Missionaries raising support in United Kingdom
Other JV missionaries in Slovakia
Mark & Amy
Peter & Eva
David & Daniela
Peter & Katka
Drahoslav & Zuzana
Michal & Katarína
Ed & Wendi
Zac & Kim
Jany & Lenka
Miriam & Juraj
Daniel & Maruška
The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I allowed the Slovaks to join the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe. During this time, the church was considered dead and Jesus was, to many, a fictional character. For this reason, Christians held “underground” ministries, but many got in trouble or sent to prison for holding youth meetings in their homes. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks and Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on January 1, 1993. Immediately after the wall came down, there was an influx of new believers. However, the western culture brought consumerism, creating disillusionment among the people and a lack of interest in the local church.
With a population of around 5,400,000, Slovakia’s modern evangelical church is a very small minority. Together, the membership is only about 10,000 people. This means that less then 0.2% of the Slovak population are apart of these churches. Historical Evangelicals (Lutherans) make up 5.9% of church community and represent the largest Protestant denomination. The Roman Catholic Church is the most predominate in the country, with over 62% of the population claiming membership.
As in all the former Eastern Bloc countries, the fall of communism brought enormous cultural and spiritual change to Slovakia. A surge of spiritual interest and hunger from 1989 to 1995 resulted in many students coming to Christ. As great as this was, the growing number of young inquisitive Christians exposed the absence of trained youth leaders who could provide guidance and encouragement. In addition to this, the religious climate of existing churches continues to be one that emphasizes what a person does for God rather than who a person is to God.
Training Center Kompas, a Josiah Venture national organization, exists to train, equip, and inspire the next generation of leaders in Slovakia to forge a new path of grace for the youth following behind them. We believe that as we invest in the leaders, we are serving not only the youth, but also the churches, and even the whole country of Slovakia. It is our hope that more and more people in Slovakia will be forever changed by God’s grace. The Lord has enabled us to establish a one-year internship program for youth leaders throughout Slovakia. In addition to the internship, we provide a 3-day annual conference for youth leaders, and we help churches reach the youth of their cities through evangelistic English camps, Fusion (rock-pop-art choirs), and EDGE (sports program).
Please pray with us that the next generation of leaders in Slovakia will be deeply rooted in the knowledge of Christ’s love and grace. Pray that they will be agents of inspiration and that a movement of God will sweep across the nation, forever changing individuals, churches and communities.