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Slovakia 2019: Help on the Way

July 3, 2019

I apologize, dear reader, for not writing this blog last night. I was too busy watching Alex Morgan sip tea, er, I mean lead the USA to victory over England. One win to go, ladies! Did you see Alyssa Naeher save that penalty? Holy cow.

It was fitting that we ended day two of VBS watching the women of the U.S. National Team help each other out. Help was the theme for the day: When you need help, God is with you. Our focus for the day was the impossible task set before Daniel by King Nebuchadnezzar. How does one interpret a dream when one doesn’t even know what the dream is? Well, one turns to God for help!

It’s been wonderful watching our mission team members help each other out and pick each other up. They are truly signs of God’s helping presence for one another. The way to discover God’s dream for our lives is to seek it together, helping each other along the way.

The Bible verse for the day was Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” I know that this time in Martin has been a help to me, that this place and its people are a refuge for my spirit, providing strength for my soul. In the end, it’s about the people we meet and the relationships we form in Christ along the way. Nothing else will last.

Yesterday we travelled to Budatinsky Hrad, or Budatin Castle. I hadn’t been there before (it seems like there’s always a new old castle to visit!). The earliest sections of the castle, which sits at the confluence of the Kysuca, and the Vah, date to the thirteenth century. In 1946, the castle was occupied by the Russians. Its contents where plundered; its owner left bereft. What had seemed such a solid, lasting fortress was taken away.

So much can be taken away. The people of Slovakia know this, and they have survived much. To one degree or another, this is true for all of us. As Luther’s great hymn on Psalm 46 reminds us, “were they to take our house, goods, honor, child or spouse; though life be wrenched away,” evil cannot win the day. “The kingdom’s ours forever.”

There is so much in this world that is good and beautiful, but what will last – and what will give meaning along the way – is the Kingdom that God has built for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we journey through this life, let us ever seek to help one another, as God has helped us. Life lived in this way is a refuge. Let us shelter here together.

Oh, and cheers to the U.S. women, who are more than world-class athletes performing at the highest level of sport. They’re also reminding us of so much that is good about our home country, and fighting to make it a place of equality for all. Win or lose, thanks for your witness! Enjoy that tea.

From → Slovakia 2019

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