They say that when you run a marathon, at a certain point through the run, you “hit the wall.” That’s when the runner wants to give up. Today we “hit the wall.” I heard that Sue wasn’t well last night, and that really upset me. Duane wasn’t able to contact his family yesterday and this morning we got together and talked about how down we both felt. We also talked about how unspeakably terrible it must have been to be separated from your family by the Nazis, herded into a cattle-car and starved to death in a concentration camp. That put our separation into perspective. We prayed, thanked God, and joyfully started the day in our tenth country.
Prague, in the Czech Republic is beautiful. There are buildings that look like something from a scene in a Harry Potter movie (evil-looking) and others that look like parts of Disneyland, where you would expect Pinocchio to appear at any moment.
Once again, the locals were nothing but servants to us. They not only met us when we arrived but carried our bags throughout the day.
We began by dropping wallets, but soon decided that the best use of our times was to do an open air in the local Square. In the middle of the Square was a large statue of Jon Hus, who was martyred for the same Gospel that we were preaching. He made the Scriptures available in the language of the common people, and for that was burned to death. His last words were “O holy simplicity.”
I then preached the simplicity of the Gospel four or five times. EZ and Mark also preached. Mark did the straight jacket despite his bruised arm. But it became too painful for him, so Trish put on the jacket and did a wonderful job. She even stopped struggling now and then to say a sweet “Thank you,” each time the crowd applauded to encourage her. It’s such a good visual illustration, to say that Jesus broke the chains of death through the resurrection.
When a singing group walked passed, we asked them to do a number for the cameras. They gladly complied, and when a crowd gathered I slipped them five dollars and asked them to sing another song after I preached, which they did. They helped pull in a fresh crowd. EZ and Mark preached also.
We then broke for a wonderful lunch. Scotty and Carol ordered a wonderful dessert. We may have to change the Europe promo: “Thirteen countries, thirteen days, thirteen desserts, and thirteen pounds.”
EZ and Duane decided that I should preach to the crowd that formed in front of a famous clock in the town square. It was a perfect springboard for the gospel. At the top of each hour a door opens and moving carved wooden figures of the Apostles appear. About twenty feet below that, there was moving skeleton that rung a bell. At five minutes to three a crowd of up to two thousand people formed. I asked God for help, told them who I was and why we were in their beautiful city. Then I talked about the skeleton holding a bell being symbolic of death. One day their bell would ring, but God had made a way for them to be saved from its grip.
Three of us hopped onto a horse and carriage and I shared on camera an anecdote about love and marriage going together like a horse and carriage, and how there is another marriage bound together by love. It’s the marriage of sin and death, and how there must be a divorce between the two, if the sinner wants to live.
Time was quickly going, so we ran to the main bridge over a huge river that runs through the city. On each side of the bridge there were huge stone carvings of the apostles, Mary, etc. We needed some one-to-one witnessing on camera, and we got a delightful interview with an English couple.
In the middle of the Bridge was a huge statue of Jesus on the cross. I did a quick word in front of the camera, saying that so many people passed by without understanding the meaning of the cross. I looked up and saw that a crowd had formed, so I jumped up on the statue and preached the gospel. EZ followed, and then I preached again.
What a full day we had! I preached more times in Prague than anywhere else in Europe. We broke through the wall. That’s ten countries. We are in a train, heading for Vienna, in Austria. Please keep praying; especially for my wife, Sue. Thank you.
God bless, Ray
P.S. We had been on the train for about two hours when it stopped at a station, and to our surprise, four of the helpers that we had left back in Prague came on board. They lived in the area we had just entered, and had purchased some chocolate for us. I was so moved by their act of love I felt that eating it there and then would be the right thing to do. So I broke some off for myself and as I ate it I looked at a very large lady across the aisle. I tried not to be cruel in my thoughts about her, but I remember thinking that her protruding bottom lip that made her look like the world’s grumpiest woman. She looked very much like General Berkhelter in Hogan’s Hero’s.
I decided that I had better share the blessing of the gift of chocolate with the crew, and as I slid passed EZ, my leg clipped a clip from a walkie-talkie radio that he had in the seat pocket in front of him, and went under Mrs. Grumpy’s seat.
I was horrified as I bent down and reached under it hoping that I didn’t blindly grab her big toe and upset her.
Suddenly I found it and with great joy lifted my head, and bumped it on the tray table that was connected to her seat. That’s when she looked around at me. I could hear Trish choking with laughter at what she was watching (a typical day in my life).
I stood up and offered her a piece of chocolate. Surely she lived on it and would love me for giving her some. She just stared at me as though I was a nut. As I held the chocolate out for her to take a piece I thought that I had better say something to let her know that I wanted to be friends, so I said, “Would you like a piece?” She looked back at me and said, “Nine.” Wow. I remember thinking, “No way. You’re only getting one piece.”
P.S.S She’s just left our carriage, for some reason.