Teaching of English in Slovakia – interview with Mrs. Brenda Fast

Final decision – ready to serve in Slovakia (part 2/4)

Where did the idea of your ministry as an English teacher in Slovakia start?

Teaching English as a Foreign Language in any country had never entered my mind until our Director of Women’s Ministries called me one day in early 2007 to ask if I would consider teaching English in our church’s first ever English camp in Martin. I remember that I was filling a bag with dry oatmeal in the grocery store when she called me. In my surprise at such a request, I think I tossed oatmeal everywhere!

Was your mission to Slovakia a common desire for you and your husband Larry? Was it your mutual decision? Who had to do more adapting, you or Larry?

As soon as we heard Michal Valco in 2006 (I think!) share his vision for the Bible School there in Martin and beyond, both Larry and I almost simultaneously sensed that we could become a part of that kind of ministry, but at that moment we had no idea what that might look like. However, once Larry and I talked and prayed about it and sought counsel from the Bible School as well as from our own pastors here, we both knew that we would come to Slovakia in some capacity.

In what ways was your husband your biggest support while you were in Slovakia?

Larry was my biggest encourager to become an EFL teacher there in Martin despite all my misgivings. He became the grocery shopper, housecleaner, and laundry man while we lived there in order to give me the time needed to teach. Larry probably had to do more adapting since, initially, he did not anticipate teaching English. He had to make some giant strides to step into the role of teaching English in a class setting, especially at a university level.

Walking in a faith

When did you start to believe in God? What did God mean to you before your conversion to faith in Christ?

In my mind as a very young child, I thought that God meant the same thing as church, Sunday School, gospel hymns, VERY long and boring sermons preached by pastors who usually sounded angry, church picnics, baptisms in the nearby river, and a praying, Bible-reading grandmother. I had no concept of a God Himself who desired me just as I was. Because most everyone around me went to church and did “God” things, I just assumed I was part of that God, too.

What was changed in your life after your conversion?

After I understood that God cared for me so personally that He gave His Son to live, die, and live again for me, I began to see, even as an 11-year-old child, that relationship with Him would be an active life-changing journey, rather than a rule-following ordeal. As I began to let God’s tender care direct my life, I discovered that all He desires is a heart responsive to Him.

Does it exist anything what you lost for your faith?

The only thing I “lost”, once I connected with God through His Son Jesus, was freedom from the expectation to “do”. What I found (and am still finding!), is the breath-taking discovery of freedom simply to “be” in Him.

How does faith enrich your life today?

Fifty-five years after asking God to direct my steps, faith in Him daily energizes my life by hearing His still, small voice. God consistently nudges as I ask Him for direction, as I read His Word, or converse with believers, or encourage people to take the next step in their own search and relationship with God, or tell a simple Bible story to one of our grandchildren.

see also interview with Brenda Fastpart 1 | part 2 | part3 | part4

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One Response to Teaching of English in Slovakia – interview with Mrs. Brenda Fast

  1. Irmgard Swanson says:

    Wonderful interview and responses!!

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