Monday, August 5, 2013

Tachov and Slany

What better way to get to know a country than to get lost on your way through it. I’m guessing this is John’s philosophy too because that’s exactly what we did some five times yesterday on our way to Tachov from Žatec.

The person in charge of Tachov Karavaan is Zuzana. Knowing she is a pastor of a Hussite church, I expected an old, grey-haired lady. But Zuzana surprised me; she is very young and very energetic.

Today morning we attended the service at Zuzana’s church. I was surprised when I walked inside – there were many statues of saints and other decorations that are not typical for Protestant churches. It was actually an Orthodox church, but Zuzana’s congregation is using it as well.

Photo from Zuzana's church (by Claudia Zbrankova)
Never in any kind of Protestant church in Europe have I seen so many young people. No grey heads here and that is very weird. Zuzana’s passion for mission and youth is undoubtedly the only reason why so many young people attend this church. I had to ask her how come she decided to do what she does because I simply don’t understand how a young smart woman who could be anything decides to be a pastor. She said she was not sure what to do, first she studied something else, but the calling for mission was just too strong.

We were in Tachov almost the whole day and in the afternoon we joined the American group and visited yet another church, this time in Slaný. Like many others, this Hussite church from the outside doesn’t look like a church at all; it’s just a regular apartment building. It’s run by the pastor and his family (wife and two daughters). The service was in Czech, but the daughters interpreted everything for us.

I spoke to pastor’s wife and she told me they were living in the States for a couple of years. What struck her most, as a church person, is the different approach towards religion in the US and Europe. She says that people in Europe are not interested in religion and church at all, whereas in the US, getting their attention is much, much easier just because they don’t have prejudices against church like here.

The pastor mentioned something similar in his sermon. He said that in the past the Europeans went to do America to do missionary work, but now, tables turned and Americans come to Europe to help the Europeans discover their religious heritage.

In the afternoon we again joined the group we already joined in Tachov, but this time we were in Most. They travelled here today while we were in Slaný. We’re staying here tonight, and I have to be honest, I have no idea where we go tomorrow.

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