A car, three planes, a bus, and nearly 24 hours. That’s what it took for us to arrive safely in Martin, Slovakia. And overall, the trip went without a hitch. The only major problem is that my daughters don’t sleep when we travel. Ever. Especially my youngest. You’d think that a 6-year old who got up at 3am after only five hours of sleep would have no problem sleeping on […]

Two Days in Slovakia

We’re almost at the end of our first week in Slovakia. The jet lag is entirely gone, the temperature has cooled enough for us to sleep with the windows closed, blocking out the street noise below, and were still having a great time. This is the first time my wife and I have been to Slovakia–indeed, anywhere in Eastern Europe. So we’re having plenty of new experiences. But what really […]

Doing Missions with Kids

We’ve reached the middle of our first week in Slovakia. The worst of the jet lag is behind us, though we’ve discovered that some Slovakians really like to sing and yell on their way home after the bars close. And we’ve also noticed that most of them like to walk right past our open window. So I’m now up a tad earlier than normal. But as a morning person, I […]

A Lesson in Humility (Slovakia Days 3-4)

[L]ooking around the room, I see many familiar faces. I see the athlete all the girls will love in a few years, though now he’s a little shy and prefers to run with his hair flying in the wind. Next to him is his awkward, overweight, and rather nerdy friend, loyal to a fault and trying to keep up. Across the room are several other boys, the popular crowd: fun […]

Fumbling Toward Belonging: Are Middle Schoolers the Same Everywhere?

My wife and I lived in Scotland for a couple of years. And, in many ways, making the transition to Scotland was much easier than moving to a place like Papua New Guinea. The language and culture of Scotland are similar enough to America that we could navigate through society fairly easily. One thing we noticed, though, is that when two cultures are rather similar, it really makes the differences […]

This Isn’t Kansas Anymore: Life at a Slovak Summer Camp

Summer camps exhaust me. I love teens, and I love spending quality time with them. But by the last day of a full week at summer camp I just want to take my sore muscles, raspy voice, and weary eyes home from some much needed rest. This last week has been different. By the end, I was still sore, raspy, and tired. But I could easily have stayed longer. And […]

5 Highlights from a Slovak Summer Camp