I’m afraid I’ve had a very busy spring and wasn’t able to communicate well. I had a great semester rewriting lectures for my Old Testament class and teaching Exegesis of Proverbs and Advanced Hebrew Reading Skills. This year I had a dream class of three great Hebrew students. That’s a rarity at our small school. And now, finally, I’ve released our first newsletter for 2018, my 26th year of ministry in Slovakia.
From 2001 to 2005 Jana and I were part of one of the first post-communist church planting efforts in Slovakia for our denomination, the Cirkev bratská.1CB, member IFFEC Despite lots of effort and investment and despite a pretty steady stream of new believers, the congregation struggled to maintain “critical mass.” Fast forward ten years and the church now has more than 40 members. On June 24 they will send off their current pastor to plant a new congregation in Bratislava. How did that happen?
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It’s time once again for our biennial home assignment trip to the United States to report on our ministry in Slovakia. We’ll be arriving in Chicago on June 25 and departing on August 22. This year we have a different goal than usual and there are lots of ways we need help to make this an effective time in the States.
It seemed to me like a cliffhanger. Our ministry account with ReachGlobal had dropped below the minimum required for a family. That triggered budgeting measures like no more reimbursement of ministry expenses. Most importantly, I wasn’t going to be able to renew my teaching contract with the seminary since it’s funded through our ministry account. I was even beginning to get a little nervous that we’d have to leave the field before our next scheduled home assignment.
The Institute for Biblical Research (IBR) is an organization of evangelical Christian scholars with a vision to foster excellence in the pursuit of Biblical Studies. A fellow Pentateuch scholar and I have recently started a new research group on the Pentateuch and are accepting proposals for the 2018 annual meeting of IBR (at SBL). Proposals are due March 7!
Janus was the Roman god of transitions. With his two faces he stood in the gate of time and looked with one face toward the past and one toward the future. He gave his name (according to some) to the month of January since this is the time of year we like to januflect—evaluate our past and make adjustments for the future. If you are praying for us, this is a good post to read to understand how best to pray for our ministry and family.
We hope you are enjoying a wonderful Advent season in anticipation of the coming of our Lord and hope you have a blessed 2018. Enjoy this greeting with a short photo overview of our year while Jana (piano) and Elisabeth (violin) play “A Song from Secret Garden.”
We had a beautiful fall in Slovakia this year and snow as early as Nov 1. Check out our fall 2017 photos.
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