Jun 14, 2023 | 4 min read | Dave Patty
Sometimes the ripple goes further than you imagine.
I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. My wife and I had recently moved to the Czech Republic and joined a small evangelical church in the coal-mining town of Haviřov. Every Sunday after church we would be greeted by a stately old man named Brother Bajgar, one of the church's founders and a prayer warrior.
He had been a high school teacher when the communists took over and was given the choice to either renounce his faith or work in the mines. He chose the latter and suffered greatly for his faith. Because of his calling, he always carried in his heart a special love for young people. That is why he was particularly thrilled when I started teaching English in the local high school as the first Christian teacher in the 40-year history of the school.
He prayed for us when we did our first evangelistic English camp, and prayed fervently as our church began to fill with young people. But, on this particular Sunday there was something different as he shook my hand. He didn’t let go and looked me straight in the eyes as he shared these words:
“God showed me a picture last night as I was praying for you and your team,” he said. “I saw a pebble thrown in a pond. When it hit the water, ripples began to spread. But what surprised me was that as they spread, they grew larger and larger, becoming a wave that reached way beyond where the pebble first fell. I believe that the work God began here will spread much further than we realize,” he said, with a focused conviction. “The wave is coming. Now that I know that, I am ready to go home.”
Just a couple of months later, Brother Bajgar graduated to glory. He didn’t get to see three English camps become seven, and then 15, and then 25. He wasn’t there when the JV team spread to other countries, and then led to 1800-week-long evangelistic camps over the years, with close to 80,000 young people. But he saw it with the eyes of faith. The ripple traveled far and has become a wave.
The story has even more significance when you see the individual faces of those who came to faith in Christ because of these events. Ales is serving in the parliament of the Czech Republic, Bedrich is leading a large church-planting movement. Veronkia is in Brussels, writing laws for the European Union, and Katka is serving as a missionary in Latvia.
The ripple continues. This summer, during the months of July and August, the JV team will lead over 100 evangelistic camps in 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, with over 5000 young people in attendance. Who knows what future lawmaker, church planter, or missionary will hear the gospel at these events and give their life to Christ?
But there is a hidden energy behind the wave. Brother Bajgar was not just a passive observer, but a prayer warrior who recognized that only the unseen wind of the Spirit can drive the waves of God’s movement. We need that same energy for the work that is ahead this summer. Will you stand with us in prayer in the same way this dear saint did so long ago?
On behalf of Brother Bajgar, thank you.
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