We had the privilege to be be visited this summer by Samuel Lacho, the Ministry Director for the Central and Eastern European Region at TWR Europe. We took the opportunity to sit down with him and find out a bit more about him. We began by asking him how he came to faith.
Well, thank you for this opportunity. I came from a Christian home so I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t believe that there was a God who loved me and had a plan for my life. But I remember that I as a teenager had a problem with the church: I was looking at the church and was thinking, why is the church so complicated? What did God have in mind, creating the church?
In the country that I grew up in (Czechoslovakia) it was under a communist regime, and so the church was persecuted. Because of that many of the local churches were just turned inwardly, and when the church is turned inward, all different kinds of problems appear that usually are not there if the church is doing what it is supposed to do.
I was looking at that as a teenager and was thinking, “What has happened?” I saw a lot of weaknesses. Then one day, actually while cleaning my room, I came across a verse from the Bible on a sticker. The verse was in English and it said, “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” It is a verse from second Corinthians 12.9, and that really spoke to me. I realised that God doesn’t expect perfect people: he actually created a church made out of imperfect people, but then he wants to show his grace, and he wants to show his power whenever we are weak.
That really turned my life around. I could believe in a God who would create an imperfect church but who gave the church his perfect gift of grace. So that was my first encounter with God.
Having grown up in the church under communist rule, we asked Samuel about the challenges those countries now face.
Many of these countries have got rid of the communist regime and are becoming market economies. Through this change, people came to power that were good in the beginning, but with the growth of materialism, and with their heritage, the government and the whole society has been really suffering under a lot of corruption. So I think that is one of the major issues that these countries are dealing with: the corruption that permeates the society on many different levels.
And finally for this week, we asked Samuel if there were any listener stories he would like to share with us.
Well there actually is. About two weeks ago, I was in Serbia visiting a listener. She is a Roma, a typical Roma woman that came to Christ, became a believer in a church. But then she moved to another town in Serbia, and there was not a local church, so she listened to the [TWR] programmes. Actually she listened to the Thru the Bible programmes and just began to apply the scriptures that she read.
Then one day there was a baby discovered in the trash. It was a baby boy, and, because she was a Christian, she just took this boy in and raised him up. I met the boy and now he is 12. Because of his mother being a Christian, and being exposed to the Bible changing and transforming her life, now this young boy became a Christian. We visited them because he wanted to get baptised.
And so for me, that is a wonderful transformational story of this lady who could have led a totally different kind of life, but because of the broadcasts, her life was transformed.
Thank you to Samuel for sharing about his life, and for that remarkable listener story. Next week we will continue our conversation with Samuel Lacho, discussing the projects he is working with, and giving you some prayer points for the work in Central and Eastern Europe.