Couple preparing for mission to Czech Republic

News editor

Justin and Brooke (Johnson) Lenhardt of Marion are preparing for a mission trip to the Czech Republic and will give a presentation April 6 about past mission trips to the Central European country.

Brooke, a 2010 Marion High School graduate, went on a mission to the Czech Republic in the summer of 2011 with Josiah Venture, an organization that focuses its mission efforts on Central and Eastern Europe.

She helped with a camp for people 12 to 20 years old who wanted to learn English. After morning classes, the afternoons were filled with activities, and the evenings concluded with praise and worship in English and Czech.

In 2013, she returned with Justin to help with another English camp. Both camps were about three weeks. This summer, they will be returning to the Czech Republic again but as camp leaders, overseeing five other volunteers, and they will run four camps instead of helping with one. They will leave May 20 and return Aug. 15.

Brooke said her first trip was eye-opening. She thought the majority of Europe was at a minimum familiar with Christianity, but Czech churches suffered badly during the rule of a pro-Soviet Union communist regime from 1948 until Czechoslovakia split after the end of the Cold War.

However, she found that many people were receptive to mission efforts. She said shame plays a big role in modern Czech culture, so people weren’t used to the ideas of forgiveness and grace.

The Lenhardts will give their presentation at 6:30 p.m. April 6 at the Marion Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. The presentation will include information about mission opportunities with Josiah Venture, as well as information about donating to the organization. Desserts and coffee will be served.

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