned we saw a man sitting and reading it. We quickly prayed for the Spirit to guide and show him the truth. Every opportunity, every place, every soul. Please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We rejoice in all the Lord

We rejoice in all the Lord is still opening up for us here in Brno. He has opened up so many opportunities to testify of his mercy, love, and grace. Just the other day, I had the chance to sit down with a small group of atheists to discuss the truths of the Scriptures. They are a group of people with which I have scuba dived. The Lord granted liberty to speak from Psalm 19.   “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork”. The best evidence to use with an atheist is the evidence from creation itself. There can be no painting without a painter, no building without a builder, no creation without a Creator. Even the staunchest atheist knows that these first two could never come to pass all by themselves, they will stick stubbornly to the idea that the third, this glorious universe, came about from nothing all by itself. With a recent dive still on our minds, I described the wonders we had seen. I asked several times how these incredible creatures could possibly exist without a very intelligent Creator?   One out of the four people began agreeing with me yet the other three refused to consider even the possibility. Milan began realizing the logic behind the conclusion so please pray for him to open up to the gospel. The others, Honza, Daniela, and Martin need prayer as well. First of all, to realize that everything we see came from the mind of an incredible God.