Today we enjoyed our fifth Sunday at our new church here in Czech. For the most part the services are very similar to a church service in the States with music, announcements, preaching, prayer and sometimes a testimony or two. Today they did a baby dedication for a little baby named Matthew. It’s the second one we’ve seen and it’s always a joy to watch the care the pastors have for the families here and as we listen through a translator we can tell they truly care about these parents and the children. Even this morning the pastor reminded the parents and the rest of the church that children are a gift from God (see Psalm 127:3-5).
We probably needed that reminder more than the parentings dedication their baby today. For whatever reason our kids just didn’t want to be in church today. Now, granted, it’s different for them right now. Everything is new, they are having to sit with us through the whole 2+ hour services, it’s hot, they’re sweaty, and it’s just generally a little hard. But we really are trying to work hard at teaching and training them to listen, obey, and be respectful of everyone else during the service. They only usually last about an hour (at most) before the “breakdown” as I’ll call it. Today I think it was only 30 minutes before Titus was bursting out crying and Bethany was carrying him out of the building. Avery lasted a little longer with some distraction, but soon she was bolting for the door saying, “Mommy! I want mommy!” For a while we were in and out of the service and just kept switching. It feels like those wrestlers who stand outside the ring waiting for a hand slap and then they’re in and the other one is out.
For the summer months the church doesn’t really have Sunday school classes for the kids. A lot of people are on holiday (vacation) and even though there are still a lot of families around they just don’t do classes for the kids until the fall months begin. So you can imagine the challenge for us as we try keeping our kids behaved while listening to the service through a translator ear piece and hopefully not be a huge distraction from the worship. Thankfully the Czechs seem to be very forgiving of us, but it’s like flying with screaming kids…you just feel the burden of it as a parent. For the last 20 or so minutes of the service Bethany finally resorted to taking both kids outside where a few other families were as well (shown below playing in dirt).
Really what we need right now is prayer specifically for church and Sundays. We need patience, grace, wisdom, and love for our kids. Our desire is to stay calm, be understanding, but also help train them during this process and transition. Sundays are important to us. There’s a lot going in as we learn the culture, meet new people, learn the language, and try to participate in the worship service on Sunday. But today those things were definitely put on the back burner as our kids really just needed us to work with them. Please pray for us as we learn and grow in all of this.
Beyond church afternoon was actually really restful. Chris spent most of the day with us and had to leave for his meetings around 4 o’clock this afternoon. It was such a joy to talk with him and hear his heart for the people of Slovenia. We’re thrilled that God has called the Wick family to they very needy country.
Later Avery and I played a little game of Candy Land and it was fun just spending a little one on one time with her.
Tonight Bethany made home made pizza and we just spent time together as a family. We tried Skyping with Bethany’s parents but there was something wrong with their connection and all of our troubleshooting just didn’t seem to fix it. We try to Skype at least once a week with them and usually Sundays are good time for that. Hopefully we can figure out the technical glitch and get another time in with them this week.
As I was doing the dishes the faucet just kind of came off the pipe (shown above). That has never really happened to me and I genuinely starting laughing out loud when it did. “Bethany!” I yelled from the kitchen. “The faucet just fell off into the sink!” She immediately started laughing too. I don’t know why I was laughing because honestly that would really frustrate me normally. Maybe it’s just because we kind of expect that kind of thing to happen now? Things don’t always work like the way we think they should here in Czech. That’s just life right now.
But God is still in control and He cares as much about how I respond to my faucet as how I respond when my kids are loud and crazy in church. A lot of it is a change in my attitude. I should expect that it’s going to be hard in church and not normal for our kids. That’s OK. With a few cranks of my wrench I was able to get the faucet working again and with a lot grace, patience, discipline, love, and the Lord’s help I hope we’ll be able to sit through a Czech church service as a family. God is in control and that’s enough for us today.