Most students spent their spring break lounging on the beach before heading back to school. Other students, such as Emily Dolegowski, a senior, focused her efforts from vacationing to humanity instead.
Dolegowski spent 10 days in Prague, Czech Republic with an organization called CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). The group’s goal was sharing the gospel and working on English skills with students who attend gymnáziums–schools that provide higher-level, academic education. While in Prague, CRU worked with three high schools.
”We should spend the days within the classrooms, and we would practice conversational English because they have classes just devoted to speaking English,” said Dolegowski.
Last year, Dolegowski and her group went to Prague to start up their ministry of sharing the gospels and helping educate students. This year’s trip was focused on continuing the work performed previously and growing the program.
The Czech Republic is one of the most atheistic countries in the world, so a big focus for Dolegowski was to try to have conversations with the students about God and the work He does.
“We would invite the students to events after school, like we had an Easter party which was an opportunity to keep talking to them and to share the gospel. We also had a coffee house and played this game called Solarium which helped start conversations as well,” said Dolegowski.
Being able to have these conversations built many personal relationships with the students. A relationship with one girl in particular would turn out to be Dolegowski’s favorite experience from the trip.
“I have a small group leader from my freshman and sophomore year that is living on stint in Prague right now and there was this girl that she wanted me to meet and encourage, and she was just like me. She even had purple hair like I used to. She was a Christian and she was telling me how she didn’t have any Christian friends so it had been hard for her, but I got the chance to encourage her and build a friendship with her,” said Dolegowski.
The mission trip provided many takeaways, one being able to better understand need.
“I’m learning to be more compassionate for the people of the world and to love people I don’t even know. Sometimes I think we forget that there are people everywhere. There is a greater need and it is very evident in the students so it was really cool to get to talk to them and teach them how I satisfy that need.”
Even though this trip is only for high school students, Dolegowski will attempt to return to the ministry on stint next year if it is something she feels God is calling her to do.