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Slovakia 2019: Thankful Hearts

July 8, 2019

Tonight is our group’s last night in Vienna. We’ve spent a few delightful days in this wonderful city. Out hotel is close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and collectively we have seen everything there is to see around town. Greta was a little “done” with seeing things today, so we went to the Wurstelprater (or, simply, Prater) and rode some roller coasters and sat in swings that rotated 117 meters in the air. Gulp! Don’t worry, we made sure to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, too. We’re all ready to return home tomorrow or, in the case of a few team members, journey elsewhere in Europe. Two teens from Martin travel with us, ready to be folded into the Grace community for the coming month.

I’ve been waiting to write about our final day of Vacation Bible School in Martin because, well, writing about it makes it feel more final. I’m not quite ready to let it go. On Friday we learned that Daniel (spoiler alert!) was not eaten in the lions’ den. Huzzah! What I appreciated about the theme for Friday was that it moved from God’s power and mercy to our gratitude: When you’re thankful, God is with you. Of course, it works (even better?) in the other direction, too: When God is with you, you can’t help but be thankful.

We have so much for which to be thankful. It was another awesome week in Martin. The closing program in the square on Friday was amazing; many said the most engaging one yet. And that’s the point, of course. Not to be good, but to be engaging. We hope and pray that the parents, grandparents, and others who came to see the kids’ artwork (way to go, Marcia and team!) and hear the kids sing (My Lighthouse!) got a glimpse of Jesus; that they felt the Spirit moving through their community, engaging them where they are. If they did, it wasn’t because of us. It is because God, simply and amazingly, is good. Good beyond measure. Good in soil that was once left fallow. Good in all circumstances. God is good.

I don’t know what else to say except to say that if you have not yet travelled to Martin with us, please think and pray about doing so. The Holy Spirit is at work everywhere in the cosmos, but sometimes it’s easier to see and feel the Spirit in a different land. Martin, Slovakia is just such a place. I hope you’ll think about it. You will no doubt be thankful.


Two final things:

First, way to go USWNT! World Cup champs!

Second, and more importantly, it is almost impossible to overstate how meaningful it has been to me to share this time with Greta. Thirteen days together. Meaningful, full, faithful days together with friends, both American and Slovak. Greta is amazing. God is good. My heart is full.

See you tomorrow, America.

From → Slovakia 2019

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