Dear Friends and Partners,
February was not an easy month for Slovakia. The COVID units in our hospitals are full and our COVID mortality rate per capita is the highest in the world. This pandemic is getting more and more personal, taking its toll on our friends and neighbors. The lockdown seems unending and our world broken to pieces beyond repair. In moments like these, a quote from Martin Luther comes to mind: “Even if I know that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Yes, our faith gives us hope whatever the crisis, because it is based on God Almighty and his Son Jesus Christ. Therefore, amid this pandemic, we have planted our “apple trees”:
First, we keep opening our school as much as the pandemic allows, even though it takes enormous effort. In February, it was just for one week and only for kindergarten and elementary school. Last weekend, our school leadership again took extra measurements (mass testing of teachers and parents, air sterilization in classrooms and so forth) so our kindergarten and elementary school kids can return to classrooms also in March. The older students take classes online, but with the ongoing teachers’ vaccination we hope that they will soon be back in school.
Another “apple tree” is our new workshop for teaching our young learners manual skills and the basics of trades. The effort and creativity of our maintenance staff have outweighed the limited budget and the result is excellent. We hope that our students will be able to use it very soon.
You, our partners, are another great example of “apple tree” planters. We would like to introduce you to each other via these newsletters, so you can get as encouraged as we do by our mutual faith and ministry. The first example is Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, IL. Its senior pastor Dave Lyle shares the following words about their CCE partnership:
“Grace is blessed to partner in ministry with the CCE and for long time has sent members to Martin to teach English and as part of builder trips. More recently, we have led the Vacation Bible School program since 2016. We have also hosted high school students from Martin here in Illinois. Your faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ inspires us, as does your claiming of the true freedom that comes from Christ alone. We give thanks to God for your ministry, we pray for your well-being, we thank you for your friendship, and we look forward to being together again before not too long.”
We also have an “apple tree” input into our budget: our friend Tom donated $25,000 to start our maintenance fund. It is indeed a step of faith in the future of our ministry, especially when the present is troublesome. We hope that this initiative will inspire others to contribute to this purpose and also teach us to be better stewards of what has been entrusted to us. As for our projects, the Indoor Gym with the budget of $240,500 still remains the last and biggest challenge to complete our Community Center.
We pray that all of us become “apple tree” planters, so our trees will bear fruit in due time.
Yours in His service,
Adrian Kacian, Director of Development Bohdan Hroboň, president of CCE
|Ways to GIVE | Make your tax-deductible gift in one of these ways:|
|Through Vision Slovakia||Through the New Heights Foundation||Through Your Home Church|
|Paul Berge, Director
St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church
900 Stillwater Road,
Mahtomedi, MN 55115
|Mark Johnson, Board Member
7913 NE 58th Ave.,
Vancouver, WA 98665
|If your church is a partner of the Center for Christian Education, make a donation noting “CCE” in the memo line of your check. Your church’s business office will include your contribution along with its regular support.|