Plan now to be a part of the 2017 Mission Trip to Slovakia

In July 2017 Grace youth and adults will again travel to Martin, Slovakia to lead a week of Vacation Bible School at the Center for Christian Education. Planning is underway; click on the links below to download trip information. Contact Julie Modrich with questions (jmodrich@graceriverforest.org).

13606891_1238768009496098_9159137911001129963_n.jpgMission trip information
Travel details
VBS curriculum

Reflections from the 2016 trip to Slovakia

Grace’s Slovakia mission team departed Chicago on Thursday, July 8, arriving in Krakow, Poland, the following day. High- school students from the Center for Christian Education in Martin, Slovakia, were waiting at the airport to greet the team. Everyone boarded a coach for the three-hour drive through the Slovak mountainside.

What was your first impression of Slovakia?

“I was struck by the natural beauty of the country. I wasn’t expecting it!”
“Breathtaking scenery with friendly, welcoming people. It’s so clean here! I love the window-boxes overflowing with flowers.”
“I’m totally impressed by the countryside. I love that the farm animals aren’t fenced-in. We saw a herd of cows just grazing next to the road!”
“As we drove along, I became more and more excited to be here and preparing to teach VBS.”
“This is my first time out of the US; Slovakia was the perfect destination.”

On Saturday, the team toured two popular Slovak destinations: Štrbské Pleso, a beautiful glacier-fed lake in the High Tatry Mountains, and the 13th-century Orava castle. The team worshiped Sunday in Martin’s centuries-old Lutheran church, and spent the rest of the day preparing their classrooms for the Vacation Bible School classes that would begin the next day.

Teaching VBS in Slovakia: what, if anything, surprised you?

“All the emotion that we all felt, bringing the Gospel here.”
“Bohdan Hrobon’s account of the history of CCE made it all come alive for me.”
“The city of Martin was big—and modern!”
“I was touched by how accepting and loving our students were.”
“At first I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up having a great time because of all the people.”
“I was surprised at how Martin had changed since my last visit here, and how the school has grown.”
“I loved the eagerness and enthusiasm of our students: the kids really wanted to learn.”

What one thing would you want people to know about this trip?

“The experience of this mission trip changes lives: not only the lives of Slovak children but also the lives of their parents, most of whom grew up during the communist era. And, most of all, the mission trip changed us.”
“Having American volunteers teaching VBS in Martin, Slovakia, enables the Center for Christian Education to reach many additional families; up to half of the students in our VBS class came from other schools.”
“It was cool to see how enthusiastic the kids were to meet and befriend us.”
“By the end of five days of teaching, we ended up in a place we could not have imagined. Though we went intending to bring the Gospel, I never envisioned it would be our team who would be so richly blessed.”
“When Bohdan gave our team an oral history of CCE, he described CCE students as ‘little Bibles’ bringing the Gospel to their families and friends. After our time in Slovakia, I felt as if we, too, are the little Bibles Bohdan described.”
“It would be fun to do this again.”
“If the youth pastor wants to bring us back to Slovakia next year, I’ll be there! It was even better than I imagined.”