About Healthy Youth Program
Yet currently the Czech Republic is the most atheistic country in the world.
It is a field ripe to be harvested. Only about 0,5% belong to one of evangelical churches.
Atheism does not bring what human souls are looking for and we sense an openness to the true gospel. In 1989 the Velvet Revolution ended 40 years of totalitarian communist regime. Czech people kept their incredible inner freedom and refused to be dictated again what to think and believe. The free society presented a unique opportunity for Christians.
There are many needs in the society which is far from God – especially among the young generation. For that reason, schools are obliged to provide primary prevention programs. Czech students aged 15 are the most at risk group for marihuana and ecstasy (MDMA) abuse in Europe. A lot the children live in broken families, smoke, drink alcohol and are addicted to the computer. Czech young people are very open to look for real life values if they are presented with them. This created an environment in the Czech Republic which is unprecedented almost around the whole world.
Christian youth workers who can now reach students during class time at public state funded schools.
Healthy Youth ministry became “an opportunity to switch the track in life of the young generation”.
Healthy Youth Workers
God has called and anointed many of HY workers marvelously to serve in public schools by presenting ethical and health issues. The inner need of the lost youth meets here with the burning hearts of HY workers.
Children and students hear from HY workers (mostly for the first time) about the dangers of the Internet, effects of smoking or unrestrained sexual lifestyle, relationships, racism and many other topics. The HY workers are healthy role models for them showing them it is possible to live differently.
The HY workers can share their testimony if they are asked by the students during a lecture which often happens! Many of the workers also offer lecturers on major religions or the Bible. Many of them can offer New Testaments, which we have published in a special edition solely for this purpose, to the students during their lecturers.
The students started asking me personal questions during one of my lecturers. They asked where I lived, if I had a facebook profile and other questions like that. I was trying to promptly answer and get back to our topic. Then someone asked: “What is your religion?” I answered: “I’m a Christian.”And I tried again to continue in the program. The students kept asking me so I had to briefly relate the gospel and what it means to believe in God to them. The students spent the rest of the lecture asking me questions about how I pray, what I say to God, if I go to a church and other questions like that.
(from a HY worker’s report)
Healthy youth program aims to bring hope to young people attending state schools. HY workers are often the very first Christians the students meet.
Feedback from students and teachers
Both the teachers and the students really appreciate HY workers. The students like the HY workers once they meet them and then look forward for every following lecture. The following situations are a funny demonstration of this:
– The students blocked the door and refused to let the HY worker go. They let him go when the teacher promised there would be another lecture with him.
– A few students were waiting in front of the school to escort him to the classroom because they could not wait for his lecture.
– Some students moved they doctor appointments not to miss a lecture.
– It is not unusual when the students make the school management to make the lecture one lesson longer.
Follow-up activities and local churches
We want our lecturers to be connected with local churches. Local church should shield the work of the lecturer by prayers and by financial participation. That is how local churches learn to share this missionary work and also lecturers learn to cooperate with their churches.
We communicate with pastors of our lecturers before we start our support and then in case of need.
Young people then attend several follow-up activities which are organized in cooperation with local churches. Mostly they are various free time clubs or activities. They create a space to talk to young people in more depth. The HY workers invite the students to these activities during their lectures.
Monitoring, Annual workers Conference, New Testaments for youth
The lectures create a place for various follow-up activities which are an inherent part of HY Program.
We personally visit the workers during their lectures and follow-up activities. They also send us regular quarterly reports about their work.
INCZ organizes Annual HY Workers Conference which has become a national event. This helps INCZ to take care of the spiritual strength and effectiveness of HY team.
New testaments for youth:
INCZ publishes since fall 2015 a special edition of the New Testament fit to non-churched youth, which is distributed in schools (in the context of certain topics and with the agreement of the school leadership) and follow-up activities.
Our print of NT is very popular with the students. They gladly take them and talk to our workers about what they have read (often they read it quite a lot).
About Czech Republic
Historical and spiritual Roots of the Czech Republic
A long time ago, the Czech land was a place from where great light of spiritual revival arose, which illuminated not only the Czech nation but also influenced other countries.
Many people were awakened by the preaching of John Hus, God’s servant and martyr, who preached the true Gospel for the very first time in the Czech language (until that time all preaching had been done in the Latin language, which people had never understood). Because of his faith in Christ, John Hus was burnt at the stake by the Catholic Church in Constance in 1415.
However, a new church, the Moravian Church, was established by his followers in 1457. There was a powerful church revival at that time – many people followed Christ even though they were in danger of losing status, possessions, or life. Jan Augusta, a bishop of the Moravian Church, spent 27 years in prison. There are some historical estimates that say there were 150 churches in the Czech kingdom in 1500, and the average church had 100 people in it. The Church led a strict disciple-like life, there was splendid pastoral care, schools, printing works, and the Bible was translated (some Christians in the Czech Republic are still using this translation today). Although the Moravian Church was outlawed, there was a spiritual movement for almost 200 years. However, in 1620, at the battle of White Mountain, the Catholic army defeated the Protestant one, and all non-Catholics were forced to either emigrate or convert to Catholicism. It was a time of spiritual darkness. Many believers emigrated; others kept their Bibles and books secretly and met in remote places at night to have services.
The majority of the emigrants stayed in Herrnhut in Germany and restored the Moravian church. God blessed this movement immensely by extraordinary grace and spiritual renewal. This church sent out hundreds of missionaries who worked around the whole world. It is a well-known fact that these believers deeply influenced John Wesley in his search for adamant certainty of salvation.
Hitler and the communists
Since 1620, there has not been any other significant spiritual revival in the area of the Czech Republic. The Czech land was oppressed by foreign powers; it was sacrificed twice by the powerful of the world: first it was given to Hitler in the Munich Pact in 1938 and then to Stalin in 1945. Although the Allies liberated the western part of the country in 1945, they had to stop near Pilsen. It had been agreed that the country would not be freed by the countries of the free world but by the delayed Soviet Army. So people were made to feel that the country owed its happiness to the Russians, and. A new, godless communistic regime was ready to come. In 1946, in democratic elections, the communists received 40% of the votes. Two years later they stirred up a government crisis, took over power and established an oppressive and atheistic regime for the next 40 years. The country, which had had a stronger economy than Germany, became an undeveloped country of Eastern Europe. People gave up their religious traditions and started building their careers in the new atheistic country. The ideology said that when the last of the old people who believed in God would die, all churches would be closed and the communists would put an end to that anachronism. Even though many believed it, it never happened. Many people who only were formal members left churches. However, many people without any Christian roots were coming to God. The church weakened in numbers during the communist regime but on the other hand it grew in inner strength.
The regime, which was built on deception, lies and violence, broke the character of generations and drove thousands of people to exile. However, the Czech nation mostly managed to preserve an admirable inner independence.
Now they are not “religious”, but are free to hear, free to create their own opinions, and free to openly discuss. They are ready to share with us as long as we come to them as partners to discuss with, not as ideologists to manipulate them. We believe the Czech Republic is at the threshold of a great spiritual renewal.