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March 25, 2012

When Partnerships Thrive: Stories From the Warehouse Church

Two Warehouse Church members share their experiences at Common Grounds in the Czech Republic.

  • Connecting Through Music

    John Thompson shared his love of music and was able to form deeper connections with young Czechs.

  • Genuine Friendships

    Julie Elzerman (pictured with Czech friend Eve) made last-longing friendships by serving on the worship team.

Two Warehouse Church members share their experiences at Common Grounds in the Czech Republic.

Story From Julie Elzerman

My husband and I had our first encounter with Common Grounds when we went to the Czech Republic in 2006. The people of Common Grounds, as well as all of the Czech people at English camp, impacted our lives so much that we returned with our church team two more times! There was nothing ‘short-term’ about these mission trips. We were blessed to build some truly genuine friendships with many Czech people, who we still are in contact with through Skype, email, and Facebook. When we visited the last time in 2010, I had the opportunity to sing and play guitar along with some of the Common Grounds worship leaders on a Sunday morning. I felt so blessed to join in singing worship songs together, some in English and some in Czech. Even though the language is different, our hearts are joined because of our common fellowship with God, and that is an unbreakable bond. (pictured with a Czech friend, Eve)


Story From John Thompson

I’ve long been a music person, and it’s really incredible to be able to put the skills and love I have for music and culture into ministry practice in the mission field. Whether playing a concert, giving a guitar lesson, or talking about the meaning of different lyrics, the work we did there felt like the culmination of decades of preparation that I had no idea was even happening. But the real thrills came in the times young Czech people would approach us with deep questions about their fears, their dreams and their frustrations, and how God might fit into all that. Many late night conversations, hikes in the woods, shared meals, follow-up emails and Facebook conversations brought opportunities to speak the truth into many people’s lives who had never considered Jesus from the specific vantage point we offered. Several people eventually accepted Christ and others will, in time. (pictured giving a guitar lesson)

[Originally published in TEAMHorizons, March 2012]

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