Ministry amongst families is the largest ministry run by YWAM Slovakia. It has been evolving for many years and is thriving and still growing. Summer of 2022 will see us celebrating 25 years of the Slovak YWAM Family Camps. What started with just one small camp has grown to camps that reach around 90 families (500 people, including children) every year, who come together to enjoy God’s presence and strengthen their family relationship.
Renata and Vlado Sochor have been instrumental in the growth and development of family ministries in Slovakia. They led the family camp team from 2007 until 2017 and have been leading National Marriage Week Slovakia for 10 years, which has had a big impact on our society. In addition to that, they are currently running weekends for married couples, preparation for marriage, father and son / daughter weekends and are involved in many other ministries. They have been investing and seeding much in many individuals, married couples, and families over the years. Their ministry has influenced thousands of people.
On Sunday, April 18th they went cycling together. Suddenly, they had phone call, it was the mayor of their village and she gave them devastating news; their house was on fire. Seven fire engines arrived at their house, and 30 men were fighting the fire. It was a big shock for them, the fire destroyed a large shed in their backyard, including a part of their kitchen and the storage room. Their car was also destroyed. Bicycles, many personal items from their past, tools and machines for their garden, as well as many boxes with equipment for their ministry had gone up in flames. Thank God the firemen we able to stop the fire on the wall of a newly reconstructed part of their house. The wall was only partly destroyed, as well as a section of the roof above it. There is extensive water damage inside the property due to the water used to extinguish the flames.
Vlado, Renata and their four adult kids are hugely impacted by this unexpected situation. Thankfully, they are bold, and they know that God is with them. People from the village, but also many from all around Slovakia and from abroad, are helping them immensely. They know they are surrounded in prayer and are also receiving practical and financial help. We as YWAM feel as though people are returning the kindness and love that God has sown within the community via Vlado and Renata over years.
A few grateful words from Vlado and Renata: “We really feel your support, fellowship and that you are with us. In this moment we have many more questions than answers, but one thing we know is that we are not alone in this. God is taking care of us and many of you are His extended arm. And we are grateful for that. We are very blessed by God’s love amid these ashes and ruins. He is manifesting his love, care, and faithfulness through you. And for me this is evidence, that we are created in the image of God. And you are reflecting the character of God to us, how He takes care of and is interested in us. We are experiencing many blessings and we pray a lot, that you too will experience blessing. We are also grateful for all your prayers, which represent intangible help and support, and because of that we can remain in peace and experience joy, even in this situation. We also mourn losses with hope for something better to take their place. Thank you. We believe that this is a start of something new and we can sometimes even gain treasure from ashes. And we are curious to see how we will manage this. Thank you for your support even in this.”
If you would like to support them with your prayers, it would be appreciated. Financially they have been blessed so much that they probably have enough for a new car, and for the renovation of the house. Thank God! Please, pray with us for the Sochor family and that the process of reconstruction will move along smoothly, that God will build something new, something better not just for them, but also for many people around them.
Ivan Kotucek is married and has 2 adult daughters. He has served with YWAM Slovakia for 10 years after he completed his DTS with his wife Stana and then also the Foundation in counseling ministry school in YWAM Perth. Before that, he was a co-owner of a few companies that focused on market research and consulting in marketing. His main focus is families, counseling for couples and individuals, but also the 7 mountains movement, specifically the Business and Politics branches. With his wife Stana, they lead the Family camp ministry in Slovakia. Ivan´s passion is leading people through God to freedom. In February 2021 he has started leading the YWAM team in Slovakia.