Saturday, July 16, 2005

a prayer for Olomouc

a journal entry from last night...

Olomouc. I sit here now on a bench in one of the two main squares. There's a fountain behind me, providing the soothing sound of flowing water to relax me. A gentle breeze drifts through the night, cooling the air. A half moon shines brightly above the multicolored buildings of a beautiful European town. Most prominent in the square is the immense column that towers above everything else, lit dimly so that one can see the irony of the beautifully decorated pillar that is a monument to death through a plague. It seems so odd to have such a beautiful reminder of death, especially in a city that now seems to be so full of life and vitality. As a Christian, though, I see how perhaps it is a fitting reminder. The people sitting at the outdoor cafe just to my left are obviously enjoying the night, enjoying life. But they, too, in all their liveliness, are a reminder. In appearance, they are full of beauty, joy, and contentment. As the ornately carved column to the right proclaims, however, it is possible to have the appearance of beauty and yet really be nothing but a representation of death. These things, these people, if viewed closely, are revealed to be shadows of evil. The column a shadow of the pain and suffering of the past, the people a shadow too. They are hollow, empty. They are only shadows of the men and women they were created to be. And as the clock strikes the hour, here among all these empty, shadowy people, I am reminded that they are running out of time. God is patient with them, not wanting any to perish, but a day will come when it is too late for the people of Olomouc, the Czech Republic, the world. Will they be ready when that day comes? Will they have given up their status as shadows and have taken on real, full, abundant life? Will they have allowed God to complete them, as only He is capable of? I pray that it may be so! For the people of Olomouc, like all the people of the world, are living hopeless lives if they are living without Christ. I pray that God will reach them, will change them. I know He has wonderful dreams, wonderful plans for them. And I know that the people of Olomouc, though they do not yet know it, are soon to encounter God's touch in a way they have never imagined. May the Lord bless the people of Olomouc and His children who are to enter their lives very soon. May He use Mitch Anderson, Joshua and Sarah Beall, Corey and Sarah Keen, Graham Kervin, Christie Shockley, and any others He may appoint to the task to show the people of Olomouc what His Love is and how it can change their lives. May He bless those workers with faith, hope, and love to carry out their task in full reliance on Him and with full confidence that He will accomplish His will here in Olomouc, whether or not they personally see the results. May He bless their families here and in the U.S. as they try to understand, accept, and participate in this calling. May He bless the Czechs who are to hear the Good News of Christ. May He bless those who accept that message and dedicate their lives to His service. May He bless the church that will grow here with faith, sweet fellowship, and a dedication to the Lord that will in turn lead more to Christ. May He bless His children throughout the world as we seek to know, to love, and to serve Him better, glorifying His Name at every moment, for He is our Lord, our God, and our Salvation! Amen

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