For the third consecutive summer, volunteers from St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minn., conducted the Peer Ministry program at CCE’s Lutheran High School. Led by St. Andrew’s lead pastor Michael D. Carlson and diaconal minister and program head Erin Morris, five American teens prepared a week of interesting activities, communication training, Bible study, new experience, and surprising moments, and helped train additional Slovak students for this kind of service.
St. Andrew’s first brought the Peer Ministry program to Martin during summer 2014, training nine Slovak teens. This year, 26 students enrolled in Phase 1 (beginners) and nine in Phase 2 (advanced). Also enrolled in the program were four students from other Slovak Lutheran high schools—two each from Tisovec and Liptovský Mikuláš.
All the participants agreed it wasn’t easy to say goodbye at the program’s end because they felt touched by God’s word and connected through the love of Christ. Some of their quotes:
Barbora: “I liked that we discussed spiritual topics and prayed for each other. Thank you for a great time!”
Terezka: “It helped me to express my feelings and opinions better. Thanks!”
Marek: “Thank you for helping us to understand important things!”
Kika: “Stay awesome!”
by pastor Jana Bosáková
What Is Peer Ministry?
Statistics show that young people with problems are more likely to seek help from their peers rather than adults. But what happens if a teen doesn’t know how to help? Peer Ministers are trained to be compassionate listeners who can help.
Flowing from the story of the Good Samaritan, today Peer Ministry training programs operate within several school systems in the United States and prepare students to use their gifts to help their peers. The program comprises several days of training and focuses on the art of communication, the desire to help others, and a willingness to learn about ourselves and others.
For more information on this program, please contact CCE school pastor Jana Bosáková (firstname.lastname@example.org).