Vrbovce Church
Originally uploaded by themoltron.

Here is my lastest Newsletter for you reading Pleasure

If you are interesting in seeing pictures here is a link to my flickr page
flickr.com/photos/themoltron

Ahoj (Pronounced ahoy and it means hello)

Here is my very first newsletter from Slovakia. I want to first thank all of you for all your support with prayer and financial support. I wouldn’t be able to have this opportunity to serve the Lord without you. Please continue to pray for me and the other young adult volunteers around the world.

I have been in Slovakia for about 5 weeks now. The first week I spent in Bratislava taking care of paperwork and taking the opportunity to see many of the sites.
It was interesting being the only guy in a group of 7 girls. 3 of them were volunteers from the ELCA and other 4 were from Germany. During our stay The Slovak Parliament was open in celebration of the signing of The Slovak Constitution on Sept 3rd, 1992. It was fun seeing the pride the Slovak people have in their government as well as seeing them celebrate their culture heritage at Bratislava castle near by. We were able to see many folk dances, music and handicrafts. This first week in Slovakia was exciting and an interesting experience just seeing the immediate similarities and differences between american and slovak culture. Here are a few things I noticed that were funny or interesting:

-A Sign for Mexican Food at McDonald’s in Slovak, It struck me that Globalization is more real than I thought it was.
-Hamburgers are just not the same in Europe
-We were told the American Embassy wanted to have a huge wall built around it but, the Slovak Government wouldn’t let them.
-American Music is heard everywhere, sometimes it didn’t feel like were in Slovakia yet
-Slovak Superstar is just as funny as American Idol, if not funnier
-The Slovak crown is roughly $1 dollar for 24 crown but, prices are about the same or more expensive compared to american prices.

The next 2 weeks were in Velky Slavkov which is in middle of the country near a city called Poprad (about 3 1/2 hour train ride from Bratislava). It was a beautiful place to study Slovak with the Tatras Mountains in the background. We had time during the week to travel up to several places including a waterfall and Štrebske Pleso (Pronounced Shtrebsky Pleso) which is a large Glacial lake and has skiing in the winter. We stayed at a christian retreat center and spend 6 hours a day having Slovak lessons.

The Slovak language is more difficult than I original anticipated. I have learned some basic sentences and grammar. The grammar is difficult to grasp because every word has many different forms depending on how it is used. So, my basic grasp of Slovak is going to take awhile. I am learning to catch what people are saying despite how fast seem to speak. For the time being I will share with you some words that I have learned and maybe extreme helpful if you are in Slovakia.
Ano- Yes
Nie- No
Dobré- Good
Dobré Rano- Good Morning
Dobrý De?- Good Day
Neviem- I don’t know
Nerozumiem- I don’t understand
Neviem po Slovensky- I don’t know Slovak
Som z Americky- I am american
Som hladny- I am hungry
vlak- train
Kde je Vlak- where is the train?

So after spending that time studying slovak, I traveled by train to Vrbovce where I was greeted by Pastor Miroslav. He speaks some basic english and I can understand him ok. We arrived in the village where upon immediate arrival I was invited to an older gentleman’s 60th Birthday party in the building where I will be living. It was quite a shock. I learned Slovaks are very generous people. I got a delicious soup and then dinner. And of course wine, they kept on insisting I drink more but, I had to stop at 2 glasses. Speaking of food. Slovaks eat a lot of bread, potatoes and pork. The biggest meal of the day is Lunch and usually includes soup then the main meal. Lunch can sometime be sweet which might include sweet dumplings with cocoa on top. Breakfast consists of fresh vegetable when available and sometimes lunch meat… ok back to where I am living.

The building I am living in is the old church school building, it is beautifully decorated with gold and white and resembles an ornate castle. They have many social functions on the 1st and 2nd floors. On the 3rd floor where I am living there is an apartment where the Seminary Intern Zorka lives, she is very nice and knows a little english. There is a music studio and a spare bed room. Then we have a fitness room that leads to 2 bedrooms. 2 german volunteers from another organization are there and I have the other room. All in all it is not a bad place to stay.

Most of my time in Vrbovce has been spent doing various bits of handiwork around the church and the old school building. I spend a few days putting grout in on a sidewalk. We also pick-up lunches and deliver them to elderly members of the parish every weekday. One day a week I help with english class at the local school. I also with be giving music lessons on drums or guitar. I am learning and reminding myself I am working for the lord in every task I do, even if it is boring or apparently minor. I know the Lord wants us to please him and serve others by doing our best in everything we do. I am also hoping to learn slovak from the interaction with the kids and build some relationships through all the work that I am doing.

We have been fairly busy most sundays with traveling from one place to another so I have had few chances to attend a Slovak language church service. It is very interesting to see the similarities and differences. They general order of the service is the same from what I can understand and figure out. We share many of the same Hymn melodies. One sunday we traveled to another Church in Bukovce where they were installing a near Pastor. I met a member of a church from Bratislava there who spoke english his name was Marian. I was asking some questions about the church service I pointed out the difference in liturgical robes. Slovaks wear more Academic black robes with white lace covers from Martin Luther’s academic tradition, which I thought was interesting. That sunday they also had a women’s fellowship which was hosted in Vrbovce. This of course met there was fun and food. I was able to meet and talk to people in the little slovak I knew. One thing about living in the old school building is whenever there are social functions there are leftovers and they usually save some for the volunteers.

So that has been my first couple of weeks in Slovakia. I am doing well and living by God’s grace daily. Everyday is a learning process. Before I end my newsletter I would like share a bible verse with you.

“Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

As Christians we are called to be Ambassadors for Christ wherever we are, whether that be in Slovakia, teaching, playing soccer, or working in an office. We are called to live in Christ with everything we do. You may not feel called to do anything special but, all believers are called to be Christ wherever they work and play and that is a our great gift and responsibility.

God’s Peace be with You,
Mark Molter

Flag of Slovakia
Originally uploaded by herwigphoto.com.

Did you know that the ELCA supports around 250 missionaries around the globe?

30% of these are participates in the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) Program. Every year young adults between ages 19 and 30 spend a year abroad, serving communities and sharing the Gospel. This year I will be one of them. Starting in August, I will be spending my year of service in Slovakia. I am excited to share this opportunity with you and I want to share with you a little about what I am doing and how you can support me and my fellow YAGM.

The YAGM program is designed for Young Adults to serve a year in a global setting. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) believes in investing in Young Adults. The ELCA is committed to helping develop leaders for our church who are globally formed and globally informed. The mission model we follow is one of accompaniment. Like Jesus we are asked to walk along side our neighbors. We are asked to show them that God is already where they are, ready to meet them and love them.

YAGM Volunteers serve in a variety of places from the United Kingdom and Kenya to India and Argentina. Many work with the poor through local charity organizations or through local congregations. Each Volunteer receives a meager stipend to pay for daily living expenses. The volunteers are challenged in through work, language, culture and faith.

I will be serving in Slovakia. Slovakia is located in central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Ukraine and Hungry. I will be spending 3 weeks doing intensive language study in Slovak and then I will be placed in the Tren?ín region in the town of Vrbovce. During my year of service I will be working with a local congregation as well as various other tasks such as helping out in orphanages and working with the Romany population. The Romany are a unique ethnic group that is often poor and neglected. I will have more details as I get closer to leaving in August.

My service overseas is not just my experience, it is your experience too!!! It will be a shared experience for several of the following reasons.
Prayer: This opportunity would not be possible without encouragement and support from a larger body of believers. Please pray for me and the other volunteers serving the lord all over the world. Please let me now how I can pray for you as well.
Letters: I will be sending monthly newsletters and pictures highlighting my faith journey and of those around me. I encourage you to share with me what is going on in your lives, as the people I will be serving will love the opportunity to see and understand American culture.

Financial Support: The ELCA spends about $9,000 for every YAGM volunteer to send them for service overseas. We are asked to share some of that responsibility by raising support. Volunteers are asked to raise $3400 dollars. If you contribute you are investing in not just in my mission but, all the missionaries that the ELCA supports.

If you would like to contribute please send a check to

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
1201 Courthouse Road – Stafford, VA 22554
Phone: (540) 659-6366

Please make the check out to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.
Designate it for Mark Molter Mission

I am very excited to share this opportunity with you. If you have any questions or would like to be added to my newsletter email list please feel free to contact me throughout the year. Mark@moltron.net

NOTE: I will be spending my summer before I leave as a counselor at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp in Virginia. Email would work best. Mark@moltron.net

I will be sending a copy of my newsletters to the Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church of Stafford office if you would like to receive a hard copy.

Sign for Embassy of Slovakia

DSCN0030.JPG
Originally uploaded by themoltron.

OK so I haven’t updated in awhile. I apologize for that. I do have some exciting news, actually it is quite a lot of exciting news.

So After applying to do Global Mission work in February I was accepted. I then attended a weekend event in April where I interviewed for several countries. I now know I will now be going to Slovakia. This is really exciting. I will be spending a year in Slovakia learning the language and spreading the love of Christ. It will most definitely be a challenge. Related to this is that this past weekend May 12th, Washington DC had an event where a large majority of the European Union nations embassies were open to the public. I was able to visit and see the Slovak Embassy and meet the Ambassador.

The other exciting news is in June I will be starting summer camp. I will be a camp counselor at Caroline Furnace. This is a new experience for me and I am psyched about it. I will have plenty of fun in the outdoors teaching and leading kids. This is a great opportunity to prepare me for my service in Slovakia.

On a lesser note I found a job until camp starts. I was looking for one for quite awhile. I am working back at Professional Healthcare working in the Personal Care department. It is interesting and harried work. I am learning just how much our healthcare system needs improvement and realizing that many immigrants who come to our country work very hard for little pay. We complain all the time about but many things these hard working people do we wouldn’t even think about doing for the pay they receive. I am learning and understanding a different side of economic divide that many being overlook.

Well that’s all the news I have at the moment.

i keep tarts in my room
Originally uploaded by sherrieberrie.

Well it has been awhile but, here my Del.cio.us Picks for this post. The picture is some pineapple tarts. A little sweet and alittle tangy but oh so Good. Much like life. Enjoy!!!

Life Explained in Diagram form
This Blog is interesting and hilarious. Using various forms and charts to depict observations of life. They are funny because they are true.

Youngest Premature Baby Born
A baby was delivered premature by about 4 months. The earliest on record. This will definitely raise debate and concern about the abortion issue.

India and Pakistan unite to condemn train bombing
In wake of tragedy it seems this event might be doing some good. India and Pakistan were affected and vowing to work more closely to prevent further violence. It makes me think how easy it is for us living in America.

Top 12 Movies in History That Were Ahead of Their Time
Of course I’m a huge movie fan. This list is definitely worth looking at. You can’t always go by the Oscar Awards. Sometimes films gain more favor after they hit the limelight. We are often left wondering does Art imitate life or does life imitate art. I think it is definitely both.

British, U.S. kids worst off in industrial world, UN says
Worse off, we think we have it all. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see the truth. Maybe the US needs to do a little reevaluation of its values.

Colourful fresco od David and Goliath in Regensburg (Bavaria), Germany
David and Goliath
Originally uploaded by galapiafargo.

I was reading through the bible when I came upon the story of David and Goliath. It is a very familiar story for many. One of the things that struck me when I read it this time was David’s response before he kills Goliath.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47 NIV

His confidence in God is amazing. You can also see an hint of anger. David was certain that the Philistines made God angry. He knew that God was going to punish them. David is also acknowledging his own weakness. He places the Lord as victorious, not him or anyone else. The battle is won only because the Lord won it.

David’s response is something I wish I could live up to. I’m so worried about ME being victorious I forget who really is supposed to win. Jesus’ response echos David’s response. Jesus was not afraid to die, he knew who had to win. Jesus died so that God’s eternal plan for us would be victorious. He gave up his Life but, in the end he never lost it. God provided the greatest of victories. Victory over death.