Spiritual Multiplication: Slovak Style

Hana and Marek came to faith through MTW's ministry. Now they're reaching their peers with the gospel. 

Hana's Story

I have lived the majority of my life as an athiest. I was brought up as an atheist and never really met a Christian with a good heart and a very good intellect at the same time. 

In addition, Christians I saw around me were really bad examples. However, while in high school, I started going regularly to The Building, which was an MTW ministry in my town, Trnava. The Building had a non-threatening tearoom for people to come and rest and chat with friends. I met several nice Christians there.

I then left Trnava to go to university in Bratislava where I became deeply invested in my studies of physics. One day I started to email John Lesondak, one of the MTW missionaries I had met. I had a simple question, but it turned into an almost nine-year correspondence in which we discussed the Bible, God, and the world. John was the right person for me to talk with. He is a wise thinker, very understanding, and very friendly.

I earned my degree with a specialty in theoretical physics, and decided to continue my studies at the University of Vienna while working at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. I kept writing to John, preparing my emails on the train during my hour commute. I got some answers to my questions and slowly went from being an atheist to an agnostic. As a physicist I continued to wonder about the origin of physical laws and order in the universe.

One day John sent me The Reason for God by Tim Keller and I pored through it with great intensity, while also keeping up my difficult Ph.D. studies. However, I began suffering from exhaustion, which spiraled into depression. My depression became deeper still because of improper treatment by doctors. I lost hope and tried twice to take my own life. For some period I was in and out of hospitals.

I started to think that if God was real, He would help me out of my troubles. I also needed something to hold on, but not blindly. I decided to join an online Christian forum where I posed my honest questions. Thanks to my emails with John and the forum I gained an intellectual basis for my faith. I also was asking God for recovery and He slowly healed me from depression.

In April 2012 I defended my thesis on supersymmetry and was awarded a Ph.D. Several months later, I finally felt God’s presence. It was like being flooded with great love. I started to see purpose in things, even my own suffering. I had always needed God to kick me and He indeed did.

Now I wish to help the world. John and I have written a book based on our correspondence, Speaking with Christians: Written by Life, which we hope to publish this year. I also would like to be an apostle to scientists.

Marek's Story

The country I call home—Slovakia—is steeped in Catholicism, and I spent a large part of my time growing up in it. I was even an altar boy, and I thought I was serious about my faith, but the truth is that I had no relationship with God.

Nearly seven years ago, during high school, I was invited to a summer English camp by an American named Andrew, whom I’d met when he visited my English class at school. He was an MTW intern with the camp, and I accepted his invite, as did several of my friends.

After English camp they held a Christian camp a few days later, and I was having fun so I stayed. Afterward, I came back to my town and found out that many of the friends I had made were meeting every Sunday for church—at MTW’s “The Building”— and I wanted to spend time with them, so I became involved. Soon, I was going everywhere and participating in everything.

The next summer I attended both camps again. This time, though, something clicked. I had been going to the MTW church plant that whole year, so I understood the mechanics of Christianity, but I needed that “click” moment to happen. There wasn’t a radical change, but this time there was heart in it. I was doing many of the same things but now it was real. I was finally getting to know my heavenly Father.

Almost immediately, I was convicted with the idea of becoming a pastor, so I got involved in ministry to see if this was something God wanted for me. Ever since then, the idea of me going to a seminary and becoming a pastor had become so strong that by the end of high school, I couldn’t imagine continuing on in computer science—a longtime passion of mine.

I became involved in an MTW-led youth outreach and later became a youth group leader. I was on staff with the English camp, led small groups, and mentored youth as well. I’m currently responsible for all youth activities in our church—outreach, youth groups, youth retreats, summer camps, vision and planning of the ministry, leading a team—and I preach every other month on Sunday.

As I approach the end of seminary, I’m planning on obtaining a master’s degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a pastor. While pursuing my studies, I want to spend at least four years working in a secular environment so I’m not just the guy who studied things but who lived them.

I’m immensely grateful to MTW— particularly Miriam Grady, whom I consider as my spiritual “mom,” and Kris Lundgaard, who has taught me so much about theology—for the teams that they’ve sent over here and the support they’ve given to the church in Slovakia. It’s exciting for me to be part of the group that takes the reins from MTW as we bring the Word of God to our own people.

Hana Hlucha and Marek Tomasovik in Kosice Slovakia on Mar 19, 2013

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