Czech Mate Ministries International

Ken and Linda Stapleton's news site. Send tax deductible contributions to; CMMI, PO Box 46068, Seattle, WA 98146

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Location: Liberec/Seattle, United States

are missionaries living in the Czech Republic since 1997. Their support comes from individuals and churches in the United States and the Czech Republic. Send tax deductible contributions to; CMMI, PO Box 46068, Seattle, WA 98146

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

 Ken's recovery from hip surgery has taken far longer and has been more difficult than anticipated.  He had hip surgery February 5th and spent 2 weeks in a hospital 1/2 hour from Liberec, So Linda had to drive 1 hour a day to spend 1 and 1/2 hours visiting him.  He developed a horrible bedsore which was extremely painful and kept him from sleeping more than 1 or 2 hours at a time.  When he was released he was told not to put any weight on his right leg for 6 weeks nor ride in a car.  He came home by ambulance laying down.  Both the bedsore and hip gave a lot of pain.  He would shift from his bed to his chair in the living room every few hours and each time Linda would have to carefully raise his leg onto the bed even throughout the night.  It was like having a newborn baby in the house.  

After 6 weeks, he went back to the hospital for his follow-up exam.  The x-ray showed that he was healing okay and his bedsore was mostly healed.  He was given permission to start putting weight on his leg and ride in a car. Now he is able to attend our English Conversation groups which Linda continued to lead  for the last 2 months. The next step is 10 sessions of physical therapy.  It took a week just to schedule a consultation with a physical therapy clinic and now we must wait to start the PT until April 29th (over a month).  So he is still hobbling around on crutches, but he is able to do a little more each day.  He can now dress himself except for his socks ;)  His bedsore is healing and no longer bothering him but he still experiences pain in his hip.  At least now he can sleep in his bed for longer than 2 hours and he can raise his own leg onto the bed.  Now that Linda can get a full night's sleep the world is a better place ;)

Thank you for praying for us.  It has been stressful but we are very thankful that the Lord has given us the strength and courage to carry on. The medical care in the Czech Republic is excellent and the staff at the Jablonec hospital were very pleasant and caring people.  

I (Linda) am doing things I didn't know I could do:  all the driving, shopping, meal planning, preparation and clean-up as well as continuing the 3 English conversation outreaches in 3 different towns.  I don't know if you remember, but one of the complications of the chemotherapy for breast cancer was that I lost my ability to multi-task.  I can't say that I am back to normal in this area, but I can see a vast improvement.  I am able to compensate by making lists of the things I must do rather than keeping it all in my head.  Of course some important things aren't getting done, like communicating with you and keeping up our blog.  I hope you will forgive us.

New adventures await and requests for prayer:

In our mentoring of pastors and church leaders we have always taught them to reproduce themselves in ministry.  We have been praying for 3 years for an intern so we can begin to reproduce ourselves.  We finally have a young lady who just graduated from a Christian university who is interested in becoming a missionary.  She will live and work beside us for 3 months, May 26th - August 21st.  Please pray for Briana Oliver.  Also pray for us.  We have never mentored a missionary but we are sure that this is what the Lord wants us to do.  So pray that He will show us how to do it well. 

On June 27th through July 3rd, there will be a European Missionary Women's Retreat in Poland.  Please pray for a great time of refreshing and ministry.  Please also pray for the missionary hosting this event, Denise Johnson, who is currently in America to be with her mother who has a serious medical condition.  Also pray that the finances will come in to help pay for the missionaries to attend this important meeting.    

Also in answer to prayer, two ladies saw our documentary video and wrote to ask if they could be part of our Youth Summer Camp this year.  They are highly qualified and motivated and are coming to serve for 2 weeks in August. Shortly after that another church asked if they could send a team to our Youth Camp.  So please pray for our Camp and how to integrate our American friends with our Czech team to serve and influence the campers to start or deepen their relationships with Jesus.

So lots happening on this side of the pond.  Hope all is well with you.  I will not post pictures with this blog as Ken's 12 inch scar and his bedsore are not something you would+ want to see.

God bless you.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

We have recently been visited by Jim and Lynn Adams of Creative Impact Ministries.  They have produced four top quality videos of our ministry in the Czech Republic.  There is, in this present post, a trailer/teaser which should prompt you to want to view the full 30 minute documentary that follows.  The next post is that documentary.  Following will be our message to churches and our Christian friends in the United States and finally you will find a short bit of fun that shows a community outreach in our city of Liberec, Czech Republic.  We hope are blessed and moved by each one...
     Find the trailer at:

Here it is !!!  The long awaited video that does a very good job of summarizing and presenting what we have been doing as missionaries in the Czech Republic.  It introduces many people with whom we work and serve, shows several scenes from our adopted country and reveals a large corner of our hearts.  It is our desire that it blesses you and encourages you to pray for and partner with us and others who have committed their lives to world missions.
     You can find it by following this link:
     The documentary runs for 30 minutes and is our gift to you.

The is a video we made as an encouragement to the church and our Christian friends in the United States.  We hope that it speaks to many of you.
     You can find it at:
     It runs for about 5 1/2 minutes.  May it bless you.

This video is just a little fun showing a community outreach by our home church in the city of Liberec, Czech Republic.

     You can find it here:
     It runs for about 3 minutes.  Enjoy  !!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


After months of preparation and meetings the time for English Camp finally arrived.  Ken's first assignment was to drive our car and pull the trailer that contained all the supplies for camp.  Anyone who's driven in Czech knows that is not an easy task - no freeways between Liberec and camp, only narrow, twisting roads.  (For some reason Czechs don't seem to like straight lines!)

There were 65 people at camp:  50 teens between 14-20 years old, 23 were not-yet-believers, 4 Americans from California (Tim, Luke, Candace and Andie), 2 missionary couples who live in the Czech Republic, (Wes and Sheri Stafford and Ken and Linda Stapleton) and Czech staff from the JB Liberec Church Youth Group.  The theme for this year's camp was Time Travel.  We lived in the future and had to go back in time to find something that we needed in order to survive.  Each day we traveled to a different place and time: The discovery of America, the Titanic, Rome, The Industrial Revolution and the American Civil War.
 Introduction to English Camp:  Do you have what it takes to save the world?  We must travel back in time and acquire certain things that will ensure our survival.  Are you ready?
Tim and Wes pass the test with flying colors.

In the morning we were divided into 5 English groups for 2 hours of English practice.  In the afternoon we played elaborate games based on the day's theme.  And in the evening we had a club meeting ending with a message on some important topic followed by breaking into small groups for deeper discussion.  On Titanic Day the evening topic was facing unexpected challenges and Linda shared about her battle with cancer and how important her faith in Jesus was to help her get through this difficult time.  On the last evening, Tim played the guitar and Andie sang Amazing Grace (a song written by a former slave-ship captain) and brought down the house, some teens had tears in their eyes.  

We can't thank enough the team that came from Westminster Foursquare Church to help us with the English and camp.  They put their heart and soul into every activity and kept up with this lively group of teens even though it meant bruises, sore muscles and lack of sleep.  Also, thanks to Wes and Sheri Stafford, another American missionary couple who have recently moved to the Czech Republic and live in east Bohemia. 
 Sheri and Wes Stafford and Andie, Candace and Tim

Tim and Luke help lead the camp song during the evening meeting

What stood out for us this year was the excellent atmosphere of the camp - one of peace, acceptance and inclusion. Besides the religious differences there were teens from many different towns and churches, not just Liberec, but there was no breaking into cliques as so often happens with teens.  Everyone interacted and encouraged each other.  The yet-to-believe teens observed and listened carefully and the believing teens were willing and eager to minister.  Some teens who often stayed in the shadows, took leadership positions. This year's English Camp was truly an integrated, wholesome place to share our lives and faith in a natural way.  We are excited to see the fruit, hopefully in the near future...

One of the tasks was to compose words to a sailor's tune.  The winning group added dance to the song. Indian Linda greeted each team as they arrived in America and invited them to eat breakfast after their long journey to America. 
On Titanic Day Ken compares muscles with Popeye (Molny is youth leader in Liberec and the Director of the English Camp)
Rome was known for its brutal sports.  Everyone was looking forward to the Brutal Games.
One brutal game was for the boys to lock bodies and for the girls to pull them apart. 
 GO GIRLS!  Only 2 left!
 VICTORY for the girls.  DEFEAT for the boys.
and DEATH for Caesar.

 Linda's English Group
Ken's English Group

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Last year the newly established Roma (Gypsy) Church in Nove Mesto did an outreach to a Roma community in Rychnov nad Kneznou at the request of the local pastor, our friend, Martin Vlasak. (This is a 3 hour drive)  From the fruit of last year's outreach Martin was able to start a home group in the Roma community that met weekly for a year.  The Roma Church from Nove Mesto did another outreach this year and four Roma believers were baptized.  We can hardly wait to see what fruit will come from this year's outreach.  There was music, dancing, testimonies, prayer and baptisms.  The home group were gracious hosts and served us wonderful food throughout the day.  We are grateful and humbled by their generosity.

The Nove Mesto Roma reached out to the Roma in Rychnov nad Kneznou, setting up a covering for the musicians and a sound table in the courtyard between two apartment buildings.

 There was lively music and dancing.  

 These two pastors give a new meaning to "hanging out" as they talk to the occupants of this apartment.  

 Testimonies by the 4 people who wanted to be baptized

 And always prayer for whoever wanted it

Although the Roma (Gypsy) church has been in Nove Mesto only 1 1/2 years, they planned a community outreach called Family Day.  They advertised by posters and word of mouth and expected around 50 people.  Over 200 showed up.  Six Roma and 4 other people came from Rychnov n. Kneznou to help. Friday night we had a BBQ and music and Linda made chocolate chip cookies for our visitors from Rychnov.  Saturday afternoon there were many activities planned for the children that included crafts, games, sports and face painting.  The kids loved the balloon animals that Ken made for them.  It was great fun for all.  We love to see the co-operation and help the churches give to one another and the reaching out to their communities.  
 Friday evening gathering of helpers for Family Day enjoyed a BBQ and lively music

A fun Family Day Outreach in Nove Mesto Pod Smkem with the Roma Church and helpers from Rychnov

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Long day in the life of a missionary

We were asked by the pastor in Tynec and his elder who is a teacher in Benesov if we would spend the morning in school and the evening giving our presentation on We Were Hippies (which includes Ken's salvation testimony).  So on March 15, 2013 Ken and Linda left home at 4:30 am in order to be in Benesov by 8 am when the first class began.  For the next five hours we were in 6 double classes talking about Easter traditions in America and asking students how they celebrate Easter.  We shared our personal family tradition of going to church and celebrating the Resurrection and we had each class go on an Easter egg hunt.  We had 10 plastic eggs with candy and one empty egg hidden around the classroom.  The person who got the empty egg was surprised but then we told them about the empty tomb and that it was the "special" prize and they got the grand prize of a small chocolate Easter bunny.  It was great fun to interact with more than 120 teens and we pray that it opens doors for their Christian teachers to be able to share more later.  We were very busy and did not have time to take pictures.  However, there was a school photographer who took pictures and promised to email us some but even after a reminder, he has failed to keep his promise.  If he sends us pictures, we will post them later.

That evening Ken spoke about "We Were Hippies".  We are always surprised who comes to these presentations.  That evening it was great to see a mix of all ages.  After the presentation there was a time for asking questions that both Ken and Linda answered.  The meeting lasted from 6 pm - 8:30 pm.  We love our own bed so we drove home and arrived just before midnight.  Fortunately, we had nothing scheduled for the next day so we slept in.


A few times a year, Ken and Linda try to get together with our friend and fellow-missionary working in Poland, Denise Johnson.  It is a 9 hour drive between our two homes.  This year Linda met an American lady, Amber Stark, who runs a home in Slovakia as a retreat for missionaries.  It is in the small town of Vrbovce Sance just across the border from Czech and almost halfway between Denise and us.  We decided to meet there for the long Easter weekend (Thursday - Monday).  Unfortunately Denise got sick the day before, but since we had reservations since October, we decided to go by ourselves.

When you think of Easter, you usually think Spring, flowers and sunshine. Right?   So it was with great surprise that we woke up to 8 inches of new snow on Good Friday.  The house is located in a very small village and the driveway to the home is long and narrow with a wall on one side and a hill on the other and then you must turn 90 degrees and park facing downhill. Needless to say, Ken was not able to move our car.  But it was a wonderful place to relax, read, watch movies and play games.

On Easter Sunday, we decided to go to the Lutheran Church 10 km away in Vrbovce, a larger village of 2000 people.  Easter morning we awoke to a blizzard outside but Amber had a 4 wheel drive VW so we were able to get out of the drive.  The church was packed.  There were very special presentations of music, Scripture and young children singing and reciting poems.  And at the end, everyone formed one line and exited the building by shaking the pastors hands.

Pictures:  Missionary retreat house called the Oasis.  Amber and Emily.  Lining up in church to greet the pastors.  Note the lady wearing her village dress.

Czech and Slovakia have a unique tradition associated with Easter.  Monday is also a day off and a bigger part of the holiday than Sunday.  The men and boys make whips from braiding willow branches and then on Easter Monday morning they visit their lady friends and relatives and hit them with their whips.  Then the ladies give the men colored eggs or candy or shots of alcohol.   This is to bring the ladies health and youthfulness.  I do not think this idea would be accepted in the US, but here it is a long-standing tradition.  When at home in Czech, Linda does not go out or answer the door until after noon.  Amber and her assistant, Emily, knew her neighbors would be visiting them on Easter Monday so had colored eggs ready,

Pictures:  Men coming with their whips, whipping Amber and Emily, Emily with the colored eggs.

The men also helped get our automobile out of the parking spot and down the driveway to the street, not an easy task.  They had to push, shovel snow, break up ice, put sand under the tires and then hold the car on the road so it wouldn't slide down the hill.  It was quite an adventure.  Five hours later we were home, sweet home.  We did not have a white Christmas in Liberec this year and this was our first white Easter.  Crazy!