Milos Solc (pronounced Scholtz) is serving as a missionary in the Czech Republic. He was asked by the Missionary News to share his testimony.
“For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
I was most privileged by the gracious hand of God to be born into the home of a faithful Baptist minister in the former Czechoslovakia—Milos Solc, Jr., who himself was privileged to be born into the home of a mighty man of God and Baptist preacher and evangelist – Milos Solc, Sr.
My grandfather (Milos Solc, Sr.) had a very unusual life and it is from him that the gracious and providential dealing of God with our family stems. He came from an unbelieving middle class family, which through unfortunate circumstances lost everything and was hurled into terrible poverty. The family lived among thieves and cutthroats and my grandfather and his brother became scrappers – for that was the only way to survive.
As a boy, he was driven out of school and started to make some money by working at a prestigious tennis club. Literally living at the club, with tremendous drive and motivation, he started to develop as a tennis player. By the time he was eighteen, in the late 1920s, he found himself in the final of the consolation round at the world professional tennis championships on the French Riviera, and by the late 1930s, he was one of the top professional tennis players in the world. He moved in the highest circles of society in Europe, but in his early tennis years the Lord miraculously saved him and he believed that whatever the Lord blessed him with was to be for the extension of his kingdom.
This is indeed what governed his life. Wherever he went, he was known for his bold witness, unfeigned faith, and missionary zeal. He publicly faced down and refused American legend and one of the greatest tennis players of all time – Bill Tilden, for his wicked and immoral lifestyle, when Tilden gave him an invitation to join his elite professional tennis troupe in the United States, playing before sold out crowds in the Depression era in places like New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
It was in the 1940s that the Lord called my grandfather into the ministry. He became a very well-known preacher and evangelist, and with his professional sports background, he was to our country something like a Billy Sunday was to America. The Lord used him mightily at a time of great trouble and persecution in our land during the years of Communism. His fearless and fighting personality along with his famous past, was something the Communists did not know how to handle. His living testimony was a great influence upon the life of my father and in turn upon myself. Seeing the power and fullness of the Holy Ghost in his life, confronted me in my own. I could not deny the reality, existence, and power of God. How good God was to give me this spiritual giant in my life.
From my earliest years, the Lord began to mold me by these experiences. I was saved as a boy of seven and the Lord gave me a deep love for His things. There was always a great emphasis that my grandfather and father placed on the reading of God’s Word, and so I began to read God’s Word for myself. By the time I was in my early teens I read the Bible several times. I strongly believe that this had the greatest influence upon my young life. I can testify of the washing effect of the Word of God over my life and soul, even as I look at the lives of some church friends from my youth and observe the sad spiritual condition in which they presently find themselves. I marvel at how the Lord has graciously led me and I go back to these formative years and the deep effect the Word of God had upon my life, with the further confirmation of its Truth in the godliness of life of my grandparents and parents.
My father followed in my grandfather’s footsteps of faith. He was a man given many talents by the Lord, and founded and headed various ministries within the Czech Baptist Union – later becoming the President of the Czech Baptists. As a young man, I had many unique opportunities to meet and spend time with various ministers, missionaries, and people in church leadership. I met countless believers, from the most simple, to those in the forefront of major ministries. I was also a witness to the inner workings of church ministry and its difficulties. I learned much from these experiences that the Lord gave me. I never had the opportunity to attend Bible college where most young preachers are trained, but however it may sound, I have to say my home was my college and two pastors my private tutors. What I learned, especially of pastoral and practical theology from these men and these experiences, nothing else could make up for and no words can adequately express.
In 1981, the Lord called my father and our family to Canada, to an ethnic ministry in the city of Toronto, in the Czechoslovak Baptist Church. My father ministered in Toronto until 1994 at which time he went back to become the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Prague, Czech Republic, which his own father pastored in the 1950’s. That same year, in February 1994, my wife Martina and I were married. I was finishing my university studies at the time at the University of Toronto and we stayed on in Canada in the church ministry in the Czechoslovak Baptist Church, even though my family went back to our homeland.
I can say with a clear conscience before the Lord that for my entire life, church ministry was a priority for me, and everything else was secondary. It was the Lord’s doing that from my early years I was able to say with David: “Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.” My responsibilities and involvement in the church over the years continued to grow. At the age of sixteen, which was the year of my baptism, I began teaching Sunday School. Around the same time I also became the Youth Leader – a post in which I continued until we left the church in 2002. Some time later, in my mid twenties, I was elected on to the church board, and a few years after that, on to the church session. During all this time my teaching and preaching responsibilities in the church continued to increase as well. But it was at this very time that the Lord in His providence stepped in and redirected our lives.
It was nothing other than the providential Hand of God that brought us, by way of the Whitefield Christian School, to the Toronto Free Presbyterian Church and the Free Presbyterian denomination in the September of 1997. We—my wife, our one-year-old boy, and myself—were just a couple of weeks from leaving Canada to go into the mission field in our native land. My father was the President of the Czech Baptists at the time and as the Lord closed all the doors for us in Canada, my father impressed upon us the great needs in the ministry in the Czech Republic. It was just then, a few days before the school year started, that I received a phone call from Whitefield – a place I knew nothing about, showing interest in my teaching services for the upcoming school year. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship whose depth only the Lord can measure.
As Eastern European Baptists, behind the iron curtain, we were naturally very conservative in our practical theology, but sadly, weak doctrinally. This was simply because we did not have even one good theological seminary in our country where our men could be trained, and travel abroad—whether for study or otherwise—was forbidden. The Lord protected us from some of the onslaughts of Liberalism and Modernism even by the seclusion and the hardships of Communism, and much of what was happening in the western church was a mystery to us and did not affect us. Nevertheless, over the years, some influences and contacts from the west came. Being ignorant of the issues and developments in Western Evangelicalism and grateful for any encouragement and help, we were very much at the mercy of what came to us, and sadly, most of the influences and contacts that did come, were New-Evangelical—a term which we did not know, and if we did, would not have understood. Therefore, as I came to the ministry of the Free Church and was introduced to the history of Fundamentalism, the issues of separation, and the developments in evangelicalism over the last century, it was something completely new to me. But, though it was new, because I was a fundamentalist at heart, as I observed the Free Church ministry and studied all that was available to me, the only thing that actually took place is that I came to fully understand what I always deep inside believed. Above all, by bringing me to the Free Presbyterian Church, the Lord in His mercy opened up before me the Doctrines of Grace and Covenant Theology, which in the Lord’s time I fell in love with, and wholly embraced. It was all like a wonderful new world to me.
During all this time, issues of compromise started to arise in our own Toronto Czechoslovak Baptist Church, which I now more than ever before was able to recognize and to which I was very sensitive. As things came to a head, in March 2002, the Lord required of me to take a stand against my own brethren. I met with the pastor and the board and session, and submitted my resignation from my position of church leadership as well as my family’s withdrawal from church membership. The Lord further gave me the opportunity to speak to the whole congregation and to beseech them to be faithful to the teaching of the Scriptures, at a congregational meeting that was called for the purpose of my giving an explanation of my resignation and departure from the work. The whole process took one month. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. My father, who shortly thereafter found out, wrote me a hard letter. Our deep family relationships were altered. Our lifelong friendships were severed. The church in which I spent the first thirty years of my life was left behind. It was very hard and very painful. Without the Lord, we could never have done it!
It was at the end of March 2002, that the Lord brought us to the Toronto Free Presbyterian Church full-time. Over the early years that I spent at Whitefield, we grew to know and love the people of the church and now the Lord brought us there that we might build a new spiritual home. This is something that takes a lifetime, and the first thirty years of our lives were given to another work. We started from the beginning again: building relationships, trust, and a testimony. Many times it has been lonely, but with Christ, when alone, never alone. In taking us out of a ministry where our roots ran so deep and bringing us to a new people and work, the Lord has given us experiences that few can have. Above all, it has been a great school of humility. With deepest sincerity and with thankfulness to the Lord, I can say that the people of the Free Church have become our people, and their God our God.
The Free Presbyterian Church has become our home and haven, and our place of resting and learning. Yet, it was all for a higher purpose that the Lord brought us here. It was that He might build us up, strengthen us, teach us, and prepare us for what was lying ahead – the delivery of what we had received to the Czech people in our native land. For on October 24,2006, the Lord gave us His call.
The burden for our people—coming from amongst them and seeing the grievous state of the church in our homeland—was always great, but the Lord up to this time had not given His call. Coming from a minister’s home and understanding all of the responsibilities and challenges of the ministry, I had a holy fear of it, and I knew that the Lord would have to move in some very unusual way, before I was ready to go forward. That is exactly what the Lord did. He removed any hindrances that were left, prepared our hearts, and then spoke the Word. It was during a week of meetings in the Port Hope Church where Rev. Wagner was speaking from 2 Peter on apostasy, when driving home on a Tuesday evening from the meeting, burdened by the message, the Lord brought to my mind a word from Ezekiel chapter three. I thought of how the Word of the Lord, no matter how difficult it might be, was sweet to the believer – even “as honey for sweetness” to them that were His servants and His people. But what I did not remember, until I looked at it in my Bible at home, was what followed directly after this opening word in Ezekiel 3. What followed shocked me. For the Lord was sending Ezekiel “not to a many people of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words (he could) not understand,” but to the house of Israel—his own people. I instantly had a deep sense that this was the Lord’s Word to me, and what happened next, removed any shadow of a doubt. For two days, my wife wanted to share something with me but the Lord did not allow her. This was so that I might come to her first. When I came, late that Tuesday night, to tell her what the Lord showed me from His Word, she said to me that this was the very thing and the very Word that she wanted to share with me. She was reading through her Bible in one year according to a calendar and the reading from the previous day, included Ezekiel 3, a reading that struck her as it did me. We were both in utter astonishment! The Lord indeed had spoken.
The Lord has given His call. His voice, like “a noise of many waters” (Ezek. 43:2), has been heard. He is sending us back to our own people. Whatever the end will be, we must obey and go forward, for the Lord will require their blood at our hand. May all be done to the Glory of God and the extension of His Kingdom! Amen and Amen!