(The Story of Our Teacher Lucia Letášová)
God very tenderly cared for Lucka and her siblings so that they could grow up in a loving family, though it was not the siblings’ biological family. In addition, Lucka understands that, when she became a Christian, she became a royal child–a child of the King! This identity she tries to live out in the Lutheran Kindergarten in Martin where she works as a teacher. We hope this article reflects Lucka’s perspective on how having her own childhood filled with love and faith enables her to pass these on to the children in our kindergarten.
1. You have been working in the Lutheran kindergarten for one year. What led you into this year of work and ministry?
Let me first explain a little background about my decision to work as a teacher in the Lutheran Kindergarten specifically. I had always been active in my church as I grew up, and I knew I wanted to continue in some kind of church ministry when I finished college. To be a teacher in the Lutheran Kindergarten I saw the opportunity to fulfill my desire. With God’s help I succeeded.
2. What is the most difficult aspect of your work in the Kindergarten class?
The most challenging part for me is the constant counting: I must count the time for activities; I must count children; I must count how long we stay outside. I have to be constantly on the alert. Furthermore, in order to interact successfully with each child, I must know that child’s particular personality to enable me to assess his or her unique needs in the moment. Children of kindergarten age frequently feel that they are still the center of the universe. Consequently, I think that these children often will remember only that one moment you have given to him or her and, therefore, it is very important. So, when kids are learning something, and I see they are receiving pleasure; or when they are speaking about topics I have taught them; or when they are remembering important principals; or when they come to hug me – These I don’t mind counting at all!
3. What helps you most when your life or your job becomes difficult? (Give us your “recipe.”)
What definitely helps me in challenging times is to sit down for a while and read the Bible. The Bible is my daily bread, and I love to dive into its thoughts. Sometimes I also find it very helpful to read a good Christian book, or to spend some moments in worship or time with family … whenever I set aside time to be with the Lord, all the obstacles are displaced, so even those moments when I feel sad become less difficult.
4. Were you encouraged to pursue faith in Christianity at home?
Yes, I was surrounded with Christianity from the time I was a little child. I participated in various Christian camps, Sunday schools and other events in the church as I was growing up. I passed also Confirmation, and we sang Christian songs with my family. We even had evening Bible studies in my congregation. I am very grateful that I had opportunities to ask my parents about different questions which I did not understand that time in my life.
5. You grew up in a foster family. What do you think about this form of assistance and help for children?
I am personally grateful that this kind of help for children has become available. I am also thankful that Slovakia favors placing a child in a family in which he or she would have the best chance to grow and flourish. I think that the person who gives birth to a child may not always be the most appropriate person to rear that child. In other words, “mum” is not necessarily the one who gives birth to the child, but the one who raises him. This was my motto, and is still so today. This kind of parenting certainly requires much sacrifice. But I also think that this form of care can bring much reward to both the parents and children.
6. Is there something (a principle or value) that you have learned at home and that you teach the children in the Lutheran preschool today?
My foster family taught me many principles and values. First of all they taught me to appreciate things and not to take everything for granted (such as the fact that I should eat what I have on my plate because other kids are starving; or to behave politely; to greet; to say ‘thank-you’; to say ‘sorry’; to admit my mistakes, etc. My parents taught me to give thanks for every single thing that I receive and to be accountable for my actions and my words. Nothing is ‘just because’… we have all that we have only because of the grace of our God .
7. Tell us what, in your life, you desire most in the days to come?
Currently I deeply desire to meet my future partner, to have children, … but I wish, above all, to follow what it says in Scripture, especially “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness . . .” (Mt 6:33). I believe that the Lord will take care of all of this, as He has taken care of everything until now.
8. Who is God– for you? (Your personal opinion about God)
For me, God is my great authority, Father, friend, guardian, family and all my life. He is the Beginning and the End, my Creator–indescribable and beautiful. I cannot even say the words that can describe him. I’m His royal baby, and I am firmly hidden in His arms. I never want to go back from this place☺. That is where I always want to be. Indeed, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” (Psalm 125:1)