Vision Slovakia Background
St. Andrew’s has been involved in the former Eastern bloc nation of Slovakia for over 20 years. Recently people have asked, “When will our ministry there be done?” and, “Aren’t they capable of teaching programs like Vacation Bible School now?” and, “Why is it taking them so long to become ﬁnancially independent?”
These are difﬁcult and complex questions for many reasons. We didn’t choose this ministry, but this opportunity has been gifted to us and called by God to serve as a congregation. We have continued to establish partnerships with other congregations who are also committed and called into the support of this ministry of Christian education in Slovakia.
In this ministry we have received far more from our Slovak partners than we have given. They have given us a vision of their commitment to teach and proclaim the gospel for this new time of freedom. They have lived through times when it has not only been difﬁcult, but even impossible to worship. These are faithful people with a vision to reestablish Christian education and freedom of worship as they continue to recover from the trauma of living with totalitarian regimes for over 40 years under communism following WW II, and prior to the reign of terror and holocaust under the Third Reich.
Self-worth and initiative were virtually destroyed during these years with the daily threat of imprisonment and death. Records were secretly kept on persons and innocent people who were identiﬁed as enemies of the state. This so-called information was used to incarcerate and martyr Slovak citizens for any outward expression of their faith in God. Jan Bohdan Hrobon was a Lutheran pastor who dared to carry out his ministry under all these dangers and still live faithfully to his call to proclaim and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. His vision was to reestablish Christian education schools for children, youth and adults. Others shared his vision to once again provide for educational freedom to instill the Christian faith for a new generation. He died in 2006 but his vision lives on. His son, Bohdan Hrobon, continues to serve as the director of the Center for Christian Education in Martin, Slovakia.