23 júla, 2008

Imagine This 2008 (Jr. High English Camp)

Hey everybody,
so after a while I have another story to write. It's a camp we had this last week. The camp was for kids from age of 10 through 15. It was Jr. High English camp - Imagine This 2008. Before Xtreme Week we were a little worried whether we'll have enough kids for the camp but God answered our prayers and gave us 25 kids (!).

The camp began at 9.00 am and last until 12.30 pm. It was a daily camp that was happening at The Building. Even though the camp began at 9.00 am the staff had to be at the place at 8.00 am so again, we had to get up from our beloved beds and leave the comfort of our apartments. The whole camp was divided into four parts: 2 English classes, Crafts and Sports. In each class was one LTP and one American. Dominik and Babulka (and some days Juraj) were in charge of sports and Miriam had crafts. I got assigned to a class according where the worst boys were :-) so I can calm them down.

That's my class!

After the kids left we (as the team) had a lunch together and were hangin' out 'till 5.00 pm when we had a meeting about the rest of the day because at the evenings we had evening programs (as we use to have during a school year on Fridays) from 6.00 pm - 9.00 pm. So we had about 4 hours of rest before we had another job to do.

At the evenings we were playing various games from kind of getting-know-each-other through banana fights to Drive-in. One evening we were suppose to have Outside Crazy Games but since it was raining outside we changed it into Inside Crazy Games. One of the games was to find a partner and to lay down (as you see at the picture below) and to feed each other with a frozen ice cream (and I mean really frozen ice cream). At this point I got attacked by a Jr. High girl saying: We're gonna be together!. Fortunately, Juraj was there and he saved me. (The girl stuff you'll get in a while).

Here's the picture as Juraj feeds me.

There were some problems though. Dominik and me found out that two 14 year-old Jr. High girls have crush on us. And that's not really good. I remember all the times when just during the games one of 'em just grabbed my hand that I'm in her team and I just ripped my hand off of hers and said: I got a job to do in the office... and I disappeared in the back rooms at The Building were students were not allowed to be. Or poor Dominik, one girl grabbed his head, shook it and looked into his eyes and said: Where are you going?. And I had some problems with the boys at my class as well. One of them especially was really disrespectful and not really caring what's going on during the class. So after the second day I took him apart and talked to him that he is being disrespectful and his behavior is not making the class any easier for me and his "classmates" are probably not really happy about it. And even though he is only 9 he seemed he was listening and thought about it seriously. The same day at the evening we had Scavenger Hunt and he was in my team. He was the best kid I ever!
But all this, either the girls or the boys, is just a sign that they are missing love at their homes and in their lives in general. Suddenly they come to The Building where people love them even though sometimes they don't deserve and they don't know how to respond to it.

But after all, again, we've seen God's grace and all the answered prayers He gave us. The whole week He was pushing our tiredness and was keeping it away what really helped us in doing our job. So He helped us to be patient with the boys and share the love of Christ with them even in times when we were so tired and not really willing to be nice to them:-) . And we were really happy that God has glorified Himself in our work and that He was among us all the time.

The other way how God showed us His grace and love is that we got about 10 girls from Špačince (a close village) and put a desire and care about the girls into the hearts of our LTP girls and so Ninka and Babulka are about to start a new GK - Girl's Club. God blessed us so much that so many times we just freeze and stare when we see the way He works and what He does in us and for us.
Praise Him!

And just one more thing I want to tell you about. During one evening (the day before the camp was over) when everybody was so tired and out of strength I looked at us and saw seven young people working with kids and spending at least a half of the summer at The Building doing camps and not even being paid for that, yet they were so happy and so excited to do it. To work for Christ. And I gotta tell you I'm so proud on our team. That God put these young people together for Him and gave them privilege to work for our Father in heaven. So even now I'm looking forward for our next jobs we'll be called to do. Because we'll be called by the Son of God.

22 júla, 2008

Through the Looking Glass: Reflections on Christ That Change Us

Last Sunday I finished reading a book. But this book was special to me in various ways. The first is that the author of the book is a close person to me and the second because I was looking forward to reading this book for so long (the reason why I didn't read it sooner is because I got little problems with my reading time and I found myself unable to make a regular time to read - simply it was hard for me to keep on reading, not because a book would be boring or me having some reading issues - just cannot make the time). But let me tell you what is the book about and what did I gain from reading it.

The book is about the person called Jesus Christ. It talks about Christ and who He really is. It takes a closer look at Him and the things He has done for us and the background of this all. It describes His love toward us and the reason of this love and gives you all of this in an easy way to understand. It begins from the divine nature of Christ as God-man and gives you lots of new points of view at Christ.

To me personally it made closer and cleaner what Christ did for me and who Jesus really is. Kris' book is a really great book and I'm happy I got to read it. It just showed me how much it really cost to buy my soul from the slavery of sin. And it helped me to understand Jesus a lot more and brought my relationship with Him to a new higher level what I'm really thankful for, because I can tell you - it's great!

And if you have never read any of Kris' books and would want to find something really interesting to read you're done with searching. I gotta admit that the way Kris writes his books is amazing. Because he was able to pass me a lot of great stuff through the books in a simple language that even I can understand (and my English is not good enough to read hard theological stuff). Kris has done a great job with his books.

Since I have got my reading "problem" I've read only two books. Both are Kris' (the first book of his is called The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin) and I think it just got me in a place when I really desire to learn about God and to explore what all He has done for me. So today I begin to read another book. Hopefully I'll be done with the book within two weeks (that's my schedule) and I'll be able to share with you about it. Wish me luck.

21 júla, 2008

Back from the vacation

So today, after 9 hours of sitting in the back seats of a car with my mom and sister, I got home from a vacation in Croatia with my family. We were in a town called Vodice. It's a small and nice town with really nice people. We left on Thursday morning at 2.30 am and got there at 11.00 am. I was really tired so took a nap right away.

Before we went I was kinda afraid about one thing. I've been to a sea 3 times and my parents never were. So I thought my parents would be all freaking out and I'll be like what's going on? It's just a sea. And so it was. Apparently I didn't swim as much as my parents thought I would (because they told me for several times that I could have slept and hanged out in Slovakia and not to pay a lot of money to go to Croatia :-) But it was a good time after all. I slept a lot (so got my powers back after being sucked out by the Xtrteme Week). And two years ago an American by name Andrew brought me to the Building (later affected me becoming a Christian) and he taught me how to fight my asthma by running. Ever since then I began to like running ('cause my asthma got easier for me and I realized it helps me to run). And can you imagine a better place to run at then a coast? It was great and during those 2 days I ran twice. The first time I ran a little over 10 km (6 miles) with a one minute little break (and it wasn't a real break it was more a fast walking) and the second time it was almost 13.5 km (8.5 miles) with the same kind of break. You can see that there's a little slow-down-place but it was when I was running up a hill, then took a minute break and ran down.

If you think I'm just showing off this time you're right :-)

Well that's the whole vacation actually. When I got back to Trnava I ran (only walked because I was tired after another 9 hours "trip" in the car) to The Building because we're having Jr. High English Camp this week. And when I walked into the office I saw Dan as he was trying to fix some internet router problems. And I just looked at it and fixed it in a sec. And then I realized that I'm finally back home again. With my friends.
And just to let you know how'd it go with my parents and all the broken relationship stuff. I thought that a week away would help us but it did not. Actually nothing has changed. Everything is pretty same. And I realized that I need to be more patient and to pray to the LORD for putting this problem away and replace it with love. And so I want to ask you, if this ever comes to your mind during your prayer time, pray for me and my parents because our relationship is not on the best way. Thanks.

17 júla, 2008

Family vacation in Croatia

Today, very early at the morning (2.30 am), I left to Croatia with my parents and sister for several days (I'll be back on Monday about the lunch time). And I'd like to ask you to pray for the safety on the road (because we drive) and for the safe time spend there as well.

But your prayers would be the most appreciated if you'd pray for me and my parents. The relationship between us is not really at the best point at the moment and we're having problems. Lots of 'em. So please ask God to give us a good time to be together and give us enough opportunities to make our relationship work again.

And my class teacher is going with us, too (he's a close family friend). And he and both of my parents are not Christians, so please ask God to use me as a way to share the good news to them and testify the love of Christ.

Thank you for the prayers.

16 júla, 2008

Vienna trip

On Monday, Libby took Dominik and me for a trip to Vienna. And it was a really cool day, let me tell you...

The day before the trip Libby and Dominik went to Tesco to buy some food and drinks and make some sandwiches. Then when everything was ready we met at the morning and went to the train station in Trnava. We took our train to Bratislava and there we switched with a train that took us right to Vienna. So far - everything goes according the plan. But not for long...

It was about 10 am and we got a little hungry. So we opened up our backpack and took out the sandwiches. But. For some unknown reason all of them (except one) were wet and disgusting to eat. Libby was sad about it because she wanted to have a great day. You can't imagine what fun it was for Dominik and me :-) So we went to some store for a little snack (it's something like in IKEA, you take what you want and then you pay). And in the store I got coffee poured out on me from a waiter. So I smelled like a coffee for the rest of the day.

Then we took a subway to St. Stephen's Cathedral. It's a nice and glorious cathedral (nothing that we don't have in Trnava :-) Then we went to visit an art museum Libby was so excited. Then we went to some tree park where we just lied down and had s0me little rest. We planned to go to a castle but we didn't have enough time so we took another subway to Prater (it's a theme park in Vienna. When I went to Vienna for the fist time I went there and I was so excited about it 'cause in Slovakia we don't have anything like that). And Dominik and me went to the most crazy attraction there. I'm not going to describe it you but instead I'll show you what was that like:

This attraction is the craziest one in the whole theme park. The basic description is: you sit down to a bench that has bungee ropes and it will shoot you up over 150 meters (164 yards) and then you're just falling down and swinging up and down. The speed is over 160 km per hour (100 miles per hour). And I can tell that it was great and next time I'll go to this theme park I'll get a ride again :-)

We went then for another two attractions (couldn't more because we took the craziest rides and it's pretty expensive there). Then we went to the subway station again and wanted to get somewhere closer to the train station that our train was suppose to go from. First we thought it's U2 subway so we took it. But then we realized it's U3 (because for some reason I thought we began at the beginning of U3 subway). So we stopped by the St. Stephen's Cathedral (because we kinda knew it there already) to have some dinner. We found some pizzeria that was as full as they would be playing the game how-many-people-would-fit-in-here? . But in the time we got there some people were about to leave so we grabbed their chairs and had dinner there.

When we were done (thinking we have about 45 minutes to get the train and all we have to do is just get a subway that would take us there) we went to a subway station and took our U3. Well, it took us to the place we wanted to go but when we got out of the subway we expected to see at least something familiar. But this was the place we've never been to. And it was only 30 minutes before the train was suppose to leave and we had no idea where we are and where we're going. So we prayed in a subway for enough time and for the resources how to get there. So we asked random people but they didn't know how to get there either. But they gave as an idea. Get a taxi.

So we got off of the subway at a big station and went out with a thought to get a taxi that would take us to the train station. We were out and there was NO taxi. Suddenly I saw one. And I said: God just sent as a taxi. But it was on the other side of a intersection and I couldn't get there because I had the red light and he was about to get green. But I didn't see any cars coming so I ran into the taxi car and waved at the taxi driver the way he would know I am a potential customer :-) He open the door I jumped in and pointed with a finger at out train ticket with the name of the train station and asked him: Can you get me there? He said it's not a problem and we drove little to get Libby and Dominik. In this point it was 15 minutes before the train was suppose to leave. It was raining and we were hurry to get to the station. We prayed to make it (otherwise it would mean we're not going to get home 'till the next day) . And we had a lot of green lights at intersections and we were really thankful for that. We arrived to the train station 4 minutes before the train was suppose to leave. When we got into the train station I saw familiar place and I knew that this time we're at the right place. We ran upstairs to our platform and the only thing we could've done was just to wave to the train. And then I said: God just took the train away from us. If we would get there just 30 seconds earlier we would make it.

We knew that there's a train going from Vienna to Bratislava every hour but we didn't know whether we'll be able to get a train from Bratislava to Trnava. So I went to find out when is another train going and whether we're gonna get home today. A nice guy at the information place printed out for me the schedule and I came to Libby and Dominik and I said: I knew God wouldn't leave us here. There was a train going from Bratislava 15 minutes from the tiem we were suppose to arrive to Bratislava. And it was at 10:28 pm so we were waiting there for 45 minutes. Then the train came and this time we were there and were ready to go home. Came to Bratislava where we were suppose to switch trains and go to Trnava. There were two trains going to Košice but only one was going trough Trnava. As ridiculous as it sounds we almost got into the wrong one. And what's really interesting even though we took a train that left from Vienna one hour later we got to Trnava only 15 minutes after the time we were suppose to get back with the first train. A little after midnight we arrived to Trnava's train station and went home to sleep. We all were so tired that the next day I woke up at 1 pm what is pretty late for me :-)

As I look at that day now, even though there were some problems and sometimes we didn't even know where we were going, I consider it as a great day. I went to Vienna, museum, hanged out at the tree park, took subway, stopped the taxi in the middle of intersection, missed the train and still I spent this day with really close friends of mine and I'm really thankful for that.

13 júla, 2008

Xtreme Week 2008

OK guys,
I got some comments for my first "article" so I suppose there are some people that will actually read this. I want to tell you what was the Xtreme Week like.

Xtreme Week was an English camp for High school students. We began our camp on Monday July 7th and were having it 'till Friday July 11th. When the kids came to The Building at 4:30 pm we welcomed them and were watching a daily video from the last day. Then we had our English classes for about an hour and half. We had funny and serious stories that had Christian point, either obvious or not that obvious:-) After the classes we had our Xtreme-Movie-Making time where we divided kids into 4 teams and they were suppose to make a short movies. Then at 8:00 pm our LTP team got in charge with the evening program. The program started with a LTP silly video and crazy games. At the end we had a speaker and discussion groups. After that we were just hanging out and playing games. These are themes we had for each day:

Monday: Xtreme Beginnings
Tuesday: Xtreme Makeover
Wednesday: Xteme Olympics
Thursday: Xtreme Dare Night
Friday: Xtreme Cookout/Oscar Night :-)

Whole week was really tiring. Usually we had a meeting at 2 pm about what's going on, then had meeting with teachers and we talked what was gonna happen at the class. Then was a prayer meeting and at 4:30 pm we opened the door for the students to come.

Most of the times we prayed for our relationships with the students and for a good opportunities to share the gospel. For the program to work out and, as the week was ending and our powers were fading, even for the strength and some rest.

The best day was Friday and our Xtreme Cookout/Oscar Night. It may sounds weird to have a Xtreme Cookout but hey - that's Xtreme Week. On one hand it was the best because it was the last day of the camp, on the other hand because in that day God showed His love and grace the most. Let me tell you a little more about this day...

For me it began a little earlier than I'm used to. I woke up at 5:00 am with only three hours of sleep. I went to The Building and I started to work at 6:00 am. I was making intro videos for the Oscar Night and then made two team videos (seems easy but believe me, to cut it all and put it together with music and stuff - takes a little while) .

In the middle of this I went to a computer store to get a wire because we planned to do a Skype-to-Skype video conference call from another room where Monika was interviewing our teams. And projected on a wall. We had microphones and all the other cool stuff that you can find at a fancy evening program. During the camp I was actually in charge of technical stuff and videos.

But back to Friday. Between movie making I had to make every audio/video/technical stuff working. And then back to the movie making. I got off of computer at 7:30 pm what means that I spend at least 12 hours of the computer work. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make you feel sorry about me I just want you to get the picture of the day. How much we had to do. The rest of the team was preparing for the classes (I had to skip mine and I'm really sorry about it because I liked my class [btw: Monika and me were only helpers in the class. The real teacher was Anya] ) .

Then we had cookout and the big time was here.

Ladies and gentlemen, please, dress up to your fancy clothes!

Babulka and me were MCs. It was the best day of the camp for sure! Even though we all were so tired God gave us enough strength to keep going and make the job done. That day when I was working with the computer all the time with 3 hours of sleep I lost all my hope that it's all ever gonna work. But we kept praying and Lord answered our prayers and it was even greater that we'd ever imagine.

After the Oscar part of the evening we gave T-Shirts and the Camp certificates to the kids. And you could tell from their faces that they were sad because the camp is over. They we had an "AFTER PARTY!" and LTP have really enjoyed it! Even Miriam did!

Miriam and her children.

Then we cleaned up (because no one wanted to come back on Saturday to do it) and we gathered together to praise God for everything He has done at the camp. 'Cause when we looked back to the past 5 days we really realized what ALL He has done.

And I cannot forget to mention probably the greatest thing of all. There's a guy that's been going to The Building for a year and knew that people from The Building team are Christians. On Thursday night I walked him home and we talked about Christ for over an hour. He's interested into Christianity. He had not been to The Building for over 3 months and when he came back this summer it was so obvious that God works in his life. He always wondered why are people at The Building so nice and welcoming and now he knows. Please, pray for him!

12 júla, 2008

The reason of this blog...

Last week we had Xtreme Week camp for High School students. I came home at 1 am and went to sleep right away because the night before I slept only 3 hours and it was the last day of the camp. When I woke up (at 3:30 pm! I was really tired) I realized what a great week we all had. How God blessed this week and how many blessings and answered prayers we received.

During one evening program I shared my life with the kids at the camp and told them who I used to be before I met Christ. How Christ can become the most important person in your life and change it. So I decided to share. To show others what my life looks like and what's going on there. Wanna know? Keep coming back!