Czech Republic 2017

38 days late

So it’s the longest day of the year and it feels like the hottest too. I have finally got the chance to deal with some unfinished business. It’s 38 days since the crosswalk in the Czech republic finished but because of a set of unusual circumstances, I was unable to write a final blog when we completed the walk.

We arrived in Ostrava on a Saturday evening after 2 weeks and 300 kilometres of gruelling walking. As far as I am aware 4 people made professions of faith in Christ whilst on the streets, which is a lot considering this is the most atheistic country in Europe. 

We finished up ministering in 2 churches in Ostrava. However by lunchtime I could feel the energy draining from me, by the time we were at the evening meeting at Troika, I knew I needed supernatural help just to stand up and speak. When we returned to our hosts in the evening, I was feeling really bad. At this point I was wondering if it was heat exhaustion or maybe the flu.

On the Monday morning we were dropped at the train station for our return to Prague and then our flight home. Josiah was a massive help as I was struggling even to walk.  The day lasted forever eventually I boarded the plane to London and thankfully my wife Sarah was there to collect me.

On returning home, I still felt unwell. On the Wednesday, my wife Sarah experienced a tightening in her chest and realised it was a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit expressing that I was seriously ill. She rang our local doctor who saw us within an hour. When we saw the doctor, she immediately realised it was serious and arranged for me to be admitted to Hospital. within in another hour I was in a bed on a drip.

It turned out I had pneumonia with the added complication of Sepsis.  I spent the next 5 nights in hospital being treated marvelously by the NHS.  On returning home I discovered that I was very weak and extremely unsteady on my feet. Over the last few weeks I have been told to just rest and it is only this week I have started to feel anything like my normal self. This has curtailed some of our outreach for the summer but I will return to the road in the autumn with a vengeance. 

Please pray for both Alan and Mike, This has been a year of health challenges that we haven’t quite come through yet. All I know is that Ill health may have taken us out for a season but the Devil will regret taking us on, once we are back in the field again.

Holy Spirit set ups

It was a tough long day, but our final one of walking.The temperature dropped to a much more agreeable temperature. Ideal for the big push for Ostrava and the finish line. You may remember that 2 weeks ago, I led 2 people to Christ at the Prague Marathon. well just outside Ostrava we found ourselves on the course for the local Marathon.

There seemed to be a mutual respect as we passed runners coming in the other direction, they even gave us drinks, Bananas and chocolate.

As we were passing through one village, we were invited into an art gallery, by two photographers, father and Son both named Jan Janliepina.  Josiah was in his element, talking all things photographic. The two guys were so generous in feeding us, and making us have a shot of traditional plum vodka, Which Alan really struggled with!!

Jan Senior, gave us both a signed copy  of his book of photos, which appears to be very expensive.

We were able to pray with both of them before we left.

When we finally reached Ostrava, It seemed like the road into town lasted forever. we stopped and I texted Daniel our host , it turned out we were literally 100 metres from the Church where we will be at tomorrow morning. The Holy Spirit orders our steps Whether we are aware of it or not. How cool is that?

 just one small foot note, Josiah walked 19km with the cross without swapping. So proud of him.

was it an Angel?

A super tough day today, the thermometer hit 27° and the tarmac was starting to melt. I even left footprints on the road.

Click the link above For Josiah’s amazing testimony. Al went to find  ice cream, leaving Josiah with the cross in the town square. While Alan was gone, a man approached Josiah, speaking English, asking where he was from. He pointed at the cross and said, “That’s a good idea”.  He shook Josiah’s hand gave him 2000 Koruna, walked away and disappeared. We don’t know where he came from or where he went.

While this was happening Alan took a phone call to say that someone, we don’t know, has booked us into a hotel for bed, breakfast and evening meal. With all this supernatural provision , we know God is with us. We know that we will see salvation in the next 3 days. Join with us in giving thanksgiving and believing for breakthrough.

From the toughest days walking to abundant provision.

First of all apologies for the lateness of the blog. Yesterday we had a tough days walking , with a late finish and a very early start this morning. Yesterday was tough, not because of distance but because of terrain and heat.

Olomouc is a beautiful city, one of the prettiest cities in the Czech Republic. It has a population of over 100000 people with less than 400 believers in the city. We made a point of getting people to come to us to take a gospel tract, till we ran out of that days supply.
 In the Evening we were collected by Eric a local pastor, who let us stay in his home. He had to be at work early so dropped us in town, so we could start walking at 7:30AM. We were grateful because today was another hot day and we wanted to cover as much distance as possible in the cool of the morning.

After yesterday’s exertion, Josiah asked a pertinent question, ” why bother walking all this distance, if you can just arrived in town some other way and just set up the cross when you get there?”

God answered that question today. As we walked from village God gave us more meaningful conversations than previously this week.

At lunchtime, we found somewhere, and we didn’t have enough money for lunch. Josiah prayed whilst in the loo and the guy gave us free lunch.

The highlight was this afternoon as we arrived in Lipník nad Bečvou As we approached a Penzion the owner Pavel came out and welcomed us.  Brought us inside, gave us drinks and told us he has one room left and we can have it. Alan wanted to clarify,”Don’t we have to pay?” and Pavel said,” bed, evening meal and breakfast tomorrow all free.” Pavel has known Jesus for 3 years. Alan was tired and a little emotional and almost cried on the guy. God is so good. We believe something significant is going to happen soon.

“How can they hear without Someone preaching to them?”

As we move eastwards we are more convinced than ever that the Czech Republic needs to hear about Jesus. Today was hotter than before, but we pressed on towards the town of Vyskov and then later Prostějov. Despite spending a long time on the open road, our desire meet with people particularly young people.

Josiah walking the white line. He did 13km without swapping this morning.

As we began to speak to teenagers it became clear that they had never heard the good news of Jesus before. They were hearing a meaningful presentation of what was achieved through the cross and the resurrection of Jesus for the very first time.

When we got to Prostějov, the town was full of young people. It was a privilege to watch Josiah, speak about Jesus finished work at the cross with groups of youths.

Romans 10 verse 14 says, “How can they hear without someone preaching to them”?  Verse 15 goes on to say,” And how can anyone preach unless they are sent.”

The Czech Republic is a predominantly  an atheistic nation, and a generation is growing up with no knowledge of Jesus . We know we are sent of God to turn the tide. Besides the witnessing to the glory of Christ, hours of prayer for this Nation have gone up as we tread the tarmac. 

The Holy Spirit makes grown men cry.

This weekend was spent in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city of around half a million people. It was beautiful to be able to cooperate with what the Holy Spirit’s was doing in people’s lives even though sometimes we are unaware of what is happening at the time. 

Alan and Josiah met with a local church in the morning and they gave the whole morning over to us. Alan shared from the word and told many stories from our walks across Europe. At the End we prayed for the church and Alan had a word from God, for one of the key people, who wept openly as we prayed for him.

We went out for lunch and in the afternoon and few of us went out on the streets.

Josiah got to carry the cross through the city, though he had to wrestle it away from a local guy John, who wanted the honour and is desperate to have a cross the nations polo top like us.

Just as we were concluding, Alan was approached by a Slovak guy called Martin, who was asking genuine questions about what we were doing. Al was joined by his host this weekend who is also called Martin and originally from Slovakia too. The two Martins talked for some time in their native tongue, while Alan stood alongside quietly praying. it transpired that Martin had been working in Prague. unfortunately he had not been paid and was trying to get back to Slovakia even though he had  little money. He didn’t have enough to get back. Martin opened his wallet and gave the other Martin what he had in cash, which wasn’t quite enough. The whole conversation had been in Slovak, But Alan felt prompted to give him some money also, and unbeknown to him it was the exact amount to make up the shortfall. At this point Martin began to cry, with relief and thanksgiving to God for his kindness we were able to pray with him , having prior to this given him a new testament.

Alan and Josiah, continue east towards Ostrava today. Please pray for them as it will continue to be a physical and spiritual challenge.

Brno, the Heavens opened.

I was glad to reach the Czech’s second city Brno on Saturday afternoon. I had eyed the skies cautiously as My weather forecast said 90% chance of thunderstorms. I Entered the city centre with a guy called John who translated for me. My first impression was that people were far more open to talk about Jesus than previous days. 

I saw a young lady Lucia walking with a limp, I felt the father’s compassion and went over to talk to her and pray for her healing. She was very open and became emotional as the Holy Spirit gently ministered to her. She was shy about praying out loud, but surrendered her life to Jesus. My interpreter, who had asked me about follow up, invited her to his church.

As we entered the main square there were already a diverse group of believers worshipping there, with groups of predominantly young people stood around engaged in conversation about Jesus. I was able to talk with and pray with several people including a young lady with a broken finger. 

The Heavens finally opened, as lightning flashed across the sky and thunder boomed. Everyone ran for cover. I am not sure of exact details, but was told that there were others who prayed to receive Christ today.

I have been joined by Josiah for this coming week, it is a new day today.

A detour with purpose.

I had a great day on Friday in Vysoke Mýto and then much later in a town called Blansko. 

In the morning Pastor Zdeněk and I walked into town for Market day where we were joined by Monika and a few others. The atmosphere was really beginning to change as we gave out tracts and spoke to people. One young lady Anna, ran after me to receive a tract, later I spoke with her and her partner Jacob who seemed really open to Spiritual things. A big change to being largely ignored for the last few days.

On Saturday I have to detour South rather than continuing east as I have a special appointment. I will be joined for the last week by a young man called Josiah Lambert from the UK . He will be walking with me for the next week.

I was never going to make Brno in a day , so the local believers put me on a train to Blansko, just short of Brno. When I arrived in Blansko , I was joined by some local believers who walked with me and prayed around the town of Blansko. 

The highlight of the day, apart from my lunch time meeting,(See previous blog), was meeting David. He had previously gone to church many years before and had been hurt . He never stopped believing but had wandered from the Christian faith and was drinking and generally down hearted. I was able to pray with him as he began to get on track with Jesus. 

The next will be challenging, we have no strong contacts and don’t know where we will stay on the journey between Brno and Ostrava. Please pray.

Escape from Mosul.

Shared lunch today with this remarkable man,Salman Hassan, an Iraqi kurd who converted from  Islam to follow Jesus Christ.

On the 10th June 2014 the Islamic state attacked Mosul, which had become a city of refuge for Christians fleeing Islamic persecution. He remembers that around 6am Mortars began to fall in his area. Previously the Christian leaders in the city had advised everyone to remain in the city. As he heard the sound of machine gun fire  and shouting, he decided it was best to flee. he joined 6 others in a car who had decided to leave also.

They sped off out of the city. Salman had only the clothes he was wearing, some cash and his mobile phone. As they reached open countryside the were stopped at a checkpoint and asked for their papers. Unfortunately this was not the Kurdish Peshmerga but a group of Islamic state fighters who had flanked the city. 

Salman was ordered out of the car and robbed of his phone, his sunglasses and his cash. Then they decided to kill him. He was hit in the head with the butt of  a gun and a pistol held to his head. at this point his phone rang. A relative was ringing to warn him to flee the city because Daesh were coming.  The Isis fighter answered to tell them, that he had already been captured. 

At this point they were about to push him in a ditch and shoot him.  They paused for a moment, in the distance behind them  they saw two blue armoured humvees side by side approaching at speed. 

 They pushed Salman and the other guy back into the vehicle and attempted to squeeze in with them. The driver had been wise, he had left the engine running the whole time, he put it into first and hit the gas hard. The door wasn’t shut and the Isis fighter fell out. The seven of them sped of as fast as they could. As they looked out the rear window, they were amazed to see the Humvees had disappeared. The Muslims in the car turned to Salman and said, “Your God has saved us”.

Salman currently lives in the Czech Republic and visits Iraq once a month to distribute aid and bring the good news of Jesus.

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