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 to the EFL classes for the past 2 to 3 years, but they always try to come and say hello, or have coffee and chat for a while when we are back in town.
Seeing her was a bit of a surprise this year as our class just happened to be outside doing a physical activity, and she just happened to be stopping by area for a few minutes to see her brother and little sister at Vacation Bible School.
(I don’t believe in chance meetings, but rather, divine appointments – thank you Lord, it was a blessing!) I’m not sure whose face lit up with the bigger smile.
As we greeted each other and briefly talked I was quite struck by what she said. She told me she was very glad that New Heights was still doing the EFL classes. She said they really helped her a lot and she knows they have helped others too. She said she also enjoyed making friends from those classes, friends she otherwise would have never met if it were not for the EFL classes. She got even more excited when she told me that some of the past EFL students had a kind of reunion and recently took a trip to Budapest for a few days to connect some more!
I have often thought about the lasting relationships New Heights members have forged with the EFL students, the CCE staff, and others- how all of our hearts have been touched and our lives enriched by the fellowship. It had never occurred to me that the Lord was also using us to facilitate EFL classes where lasting friendships between the students would flourish! My friend John McDonald has often remarked that Our Lord is a great multi-tasker, accomplishing much, much more than we can see or comprehend.
Lasting relationships have made a significant difference in my life, and I am grateful for them all, especially the ones which will last forever!