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 […]


Two planes, one bus ride, lots of laughs and no sleep later – we’re here!! It’s Sunday morning as I type and the gang is about to gather at the Lutheran Church for services.  We have to pick up our headphones beforehand – since none of us is fluent in Slovak – so I better go before they’re all gone. Thanks for praying – more to come…

We’re Here!!!!

We’ve just met with Michal and Katka Valco.  Michal is the director of the Bible School in Martin and Katka is the coordinator for the trip.  They say we’ll have over 100 students!  Our group of students will include the director of the Slovak National Library and… the Mayor of Martin!!!  Please pray as both of these men can have a major impact on the future of the Bible School. […]

Time to Pray!

We’ve finished our first day of class with students. We began the day with Brenda, Mary and myself doing a short assessment with students to hopefully place students in the class that fits their English level. Once the assessments were complete, we next looked at how we could try to divide the classes into fairly equal numbers while still grouping students of similar levels. My intermediate class had 20 students […]

Day One of Classes

Wow!  What a great day – and a great job by the team!!   We started our day with a time of devotions together and prayer for our teachers.  After a quick breakfast, it was time to go meet our students.   The team did a great job of jumping right in and getting to know the people who came – even without knowing who would or wouldn’t be our […]

“Getting to Know You…”

This trip has been fantastic so far!  Over the weekend of travel the team has created a bond (you would have to after 24 hours of traveling together, with little sleep!)   The final trip (a bus ride) from Vienna, Austria and Martin, Slovakia was a surprise to me…  it looked very much like the pacific northwest except for an occasional castle 🙂 (this picture was taken from inside the bus as […]

Going strong in Slovakia

Walk into any of the classrooms, and energy is everywhere. Day two just built on day one. We had a full day teaching and learning with students (8:30 – 3:00). Today we continued to get to know each other today and then moved more into the learning mode. By working with small groups of students, we have the opportunity to get to know them on a deeper basis and have […]

What amazing energy

We moved into our permanent classrooms last night.  It’s great to be in them, but, after two full days of classes and the effects of jet-lag and lack of sleep, it was challenging to find the energy to get them ready.  I think they’ll be a work in progress this week. 😉   The quick request?  Pray.   As was true last year, the combination of lack of sleep, jet […]

Quick Request

Thank you prayer warriors. Especially, Chris, Claudia, Norma, Coleen, Wednesday night team, and everyone else who has been praying for this team. Wonderful things are happening here, so keep up the great work! Hugs to all.

Special Thanks To Those Praying

Today we finished our first week of classes. It will be nice to take a deep breath this weekend, enjoy a Saturday trip away from the Bible school and then have dinner with a family on Sunday after church. This is Filip. He came to EFL classes last summer and was in the intermediate class. He was one of several boys who were in a group with David Benko. When […]

Week #1 is finished!

As I looked at our site, I realized we haven’t told you much about our activities over the last few days.  So, here’s a quick recap… Sunday – Church services and classroom set-up Monday – Recovered from first day of classes. Tuesday – Cleaned up temporary classrooms.  Went for a hike and barbeque at a local village. Set up classrooms when we returned – at 9pm. Wednesday – First day […]


Yesterday, the majority of us went to Auschwitz and Krakow.  We left early in the morning and drove straight to Auschwitz.  I think a softly spoken “wow” is the only way to sum it up.  It’s hard to imagine the atrocities that were committed there even when you see the artifacts – hair, shoes, suitcases with victims names, shaving kits.  I found myself remaining emotionally disconnected as we walked through […]


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

Well, maybe not like flies, and maybe not really dropping, but, as we end our second Tuesday here, we have another person out sick – and maybe another on the way.  We’ve either brought a bug with us, or picked up a new Slovak one, but either way we need prayer as we continue our second week. Rather than mention names, please pray for everyone to either get or stay […]

Dropping like…flies?

Tonight, Mark and I had the privilege of having dinner with four amazing men – Bohdan Hrobon, Adrian Kacian and Michal Valco (the three men who lead the Bible School) and Jan Hrobon (the pastor of the local congregation).  All four are true visionaries and missionaries in every sense of the words.  They get what ministry is about; they live every day by faith; they give their hearts and souls […]

Water Walkers

In spite of less than ideal weather, many of the New Heights group, as well as members from the California, N. Dakota, and Chicago contingents, toured the historic city of Kremnica yesterday. We visited the oldest operating mint in the world, a historical museum of the town, a retired gold mine, and a lovely old church that had once been a castle. Afterward, we had time to browse for souvenirs, followed […]

Afternoon in Kremnica

These are some of  “our girls” as we call them.  Each day, they faithfully, cheerfully and selflessly serve us by making us breakfast, lunch, snacks for breaks, and coffee. They clean up after us and the students. They look for opportunities to help and serve. They’re a delightful group of young women and, as was true last year, they take very good care of us. The group of girls may […]

Our Girls

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

I did not sign up to go to Slovakia last year and I did not sign up this year, until the second call went out for more people and the Holy Spirit moved me into action to apply. I still was skeptical after the first couple of team meetings and wondered if I should really be doing this. I did not know anyone on the team and memorization is very hard for […]

Stepping Out In Faith