We decided last summer that in May of 2015 we would move to a different city in Slovakia, as both Ed and I felt that God was leading us on to a different ministry focus in a different city. Our plans are to move to Banska Bystrica, a city more in the center of the country, in May, right before we head to the states for the whole summer. And since May is coming right up at the end of this week, our time in Bardejov is quickly coming to an end. We have been living here in this town for 5 years and 4 months, so this departure was not an easy decision. While we are looking forward to the opportunities we will have in Banska, we are sad to leave so many friends and familiarities here.
One of our first lasts has already happened, as we just had our last couples' small group, finishing up with a grill-out party. Ed and I have been leading this small group for dating couples for the past 3 years, challenging them to grow deeper in their love for their Savior as they grow in their relationship with each other. Our goal has been to teach them how the power and work of Jesus Christ can make all the difference in a relationship. We have been able to share a lot of what the Lord has taught us so far in our marriage about growing in humility, unselfishness, concern and love for each other. This area of ministry has been good for Ed and I as it is one that we can do together, and we have loved the opportunity to help other couples learn from God's Word how to have Godly and growing relationships as these couples head toward marriage. Our desire is that these couples will not only have growing Godly relationships, but that they, in turn, will begin to disciple other couples and to teach these new pairs what the Lord has been teaching them.
Over the past three years, the members of the group have varied, as 3 couples got married and moved on to their own ministries and small groups, and other couples were added. The couple on the far left (holding the stuffed snake) in the group photo below has actually been in the group since the beginning, and it is their wedding we will be returning early from the states to go to. We are excited with them as they begin their new life together, after 3 years of learning and growing in this small group!