As the weather becomes cooler and summer turns into fall, we look forward to a new school year here at the Center for Christian Education. However, before we look ahead, we wanted to take just a moment to look back at the summer and savor all that happened one more time. Continue reading
How did you find out about the CCE in Slovakia? What made you want to come here?
Tyler: I first heard about the CCE in Slovakia our friends, Blythe and Tony, who were already living here. Initially, Lauren and I were planning on backpacking around Europe. When we reached out to Blythe to see if we could come visit her, she told us about CCE and the work they were doing in Slovakia. I was immediately drawn to the mission of CCE and it is the reason I decided to come here.
Lauren: I had always wanted to travel abroad. Tyler and I had found that international teaching was a worthwhile and substantial way to not only travel, but to live abroad. I learned about CCE through my university, and soccer teammate, Blythe! What started as simply an inquiry to come visit Slovakia turned into a once in a lifetime opportunity to work at CCE and live in Slovakia. My connections, the hunger for cultural immersion, and a desire to influence change- in not only the lives of students, by my own- has led me here. Continue reading
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2018
We are celebrating 20 years of ministry
The history of the Holocaust is complex and complicated at the same time, so it can be very challenging to mediate the topic with students in the 21st century. Our teacher Katarína Jakubcová was a participant in the team of teachers from Slovakia in December 2017, who had the opportunity to take part in the educational seminars directly in Jad Vashem. The International School for the Study of the Holocaust at Jad Vashem started the cooperation with the Slovak Republic through the Ministry of Education in 2002, when the first seminar for Slovak teachers was held.
Last Thursday, the CCE Bible School was full of parents, students, and staff gathered to celebrated a traditional American Thanksgiving complete with 2 turkeys, cornbread, and cranberry sauce. The food was made by our 5 American teachers and the entertainment was provided by our students who spent time in the U.S through our summer program.
As our bus crossed the invisible line dividing Austria from Slovakia, I had to look quickly to notice the official buildings on both sides of the highway — the only clue that we had left one country and entered another. It also marked the abrupt end of the huge, steel-towered windmills, which stood at attention, in random formation, over much of Austria, but not Slovakia. My eyes swept over the rural landscape ahead and relished the feeling of returning to Grandpa Stefan Divis’ homeland. I gazed out over the rolling hills and farmlands, and waited to see what has become the symbol of Slovakia to me — acres and acres of sunflower heads all tilted at the same angle, in as tight a formation as soldiers, tracking the sun. Steel tower monster windmills as opposed to graceful sunflowers: the first of many contrasts I have encountered in my trips to Slovakia. This is the place I love to come back to! Grandpa, on the other hand, made a very brave decision to leave this land in 1910, never to return. I wonder what he would think of my journey. Continue reading
Twenty years ago, in a far-away land of Slovakia, a group of Americans showed up. It was a rare and not necessarily welcomed sight in what recently was a communist country, let alone in my hometown Martin. I felt some sympathy for these lost souls, because I’d had just returned from their part of the world with a positive experience and a peculiar dream. These tourists actually wanted to hear about it, so I did my best to describe how the abandoned car dealership behind my back would, in a few weeks, become the first Bible school in Slovakia. A man in a Chicago Bulls T-shirt raised a question: “There are no classrooms ready here. So where are you going to put those students?” By pointing out one of the obvious weaknesses of my grand plan, he quickly lost my fragile sympathy, and I just murmured back something about the need of a miracle. His friend noticed my disconcertment and, as a form of apology, he introduced that Bull T-shirt guy as a man of business, who tended to ask logical questions. Only later I’ve learned that this man of business was actually a man of God whom God uses to make miracles happen. That day I also learned and will always treasure his name: Gene Ryan. And I still have and will always treasure that Bulls T-shirt of his. Continue reading