Gathers limited to six people could put a damper on our traditional Thanksgiving celebration for English Talk Group (ETG). Previous years, up to twenty-five people packed into my two-room apartment for a cozy feast. People even sat in my bathtub one year because I lacked chairs. So how could we make 2020 look similar? Simply, we couldn't. Things would look different and they did. Instead of packing into my apartment, we packed into our kitchens and met over Zoom. Instead of me cooking all of the food, students cooked a couple traditional American Thanksgiving dishes with the guidance of special guests Kate Owens (my cousin) and Linda Lueders (friend and next door neighbor in the US). Instead of hearing the Gospel message in person, our group heard the Good News of Christ crucified, risen, reigning and returning through their computer speakers.
As always, before the evening finished, the Gospel was shared. Students heard yet again of the life we have in Christ Jesus alone. Some heard it for the 100th time while others for only the second. We pray that God gives faith to those who hear His Word. Lives have already been changed in Havířov, and we thank God that He continues to work. All praise to Him alone.
Celebrating as a Missionary Team
I thank God for other LCMS missionary teammates nearby. Chelsea Irwin, GEO missionary, serves in the town of Bohumín (about 25 minutes away), where she works with a local Lutheran church to share the Gospel with a variety of age groups. Our Thanksgiving table spread included all our favorites, even green bean casserole despite the lack of canned cream of mushroom soup. Of course the food was delicious, but even greater, the company. Join me in praying for Chelsea and the opportunities she has to share the message of Christ crucified with students and even those who live with her at the church parsonage. We pray that God gives her strength and boldness in all that she does.