The Gibbs family has a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT to make… we are preparing to move to the beautiful country of Slovakia to help serve and equip ministry leaders and local churches! Wait, what? Is this for reals? Yes, this is really happening. It is a big story that started about three years ago when we began asking the question, “What will life and ministry look like in the next 10 years? What good works has God prepared us for (Ephesians 2:10)?” In the kingdom of God we are all sent ones. We are all participants in the story of redemption and restoration. Some are sent as teachers, nurses, baristas or Uber drivers. Some are sent to urban communities, some are sent to the suburbs. Some are sent to the towns that they grew up in, and some are sent to far away lands, like Slovakia. (Click here to read a longer version of the backstory and discernment process)
You might be asking yourself, why Slovakia? The short answer is because God led us there. Central Europe once had a very vibrant presence of gospel proclamation, but Europe now is the least evangelized continent in the world. As we began praying about serving in Europe we asked God to give us a heart for a people or a place, and He answered our prayer by growing our hearts for Slovakia. Slovakia is by large, culturally religious with about 92% christian adherents. That means a lot of people call themselves Christians, but the stats say that less than 2% of Slovaks are living in responsive obedience in their walk with Jesus Christ as Lord. Slovakia’s spiritual climate has been marginalized by years of being stuck in the middle of wars from neighboring countries, political strife and communist oppression. But there is great hope for Slovakia as there is a generation of young leaders that are hungry for more.
We will be serving young leaders who are part of Josiah Venture. For work, Aaron will be on staff with Kompas (the JV organization in Slovakia) doing a variety of things to help equip, train and mobilize young leaders. We will be involved with a local church plant, Za Kostolom (in English translates to “Behind the Church”), working with Jan Mahrik, the church planter and his core team. We will also be working with other church leaders in the country of Slovakia as we pursue gospel saturation through identifying and raising up disciple-making disciples that find their home in the local church and transform society.
Our everyday life will look very much the same and in many ways very different. We hope to get involved in loving and serving our neighbors. Being intentional in the rhythms of everyday life like where we buy our food, where we play, and how we extend hospitality and pursue relationships. We hope to engage with families in the kid’s schools and the activities that they get involved in. We are going to work really hard at learning Slovak! Pray for us!!!
The final step in this process is for the Gibbs family to go to Žilina to meet the Kompas and Za Kostolom teams and help run a summer youth camp this July! Using conversational English as the connection point, these english camps help unbelievers connect to the local church. Along with facilitating these camps, we will also help train and develop young Slovak leaders to serve as interns in these camps and in their local churches when they get back home.
If our timeline goes according to plan, we will make the move sometime summer or fall 2019, depending on how all of the logistics work out. Here is where you come in… we can’t do this on our own. We need a team of people to help make this happen. The circumstances of ministry will require us to raise financial support to cover our living and ministry expenses. I (Aaron) feared that if people didn’t support us, it would mean that they didn’t believe in me and that I would be a failure, leading me to not pursue ministry opportunities like this. But in reality, it isn’t about me. We’re not asking you to give your money to us so that we can do what we want. We’re inviting you to steward kingdom resources that you have been given and invest them into this work that God is doing over in Slovakia.
Would your prayerfully consider supporting us financially to serve in Slovakia this July?
- We will be serving at an english/sports youth camp July 15-21
- We will head over a week early so that our whole family can meet the team in Žilina
- We will familiarize ourselves with the city to get an idea about what part of the city we will want to live in and what the best school options will be for the kids
- Our friend, Autumn Campa, will be joining us for the July trip to serve at the youth camp and help us with the boys
We have 30 days to raise about $12,000! These funds will cover airfare, camp fees, food and lodging for the six of us during our two week trip in July. Let’s do this!
Grace & Peace,
Aaron, Megan, Asher, Lincoln & Beckham