“Way to heart of man is through his stomach” says the old adage. This wisdom was tested in Martin for many years. Food used to be cooked in an old cellar. Four devoted slaves would buy food on Friday and cook something delicious to eat on Saturday. The plastic cups and plates, paper napkins and wet wipes incurred later. They were a big help to modern man. The latest era brings a new dining room that will serve the children and staff of the Lutheran elementary school, the Center for Christian Education (Bible School), and the church in Martin.
To be allowed to be part of an opening ceremony is a privilege. Especially if you note that the construction cost a lot of effort, prayers and considerable financial resources. We hoped that the renovation costs of dining wouldn’t exceed the amount 50,000 dollars. However the project, which architect submitted to us, was designed for 300,000 dollars. We were impressed by financial assistance from America and also Slovak volunteers in this difficult situation. Help started with KJ. This sympathetic American has decided to honor the cafeteria with memory of his mother. She, her family and friends collected $10,000 for the reconstruction of the dining room. KJ, in a letter which describes her decision to sponsor, wrote: “There is not a better place which could be a memorial to my mom.”
Paul Berg, pastor of the Lutheran church in St. Andrews, said that KJ´s sponsorship motivated other believers so much that they increased sponsorship to $63,000 during the following weeks. However the amount was still not sufficient and the costs were growing during the reconstruction. The submitted project was therefore revised, too. Money were accurately finally. It went so well because of the help from volunteers — parents, teachers, workers and believers from the United States and the Center of Christian Education (Bible School in Martin). All of them helped lower the cost of the dining room’s reconstruction. They deserve great appreciation and many thanks for their willingness to work and serve at this place.
Children of Lutheran elementary school used to go to the dining room in Mudronova´s street. Its capacity was really small. Honestly, we also worried about the safety of the children while they moved through spaces outside of the school. Pastor Milan Kubík also pointed out another major positive of the new dining room: “The dining room could reintroduce the almost forgotten practice of prayer and thanksgiving before meals, habits which the children will naturally pick up in this environment.” With the nee dining space, the Lutheran elementary school becomes a fuller education complex. The director of the elementary school spoke about blessing the time spent in the Community with good food. He thanked all who were involved in the project, namely the Mayor of Martin, Andrej Hrčiar, the KDK Company, the workers of Center for Christian Education (Bible school), the teachers and educators of Lutheran elementary school, the volunteers from the United States of America, the believers of the church in Martin, and the students’ parents.
It is intended that the use of this space will be shared between three institutions, the Lutheran elementary school, the Bible school, and the church. Other communities of believers will meet in this space during the annual choir day, partner church visits, and youth meetings. The dining room will seat the staff of the Christian Education Center and many students also. In the future, plans for further development will open the dining room for a Lutheran nursery (baby farm) and a bilingual high school. Pastor Milan Kubík said, that “the idea is to create more diversified works at the Christian Education Center in Martin.”
“Things that we give to the care of God we do with psalm, praise and blessing” – the same things accompanied the construction of the dining room. At the end of the blessing and dedication, the dining room was filled with a desire to “let the Spirit be present in grace and love, so that even in this space the Gospel can be spread.” We believe that the new location will bring much joy and delicious goodies to anyone who will enter into it.