12 Dollars of Christmas: The Stewart Family

This post is part of the 12 Dollars of Christmas series I’m doing, sharing with you about different charities and people who are making a difference for God’s kingdom and asking you to join me in praying for them and in giving $1 dollar (or more) to each of them.

Over the past few months Bryan and I have spent a good deal of time getting to know Mark and Joanna Stewart and their little boy Sasha. They are one of the most creative families I have ever known and I am continually amazed by them. So, I’d like to tell you just a quick little bit about each of them individually:

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Mark is that he is a man of prayer. I feel like Bryan and I are learning to pray through the times we spend praying with Mark. Mark is also a skilled photographer. He has a great way of putting people at ease and capturing them in a natural and authentic way. Mark’s heart is for the artists of Prague and his vision for this segment of the Czech population has been an encouragement and inspiration to me over the past few months.

Joanna is seriously one of the most holistically creative people I’ve ever known. She is constantly making something, or more accurately she is constantly making a lot of things. She is creative and industrious in the kitchen, making her own marshmallows, cheese, Bailey’s Irish Cream and many other things from scratch. She’s an avid knitter and always has a number of knitting projects on hand. She also sews and makes stunning purses from recycled material. She has been an incredible creative inspiration to me over the past few months. Joanna is also a truly beautiful mother. I love the way that she handles, teaches and disciples their son Sasha. They are also expecting their second child soon and I am excited to see how she mothers this unique new life.

I love their son, Sasha. He has the best vocabulary of any kid I know his age and as a word person myself I really appreciate this. He’s got a lot of energy, but he’s a really bright child and very fun to be with.

The Stewart’s spent 3 years as missionaries in Uganda, but felt God calling them to Europe. They followed that calling to Prague and came to help start Faith Community Church here in Prague through World Harvest. Mark and Joanna particularly have a heart for the artistic community of Prague and a heart for social justice. Here’s how they describe their work here on their web site:

“We want to enter into the arts community in this city. To encourage artists, performers, musicians, creatives and to build them up, to facilitate their growth. We want to invite them to seek,  and to grasp, hope. To offer them a strong draught, so that they might drink deeply of the true satisfaction that is in Christ. To challenge them, and to facilitate them, to make a difference in the world around us. And not just to the artists, and not only to the beautiful people, must we pour out our lives. So we seek to incarnationally, sacrificially, love those who can offer us nothing in return. The poor and the hungry, the sick and the abandoned, the orphan and the widow. And not to do this alone, but to invite others along with us in that journey.”

If you want to learn more about this talented and passionate family that God is using in Prague please check out their web site.

And prayerfully consider joining Bryan and I in giving $1 dollar (or more) to the work that they are doing here in Prague as part of our 12 Dollars of Christmas experiment. To donate please visit this link.

Lord, thank you for the Stewarts and for bringing them to Prague. I pray that you would bless them and keep them and make your face to shine upon them. Lord, make them into a light that shines in darkness. Use their unique creative gifts to bring beauty and LIFE to the city of Prague. Lord, I pray that you would give them hearts of thankfulness and praise and that you would be glorified in all that they do. I pray that when people see Mark and Joanna and their children they would see you – they would see your love, your generosity, your grace, and your freedom. I pray that through them you would bring a new wave of creative freedom and life to your church and to the city of Prague as a whole.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman