Patrik teaching

Patrik has a heart for lost and hurting young people because he was once one of them.

Patrik was born into an unbelieving family in the Czech Republic, one of Europe’s least religious countries. As a teen, he lived a wild life and made poor decisions in order to fit in with the kids around him.

But one day, a close friend who had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and turned his life around began to talk to Patrik about Jesus. As Patrik wrestled with new ideas about a God he’d never considered, his friend began to faithfully pray for him. Eventually, overcome with gratitude for the Lord’s love and saving grace, Patrik gave his life to Jesus Christ and began walking a different path.

Today Patrik serves as a youth worker with International Needs. Public schools invite him in to speak to students about ethics, relationships, and how to maintain good emotional and physical health. Patrik gets real with the students, and they respond in astonishing ways.

Patrik normally works with elementary- and middle-school-aged children. But one day not long ago he faced a room full of high-school students.

The room was filled with 18-to-21-year-old working-class men training to become agricultural machine engineers. Many were regular drinkers and smokers, and they possessed the confidence of knowing that a vocational certificate would practically guarantee them well-paying jobs.

Patrik’s heart beat quickly as he prayed for wisdom and the right words. He knew he couldn’t win their trust by speaking from a position of moral superiority. He couldn’t berate them for their lifestyle choices. So with a courage that could have come only from the Lord, he shared the story of how he

Patrik connecting with students
Patrik connecting with students

had overcome his own personal struggles with substance abuse and reckless living.

Patrik could feel a change in the room. The group of hardscrabble young men were surprised. They were not used to being treated with such kindness and respect. And they were touched that Patrik has chosen to make himself vulnerable by sharing his story.

“This tough bunch of guys listened with eagerness,” says Patrik. “I could feel their gratitude. I was the first person to tell them that they have the power to change their lives and make better decisions.”

As the men began to trust Patrik, he was able to speak truth into their lives. Before he left, Patrik extended an invitation to each one to join him at an upcoming Christian youth festival, and then he began to pray that their hearts would soon become open to meeting Jesus. Planting these seeds is a big part of Patrik’s ministry – please join us in prayer for the students who hear his message.

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