Sometimes I get caught up in the “launch talk” and excitement about how many days or hours left before we begin Serving Slovakia 2019, but really it all began many months ago.  (In case you were wondering- only 23 hours, 35 minutes, and 53 seconds, but who’s counting :-).  The truth is many have been praying for this trip since […]


June 22, 19 In life everyone goes through something new, whether it be a job, school, new relationships. we tend to have that mixture of excitement, fear, and the overall prospect of good things to come. I got that first hand as I stood at PDX looking around with a cloudy outlook on my time before we left, riddled with anxiety and […]

Start of something new

In the classic 1950’s movie, “All About Eve”, Bette Davis’ character utters what quickly becomes an iconic movie quote “ Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Almost 70 years later, that line came to mind multiple times as we made our way to Martin for our 13th Serving Slovakia adventure.   Without going into all the details, […]

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Last year was my first year to join Serving Slovakia. By this time (Day 3) I was overwhelmed and feeling unsure as to why I had left the comfort of my routine life in Vancouver Washington to travel so far from home. The first day of teaching classes was met with computers that did not work, lesson plans that were […]

Getting Started for the reason we are here

It’s so beautiful here in Martin, Slovakia! Since my body decided it was time to wake up, I went out for a sunrise jog. I’m captivated with the majesty of God’s creation here. And, the people of Slovakia are even more enchanting! I’m excited to see what new friends I’ll meet today that make their home in this hospitable city.

4:30 AM

Made popular by the radio transmission from Apollo 13, only modified a bit for this post- “Martin, we have a problem”. This is often how it feels when something doesn’t go as planned, when the unexpected throws a wrench into what I had in mind. We were supposed to have a large area to teach Slovak students disc golf. Day1 […]

Martin, we have a problem

While the heat and humidity rose to extreme highs today that even had the locals dashing for a shady spot to stand, Gregg and I accepted the offer for a tour in one of Slovakia’s 7,000 caves following today’s classes. We thought it sounded like a refreshing way to lower our body temperatures and spend time getting to know two […]

The Cave and the Children

Blog #2 June, 26, 19 Simon Zingerman a fresh out of school author wrote this “It’s ever so important to believe in what you do, trust your ability to create and show yourself worthy. Never sell yourself short”. A lot of times in our society we dismiss our everyday good deeds as nothingness and try not to notice, but as […]

Slovakia June 26,🇸🇰

One of the questions I’ve often heard was answered for me today, “Why Slovakia?”. We do a daily devotional as a team. Right there, in the middle of today’s passage, were a couple of sentences: ‘The kingdom of God on Earth is wherever the Son of God is loved and worshipped and God the Father is glorified…” “…God rules first […]

Where His Kingdom is

Two things I have never done before in my life – participate in a service mission trip in a foreign country, and post anything on a blog. Today I am doing both simultaneously… I read a definition this morning – “Availability is being willing to adjust our own schedule, agenda, and plans to fit the right desires of God and others.” […]

Are You Available?

One of our adventures today was a tour of Calvary of Banská Štiavnica, built from 1744-1751. It is an artistic depiction of the passion of Christ in 25 separate small chapels leading up and back on a steep hill. As I walked from chapel to chapel and viewed the storytelling artwork and  pondered Jesus’ life on earth, it stirred within […]

The Bird

For the first week we stayed at a locally owned hotel.  We had breakfast served by the staff each morning before departing for the school.  The owner/operator of the hotel came out to see our group off as we moved closer to the school for the second week.  He was smiling and shaking hands with many team members.  His English […]

The outsider’s inn

This afternoon we had the privilege of touring the Strečno Castle. I’ve never been inside a castle, or even in the proximity of one. It felt like I was stepping right into the 14th through 17th centuries as soon as we entered through the massive wooden door. The castle was complete with a naturally refrigerated cellar that maintained a steady […]

Surprise in the Castle

Matt Hannan often says, “The first art of loving is listening.”  Over the years I have learned that listening is active rather than passive.  Active listening demonstrates to the person sharing that I am truly engaged, fully present, and genuinely care about the person sharing – even if I am not personally interested in the topic.  Listening like this has […]

The 1st Art of Loving

When you enter the high school through the main door at street level you walk into a hallway.  From this entrance there is only one way up to the classrooms, a set of stairs.  On your right there is a wall with a depiction of a tree with leaves naming those who support the school.  At the base of the […]

All are welcome

I am the proud owner of a flip phone, sort of like the communicator Captain Kirk used in the 1970s iteration of Start Trek. With my phone I can make phone calls and, if I have the time and patience, compose brief text messages. That’s it. My wife, on the other hand, has a phone that can do just about […]

Know who to follow

Bohdan took us on a tour of the buildings where the Bible School, preschool, gymnasium, dorms, and high school are congregated in the center of Martin.  From what I gather it all started with remodeling the building which became the Bible School.  In one wall there are large windows spanning two stories in the shape of a cross.  They have […]

Our Shared Hope

One of the fascinating aspects of teaching conversational English in Martin, Slovakia is how quickly relationships are developed. Talking with one another seems to have that effect. During my first trip 4 years ago I met two wonderful students, brother and sister. Each have grown a lot over the past 4 years, accomplishing amazing things! They have not been back […]

Lasting relationships

On the first day of EFL just before the testing began she walked right up with her shy friend in tow and introduced herself and her friend to myself and a couple of other team members, “Hello! Are you Americans? I love America and Americans, they are sooooooooo nice! I want to make friends with ALL of them this week, […]


The Slovaks have told us during the decades of communist oppression people stopped smiling, looking each other in the eye, or greeting one another as much when passing on the street.  This became a habit and for many years if you smiled “too much” people would think you were “touched in the head”.  It is fascinating what a genuine smile […]

What will His face look like?