TORRINGTON, CT (SZS) — This summer, our Synod is hosting two seminary students as participants in the Student Immersion Program of the Slovak Zion Synod. The program, which is part of the Synod’s mission in Central & Eastern Europe and is organized by the Synod’s International Relations Committee, brings students studying theology at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia to the United States each year for a summer immersion internship in a congregation. The program provides these future pastors and church leaders with experience in church life, ministry, and mission in a Lutheran congregation in the United States; at the same time, they bring to their host congregations a global perspective of the church in their home country.
This year’s students are Patrícia Sara Šimkova and Andrej Lacko. They will be joining the more than 150 to-date students who have benefited from this program since 1991.
Andrej is a 21-year-old second year student at the Evanjelická bohoslovecká fakulta – Univerzita Komenského in Bratislava. He is from the town of Dolny Kubín, which is south of the Polish border and the Silesian region, in the northern part of Slovakia. His interests include traveling and learning about new cultures through social interactions. He is an avid photographer and outdoorsman, as well as an avid guitarist and musician. He is looking forward to being able to spend this opportunity with our Dr. Martin Luther congregation in Brooklyn, Ohio and hopes to gain new perceptions of the Lutheran Church. He is most excited to be able to experience American culture in this setting.
Patrícia (Sara) is a 21-year-old second year student at the Evanjelická bohoslovecká fakulta – Univerzita Komenského in Bratislava. She is from the town of Bojnice, which is approximately 20 miles west of Banská Bystrica, in the central part of Slovakia. Her interests include foreign ministry and the church abroad. She is an avid traveler and is deeply interested in the cultural differences found in the Lutheran church in the United States. She is looking forward to being able to spend this opportunity with our congregation of Dr. Martin Luther in Muskegon, Michigan and hopes to discover new perspectives of the Lutheran Church in the United States. She is especially interested in this opportunity to be immersed in a new culture.
Our thanks go out to the pastors and people of our congregations in Muskegon, Michigan and Brooklyn, Ohio as they host this year’s students and walk with them in mission as part of their training as future pastors and leaders in the church in Central and Eastern Europe.
These students will be writing every week about their experiences in their host congregations. You are invited and encouraged to read more about their experiences in the Student Immersion Program pages of our site; just look for “Seminarian Sentiments” under Mission & Ministry, Global Mission, and Student Immersion Program. You can now view their blog on the SZS iOS App as well.
We wish God’s blessings on these students as they complete their immersion experiences in their host congregations before returning to Slovakia later in September. And we thank all those who have supported this vital ministry with their prayers as well as with their physical and financial support. You are making a difference in the lives of these future pastors and leaders in Slovakia; and, by extension, you are making a difference in the lives of all those whom they will touch in their home churches and in their lives and future ministries.