Elina Hakkarainen from Finland, student intern
We have had a nice friend Elina from Kuopio, Finland, visit us in Slovakia. She and her friend Tea served to our children in Lutheran elementary school in Martin during last school term. THANK YOU FOR SERVING!!
Elina´s life in Finland is pretty much settled now. Elina has waiting for the winter to arrive to Finland. “In Finland we do not have so much snow, this winter seem to be very different than usually. At this time we have many minus degrees, it is cold but sunny!”, wrote Elina in her letter.
“I want to send many greetings and blessings for all people there: children, bible school staff members, teachers, cafeteria, kindergarten and church staff. I miss you. Have a beautiful winter and spring time!”, added Elina.
How did you come up with the idea of studying, serving and practicing your skills with children in Slovakia?
This period seemed to be best for my professional skills comparing other foreign countries. Also previous Diakonia students told good things about Slovakia and Bible school in Martin.
What have you found the most challenging in your service?
The Slovak language was so different.
Have you managed the overcome these obstacles? If so, how?
I just tried to be open-minded and did things bravely. I used google translator to learn some Slovak words and phrases.
What is your definition of “mission”?
The Christian community can be mostly same in every country. People seemed to have same kind of values so you can come to this community and give your own know-how for the new people. Mission is also praying together, discussion about God and to be near and be ready to help for other people.
Do you consider your work here to be a mission?
In some ways yes, like praying and to be a part in Sunday service, sometimes we also talked about Jesus with children, especially before Christmas.
How did you like Slovakia?
I liked a lot.
Was there anything you have learned during your stay in Slovakia?
I learned a lot about living in different surroundings than in Finland. Also I think I have learned to be a little more relaxed, like thinking about the concept of time. I learned a lot about the Bible and I also pray now easily in different situations.
Now you are at home, what is your next calling?
I will go for summer work in a local congregation to be a youth worker in confirmation camps.
If you think about Slovakia, what will be first idea what comes up in your mind?
Mountains, good-behaving children, religious people.
Will you miss anything from Slovakia?
I will miss some people I got chance to meet and also the nature. Also the nice community feeling in Bible school is the thing to miss.
Dear Elina, thank you for your answers!
We wish you a great year ahead and may God bless you. Our regards and prayers are with you, take care!
| see also interview with Tea Adeola |