As I sat in the Serving Slovakia Send-off last night, a wave of fear rushed over me – “I can’t go to Slovakia and teach English and be an effective witness for Jesus!” I have been to Slovakia several times before so this fear seems so irrational to me. “Piece of cake!” or “I’ve got this mastered” are the thoughts […]

“I Can’t Do This!!!”



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If the title didn’t give it away, this will be my first trip to Slovakia. Everyone I talk to about it asks me, “Are you so excited?” I always nod my head and agree that, “Yes, I am excited!” But I’m also terrified. Is it okay to admit that? I think it must be. I can’t be the only person […]

Confessions of a First-Timer


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How come, every time I look at my suitcase, it appears smaller and smaller when I haven’t even begun to pack it?  Could it be because of the growing heap lying alongside?  Quite possibly!

How come?


If I had to name the biggest emotion I’m feeling on the day before we leave, it would be happily overwhelmed. I have been flooded with messages of support yesterday and today from seemingly out of the blue. I have loved the body of Christ for over 30 years and am continually amazed at the support and love we offer each […]

Happily Overwhelmed



There is something awe-inspiring as well as something scary about a diving board. A person is expected to go to the edge of a little tiny platform and propel herself off into the great unknown water below. But the result of conquering this fear brings such satisfaction and a willingness to try again – to be brave and bold in […]

Preparing to Jump!


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  This is will be my fifth trip to Slovakia in 8 years. Although we have a few team members who have returned every year, I am definitely considered an old-timer. As I read the blog posts of some of the “newbies” I am a little envious of their excitement and that hint of trepidation that comes from facing the […]

Here We Go Again!


Only 12 short hours from now and the team will be reunited for our departure from PDX to Amsterdam, Budapest, and eventually Martin, Slovakia. Pray for calm minds and restful sleep tonight for all of the team members (and their families).


Greetings everyone! We met at PDX at 11:30 this morning for departure, got checked in, and are now waiting to board our flight to Amsterdam. While there were a couple speedbumps this morning, we worked through them; some resulting in the outcome we were hoping for, some not. It’s a great reminder that God’s plan is bigger than ours, and […]

And we’re off!


We left PDX 26 hours ago and are now settled in. It was nice to see former team members at the airport to send us off. (Thanks for the scones, Nancy!) It was nice to see old friends from the CCE in Martin this evening. Several of us made a quick visit to see our friends from the church. We […]

We’re here!


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Today is a gorgeous Sunday morning! We do have a few prayer requests: One of our team members is very sick. I’ve switched into mom mode (which I’m sure she loves) but nothing could help more than prayers for healing. Some of the luggage won’t be here until Tuesday, including a teacher’s suitcase with all her teaching materials. A Monday […]

Prayer Requests



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“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I have been reading through […]

Do Not Worry


So we come to Slovakia and find downpours of cool, refreshing RAIN!  Incredible!  But even more incredible is to hear a student’s lament, at the sound of today’s closing bell, “NO!  It cannot be time to go.  I want more class today–please!”  Am I on the right planet?

Mars, perhaps?


I just want to take a moment to thank all of our friends and family back home who are doing so much to support us on a daily basis. We have received notes of encouragement, emails, Facebook messages, and a few of us special handmade treat bags with scriptures applicable to our situation. Many of these communications are from former […]

So Much Encouragement!



Homonyms, Family Terms, Compound Words; ‘T’irty-t’ree’, ‘t’irteen’, Irregular Verbs; Today’s good-byes  loom heavy through the day; God bless you, Dear Students! There’s nothing else to say!

  Yesterday we got to visit the nearby town of Ẑilina.  It is bigger than Martin with two good-sized malls and lots of places to eat snacks, ice cream and dinner. The town is full of history that doesn’t have the full meaning until it is experienced.  We were lucky enough to have a student as an interpreter and a guide.  […]

Žilina


Unlike Brenda’s adult students, my pre-intermediate students were more than ready for the weekend.  Our class consisted of 8 – 13 year olds who need the break as badly as their teachers do! It has been fun to see the kids go from shy and unsure to asking us for our autographs for the back of the class pictures today. Erika […]

Our First Week Is Over



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You’d think doing EFL in Slovakia might get easier after doing it several  years, right? Not so. At least not this year. My laptop disappeared in the airport, and on it was my materials used for teaching and my way to access the Internet to find additional resources. Also on it was the email addresses for my prayer group, so […]

Piece of cake, right?


On Saturday we were treated to a day in Slovakia’s capital city. It’s three hours by bus with castles dotting the roadside along the way. We started with a visit with Jan Hroban who used to be a pastor in Martin but is now pastoring in Bratislava. The  church building used to be where couples went to get married during […]

Bratislava!


I had never given much thought as to why teaching English in Martin was used as a church outreach tool. The school president, Bohdan, explained to us that traditional US outreach methods don’t work here. Parents don’t generally see the value of sending their unchurched children to a vacation bible school or backyard bible club. But Martin is sort of […]

Why are we teaching English?



  Sunday afternoon we were blessed to have our Slovak “son”, Jan, and his fiancee, Zuska, drop by Martin for a visit. They arrived in time to see our team members who were heading to high school camp before the camp bus left. We think Jan knew all of them! It was a pleasure to meet Zuska in person (rather […]

Our Slovak “son”


  Our Global Outreach team left for camp yesterday. The campus always seems so much emptier and less energetic with them gone. Sort of like a helium balloon a few days after a party; still afloat but drooping ever-so-slightly and much less buoyant. We also miss their positive energy in our English classes. One of the highlights of our week […]

Missing Them Already


                                                            On Sunday afternoon 60+ high school freshman, school leaders, and American leaders left for the annual week-long camp.  The point of the camp is to build relationships and give the […]

High School Camp – Tuesday Afternoon Update



The end of our first week in Slovakia has arrived and we’re all in the midst, one way or another, of considering the implications of what’s happened so far. Speaking for myself, I can say that I’ve enjoyed the time immensely but there have certainly been challenges. I think one thing is universal—kids are kids, wherever you go! Most of […]

First Week Ponderings


This trip has been absolutely wonderful in ways that I never could have imagined! I’ve been enjoying this country and the students immensely. But I’ll be honest: yesterday I hit a bit of a rough patch. It wasn’t anything specific. It was just one of those days when you feel something is wrong, and you have to find a way […]

Hobbits and Hard Days


I have attended New Heights Church for a number of years and have seen the announcements to join the “Serving Slovakia” team each year. But an annual family obligation in the month of July has always prevented me from looking into it. This year the opportunity to join the team became available to me. My husband was not able to go […]

Thoughts of a first-timer




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As I write this, some of my Serving Slovakia teammates are putting the finishing touches on the clean up of the classrooms, some are running off to buy last minute souvenirs or to have one last ice cream with their students, others are beginning the process of packing for the trip home, and all of us are amazed at how […]

Water Walking


The day after we arrived in Slovakia, we attended the local church. That particular Sunday there was not a huge attendance at the church. In fact most folks in attendance would be considered senior citizens. I asked a question to which I received a startling answer: “Where are all the people my age – the 30’s and 40’s age group?” […]

We Will Proclaim the Praiseworthy Deeds of the LORD



Today is it, it’s our last day in Slovakia and I must say it’s a bitter sweet feeling. When we first stepped foot into Martin and got off that bus I wasn’t sure what to really expect. I have heard many stories but as we all know stories cannot prepare you for the real deal. Slovakia is not only filled […]

What a Journey It Has Been


Somehow, we have made it to the end of our stay here in Martin. In many ways, it feels like we only arrived four days ago, but we have said a bittersweet goodbye to our students, celebrated the new things happening at the CCE, and (mostly) packed our bags. In just under two hours, we will leave. There have been so […]

Didn’t We Just Get Here?