Welcome to Velky Slavkov! – Slovakia Teen Retreat Team Arrives

July 19, 2023

On Friday, the team arrived at the Ichthys Center in Velky Slavkov and moved into their accommodations at this sprawling retreat center where last year hundreds of Ukrainian refugees were received and housed during the first year of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Today, the Ukrainians who were housed here are now in more permanent flats, through the region. It is a sobering reminder of the hostilities that continue just across the border, which is only a 90 minute drive east from where we are staying.

The best way to get through jet-lag is to stay busy! On Saturday, the team had the opportunity to hop on the local train and visit the beautiful mountain village of Stary Smokevic. There are many traditional buildings and grand mountain hotels nestled at the foot of the magnificent High Tatras mountains, which mark the border between Slovakia and Poland, to the north. Our Slovak and German team partners also joined us at the Ichthus Center on Saturday, where we were able to enjoy dinner and begin to get to know each other through exploring the Unbroken curriculum that we will use through the week of the SON Life & Adventure Teen Retreat.

On Sunday, we gathered for worship at the center. Brian led worship and Pastor DMC (David Michael Carrillo) shared the Gospel through a moving retelling of the Prodigal Son.


  • Continued prayer for fast recovery from jet lag and health for all of the team members, as there has been a short-lived tummy bug that has effected a couple of our international team members.
  • Blessings for our preparations for the retreat and that the international team merges into a cohesive team
  • For the students who will gather with us, on Sunday, to begin the retreat. May their hearts and minds be open to receiving the Word of God