25 years of OM in the Czech Republic

OM Czech Republic celebrated 25 years since it was officially founded in Czechoslovakia on 23rd of April 2016. For this anniversary, current and former team members of OM Czech Republic met with many mission partners, including leaders of churches that OM helped to get actively involved in mission. Guests from the Czech Republic and international guests reviewed past years of cooperation and gave praise to the one, who is the Lord of whole mission – to Jesus Christ.Karl Zolar

Hans, who, with his wife, has been involved in the Czech team since it’s foundation in 1991, welcomed all attendants with verses from Psalm 77:  „I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.“
In the opening, he highlighted the importance of remembering who God is and what He has done.

Next to speak was pastor Karel Zolar – first missionary for OM in Czechoslovakia and also founder of the Czech branch. He “moved everyone in time”, when he explained all the meanings of the word “grace” in the ways he lived this out through his service in our country. The program continued with a presentation of OM’s current work by its leader Pavel Zoul. He took charge of the branch as its first Czech director in 2003. The morning concluded with video greetings and the recollections of pastors.

The main speaker of the afternoon session was the current director of OM International Lawrence Tong. His presentation brought a broader view of the service of OM as a  world-wide mission agency. The attendees then visited the new headquarters of OM Czech Republic, where there was an exhibition of materials from past periods and also a garden party. The whole session was an amazing chance to be thankful to the Lord, and also to renew many contacts and relationships, confirmed by occasional tears of joy. The following lines are the reflections of Elaine (Northern Ireland):

It’s been over 11 years since I served in the Czech Republic with OM. I’ve been back a few times since, most notably in Summer 2008 with a work team from our church. We were tasked with clearing out the formal OM-CZ base, “The Villa”. I’ve longed to return, and the right time came in April, following an invitation to attend the 25th anniversary of OM-CZ - an opportunity too good to miss.
all OM CZ 25 smThe welcome we received was unbelievable! It felt like a true homecoming; a very emotional time. Pavel and Drahus, my former field leaders, had brought me my favourite sweetie lolly. They’d remembered! It may seem a small gesture but it symbolised and meant so much. There were 12 members of our team there – I’d only anticipated seeing six! It was fantastic to see local people join with past and present workers and church leaders to celebrate what God has been doing in the Czech Republic through OM since 1991.
As I listened to Hans´s introduction, I was struck by the value of remembering. Remembering helps us to see God’s bigger picture. As time has passed since I served with OM I haven’t spent enough time remembering. I haven’t often remembered, with the purpose of Psalm 77, to strengthen my faith today and direct my children towards God. I haven’t spent enough time recalling, or perhaps even noticing, God’s leading in my life before and after OM.
Today OM-CZ has several longterm Christian workers in South-East Asia, Africa, and Europe, with annual missions trips to Ghana. In 2003 we began new ministry of teaching English, which continues today. Summer Artslink outreach is an annual event in two cities. Recently OM-CZ has developed an Anti-Human Trafficking ministry in Prague.

Being back in the Czech Republic 11 years later I was in a fortunate position to see the effects of those two years of ministry on the people we’d been close to, the churches around us and the continuing ministry of OM-CZ, not just the effect on me. Praise Him for the opportunity to go back in 2016 and ‘remember’.

If you think you would like to be involved in mission in the Czech Republic and would like to talk it through with someone, please contact the OM office in your country.