We spent a long weekend in Oloumoc, the fifth largest city in the Czech Republic. Our hosts were a homeschool family of six who shared their bi-lingual home and warm hospitality with us. Their four children gave us plenty of opportunity to keep our grandparenting skills in order; admiring artwork, reading stories, and generally trying to keep up.
We were all blessed to worship together at a church in Kromeřiz, a city nearby. It was a joy to meet and get to know Pastor Lojza and his wife Maruška and their two young daughters. We were delighted by their interest in the topic of our book, Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship.
Another treat that God had for us was to worship with an expat family we’ve had contact with for several years. They are a regular part of the congregation so it was a natural place to meet. Lance and Sandy invited us and our host family to their new home for dinner. Their beautiful Christmas tree set the scene for a cozy afternoon. We filled our time with conversations about education, cross-cultural living, and God’s hand at work across the globe.
Now we’ve got a whole group of friends in the Oloumoc area with whom we’re asking the Lord to arrange future visits. Whether here or there, we’re thankful that we’re only a 2.5 hour train ride apart.
On Monday we spent a few hours wandering around the downtown area of Oloumoc. We took in their extensive Christmas markets and saw the working of the only other astronomical clock in Czech perform. We had an enjoyable time in spite of the drizzly weather.
As we were making our way to the station for our train trip back to Prague we saw two familiar faces. A homeschool mom and her daughter whom we met at a local Czech church were heading in the same direction. They were shepherding their family’s youngest child in a stroller. It was a delightful reunion that was enriched by learning we’d be travelling on the same train, in different compartments on the same car.
We quite enjoyed being able to touch base with each other during the trip. Hannah even came down to sit and share some interesting activities on her mom’s iPad. We were thankful they alerted us to the announcement in Czech that we were arriving at the station ahead of schedule. Thankfully we all managed to get down the steps in time – stroller and all. It was sad to have to say good-bye as we headed home and they went to catch a local train for their village.
Once again we found ourselves talking about education, cross-cultural living, and God’s hand at work across the globe. The Father seems to move us from one conversation to another on these meaningful topics. We’re learning to keep our eyes and hearts wide open for these God-ordained appointments.