Last night Bryan and I got to be the part of a dinner that reminded me of one of the reasons why I love being in Prague. My husband said it best, “Often here in Prague I feel like we are the least interesting people in the room and I like that.” It means there’s so much we can learn from the people we are around. Their coolness factor raises our coolness factor. They inspire us. They challenge us. They cause us to think differently about the world around us and our place in it.
That isn’t to say that we don’t know amazing, wonderful, interesting people in the states, but it’s just different. The circles God has allowed us to be a part of here are just different, let me explain by telling you more about each of the families we got to hang out with last night:
Carrie and Matthias Schwender are our flat mates and dear friends. They are beautiful people who both seek God and his will in this world in their own unique ways. They own 4 well known, beautiful boutique hostels/hotels in Prague and we joke that they “know EVERYONE.” They are a couple that understands the concept of life as ministry and ministry as life. They desire for their business to be a successful profitable business, but also to be a means of loving people and ministering to travelers.
Marek and Elaine and their five kids (yes, five kids!) are working on a very special project that is starting to take shape here in Prague. They have a vision for a place of rest and healing in the Czech Republic. I’ve written about them before here on the blog. They own a property out in the middle of the national park Divoka Sarka which they are currently reconstructing to turn into a retreat center of sorts. You can read more about The Rivenhill Dream on their website.
Steve and Oddny along with their 3 girls have quite the story. While living in Thailand and working at a student center there they had the opportunity to go to the Burmese border one weekend. While there they learned about the atrocities that are being committed everyday in Burma. They knew that they couldn’t just walk away and do nothing, that if they called themselves followers of Christ then they needed to love the Burmese people as He loves them. So, they did. They started going back every weekend and doing whatever they could to love these hurting and afflicted people. Soon they quit their other jobs and were working full time with the Burmese. Now they have an organization with more than 30 staff which daily changes the lives of the oppressed people of Burma. They work closely with the Burma Freedom Fighters and have written reports about Burma which have been submitted to major governments all around the world. On Monday they went with Mathias Schwender and another friend to see the President of the Czech Republic and give him their Burma report.
Andrew and Debbie Jones are kind of famous in blogland. For a long time Andrew’s blog Tall Skinny Kiwi was ranked as the #1 Christian blog in the world. They have connections with all sorts of ministries, organizations, pastors, missionaries, business owners all around the world. They are fascinating people, full of life and great stories. But, I think the most interesting thing about them (apart from the fact that they also have 5 kids!) is their fairly recent decision about how they will live their life. You see, the Jones’ have chosen not to own property, and to instead travel around the world (in their incredibly large truck). They have chosen to be counted with “the least of these”, with the nomads, the “hippies”, the Roma. They have chosen to “Go to them rather than have them come to you.” They have already spent time in 20 countries this year and plan on traveling all throughout the 10/40 window next year after a few months of traveling through the US and Australia. You can read about their journey at Jonesberries.com.
These are the people we had the privilege of eating and talking with last night. These are all people I admire so much. Sure being the least interesting person in the room causes a lot of my insecurities to come out. And sure I feel intimidated hanging out with people who are making such a profound influence on the kingdom of God while I spend my day doing laundry and dishes, changing dirty diapers, and playing peek-a-boo. But, being around people like that also challenges me and calls me to something more. And Bryan’s right that’s a really good thing.
Rejoicing in the journey –