We’re almost at the end of our time in Slovakia – and what an incredible two weeks it’s been. The first week was filled with some challenges, but God as always was faithful and things worked out – perhaps not as we would have wanted but certainly in such a way that our goal in coming here could be met – serving the folks in Slovakia. The second week was […]

The End… Almost

Each year God impresses something special on my heart when I am here in Slovakia. This year we went on a beautiful hike in the (Mala Fatra) mountains. We hiked through canyons, along streams, around ridges, climbed up ladders through narrow passages, viewed waterfalls and got to visit with friends. I wasn’t sure initially if I was going to go on this hike, but with encouragement decided his was a […]

God’s Love

Hi All! It’s a couple of days after the trip, so I’m wondering who will even be seeing this, but I thought I would make a post-trip post anyways. Haha, post-trip post, I crack myself up…can you tell I’m a little tired?? Last year when I returned from Slovakia, I was tired, but not so much from the jet-lag, and I was sleeping normally. But this time around, I slept scarcely […]

The jet lag is killing me…

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…

In less than four weeks now our team will be meeting at the airport at some incredibly early hour to begin the journey to Slovakia. Right now, however, I have to be honest, it is just one of many things on my mind. As a fifth grade teacher, I am overwhelmed with the last days of a school year and report cards. I’m also trying to work on plans for […]


On Tues, the Serving Slovakia 2011 Team meets for our last training. While it’s been great to get to know the folks on this team, it hasn’t been easy. NOT because this isn’t a great team filled with amazing individuals – it is and they are –  but because various circumstances have presented some interesting challenges causing us to have to reschedule several meetings. However, there has been a graciousness […]

New Team – New Adventure!

There really are no words to describe how excited I am to be traveling to Slovakia again this summer.  For several reasons: discovering more about the culture, sight-seeing, bonding with my team, but I am ESPECIALLY excited to reunite with my Slovak friends (and to make new ones of course)!! I have stayed in touch with them via facebook. And I am just itching to be with them already. They […]

27 Days.. :)

Okay so, my grandpa owns a garbage collections company and offered me a job for the Summer back in May. For so many reasons it’s been a blessing. My grandpa is even working around Slovakia meetings, agreed to pay for the gas for the commute, and provides food and a place to stay while I’m down there. If you know where Diamond Lake is, you know the area I work […]

184 Hours Left (I think)

As we are here at home preparing ourselves to come to Slovakia, God is at work in us and in the lives of the people whom we are coming to serve. As part of His work in me, I have been reading thoughtful words from inspirational writers, as well as from God’s word itself. I’d like to quote from John of the Cross, a man who lived a number of […]

11 days !

It’s so very exciting!  there’s only 7 days until we meet at the airport to start our journey to Slovakia.  It’s funny, for the longest time I worried about the finances (I’m such a control freak).  Friends kept saying  “if  God wants you to go, He will provide the funds”.   but I continued to stress about how it was going to happen and if this really was where God wanted […]

Where do I begin…

We have arrived! Whew! We met Friday morning at 5:30 am at the airport and arrived here in Martin by bus around 7:00 pm this evening after 28 1/2 hours of travel. We’ve settled our things in our rooms, enjoyed dinner and some of us are sitting out on the square using the free internet to send messages. We’ll enjoy worshipping with the people at the Lutheran church in the […]

We’re here!

Well we made it!   It is so beautiful here! and hot… ha ha. We woke up this morning and made our way to church. It was such a beautiful service. The church bells were like nothing I’ve ever heard before! Then there was a huge lunch gathering for the believers in Martin to come celebrate. Great food, good company, new friends already, and even some horses showed up for […]

New Friends

Good morning (or at least it is here in Martin)! I am sitting here in the town square using the free public wifi hotspot, life is great! The morning is cool, as we just were blessed with a thunderstorm in the night. This is a very good fact when you consider that in a few short hours, students will be coming into classrooms that get direct sunlight, and typically become […]

Classes Begin!

For those of you praying for the team, please consider asking Jesus to quickly develop in each us the following virtues (taken from a team scripture memory assignment):   ‘…love…compassion, kindness, humility,quiet strength,discipline. Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense….in tune with each other, in step with each other….cultivate thankfulness.’ Colossians 3:12-17 MSG For all of our lives and especially at this time, we need all […]

Please Pray For Virtue For Us

Prior to begining the hustle of the morning, we were able to pause for a powerful time of prayer, it felt as though the morning was nothing but in God’s hands! Our prayer time was spent dedicating the teachers and their classrooms to the Lord and to his plan. What a blessing! Once students arrived, we were reminded that first impressions are generally made in the first few seconds of […]

Day 1: A Recapitulation

Our trip was safe and we have had three days with our students. They are enthusiastic and a warm and gracious people. The countryside is beautiful with green rolling hills and fill of hay. There are many gardens. The sky is blue and has beautiful cloud formations. We were treated to a magnificent lightning and thunder storm Sunday night. The food is good and plentiful. Our team appreciates your prayers […]

Hello from Martin

Time seems to fly here in Slovakia. We are coming up on the end of our first week of classes. It’s hard to believe we are almost at the halfway point. Some impressions so far . . . God is clearly in control and working to establish relationships. Some very  unexpected. We also have opportunities to continue to build prior relationships. One student from the past two years showed up […]

Almost halfway . . .

Good evening my friends from America,  Wow, has it already been seven days? That just amazes me. We arrived in Martin Slovakia, Saturday afternoon. As I stepped off that bus I was exhausted and tired but a rush of  adrenaline ran through me. Knowing and not knowing what God was going to do here. Knowing in the sense that i knew what we came here to do. Teach English. Not knowing that God was […]

Love God. Love People. Serve the World.

Today, our group was able to see some more of that beauty that is Slovakia. We were able to tour a castle as well as take a river rafting tour down the River Dunajec, along the Slovak/Polish border. The day even allowed for a quick crossing of the river into Poland! What seemed like just a day of fun actually allowed many opportunities for spiritual significance. Firstly, the trip took […]

“The Love of Christ Compels Us!”

Dear friends and family in America, Tonight marks the end of our first week in Slovakia and boy was it a full one!  It’s strange to think we have only one more week left of this amazing place before we head back home.  The week that I have had here in Martin has been one that will leave an impression on me forever.  Being a late addition to the Serving […]

Wow, what a week!

In as short of recap as possible, God has allowed some great connections to form this year! It is neat to see how God can take an ounce (or mustard seed) of faith and do something great with it. As we come down to the final few days of classes, we are looking to make the most out of every moment we have with our new friends. Getting to have […]

A Blurb

Our students are learning each day and we are having many wonderful experiences here in Martin, Slovakia. We just had a rainstorm with lightening and thunder. The time has flown and we will be leaving for home soon. We are tired but hugely blessed by the LORD, place and the people. Blessings and much love, Barb

Hello to All

Today was the last full day of class. I am in love with my students: Bianka, Tomas, Veronika & Kika. They have been such a pleasure to teach. Beautiful smiles and laughter. They took me out for ice cream today. And we made Peanut Butter Bars in class. I got to be in charge of that. I love cooking/baking, i enjoyed that. I am about to leave with Drew and […]

Winding down…

It starts with the smallest tug on your heart and becomes the lens through which the last few weeks of life in the month of June is viewed. I had “forgotten.” Now it’s really becoming real – I’m heading back to Slovakia!!! Not that there haven’t been reminders along the way: that pile of stuff I’ve been setting aside for days as things came to mind; the well-wishes and offered […]

Getting Ready to Serve in Slovakia

It’s the little things, the unanticipated ones, that are sometimes the hardest when preparing for a missions trip. Oops! The vitamins that I buy in bulk will run out smack dab in the middle of the journey. Have to run all over the area to find them in time. Oh, and don’t forget the suitcase! The one you were going to take has a broken wheel. (How did that happen?) […]

Unexpected Events

This was my favorite of the goulashes. Very tasty with a little bit of heat. I tried to get them to smile for the camera, and then I remembered that they probably didn’t understand English! Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy… That is what was being performed as I snapped these pictures at the Martin Lutheran Congregation Festival this afternoon. Pastor Tomas, in the center playing with his American-style blues […]

Cultural Exchange

I think I am tired.  I know I am thrilled to be here.  And I know that already I love the class of eager (mostly ;o) beginners  who are coming with smiling faces every morning to learn one of the most difficult languages in the world!  God is faithful!

I Think . . . I Know . . .

Children bring me such joy! One of my favorite times with them today was right after lunch. The beginning English language learners were waiting for class to begin when I began asking them how to say words in Slovak. Before I knew it I had four ten and eleven year old girls  all circled around me teaching me  new vocabulary words. We were all laughing pretty hard at my feeble […]

The Joy of Children

  This is a broad topic and several others have written wonderful verbal snapshots of the week, but I will add a few more since each year in Slovakia, and each person’s experiences, are unique. When asked earlier in the week what my favorite part of the trip had been so far, my answer was twofold. First, I listed the pleasure of getting to know the other members of the team more intimately. Upon […]

Week One Highlights and Reflections

    As part of our beginning class, our fearless leader, Brenda, gave us the assignment of doing a “pretend”shopping trip to the market in order to learn the English names of fruits and vegetables. These young students showed Robin and I all the ways children have fun in the town center on the way: playing in the water running  down the string on the Martin sign, leading us to […]

Field Trip

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