Saturday, the team took a trip to the southeastern part of Slovakia. It was the first time we’ve ever been to this part of the country, in the three years we’ve come here, so it was exciting to explore new territory. Our first stop was a cave – after a very winding and hilly drive. (Prayer request – we have some team members who suffer from severe motion sickness. Most of the roads are very windy. You know how to pray.) The cave was beautiful and interesting, but on this particular day, the most important aspect of it was that it was cool!
From there, we drove to a church that was built in the 1300’s. There were two organs in it. One was built and installed in 1492, the second in 1776. I normally don’t remember years very well, but these seemed to ring a bell… The pastor of the church had to run off and perform a funeral, but before he did he climbed the stairs to the organ loft and played a song for us. It was beautiful. I loved thinking of all the worshippers who’d worshipped God to the sounds of that very organ through the years.
Our final stop before dinner was Betliar castle. It’s really a hunting lodge for nobles who lived in the castle on top of the hill, but it was filled with antiques and collections of all types – some quite surprising. Who would expect to see an elephant head in the basement of a mansion in the middle of … anywhere! Our favorite room was the library – filled to overflowing with books dating back to the 1300’s.
From there, we made our way to dinner in a restaurant at the bottom of the hill of the main castle. We had a wonderful dinner and celebrated two birthdays – Craig, a member of the team from Fargo here to teach English in a small village about 10 miles from Martin , and Sisa, who works at the Bible school and is also a dear friend.
It was a fun, exhausting day. We were grateful to return home to our beds – and refreshingly cool temperatures – but also grateful for the time spent together enjoying each other’s company and this beautiful country.
As you’re praying, please remember our Elevate team members who left today to put on the youth camp for high school students from the surrounding area. They were greatly missed today, but we’re excited to hear all that God will do in and through them, in the coming week.