“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
-Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
After coming 2 years in a row, I thought I was pretty well prepared to head back to Slovakia with this team. God had different ideas than I did.
As I talked about in an earlier post, my team and I had two different jobs this time. The first week was the same as always: helping lead at a camp for incoming high school students. Our job was to be present, work with Slovak student-leaders and staff, and help build a community among the students.
We played rec games, did some English activities, had ice-breaker games in the evenings, and had workshops with the students. (That was a whole different thing, where I ended up teaching the students a little Spanish last minute!)
At one point, I caught myself with a negative attitude. We had taken a “night walk” that turned into more of a hike up a big hill. The point of the hike was to spend time together and to see the stars. When we got to the clearing we would sit at, none of the students were quiet and there were no stars on the cloudy night. The students and staff were only speaking Slovak and I started to think it was pointless for me to be there. When I realized I had a bad attitude, I asked God to change it and that’s when He reminded me that His work was being done and that, even though we couldn’t understand it, our goal was being realized. The students were talking and laughing and enjoying each other together. I am so thankful to have been a part of that and to see our ministry bear fruit.
This past week has been totally new and different. My team has had the opportunity to spend time in a gypsy slum right outside of Martin city limits. Tomáš explained: around twenty years ago, the mayors of Martin and Žilina (the bigger town in the area) decided to move all the people who weren’t paying taxes (which happened to be the gypsies) to the outskirts. The problem just keeps getting bigger with no real solution in mind. When we pulled in on Monday, I was shocked to see what was there. It looked as though you had gone from the first world straight to the third world. The people live in small metal housing right behind the dump and have very little. What they do have, is huge smiles and an excitement to spend time with us! We play games inside and outside, draw, paint, make bracelets, and build puzzles together.
I have been very blessed to spend time with both these different ministries and my entire team loves the opportunities they have to serve these people.
Though it wasn’t what I was prepared for, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way!