Czech Trip 14′ – Resurrected Church from 1300’s

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.

Czech Teen Challenge Trip 2014-166During 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.

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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!

Czech Teen Challenge Trip 2014-161The 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…

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Czech Trip 14′ – 4 Guys from UK Saved in Prague

I just returned from a 10 day trip to the Czech Republic and had such an amazing time. It really is amazing how much God did in my own life and also all the things I was able to witness Him do in the lives of those we met while there. Over this next week or two I want to share a few testimonies and stories of different things that we saw God do and also share about random experiences I had while there.

Our whole team was able to spend a day in Prague which is the capitol of the Czech Republic and is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe. It is the only large city that was not impacted by the bombings of WWII which allows you to still enjoy all of the ancient architecture of the city. The times I got to spend in the city I was overwhelmed by how beautiful everything was…

At one point we got lost as we were wandering around the city and this guy who spoke english overheard our conversation and offered to help us with directions. We told him where we were trying to go and he began to lead us that way. He and three other friends began to lead us and tell us about their visit to the city. They had been in the city for a few days as they were traveling through Europe during their “Holiday” that summer. He told us about all the prostitutes and drugs offered to him around their hostile and even about how you can purchase “happy endings” for just an additional 10 Euro at a massage parlor that we walked by. They painted a really vivid picture of the life of that city for us as we followed them. It was eye opening to hear what they told us…

When we reached a place where they were planning to stop and eat we offered to pray for one of his friends with an arm brace before we left them. His friend was happy to receive prayer but kept insisting, “There’s now way… There’s now way… He (God) can’t…”

We prayed for him twice and he then took of his arm brace and began to look at us all with complete shock. He kept saying, “Bloody hell!” really loud and told us that his pain was completely gone. The food vendor behind us was watching and he was smiling and clapping when he realized the guy had been healed. It was so amazing to see God heal this guy even though he didn’t believe that God would do it for him! God is so compassionate and full of love.

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After we prayed for his friend we began to talk to the three other guys about Jesus and all of them were open to Him after seeing their friend miraculously healed. We asked if they wanted to give their lives to Jesus and all of them said quickly that they were ready. One of the guys had bruises all over his face from a blackout drunk he had the previous night and looked at us with a look of desperation for something to change. You could see a desire for hope in each of their eyes.

We stood there in the street and all 4 of them ended up giving their lives to Jesus before we left. It was so amazing to see how the Holy Spirit led them to us and then opened up the door for each of them to be saved. It was an unforgettable experience and is just one of SO many testimonies of things we saw God do while in the Czech Republic.

 

 

Take the City

For this last year I have had the amazing privilege to lead a movement here in the Chattahoochee Valley area called, Take the City. It had been amazing to see racial and denominational lines broken as people from all over come together to share God’s love with their community. I wrote out a description with more information that will be handed out next week at an event in Phenix City and wanted to share it on here. If you would like to come and be involved then check out our event page for this month!

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In 1958 a young, skinny preacher by the name of David Wilkerson went to an unfamiliar city sent on a mission by God. His calling was to go and do whatever he could do to help the children involved in gangs and drugs in New York City. Little did he know that he would bring an entire city of churches together for one common purpose and spark a ministry that now has over 1000 programs worldwide that is in 96 different countries. From the very beginning the heart of Teen Challenge has been evangelism. The early days of the ministry began as ministry workers spent days and nights in the streets sharing God’s love with the least of these in that city.

Take the City is a movement that desires to spark the same momentum of evangelism and unity that David Wilkerson sparked in New York City. We believe that it is our duty to follow the commission that Jesus gave to us to go and to share the good news with anyone willing to hear. There are already countless stories of miracles and testimonies of entire families coming to Christ as the church went to where the people were.

take the cityOur passionate desire is to see the church in this area come together in unity and inspire people to get outside of the four walls of the church to reach the thousands of people in this area that are without hope. Many people may never enter a church and it’s our passion to go to them where they are and to share with them God’s amazing love and grace.

In John 17:20-21 Jesus prays to the Father, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” We believe that as the church comes together the unbelievers will without a doubt know that God has sent us to share the amazing news of the Gospel.

We believe that God wants to revitalize and heal our land as we humble ourselves and seek His face. Our hope is that you would join us in the effort to see this area transformed by the love of God expressed through His sons and daughters. We would love for you to join us each month as we have people come together from various churches

We have gatherings where people from local churches meet each month and go do outreaches all over the city. Here are a few of the things we typically do on a monthly basis:

  • -Street Ministry
  • -Homeless Ministry
  • -Kids in Lower income neighborhoods
  • -Retirement Homes
  • -Prayer Team that will stay back and pray for our teams

Haiti 2013 Trip Recap (Part 2)

In my previous post I was able to talk about my first full day while in Haiti and the amazing experience of returning to a place I have grown to love so deeply. I want to try and cover my experience from Haiti in a few posts and what my experience was like in going with Help4Haiti.

On Saturday I woke up on the roof top to the sound of all the neighborhood roosters crowing, one after another in the hilarious neighborhood competition of who could crow the loudest. The odd thing is that they love to start this competition around 3am each morning. To say the least I barely slept that second night but I really enjoyed the cool breeze of the roof and the millions of stars that hung above me. Finally the sun began to creep up around 6am and I found a chair to sit and pray. There is something that I encountered sitting there on that roof that was so unforgettable. As the sun came up the Lord spoke to me so clearly that morning from His word and filled me with such an amazing peace and energy. I was excited for the new day.

That day was Saturday and after breakfast we ended up jumping into the cars to drive over to the main church to set up a sewing room and play with the local children in that neighborhood of Delmas 33. When I went to jump in the van, all the seats were filled and one of the Haitian boys had seemingly taken the one seat that was reserved for me. Lucky for me I got to jump in the bed of the truck and ride in the back with two other haitians, one of whom was mostly deaf and mute. The whole ride to the main church/ school was an experience that I had yet to have since coming to Haiti. Riding out in the open allowed me to see the streets in a totally new light that the protection of windows and air-conditioning seem to hinder. I got to ride through the streets of Port Au Prince in a way most common Haitians would on a daily basis and I absolutely loved it all. The sights, the smells and the feeling that I wasn’t separated from this third world population but was intricately woven into all of it. The experience was a blast!

That day we taught the children how to play the game “duck, duck, goose!!!” We had so much fun hearing them in broken english trying to say goose and then how they would all scream “gooey gooey gooey!!!!!” as the children ran around the circle. It was such a fun morning to bless the kids with little gifts and get to share the love of Christ with each of them. I didn’t want to leave the kids when we finally had to go!

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That afternoon we went back over to the new city called Onaville where Help4Haiti is helping to build a new orphanage for the children that have no where else to go. We stayed there until sunset just getting to know the people there and playing with all the kids there. A friend and I actually went and walked around the neighborhood to pray for people. At one point a baby goat run up underneath me and I actually got to pick it up and hold it! Also we got to pray and minister to many families even though we had a huge language barrier. Love and compassion is something that the Holy Spirit can communicate through us as we live in obedience to Him. Love can be communicated in spite of any language barrier. It was fun to see this fact demonstrated as God’s love was poured out in powerful ways.

On Sunday we woke up at 4am to go to a sunrise service back in Onaville. The church meets in a little room with no power, no bathroom and at the time no roof. This is a big difference than last year as they were meeting in an open field twice a day to sing and to pray for their city. It was amazing to go and see the exponential growth of this church body. One thing that really impacted me while in Haiti was this church gathering. They had nothing but a little casio keyboard with a few batteries that helped them lead their songs. They had no visual aids, no AC, no microphones, no windows and not even a roof but the I felt the presence of God that morning more powerfully than I have encountered at the hundreds of churches I have visited all over the US in the last 3 years. The worship there was so raw and was so real. People were there for one reason, Jesus.

After that service we headed over to the main church where my amazing uncle Jimmy Chalmers preached. It was so great to hear him preach and to see the passion and fire that God has given him. When we left there we headed home for lunch and then got to rest up that afternoon. I took a short nap and went to pray in preparation to preach that night in Penier church where I had shared a year before. While in prayer the Lord reminded me of an exciting vision I had last year concerning that specific congregation. This reminder confirmed what I knew the Lord wanted me to share and I couldn’t wait to return to this church I had grown to love so deeply last year.

On the way to church we had made a stop at a Haitian senators home for a new years celebration that our pastor wanted to stop in at. Our team was able to pray and bless this senator. It was exciting to think that we got to make an impact and bless a man that has great authority and clout in the government of that nation. I pray that he would be one that would stand up for the cause of Christ and be a man that would fight for justice.

When we arrived at church that night the worship had already ended. I had to use the bathroom really really bad when we showed up so I found a place next to this concrete building. It was funny because a little kid came over and used the bathroom right there too. It was such an uncommon place to find myself right before I was about to go in and preach! I was so glad to be back in Haiti. I love that place so much.

Andrew Chalmers PReaching in HAiti

After our group got up to greet the congregation the pastor had me come up to share. We only had one microphone but I needed him to translate. It was an unexpected problem but we totally figured out how to make it all work and I was able to share what God had given me for that congregation. My prayer is that Jesus was made more famous that night in that city than it was before. I pray that He was glorified and not me or anyone else. We saw people touched by God and I know of at least one man that was physically healed. It was exciting to see the first-fruits of what I believe will be a full blown revival in that church.

As I told the congregation, I believe that the common people of that church are going to begin to see miracles and have powerful encounters and that Penier is going to be turned upside down. I am so thankful I was given the amazing privilege to share God’s word there again. Afterwards the Pastor asked me if I would be willing to take the position of Associate Pastor of that congregation and commit to come back through out the year to preach revivals. I have no idea if it would even be possible but it is really cool to have this opportunity before me. I love the hunger of those people and the blessing that they have been to me each time I have visited. I am so blessed by them all.

I will write about the last few days as soon as I can. Thank you all SO much for you prayers and for your support. Without many generous gifts and faithful prayer warriors I would not have had the chance to go because my budget would not have allowed. It was such a privilege to go and I am thankful for each of you!

Haiti 2013 Trip Recap (Part 1)

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This past week I had an amazing privilege to go and serve the people of Haiti. I went with a team of 18 other people with a non-profit called Help4Haiti. My trip last year to Haiti made a huge impact on me and I was so excited at the thought of returning. I really fell in love with the people, the sights, the food and even the smells of the country. The morning before we flew there I began to think about all the the things I had missed this past year about Haiti and was filled with anticipation as we drove to the airport.

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After an overnight layover in Ft. Lauderdale we got to Haiti the next morning and were greeted by the Pastor that we were going to stay with again. After getting all of our stuff taken to where we were staying we got all of our tents set up at the compound that we would be staying at the next week. The view from the roof was so beautiful. As I remember it right now I really wish I had a view like that all the time!

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Then we drove out to a new city called Onaville where many people who lost everything have been given new property and a new chance at life. The whole city is being built from the ground up right now. It really is an amazing sight to see and is so uncommon to see nowadays in the West because most cities were established in the 1700 and 1800’s. Help4Haiti is currently helping to build a new orphanage there in that city and we were able to go an see the construction progress and play with the local children until sunset.

I was so glad to be back in Haiti. There is something that I really love about how life is there. I enjoy the pace of life and the uncertainty. I love how the plans have to be flexible and how we were able to just kinda go along with the flow of things. Also I was really glad because the very first meal we had was Chicken, beans and rice and this amazing sauce that was exactly what I was craving when I was on the plane headed there! I knew the trip was going to be an amazing one and we were already off to a great start.

Haiti school orphans

Haiti Day 3

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Our third day in Haiti was really one of my most memorable days of the entire week that we were there. We got everything packed up and ready and drove back out to the school in Penier as soon as we could that morning. We took games, crafts, my guitar, bracelets to give out and even a story-board that my mom used to tell the Christmas story to all the kids. I was really excited about getting there and we expected over 100 kids to be there. We had six, they had 100 and we didn’t speak creole. I knew it would be an adventure…

Haiti Children Games Ministry

Here we were playing games with the boys on the roof…

When we got there it really was a challenge at first. Trying to describe how to play games without a translator is really hard. In the end its best to just stick to simple things you know they play all the time, like football (soccer). It was probably 90 degrees on the roof that day, a week before Christmas. After playing games we took them all back downstairs and did crafts with all the kids.  After all the crafts and games my mom then shared the Christmas story with them with this amazing flannel board type thing she made. The kids absolutely loved the visual aid as she told the story so candidly for all the kids. It was really fun to watch my mom, it reminded me of the way she read me stories before bed as a kid…

After she was done we gave out Salvation bracelets and shared the gospel to all the kids in the school. To my surprise at least 25-30 kids came up. The pastor who was with us spoke to the kids for a minute and then lead them all in a prayer. I began weeping with joy as I watched all these kids and teenagers receive Salvation!

Haiti Children

Here are some of the kids we prayed with

Afterwards we then were able to feed all of them lunch. Someone had donated $100 specifically to bless the children and when we asked the Pastor what would be best, he said give them a lunch. They do not typically offer food at the school and most of the kids just go without. You could see that it was a big treat for them. As I helped serve the kids I really thought about all the stuff I take for granted… I take a LOT for granted. I thought a lot about how spoiled I am. It was such a blessing to be able to bless them.

That night I got to speak at the Revival service and I shared about God’s love. This was great for me because I could talk on God’s love forever. One thing I didn’t realize though, is how hard it is to adjust to speaking with a translator. You have to pause mid thought and stay focused on what you’re saying while the translator speaks. Part of me wanted to listen to him when he began speaking! Haha, it threw me off a little bit. It was an amazing privilege to share that night and to be able to speak about the depth of God’s love!

In conclusion I want to include an excerpt from my journal.

12/18/12 10pm- Pastors house in Croix De Bouquet

I really do love it here. I love the people and especially the children. I’m so thankful for God bringing me here. He is showing me His heart that He has for everyone. Tonight in worship I watched the little Haitian boys dance and sing and I admired them. God spoke to me and said, “Thats exactly how I see you.” 

He sees us all as children. We are his kids and he finds so much joy in hearing our songs and watching us dance before Him. It makes me want to be even more childlike with Abba and not so big. When kids get like 12-13 they start getting that, “im too cool for school” attitude and it creates such a buffer in trying to relate to them.

That’s exactly what we do so often with God. He wants us to stay as innocent and filled with wonder as kids are… The moment we start becoming too cool or like we know it all is when we lose that connection. God wants us to come to him as kids…