Ever since Lenka and I have arrived in Slovakia we have been busy getting paperwork done, so that Lenka and I would be able to live here in Slovakia. We have had to update all of Lenka’s old documents with her new name, as well as apply for my permanent residence in Slovakia.
Getting paperwork done in Slovakia can be difficult because government offices can be picky about what documents can be submitted. Everything has to have an official stamp, such as copies of documents, to ensure that they are valid. This has made it difficult and frustrating at times.
The most difficult process has been getting my permanent residence in Slovakia. The first time that we went to the office we made sure to research everything online before we went so that we would have all of the paperwork ready. When we arrived at the office the lady in charge informed us that they had new paperwork, and had failed to update it online. So, we were out of luck. We went back home and filled out the new paperwork, came back, and it was still not enough. This happened a few times, until finally on our fifth trip to the Foreign Police, they accepted our request. God made a path for us in our effort to get my permanent residence. We found out that the lady who was helping us actually went to school with Lenka’s brother. After we made the connection she was more willing to help us, and answer our questions. God works in amazing ways. Right now we are just waiting to receive my permanent residence card, which will be valid for five years.
During this time I have also been trying to learn some more Slovak. I am trying to not rely on Lenka as much to translate for me, so I try to figure things out on my own. It has been difficult at times when I have no idea what people are talking about, but it has also been rewarding when I can understand something new. I have already found that I am able to understand more since I am hearing Slovak everyday.
Lenka and I have also enjoyed spending time with family here, especially our nephew Max, who is always full of energy. The house that we are staying in has three floors, Lenka’s parents live in the middle, Lenka’s grandma on the bottom floor, and her older brother, his wife, and two children live on the top floor. Max gets up early in the morning and comes to visit his grandparents. His usual routine is to come around 7:30, knock on the door, and yell out “dalej”, which means “come in”. We do not have to worry about setting an alarm. Max has also come to refer to Lenka and me as one person. He will come in and ask Lenka’s mom, “Where is Lenka-Robert?”
It has also been interesting getting used to the Slovak lifestyle. While life is not that much different here in Slovakia, such as we have all of the same modern conveniences and technology here, there is a different way of doing things. Some differences are taking the bus instead of a car, having family coffee time after lunch, the way offices and businesses are run, having to pay for ketchup, refills and bathrooms, and actually having a real winter. Even though I was here for three months in 2009, I have been finding new things about Slovakia everyday.
This past weekend we were able to visit Lenka’s family in the Tatra’s, the main mountain range here in Slovakia. Words can not describe the beauty of the mountains covered in snow. It was also nice to be able to relax after having to deal with all of the paperwork.
Lenka and I are now back here in Kosice getting ready to move to Hurbanovo in a few days. We are very excited about being in our new town, church, and home. We are excited to see where God will lead us, and what He will place before us.
Please continue to pray for us as we get ready to move and begin our new life in Hurbanovo, that we will be empowered to serve. Also pray that I may continue to learn Slovak, and be patient and not get frustrated.