Tears of joy flooded Stan and Abbey Wilcox’s* eyes. It had been years since these International Mission Board missionaries lived in the Czech Republic.
Back then, the spiritual darkness had been so overwhelming at times. And now — were they hearing this correctly? Were two people they had never met thanking God publicly for leading them to start a church where Stan and Abbey had prayed nearly a decade earlier?
Eight years ago, Stan and Abbey took a volunteer group of U.S. teens to see what God was doing in the city of Brno, about an hour from where Stan and Abbey lived. The group spent a day in Bystrc, a district of Brno, where they helped clean up the sidewalks and prayed over the area. They also sang, which drew curious looks from people who poked their heads out of their apartment windows to determine the source of the foreign music.
“Looking up at all the people, we just prayed that God would reach them, that He would do something in that area. Then we left,” Stan said.
A few years later, God led Stan and Abbey’s family to move to Italy. Their time in Bystrc became a distant memory — until they heard the story of fellow IMB missionaries Stephen and Jennifer Folker.
Stephen and Jennifer moved to Brno with their children in 2015. A year later they asked their local pastor about planting a church in another part of the city. Soon God directed them to Bystrc, an area with more than 25,000 people and no evangelical church.
In 2017, Stephen and Jennifer led a group from Brno Baptist Church in a study of the book of Acts, and together they began hosting outreach events in Bystrc. This small group of people took ownership of ministry opportunities and became their core ministry team with a vision to plant a church in Bystrc.
Then in 2018 the Folkers and another family from their local ministry team moved out to this part of Brno. They had no idea about Stan’s, Abbey’s, and the volunteers’ prayers in Bystrc until the Folkers shared their story with a crowd of IMB workers. They met Stan and Abbey afterward and responded with awe to God’s faithfulness.
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Source: Baptist Press