English in School and Youth Team

We have had an interesting week here in Hurbanovo, not that any other week is not interesting, but this one was “action filled”. I guess as much action as a missionary can have, somewhere between James Bond and Chuck Norris. We had our usual missions, such as DEPO and youth group, but there were also some new ones.

First of all we were added to the youth team here in Hurbanovo, which is an honor for us. In Slovakia, at least in the Baptist church, each youth group has a youth team which leads and organizes all activities. They plan everything from the weekly youth meeting to the summer youth trip. It has been tough here lately to organize since many people are gone during the week, so this is why there are some changes. Lenka and I are both very excited, and look forward to how we can help. We are blessed to have such an amazing youth group here.

On Sunday I preached about our brokenness. The fact that we are broken in many different ways, through sin. We have broken dreams, relationships, and are faced with adversity. However, through Christ we can be made whole again. When we give our lives to Him, and know Him as our Savior, our broken pieces are made whole.

As a part of an illustration I wrote down some examples of broken things in our lives on a plate. Later on I broke the plate representing the brokenness, and then glued them back together in the form of a cross, symbolizing our wholeness in Christ. As Christians we need to cling to the cross, because it is our only hope.

On Tuesday we had our first English lesson in a local high school here in Hurbanovo. Each month we will have a lesson with a different theme, usually focused on a certain aspect of American culture. This time we talked about Halloween, and how Americans celebrate this holiday.

There were about 25 students there who were selected for this first lesson. Lenka and I talked about the history of Halloween, the origins of this holiday, and then how it came to be the holiday we know now in America. We had pictures of kids trick-or-treating and of carved pumpkins. Lenka also made pumpkin bars as a special treat. They were delicious! I wish I could send the over the Internet!

I asked last week for people to send in questions about life here in Slovakia, and we have a question from Jill Ward about how well people in Slovakia speak English, as well as how I am learning Slovak.

I would say that most people know some English, not that they can have a conversation, but they know a few basic phrases or words. Older people do not know as much, and communicating with them is mostly in Slovak. As for young people, most of them have a basic enough understanding to have a short conversation. The youth in church have a better understanding since they have American missionaries who come each year.

So, if you were to come here and not know a word of Slovak, you could get around with English, but in some cases it would be harder.

As for my Slovak, well, my speaking has improved slightly, and my understanding is better. At home we usually speak English, since it just easier for both of us. Sometimes we will speak a mix of Slovak and English, or make up words in Slovak such as hangoutovať (to hang out) or chillovať (to chill). We would like to speak more Slovak with each other, so hopefully we will start doing that soon.

To encourage myself to learn faster I have set a date for my first sermon in Slovak. I plan to preach in Slovak on New Year’s Eve. I might have to read it from a paper, but at least that will be a step forward.

We are still looking for a question to answer next week in the blog, so if you have a question please send it in! It can be about anything, even if you want to know how the ice cream tastes here! So, don’t be shy!

Please continue to pray for us in our missions, that God would continue to lead us. Also, that I would be encouraged to learn Slovak.

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One Response to English in School and Youth Team

  1. Ann Winstead says:

    Robert–so proud of you and Lenka both. You are wonderful examples of true and dedicated Christians. My question is “With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, how do you explain the way that Americans observe both of these holidays to the people in your ministry?” Since our holidays are so commercialized, do they really understand that we are thankful for all that we have and are thankful to our God. Thanks!!!! Ann Winstead

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