week 1 in Slovakia

Some of you I’m sure were worried that I had dropped off the face of the earth. That is not the case, I promise, I just left the country, that’s all. “just” :) Presov is still in Slovakia. And I am still sure that it is where I’m supposed to be!

I am currently living in a room under the flat of one of my co-workers, next door to his brother, and upstairs from his parents. The bathroom is across the hall (or will be once it is finished this weekend) and I’m sharing a kitchen with Paly, Ivetka and their 1 year old daughter Clara. Everyone here is so very nice. My nearest meltdown was in the Tesco when I couldn’t read any labels on the butter. I think that if this is my biggest problem so far, I’m doing ok!

My current projects include getting a visa and a bus pass and sorting out exactly what projects I will be working on the next year with Roman, who is currently doing the video work. Also, I have started learning some Slovak already. They tell me that my accent is good but so far, I can produce just a bit less than Clara!

I have already accomplished a lot, my first trip to the supermarket, riding a city bus, and figuring out which of the two buttons above the toilet to push. (the big one for big jobs and the smaller one for smaller visits, makes so much sense if you think about it) I’m getting better at just asking!

Please pray!
~That I will be able to remember the names of my co-workers and get to know them better in spite of the language barrier
~That there will not be any problems with getting my Visa
~That I will be able to recall and produce the Slovak I am learning
~That I will keep a servant attitude, and catch God’s vision for my year here!


leaving on a jet plane

Greetings for the last time from Mars!

I'm leaving for a year to do promotional and ministry video for Youth for Christ in Slovakia. Thank you for your prayers, they are what has brought me this far and why I am able to step out in faith and get on that plane this afternoon.

In 5 hours i'll be on a plane to Slovakia!

Please Pray:
~ For safe travel. I am flying out of Pittsburgh at 12:10PM, Washington DC at 5:55PM, And Vienna at 7:25AM(EST) Friday. I will arrive in Kosice, Slovakia around 8:40AM(EST) on the 24th.

~ For my ability to learn the language quicky, especially in my first days there.

~That I will begin to form strong friendships with people in Slovakia. Both those I will be working with and people outside the ministry I am going to have.

~ That God will give me a clear vision of what He wants me to do this next year.

I dont have a phone number yet, but my address is:

Anastasia Havener
Orgovanova 24
080 01 PRESOV

Thank you for your prayers and support. I am blessed to have you with me as part of what God is going to do in the next year in Slovakia.


My lucky day

So, I know it's been a long time but bear with me. And believe me that there is not a shred of sarcasm in the title of this blog, just a joy and a bit of awe at God's goodness.

Some of the wisest words I heard today came out of the neon green braced mouth of a 4th grade girl scout who's name I don’t even know. She's the one who told me it was my lucky day.

here comes the part where you might be tempted to think I’m being sarcastic.

As of this morning the car I just agreed to sell to Greg is not running.
You know, my "cute little thang" that has run reliably without incident for over a year. Yes her, the one I could really use the next three weeks while I’m getting all ready to leave.
The sweet red cavalier I planned to use to visit the notary and the church and the post office this morning.
And maybe, just maybe, if I got at least 3/4 of my to do list done this afternoon, the car I wanted to drive to see my Micah and Hunter in Ohio this evening.

Yeah that's the car, the one that has a clogged radiator foiling all of my plans.

And here is the part where I explain why I’m not being even the least bit facetious.

This morning, in light of my car not being able to go more than 200 yards without violently overheating, I was walking my errands. (If you need to visit a notary, and make copies, and mail important papers, Mars is a great town to be a pedestrian in.)

And by God's Grace (because He knew I was not in the state of mind to handle a rainy or snowy or even cloudy day) the sun was shining. And I had shoes and a warm coat and scarf and hat and gloves.

And on my way from Eckerd’s to the Post Office there were Girl Scouts outside Foodland, selling cookies from 11 to 1. I missed Girl Scout cookie ordering by being in Colorado. And ironicly had I been driving my errands today, I would have totally missed them today too. And at that table outside foodland, I was reminded just how blessed I am. Today is my lucky day!

And then later in my day God really reminded me of the smart friends I have, like Jenni in The Netherlands and Kristen in Northern Ireland who are figuring this out ahead of me. So that I can learn from them (ok that's not the only reason they are out of the country it's just an added perk for me!).

It's like having big sisters. I’ve always had to be the one who the parents experimented on and who had to fight for what the younger siblings got easily. Believe me I'm appreciating learning from others experiences much more than if I had been doing it all my life.

"My deal with God is that He says, “Go” and I say, “where?” It’s not out of blind obedience, it’s out of eternal gratitude and the understanding that if God is up to something, I want to be a part of it. "

Kristen, thank you. I needed to be reminded of that today. I needed to have that agreement put right up in my face. To help me see what I need to remember this lent.

And I needed to be reminded to ask the right questions. Not "WHY God!?" but "God, WHERE are You in this?" (Thank you Aaron Stern and Podcasts)

And so, today was my lucky day because God was in the sunshine and in the Girl Scout cookies and in the peace He hands out so freely!