Teen Retreat Adventure in Slovakia!

July 19, 2023

Tuesday morning began with an introduction to Abram and Sarai and how God used their brokenness, as a family, to accomplish His will and bless Abraham and his descendants. Mia shared her powerful testimony about walking alongside a friend who struggles with the consequences of unhealthy life choices.It was the perfect set up for discussions about how broken families can be and the struggles we all face.

Tuesday was also adventure day! Half of the participants chose to visit the Water Park (no phots due to the requirement they check their phones) in the neighboring city of Poprad, while most of the camp opted to go hiking in the High Tatras mountains that separate Slovakia from neighboring Poland. There was much adventure and incredible vistas to take in. Something Slovaks to well is hospitality and hiking in the mountains is no exception. Throughout this rugged setting are Chatas (cabins) that offer food and beverages for weary travelers. The American team tried Kolfola ( a regional soda) and Radler, which is a combination of lemonade and a non-alcoholic fermented beverage.

The adventure took an unexpected turn when the train that brought the team to the hiking trail broke down and buses had to be used instead. However there were several hundred other hikers that also wanted to return home and so the buses were packed like sardines! This is not atypical for mass transportation in central and east Europe. The entire team was able to be stuffed on a bus, with the exception of Ondrey, Janka, and Pastor David. They had their own adventure by taking a train in the opposite direction in order to board two more connecting trains to finally make it back to Velky Slavkov!

Following dinner, the camp met for a powerful closing session by Janka (from Slovakia) and Anna (from Germany). EJ and Judson were guest “Hollywood stars” form New Mexico and featured in a reenactment of Abraham’s obedience to God by leading Isaac to be sacrificed. Of course, God provided and supplied a ram for sacrifice, instead!