I grew up thinking that the rest of the world must be a lot like north Texas when it came to churches and the Christian faith. That is, everywhere besides Africa and China. It was apparent to me that China and Africa didn’t have a church on every corner with a weekly three point sermon, three hymns (1st, 2nd and 4th verses only) and an offering coinciding with special music and all of this wrapped up with an altar call. I assumed ‘church’ was just like this in Canada, Germany, Brazil and all points in between. I assumed it because no one ever spoke otherwise. After all Europe was the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation. Men like Martin Luther, Jan Hus, John Calvin, John Wycliffe and other pioneers of the faith had blazed a trail that we assumed would never be extinguished. Great missionaries such as Gladys Alward, William Carey, the Moravians, Eric Liddell, and Hudson Taylor, just to name a few, were products of the strong theological and evangelistic teaching of European churches a century or more ago.
We are often asked, “Why would you go to Europe? Don’t they have churches there already?” The answer to the second question is yes, but a mild and meager yes. Most are used for concerts or as other tourist venues. Very few are actually used for services. The answer to the first question is simply, ‘We were asked by the one that created us.” Simple enough, I hope. I am often reminded why we are here when headlines and news like this appear:
‘Star Wars’ Chosen As Religion In Czech Republic On New Census
If that isn’t scary enough, only 1 million of the 10+ million people in the Czech Republic listed Roman Catholicism as their religion and over 85% of them are over the age of 60. Of course, there are no records as to how many of those even attend mass regularly or actively pursue their faith through other means. Over 50% left the question blank, while nearly 10% believe in something, they are just unsure of what. Less than 1% labeled themselves as affiliated with any evangelical branch of Czech churches, slightly more than that described themselves as the religion of Jedis. Why Europe?
CISP –Our need for our own building continues to be paramount. We have had several possibilities but something (or someone) always seems to block our progress. We ask that you pray for our desperate need for a building. We desire nothing more that to be a radiating center for the gospel in a city and country that needs to hear that there is hope. We have nearly 100 students this year representing 24 countries. We ask for specific prayer for S and Y, two young men who enrolled this year. Y made a profession of faith while at our Secondary Retreat in the fall and I have the special privilege of being S’s mentor while at CISP. We have had some incredible talks recently as S and Y were recently notified that their parents are divorcing. The mom has already returned to Florida with Y and S is living with dad in Prague. Please pray for someone that will fill the need to disciple Y and that S will continue to seek the truth and that they both will heal through this difficult family time.
Upward Sports – We have just begun our 3rd basketball season of Upward Sports basketball in the Czech Republic. We have 50+ participants this year and look forward to another season of establishing relationships that will be eternal. We are also beginning to coordinate our basketball camp(s) for the summer and we are still looking for church groups or individuals who would like to come over and help out. It is a great blessing to our kids and we are always proud to show off our beautiful city. Please contact me if you have an interest in being a part of camp this summer.
Band of Brothers – Our Saturday morning men’s group continues to grow both in number and commitment. We have a great group of men who are dedicated to making an impact on our families, communities and world. Pray that we will stay strong and make a bold statement for the gospel in this culture.
Chumbley Family – We have been very busy, but we look forward to some rest and time together during Christmas break.
Camden – is 14 and plays the bass guitar in the Youth Praha worship team and the church worship team. He recently had his braces removed after wearing them for more than a year. He is in 8th grade at CISP and likes Bible, music and history class.
Jared – is 12 years old, plays the guitar (but seldom in front of anyone) and enjoys learning languages, music class and writing as a 6th grader at CISP.
Easton – is 10 years old and has taken a hiatus from violin as being a 4th grader has taken more time and energy than he anticipated. He hopes to begin violin again in January to go along with his interest in chess and anything competitive.
Payton – is 7 (turns 8 on January 2) and is in the 2nd grade at the Perunova Skolka (Czech elementary school). He loves to play the drums – on everything – all the time.
Marek – is 6 and is homeschooled. He loves to draw and create. He can be found at the table or at his art table drawing, painting or building at almost any time of the day.
Landry – is 4 and runs the house. She is all girl! She loves her ‘baby dolls’ and anything that is pink or purple. She loves to wear dresses, but also wrestle with her brothers.
If you would be interested in being a part of what is happening in Prague, we are always in need of prayer and financial support. We would be happy to send you short prayer requests via email as they occur. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
For financial support, please follow this link to our WorldVenture site:
WorldVenture – Chumbleys
Thanks for your continued love and support. We thank God for you daily.