Serving with Open Door Libraries for the past 24 plus years, the Barnes have established and operate a public Christian library and community center in the heart of the capital city of the Czech Republic!!
Designed as a tool for outreach and evangelism, the library serves the needs of both Czechs as well as those in the international community. It provides a place where people can come and explore the truth of Christianity and grow in their faith and understanding of God. The library offers a wide variety of activities including regular lecture series on practical issues of life, story hour and crafting afternoons for kids, Bible studies, and opportunities to connect with university students who want to improve their English, The library also regularly welcomes school groups for English lessons.
Interested in being a part of what God is doing in Prague?
Ongoing expansion plans are focused on continuing to develop the ground floor space to include a full service cafe to be integrated with the library and increased meeting space affording many more opportunities for engagement. The space is designed to be used for community events (music and art), seminars, workshops, film nights and so much more as they seek to engage with those who might never darken the door of a church building but would come to a welcoming “third space."
Here are some specific ways to get involved ..
- GIVE a special gift or become a regular partner
- SHARE Czech-It-Out updates with those who might be interested
- PRAY regularly for specific needs both personal and ministry
- COME and SERVE as part of many wonderful short and long-term opportunities
If you are interested in being a part of this cutting edge ministry, please contact the Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more about Jim and Laurie and their journey?
Jim is originally from Cleveland, OH and holds a BA in history from Milligan College with an MA from the University of Illinois and PhD studies in History at the University of Toledo, with an emphasis in Modern European History. Shortly after he and Laurie married in 1992 and as communism fell in Central and Eastern Europe, God put it on Jim's heart to explore opportunities for service across the pond.
In 1993 they met Willard Black who had been praying for who God would call to fulfill the vision he was given to establish a public Christian library in Prague. They then made an exploratory trip to the Czech Republic in the summer of 1994 which further confirmed the call and the result was a long-term commitment of sharing Christ through a new found "ministry of books."
Laurie grew up in Bethlehem, PA which was founded by the Moravians -- a group which originated in a region of the Czech lands before settling in Herrnhut, Germany and eventually becoming one of the greatest global missionary movements. As a kid Laurie's two loves were the outdoors and books and reading. After a successful career with the US Forest Service, in 1989 (right about the time of the Velvet Revolution in then Czechoslovakia) God called her to leave it all behind and to move to CA to attend San Jose Christian College where she received a BA in Bible and Theology with an emphasis in Counseling and Interpersonal Studies. It was during that time that she and Jim met and many a date was spent drinking tea and exploring various used bookstores in the Bay Area of California -- even today they proudly claim the title "non-recovering bookaholic."
In 2010 Laurie received her Master in Library Science (MLS) from Southern Connecticut State University. The focus of her MA thesis was on training and educational needs in small international libraries with the goal of improving library services as well as supporting others who might have a similar vision to establish a Christian library or utilize books in ministry in different parts of the world. Perhaps this might be you? If so, we would love to have that conversation to explore things further.Please click here for NEW VIDEO https://vimeo.com/538766964/85f96e44eb