Matt Johnson

Welcome to the Serving Slovakia 2008 Blog! Here, you can follow along with us on our two-week journey and experiences in Martin, Slovakia! Some added benefits of this site are that not only will it be updated daily to inform you of what we’re up to, but you may also comment back to let us know what you think of our activities, or even just to let us know you’re […]

And so it begins…

To think that in less than 36 hours from now we’ll all be together at the airport! This time has come so quickly that it is simply staggering to me. Last minute preparations are being made for the trip, things are being taken care of for while we’re away, it’s just amazing to think that after these last few months of meetings zero-hour is so close. My advice: get as […]


Well….not even 12 hours from now we’ll all (hopefully) be at the Lufthansa gate at PDX meeting together for our final time in the USA. I don’t know about anyone else, but I always put off my packing until the very last minute… Seems to be working out alright though, I’m almost completely done. Just getting random odds and ends together now. I think my carryon bag will be the […]


Well, we’re all here at waiting at the gate in PDX. Our flight should start boarding any moment now, so this will be the last update until we’re in Frankfurt, Germany, where we have a four hour layover. After that we have a one hour flight to Vienna, Austria, followed by a four hour bus ride to Martin, Slovakia. We’re looking at roughly 19 hours of travel in all, not […]


I have a couple more requests for prayer for both the group as a whole, and for a couple of people within our group. As I write this, several of our teammates are on trains/buses to different parts of Slovakia to spend the day with students and their families. Please pray that they both have safe travels as they go, and that they also have a great impact on the […]

Request for prayer…

Today begins the second week of EFL classes here in Martin for our team. Classes have gone great so far and we’re really looking forward to what this next week will bring. Tonight our group is reaching out to the local youth group at the church here. We’re inviting them to come hang out with us at 5pm tonight for some fun activities and just getting to know each other, […]

Reaching Out

As I write this, I am filled with sadness…looking out on the cityscape of Martin, knowing full well that I have just said goodbye to some of my newest and yet best friends. In just two weeks, the relationships formed are truly indescribable. I never would have thought that I’d become such good friends with so many people, of so many different backgrounds and stories of life. I  was fortunate […]

Serving Slovakia…Changing Hearts

This is the official Serving Slovakia 2009 Blog. As I’m sure you can see, it is still under construction. Nevertheless, this will be a vital resource in keeping up with the ServingSlovakia2009 Team through both their training, and their time overseas. -Matt

Under Construction

With less than 42 days to go until departure, the team is really starting to come together. Each “classroom” has been holding meetings so far to plan and prepare for what they’ll be doing in Slovakia when we get there. With only a few more group meetings before departure, we’re using every moment together to better prepare for what is to come. We recently set up a facebook fan site […]

42 Days

The youth camp has been planned, and is nearly ready to go! The Elevate team has put a lot of hard work into figuring out what aspects of our camps we will be able to bring over to Slovakia, and are really excited to get there and actually do this thing! Less than two weeks to arrival in Martin, less than three until the Youth Camp actually starts!

Youth Camp

61 hours from now we’ll be together at the airport. Wow. Can it be that we are really so close to actually being in Slovakia? Where did all the time go? It seems like only yesterday we were all just coming together and meeting for the first time, still unaware of how things would work out, how this would change us, how we would change Slovakia. For some, this may […]

T-minus…61 hours…and counting…

Well, we’re here. Sitting at the gate, everyone is present and accounted for. Smiling faces on all. I want to say thank you to everyone who came to see us off today, it was a great way to start the trip. I especially liked the “wave” from the last few people to see us off. Definitely made those of us who saw it laugh. Please be praying for health, safety, […]

Your gate is D11, we hope you enjoy your flight

Well, we’ve arrived in Martin!! It’s 8pm local time here, and we’ve just checked into the hotel. We’re headed out to dinner now. More info to come soon (hopefully from several people!). Thanks again for all your support! **edited for new content** After a 10 hour plane flight, a 9-hour forward time change, a 5 hour layover, a 2 hour flight, a 4ish hour bus ride, we are FINALLY in […]

We’re here!

At 6:15am (that’s less than 20 hours) tomorrow morning (Friday, July 9th, 2010), the Serving Slovakia team will be meeting at the Portland, OR airport in front of the US Airways ticket counter. For many, the realization is likely just now hitting that “Ohmygosh! We’re leaving TOMORROW! I’m not even packed yet!! I don’t even know what I’m going to pack! AGGHGHHH!” Or at least, that’s what I’m feeling right […]

T-20 hours and counting….

For those of you who follow Matt Edmonds and the Impact Indonesia team, you may remember a “vlog” about their experience with a moving walkway. On behalf of Serving Slovakia, we wanted to let you know that we found one too! Not to mention, we’re just a bit more interesting.

We found a moving WALKWAAAAAYYY!!!!

Well, it’s about 5:30pm on Monday, July 12. We made it here safely on Saturday, some 24+ hours after initially leaving Portland. Everyone made it safely and in good health, without any complications. After we got here Saturday night we moved right into the dorms and then had dinner at Penzion Brilant. A delicious reprieve from the airline/airport diet we’d been on for the last day and a half. Sunday […]

We’re here…..(belated)

Well….registration and check-in is going on right now for the Elevate Youth Camp up in the mountains for Slovak High Schoolers. We’re taking off in about 40 minutes for the camp and won’t return until Friday evening. Updates from the camp may be sporadic and in the form of text messages, as we don’t really know if we’ll have any sort of internet access at the camp to upload pictures […]

Youth Camp

Well, we made it to camp safely!! Despite the bus being as wide as the road and a cliff less than a foot away from the edge of the road, we made it! We just finished dinner and have all unpacked, set up the meeting room, and are just socializing now. Our total number of students is up to 27, and 12 leaders. This is a HUUUUGE change from the […]

We’re here!

Well, it’s breakfast time on day 5 of camp. The connections and relationships are blossoming all around, both with the english and slovak team members. It’s great seeing how open these students are becoming….how ready they are to engage and try their best to have conversations in a language other than their own… much they want to get to know us. Already students are asking if we’ll come back again […]

Camp Day 5 – the beginning

We’re in our last five hours here at camp and still have a LOT to do today. I don’t have time to write too much right now with everything, but wanted to give a quick update. Last night we held our second annual talent show which consisted mostly of impromptu acts and the Elevate team completely humiliating themselves (but in a good way!) We sang very random songs as a […]

Down to the wire

We’re getting ready for the 2011 Serving Slovakia trip! Whether you’re planning on going or not, here are some ways you can be praying for this year’s trip: – Pray for Larry and Brenda Fast, New Heights members who are currently teaching English in Slovakia.  – Pray that God would raise up this year’s Serving Slovakia team. – Pray that He would provide the necessary funds to cover all expenses.  […]

Getting ready…

The Serving Slovakia 2012 Blog and Photo Gallery are fully functional and ready to go! I’m afraid I don’t know that I can say the same for myself just yet. After weeks of fighting with various features for this year’s website, I’m afraid I haven’t put much thought into what all I need to do to actually prepare myself for this trip. This being my 6th time serving in Slovakia, […]

Ready to go?

It’s the day before the day! Less than 24 hours from now, the Serving Slovakia 2012 team will be meeting at the Portland, OR airport for our departure! There’s a LOT left to do in the 14 hours between now and when we meet at the airport. Whether it’s a mad scramble around town because the suitcase you were bringing is broken or last minute supplies for a classroom activity, […]

The day before the day!

Well… If you hadn’t yet gathered, WE’RE HERE! Below you’ll see some of the highlights of the journey: Portland (4am Friday, July 6 [GMT-8]) The team met at the Portland airport at 4am on Friday, July 6. Somehow, we everyone managed to make it on time– along with all of their luggage and documents! Due to how early this was for all of us, that is a miracle in and […]

28 hours later…

Serving Slovakia is comprised of three groups within a greater whole this year; each with a different set of tasks, yet all with the same purpose. No matter what our role on the team, our goal is to serve the people of Slovakia in any way we can. To understand a little more about the what we’re doing here, the attached video will explain our overall mission and what our […]

What is Serving Slovakia about?

Can’t say much right now, as we’re at J-Camp eating dinner. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit this afternoon after classes. We’ve been playing with water balloons, launchers, singing songs, being silly, and just enjoying all of the great things happening here at J-Camp. More to come later, as this is currently being typed from my iPhone.

Dinner at J-Camp

I write this from the Vienna Airport. We are officially through security and are waiting to board our flight to Dusseldorf. From there, we will fly to Chicago O’Hare and then on to Portland. We should be arriving in Portland via United Airlines flight 461 around 11pm “tonight” (Sunday, July 22). That’s right, we’ve learned how to fit more than 24 hours into a day– Just fly West! Though we […]

We’re on our way!

Welcome to the 2013 Serving Slovakia Blog and Photo Gallery! This year, for the first time ever, the blog will have a truly integrated photo gallery. This will allow not only for ease of use by the team members, but for simplicity of viewing for all of our supporters coming to this page. In addition, the theme utilized this year will be responsive, fluid, and diverse in its capabilities and […]

This blog serves as the official platform for the 2014 Serving Slovakia team to document and communicate their experiences to the friends, family, and interested community members both home and abroad.