Monthly Archives: July 2019

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?

Many of you know that when our Serving Slovakia experience ended Kent and I took a train to Rome, where we met up with our wives, who had flown to Rome from Portland. I had been looking forward to our tour of Italy for a couple of reasons – I relished the opportunity to reconnect with my wife after two […]

Judge not…