Honza and his wife, Pavla, have incredible love and passion for the young people around them who are lost as they themselves once were. “The average youth in the Czech Republic grows up without two parents in the same house. Marriage is not seen as an important institution, so adults move around a lot. This leaves youth with little feeling of security in their homes lives.”
“The vast majority are atheist and have never been to a church or even heard of Jesus. ‘There is nothing to do’ is a common phrase heard from teenagers worldwide, but in the villages of the Czech Republic, it often is actually true. It all adds up to youth with no real support or direction.”
Battie was one such young person. A teenager with a mother in prison, an absent father, and living with her very strict grandmother, she was heading down a destructive path. Somehow she came to a Youth for Christ Rock Solid Club in her village. There she began receiving the love she was craving and began opening up and smiling.
Battie’s grandma didn’t approve and so, unfortunately, Battie quit coming. Then Honza and Pavla found out Battie and her grandma were short on food and decided to take them a care package. Grandma was suspicious and hesitant at first, but finally accepted their gift. She started letting Battie come again to the Rock Solid Club. Seeing how Battie was changing, she wanted to know why.
“We see these youth change so quickly when they realize they’ve found a real connection, when they’ve found people who care. Once they know we care, it is only a short connection to the reason we care for them – Jesus. ‘Why do you act like this?’ Jesus. ‘Why do you care about me? You are not my family.’ Jesus. It is always Jesus,” said Honza.
Honza and Pavla have a huge dream for Youth for Christ in the Czech Republic. Besides the weekly Rock Solid clubs, the weekend training retreats and the annual camps they run, they also want to create a music festival where young people from the small villages can gather for a celebration with Christian bands, speakers, workshops and lots of fun.
“We know that we can energize the youth of our nation for spreading the good news of Jesus to their friends if we can just show them they are not alone,” said Honza.
Today Battie is a follower of Jesus and is a student leader on the Youth for Christ weekend training retreats. Honza and Pavla are excited to watch what will happen in Battie’s family and village as they meet the Jesus that is changing their lives.