One of the things that really impressed me about the Czech Republic was the history that was all over the place. We were in buildings everywhere that were built in the the 1300’s and 1400’s which was really unusual for someone coming from America where we have much less history.
During our time there a large part of our team would travel about 1.5 Miles from the Teen Challenge to a nearby village and work on an old Catholic Church that was built around the 1330’s. This church had been closed down for 40-50 years and had been vandalized for years. When we arrived it was really in a sad condition and all of the headstones from the graveyard had been knocked over.
That week we had a team who worked hard cleaning and dusting off the inside for a service that would be held in there on July 4th. We also had people working outside to re-set these massive gravestones and clean up the area around the church. My team worked hard for 3 days digging up dirt that had accumulated over the stone steps and patio at the front of the church. In the last 50 years over 6 inches of soil had accumulated over this patio and you wouldn’t know what was under it unless someone told you.
Apparently the guy who was the keeper of the grounds there and was commissioned to take care of this church by his father knew about the stones that lied deep under the dirt and grass. We dug out dirt and slowly but surely began to uncover a beautiful stone area that was right there at the entrance. It was so exciting to see an area that was completely covered by dirt and forgotten be uncovered and made beautiful again!
The service on Friday night that we held that was definitely something that I will never forget. We had candles and some beautiful worship music playing in the church for the first time in probably over 50 years. This church had been long forgotten but many from the surrounding video’s came to attend the service. At the end one of the neighbors stood up and interrupted the service to speak about how much all that we had done meant to him. All of those from the villages began to stand up and clap for us because they were so blessed!
It was amazing to see an old church resurrected and brought back to life. I felt that while I was in there that God spoke to me saying that he was raising up old dead churches all over eastern Europe and that we were able to witness one of many others that he was going to bring back to life. Not only is God going to clean up the old buildings but He is going to stir up a great movement and revival in nations like the Czech Republic. It was so exciting to be a small part of all He is doing there. This was definitely something I will never forget…