Well, winter weather is officially here in Slovakia! Just yesterday we had our first snow here in Hurbanovo! We woke up on Monday morning to find a light coating of snow on the ground. We were very excited, and went outside for a bit to enjoy the view. However, the snow melted quickly since it is still too warm. I am looking forward to having a Slovak winter, and hopefully more snow!
This week we had a Fall Party in Nové Zámky with the DEPO club there. We had a lot of fun games, like pumpkin bowling, a popcorn eating contest, turkey stuffing (which was stuffing balloons into a person wearing a trash bag), and even a pumpkin carving contest. Along with games we also had a ton of pumpkin cakes and apple cider! It was a lot of fun, and the kids really enjoyed it.
This past Sunday was also Thanksgiving in our church in Hurbanovo. We had guests from the Baptist church in Levice and an orchestra of mandolins from Tekovské Lužany. Thanksgiving here is of course only related to the church, since most people living here do not celebrate the pilgrims going to America.
We had a morning service which lasted about two hours. It was the usual church service, with a concert by the mandolin orchestra. The church was packed, and there was not a lot of room to move around. I played with the worship band, and since the orchestra took up the entire floor, I had to stand at the top of the steps beside the cross. I guess that in the end it is always good to be close to the cross.
After the morning service we had a covered dish lunch. There was too much good food to choose from, but no problem choosing! Everyone was able to relax and talk with each other before the afternoon service.
The afternoon service was the same as the morning, but shorter. We had more music and the orchestra played again, and I had the sermon. Since this Sunday was also Reformation Sunday, I tied the two things together. I used Romans 1:21 which says, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
It says that even though they knew God, that they did not honor Him or thank Him for all of the amazing things He has done. They became futile in their speculations, and their heart was darkened. When we stop thanking God, and talking to Him we drift away from Him, and we forget His will and direction in our life. This is where the reformation is important. Martin Luther saw that the Catholic Church had serious problems in their teaching and practice. I asked if we had the same problems in our churches today. Where have we come since the Reformation?
We have started answering questions from readers of our blog, and this week we are answering a question from Ann Winstead. She asks, “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?”
This is a great question, and I think that Slovakia has the same problems that Americans have. I can’t really compare Thanksgiving, but I believe that Christmas is the same here. There are already Christmas decorations and candy in the stores, and even Christmas commercials! Of course all of these things have nothing to do with being thankful to God, or the amazing gift in the birth of Jesus Christ.
So, explaining is not difficult since they have seen the same things here. The struggle here is getting people outside the church, or people who are nominal Christians, to understand the real meaning.
This would be a good prayer to have, that people in Slovakia and America would see the true meaning behind these holidays, and that their hearts would be opened to receive Christ as their Savior.
Please continue to send in questions that you have, we have already had some great ones! Either comment on the blog or send me an email!
This weekend we will be going to Košice to get some things done. We will also be there for the election, which is exciting for Lenka becuse this is the first time she can vote! Please pray for safe travel!