These past few weeks have been focused on short term teams. Along with the Armitage’s and Christina, we worked with three teams: one was from the Alberta District’s women’s ministry, one was from St.Catherines Ontario and the other was a prayer team sent by NLI with representatives from the UK and the USA.
For us this was an introduction to the hosting aspect of short term trips. We learned a lot! It was exciting to meet new people, share stories and have others grasp Canadian humour. Even more interesting was to hear people’s observations of Slovakia. Different people provide such varying perspectives and t is surprising what has become normal to us (apparently our J-Walking skills have hit an entirely new level).
The added people-power of the teams helped us take positive actions. The teams were involved in a variety of valuable activities: multiple speaking engagements, hosting a regional women’s event, being a part of our university outreach discussion club, volunteering in a mother’s centre, helping us build influence with a local university by volunteering at the dorms, construction (or more like destruction) on a building being used by a church plant, strengthening our ties to other churches by helping with some spring cleaning and of course, lots of prayer!
One of the more valuable contributions from these teams were the relationships they helped us build. While walking around the city praying with a team, a young couple stopped us. Intrigued by this large group of English speakers, we began to talk. It turns out they live very close to us, were married the month after us, have just moved to Nitra from eastern Slovakia and would like to have a newlywed couple as friends. Just like that we had a new connection into our community. Also, through our work at the university, the team was able to introduce us to one student. This one student works for a university student exchange program and through him we have been able to connect with young adults from around Europe who are living here in Nitra. We are so grateful for the teams willingness to connect with new people.
The NLI prayer team took time to visit several cities around Slovakia. They would meet with workers in that city and then pray together. We were so pleased that people understand the value and power of prayer. We are big believers that lasting change must start with prayer. This has us excited for the things that have already begun.