Every two years our denomination, Církev Bratrská (Church of the Brethren), holds a national youth conference. There are typically over a thousand Christians that decend on an unsupecting town for a long weekend of worship, seminars, sports, and fellowship. Youth groups are often only 10 to 20 kids and the only youth group in their city. So, for a Czech Christian teenager who is used to being a minority, worshiping together with 1,000 other believers is pretty potent. It's like a small taste of heaven. These gatherings are special for me because so many of the youth groups I've worked with in the past are gathered in one place. This weekend I counted 11 youth groups that I had either done camp with or spent significant time with over the past 12 years. Bedřich was one of the first students I had any kind of significant impact on in this country. He and I would meet regularly to study the book of Romans together when I was an intern here in Czech 11 years ago. He taught on God's glory at one of the evening programs this weekend. Marcel, who was a bouncy 18-year-old when I met him during my first couple of weeks in Czech was leading worship with his band. He led with skill and humility, a precious combination.
By far the best part of the weekend was having no responsibility but to hang out with the students in my Tábor youth group. The program was already prepared and everybody was staying in close proximity, so I just had to say, "let's go have a cup of coffee or tea". I sat down with David and talked about where the youth group was going. Lucka told me about how she and a couple other kids in the youth group came to Christ. Danča and I talked about how I can help her lead her little village youth group. It was just a good solid time to spend with my youth group.