As we begin the fourth week of English camps, it’s time for a little update and a few pictures.
The end of last week was eventful, as we finished up the camp at Liptovsky Mikulas. The camp days went well, and it felt like a good start in a new location. Beginning in the middle of last week, here a few posts from various team members. Some of these (near the top) did go out on the prayer chain, but not everyone sees that and there are updates at the bottom (and pictures!)
From Bethany Berreth (who was not feeling well early in the week): Iveta set me up with a plethora of herbs and essential oils to kick all this miserableness, and we spent the evening listening to the incredible stories of how God delivered Iveta and Peter from communism and brought them into the ministry that we are joining today. It was overwhelming for me to listen to the countless miracles God worked in their stories and then realize that this team and mission trip is an extension of that story. God is weaving something beautiful throughout generations. We have such a great calling and purpose even though we are nothing but a bunch of sinners saved by grace. It was a beautiful refreshment for my soul to contemplate on the amazing power of our God. He is still at work today!!!!!!!!
I wish you all could have been in the room with us listening to the testimonies and sharing in the praise of God. He is steadfast in love and faithful to answer the cries of his children.
On Thursday Bethany said:
Yesterday was so much calmer with the little girl in our group. She really needs so much love. I went in late again because I still wasn’t feeling well, but as soon as I got there she wrapped her arms around me and stayed that way for much of the day. During the gospel presentation the youngest child in the camps prayed to receive Christ! His name is Damien. Teja (the little girl) said she already believed in Jesus, and so I explained to her what it looks like to be a Christian, how we need to learn how to live from the Bible. She asked me, “Do they have those kind of books in Slovak language too?” I said yes, we’ll give her one. She got SO excited and said “OH, I’LL READ IT EVERY DAY!!”. Be praying that God continues to work in her heart and also the heart of her older brother.
Finally, on Friday Bethany added: I don’t have long, but I HAVE to say Peter and I just had the privilege of being with and praying with one of our translators as she received Christ as her Savior! It was an amazing experience to watch her move into light and peace as she put her trust in Jesus. My heart could explode right now!
The 3rd week of camp finished well. We had a presentation for the parents in which we performed three of the camp skits, a mime and a song. The small groups all presented skits and sang camp songs. After camp we were thrilled that one of the girls accepted Jesus as her savior. Once we got back to Smrecany we toured a museum of Smrecany and a Catholic church. We ate supper at the Surovceks, and finished the evening by worshipping with a Lutheran youth group. Cassidy, Peter, Melinda, and Timothy gave their testimonies. Then we performed the “Everything” mime.
All this was followed by a very busy weekend. On Saturday we packed up and moved from Smrecany to Kvacany. Then we drove up into the Low Tatras and toured an ice cave (670 stairs). It was an amazing place. After pizza at the mall in Liptovsky Mikulas we returned to the new place to sleep. In the morning we attended Peter Survocek’s church in Vavrislova. It is the oldest Baptist church in Slovakia. Patti and MIchelle shared testimonies, the team sang, and I got to preach. Believe it or not, that service will soon be online at vavrisovo.baptist.sk. Check it out!
After church we were treated to a nice lunch by the people of the church and an elderly man share stories of church life under the communists. Toward the end of the communist era he personally invited Astronaut Jim Irwin, a strong believer. Against all odds, Irwin came and spoke in Prague, in Bratislava and in Vavrisovo. It was an amazing story.
After lunch we traveled again, this time to the High Tatra mountains on the other side of the valley. We visited a mountain resort town and climbed to a lake. Three of the boys climbed even further up the side of a mountain. The Tatras are wonderfully beautiful, even in the clouds.
Monday was the first day of camp in the new location. We had almost forty kids, which was somewhat down from the camps at the same place last year. However, it seems to be a very good group. The first day is always a little chaotic as Michelle and others try to figure out how best to minister to a new group of kids, both to teach them English and to encourage relationships. This day was made harder by the fact that Michelle is fighting a pretty bad head cold, and Tim Berreth was down most of the day with a virus of some sort. To top that off, Cameron Cummings landed on his ankle during sports and either strained it, tore something or broke something.
As I write, Tim is feeling much better, though he still may skip the long hike tomorrow. Cam is also feeling better. We will try to keep him off the ankle for twenty four hours and then evaluate the situation. Pray that it just continues to get better, especially so that Cam can continue to play his important roles in the skits and the mimes. Michelle is resting now, but is still hoping to go on the hike tomorrow as it provides a great deal of informal time with the students. Pray for healing and wisdom.