Slovakia has two Independence Days, sort of. On this date in 1990, in the immediate aftermath of communism, Slovakia was declared a sovereign republic. Thus, many consider July 17 Slovak Independence Day. On Jan. 1, 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic peacefully separated into two countries, often called the “velvet divorce.” Happy 28th (or 25th) birthday, Slovakia!
Dustin and Miriam Combs are from the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Dustin served in many roles over 13 years at their home church, most recently as assistant pastor in hospitality and student ministries. Miriam taught elementary school in Phoenix for seven years. Having served short-term seven summers in the Czech Republic with Josiah Venture and later in Slovakia with another youth ministry, they learned of Entrust through staff members Mark and Beth Van Bebber.
Dustin, Miriam and son Theo arrived in Banská Bystrice, Slovakia, in September. Their immediate goals include, “solidify our place of residence, set up class times at the language school, establish day care for Theo while we go to class, switch to local cell phone service and internet for our flat, buy things we need for daily living, open a local bank account and familiarize ourselves with Entrust training materials. Once this is done, the major focus will be on language learning.” In addition, Dustin says, “I (or we) will shadow staff member Rob Shaffer as he meets with leaders and pastors in Slovakia, and join occasional youth camps. We plan to use this time to build relationships and see Entrust trainings and groups in practice.”
Read the full article here: www.entrust4.org/OctSL
We at Entrust are thrilled to announced that long-time friend and staff member Ester Kriskova will be married July 31. Here’s how Ester describes this blessing:
“God blessed me with a special relationship with a dear godly man – Slavomir – a widower with a 13-year-old son, Jakub (I am going to have two sons named Jakub). God has given me an unconditional and gentle love in Slavomir. Slavomir served his wife who struggled with cancer for 12 years. [Ester’s husband, Tomas, battled cancer for many years, as well, and went home to be with the Lord in 2014.] We have much in common, we have known each other since we were in our youth group and now –after my 28 years of marriage with Tomas and his 26 years of marriage with Diana – God has put us together. We are praying for a common ministry. Please, join us in this prayer.”
No, not SAD. Just a moment to be aware of people who likely are not gazing at fresh roses today, not testing the centers of the chocolates in a heart-shaped box, after yesterday’s romance-oriented celebration.
Entrust’s Ester Krišková is a beautiful example of a single person using her stage of life for God’s glory. Her precious husband, Tomáš, died of cancer in 2014. Ester grieves, naturally. And she carries on the ministries she and Tomáš shared during their shared life in the pastorate in Slovakia.
Ester provides pre-marital, family and marriage counseling; helped establish a marriage ministry at her church; assists in organizing an annual national women’s conference; speaks at conferences; has a radio ministry; serves at youth camps; works with children; leads Bible studies.
If you’re alone today, take a page from Ester’s playbook. Press on, doing what you know is right. Life can be full and rich. And guess what. There is still chocolate to be had.
Entrust’s Ester Kriskova counsels couples, families and women, facilitates women’s Bible studies and trainings, speaks at national women’s gatherings here and in neighboring Czech Republic. Her late husband, Tomas, one of Entrust’s early students, was a key leader in the Slovak church.
LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY: shops sell t-shirts of a map of Slovakia emblazoned “Heart of Europe” since it is at the exact geographic center of Europe. This small country, twice the size of the state of Maryland, is landlocked but graced by the High Tatra Mountains, the Danube River and fertile farmland.
FAMOUS SLOVAKS: Andy Warhol, Anjelina Jolie, Jim Caviezel, Stefan Banic (inventor of the parachute), Jaroslav Pelikan (Christian historian and theologian)
BIRTH OF A NATION: At midnight, Jan. 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia dissolved and two new countries were born– the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (normally referred to as Slovakia). The peaceful divide became known as “the velvet divorce.”
Continue reading “SLOVAKIA: an Entrust travelogue”