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

Sunday, April 14, 2013


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!