What’s up guys, it’s Paul!
So if you’ve been checking in with the blog you might have noticed that it’s been a few days since we posted an update, so ya’ll bout to be in for a roller coaster of an update! Starting with this last Friday, I finally got to sleep in for the first time this week, PRAISE! I’ve been hanging out with Jeff at the different Czech schools all week, which has been an amazing experience, but nobody told me I’d have to get up two hours before anyone else the whole week! Haha, I’m just joking…It truly has been a unique opportunity getting to hang out with different students and different team members at the schools and see how each of them interact and connect with each other. But aside from that, I was pretty pumped to get to sleep in the few extra hours, and even more so because that was the day that we had decided to do our prayer walk.
The prayer walk basically consisted of our group, along with Jim and Laurie, walking around to different locations in Prague and praying for them. We got the opportunity to pray for the different organizations helping the homeless populations, the church fighting the red light district, the people and youth of the Czech Republic, and even the new location for the library! It was such a humbling experience getting to walk around and actually see the places and people that we were praying for and imagine all that God is going to be doing there. It was also super cool getting to see the new location for the library and hear how excited Jim and Laurie were/are for the future of the library and how many people they will be able to reach when they move.
Other than the actual praying, the best part of the prayer walk had to be when we were walking back to the metro. We passed these people in the park that had a few puppies and Lana literally lost it! She was so excited and when the people offered to let her pet the puppy, she straight up took it out of the lady’s hand. She was even trying to barter with the woman to keep the puppy. It was almost the funniest thing that Lana did that day but it was nowhere near as great as when we were riding the metro back home and she was trying to follow Jim off the metro, except Jim was only switching cars and not actually getting off. So, what we got to see was Lana walk off the car and then coming running back only to see the doors close. It was hands down the funniest part of the day! Luckily for Lana she only got off one stop early, so we just waited for her since she caught the next metro about five minutes later.
The next few hours were pretty chill since we were just waiting to leave for the train to go to this retreat through the International Church of Prague. While there, we were volunteering to watch the kids/run a children’s program while their parents were in the actual sessions of the retreat. The retreat was in Tabor, which was about an hour away by train, and when we got there, we were able to settle in a little bit before heading out to meet the kids. That night we didn’t really have much planned in terms of programing, so we had all the kids introduce themselves and we played a few games and sang a song before their parents came to get them. Prior to even getting to the Czech Republic we had all divvied-out jobs and responsibilities for the retreat weekend, but when the time for the retreat actually came, we ended up improvising.
When Saturday came, I led a few games like tag and steal the bacon, in hopes that the kids would get all their energy out. Then we went inside where we had the kids color while Andrei taught the kids about David, which many of the kids knew a lot about! Then Becky taught the kids how to make lanyards and we split into groups and hung out with them until the session was over. Not gonna lie, we weren’t sure how the children’s program was going to go, but happily it turned out to be a huge success!
After we finished hanging out with the kids, some of the team decided to chill and relax, and a few of us (being Jon, Lana, Krista, and I) opted to go into the actual town of Tabor and explore a bit. The first thing we saw when we got there was a cat café. Now I just want everyone to know right off the bat that I am NOT a cat person. For anyone that is a cat person, more power to you, but they are just not for me. So anyway, we go in this cat café, and I’m already super suspicious about these cats running around, but I’m going with the flow because Jon and Krista are living for the cats. Lana and I decide to get some coffee while we wait in the café, and then this cat jumps on the table, and that right there tells you that this cat was up to something. So Jon’s playing with cats and Krista and Lana are talking and I notice that the coffee has ice cream in it, so I go to show the two of them, and this cat THAT’S STILL ON THE TABLE, swipes at my coffee spilling a bunch of it! Needless to say I was shook… That was more or less the extent of our trip to Tabor. We did get to see a really beautiful view of the river, so that made up a little for the coffee-attacking cat. When we got back to the retreat center, we learned that Andrei had signed up to participate in a talent show that night! It was really funny because his act was pretty much just sitting on stage with a guitar talking about a song that he never ended up singing. It was awesome!
Sunday morning was very similar to Saturday with the addition of some sad goodbyes. We were only with the kids for a few hours the last two days, but we already felt a connection to them. I was especially torn when one of the older boys, who had been somewhat hard to handle, came up to me and said that he was going to miss us, that he had SOO much fun this weekend and then asked if we were coming back the following year. Talk about a heart wrenching goodbye! So we headed back to Prague and unpacked from the weekend, took some naps, and then went for a walk around a nearby, wait for it….. cemetery. Apparently it was the biggest one in the country and a lot of people enjoy going to it. I mean I don’t get the appeal of walking around a cemetery for fun, but hey when in Czech! After that we got the best meal we’d had in a long time (pizza, of course) and rounded the night off with some board games and card games! Click here to watch an epic showdown between Becky & Paul in one of these card games.
Monday was our day off, so by unanimous vote we decided to sleep in for the majority of the day. Later that morning, we got the best strudel in Europe (apparently it is the best strudel in Europe according to some travel food bloggers) and it was delicious! After finishing the strudel, Meredith had created a scavenger hunt around Prague for us to do. She split us into two teams where we had to use a clue to figure out the location and then map out the fastest route there. We got to see a lot of really cool sights including the Prague Castle, John Lennon Wall, Charles Bridge, Jan Hus’ head, the astronomical clock, and lots of other places. The competition was intense, but after a long day of smack talking and walking literally all over Prague, my team, consisting of Krista, Becky and I, took the win! I still don’t know what we won, but nevertheless the day was amazing.
So now after reading what must have felt like an essay, you are officially caught up with the shenanigans of our team. God has really been moving here, and it’s incredible to see all the ways He has in just the last week. I can’t believe that we’re almost done with our trip and that by this time next week we’ll be home. If we are sure of anything, it is that God is doing great things here! It is only thanks to His power and your support that all of us were able to come and serve Him in this amazing city. Thank you so SO much for your continued support. I know that every single one of us can’t wait to tell you every last detail that wasn’t able to fit in these blogs! Until next time!
P.S. – Sorry I wrote so much #SorryNotSorry