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Six Challenges That Are Encouraging Youth Workers in Slovakia

News is coming in waves, and the changes in laws and regulations seem to keep hitting us over and over again. Before the first waves of laws even hit in Slovakia, Denisa Harčarová was sitting in Malenovice with Josiah Venture's Training Team talking about what, at the time, was just a hypothetical: “What would you do with your youth ministry, if everyone was put on two weeks mandatory quarantine?” Denisa laughed when she heard this question, thinking the possibility of that happening was so small. But when she returned to Slovakia, she found herself in this exact situation.

Immediately, she jumped into the idea of creating challenges for people to do while at home. Within 24 hours of this idea being created, she had contacted a designer to make a beautiful photo to explain each challenge, and had shared this photo on Facebook. When this all first began, it wasn't designed to be a long-term solution but was an in-the-moment reaction to meet the need that was presented at that exact time.

As waves of restrictions have continued to crash down, Denisa and her team have been persistent in coming up with new challenges every week to post on this Facebook group. Through these challenges, youth are reminded that every week they have the opportunity to do something meaningful. When this first began, the group included 100 people and felt like a personal community, yet it has grown in the past two weeks to a booming 800! Now, it has become a platform of inspiration that is bringing people together in a way that can't be done physically in these times.

Every week, six challenges are given, each of which will fall into one of these categories:

  • a spiritual practice (a walk with God)
  • a practical challenge (read a book)
  • something creative (making a new dessert)
  • a social invitation (writing a letter)
  • health and wellness (going for a walk)
  • something promoting a specific tool (using the Seek App)

Before the next week's challenges are announced, they also get to share about which challenges they were able to accomplish every week. This allows people participating to also feel a sense of accountability in the challenges! God took a quick reaction and used it to build a community of people growing together and closer to him. Denisa's encouragement in these times of unknown is to not become overwhelmed and frozen because of the waves that are crashing over us, but to be bold with your ideas stepping into the opportunities that still lay before us.

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