Peter & Eva Hrubo

Our personal ministry blog

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What is real success?

During the EXIT Tour I used to give a lecture: “Prevention against the unemployment”. I lead the topic for the high-school students towards being successful in their professional life. How can we be successful? How is the success defined? Malcolm Gladwell defines it as a combination of talent, diligence and opportunity. Ease equation: SUCCESS=TALENT+DILIGENCE+OPPORTUNITY

Talent is something we are born with, something what (after we will develop it) will help us to be unique. But to know how to use the talent we need a diligence effort. Man need approximately 10,000 hours of exercise, practice, training to get its talent to the point of mastering it. This time is too long to be able to start and catch it up during the adult life (if we neglected it before). This summer I started to learn to play the drums. It is clear to me, though I have a talent, I will never catch up with those who started as teenagers. Simply, I am not able (and cannot and even I do not want to) find as much time to practice as the masters did. Moreover success is not even ensured by this second precondition. To gain the success we need to have an opportunity to show our talent with our diligence. If there is no opportunity the success will never come.

This summer I got an opportunity to think about the success more closely. Maybe you know it, when “bad luck” is sticking to your heels. I do not know why the bad circumstances love to meet each other in one time. One week they piled up. I had to pay a lot for my teeth, I was at a camp and my colleague from a partner organization called me to solve a problem and get to solve it right a way. The same day I got the evaluation from the European Leadership Forum where I have got the lowest evaluation for my teaching (compared to other colleagues from the teaching team). That was something new for me because I am not aware I would ever be mediocre in anything, and not to be the worst. The same week I was at camp. Not much was expected from me. I taught two girls how to play electric guitar. Their hands touched a guitar for the first time in their life. Moreover one of them was not willing to give up her long nails. I did not any progress. Then, I was supposed to translate one talk from English, but my colleague told me he had found someone else… The whole time I felt like leaving for pension from my job, you love. Everyone respects you and you can get a “Rolex watch” (or very expensive one) as a goodbye gift, but you know, that your time is at the end! You are not needed anymore.

Although it was pretty unpleasant experience, I know that it was really good one to start to think about: “What is the real success for a man?” And what if someone does not have a talent or has a problem to be diligent or will not get the opportunity? I thought a lot about my identity in Christ, that we are talking so much in our Christian circles. And right there, I have partly understood the teaching about the success. The success is ensured just and only by Him and in Him. I am talking about the success that is not connected with the fact – what we know or what we can do. But it is connected with His indescribable grace and acceptance. That is what I consider the real success is – to belong to Him!

Too expensive second…

One month ago I experienced oral surgery and here is my reflection: This is brand new experience for me. When I was teenager, during an ice hockey match my coach shouted at me:

“On the board with him!” But high stick of the opponent caused my/todays special experience. I cannot sleep straight, only half/sit position, I cannot talk (it is ridiculous, how the missionary can exist without ability to talk? I understand better John’s Baptizer father Zachariah, first two days I was using the board and the pen to write down everything), I cannot sing (I love to sing!) and it is very difficult to eat (no apples any more). I am drinking everything (the soup, potatoes, yogurt, meat, etc). And I have plenty strings in my mouth. And they told me to continue to clean my teeth, what a joke!

Well it is strong experience and definitely I am fan of new strong experiences. My daughter Michaela told me that I look like a fresh student in the basic school, without two front teethes. The worst thing is that I cannot smile/laugh, it is pretty painful, but maybe you know I love to laugh a lot. Last night I struggled to get a sleep. At 2am I decided to wait till 3.30am to take my antibiotics and listen to some worship music (it was the time when I realized that I cannot sing). It was great for I praised the Lord for the ability to listen. What a gift! I can hear! I was totally overwhelmed by His goodness and grace. It was very special moment. I really love Him! And the life is so great, I really enjoy the abundance of life from Him, I am experiencing during these days.

I can see a big progress in my life in the area of acceptance/experience of the pain. My love language is physical contact and it means that I always tried to avoid any physical pain in my life. Even a tiny one. I have many many stories about my run away from a pain. Recently I’ve understood that this needs to be changed, I needed to learn how to carry the pain and even more – how to embrace it. Man should be able to do that, I should be able to resist it and be strong in this kind of situation for who knows what there, in the future, His people will have to face? Maybe the physical pain too. I praise the Lord that I can go through this practice!

It will be long trip. It seems that I am the one of the most complicated patient for them and they like it. I can see it. I am traveling every second day to Martin town to see the doctor. Nobody was able to do that in Zilina :-(. During the trips I enjoy our Fatra mountains a lot, it’s beautiful scenery, colorful leaves, beautiful nature. I really enjoy this season of life and I always have great time on the way with HIM.

My younger daughter told me: “Daddy you are loosing respect without two front teeth, you look so funny…”. Currently the wound has healed, I am ready for another challenge! It is great lesson to learn how to “do not take myself too seriously” (I am not sure if you can understand this Slovak saying).

First camps term is over

First term of evangelistic camps with Roznava, Zilina, Levice, Bratislava and FUSION camp with Bratislava church is over.

Thank you very much to all of you who prayed or supported us any way. My first active participation at FUSION camp revealed new knowledge about me:
1, My voice went down 4 tones. It seems I need to sing more.
2, I had a feeling that I used to have almost absolute pitch. After the camp I deeply doubt about it.
3, I forgot to whistle. I have not whistled for more than 30 years and suddenly I do not know how to do that. I thought that once you know it, you can’t forget it.

But I still have the passion to share Good news of Jesus as well as to serve young generation disregarding their world view.

The Lord gave me the grace to lead spiritual discussions, explain the GOSPEL and challenge the students to make another step to follow Jesus. In spite of long, very deep and interesting discussion, two girls hesitated to submit to Jesus, but I believe that their time will come soon. My non-church roommate committed his life to Jesus during the camp. He told me: “Everything testifies that I became Christian. Ó what a change!”

This week second term of the evangelistic camps has started – EDGE sport camp with Bardejov church, KECY – English camps with Košice, Nové Mesto nad Vahom and Presov.

Yestereday 17 camps started all across JV. One of them was the 1000th camp since the first one 20 years ago in 1994. Check out this amazing video – and praise God with us today!

…and the latest blog which also tells the story
Yesterday was a very important day!

Black day

You know it yourself. There are good and bad days. Days when everything goes smoothly and the days when you feel like it would be better to stay in bed.
I have had it this week.

An unknown vandal pierced the tire of my car again. When I was waiting to pay for the servicing, my phone fell on the floor. The display cracked. I initiatively started to change a glass on my iPhone later on. But it decided to end its service for good. In the evening, while playing hockey, I was handling the fast pass of the puck with my foot. I will not be able to put the skates on my feet, for at least two weeks, because of the pain in my ankle. Moreover, my two years old MacBook, it’s motherboard decided to start a strike. I tried to make a backup of my data to the HD right away, but even the spare drive collapsed. Well, perfect! And the last but not least, our family camera (Canon G10) ended its time of running when its lens got stuck. The service man told me happily: “We can fix it. For about 300 USD.” No thank you!

This is how my black day looked like. Accidents usually extend to longer periods of time, but not during the black day. That is when it all happens at once. It is a day black as night.

The black day is a day of a test of our attitudes and faith. At that day we are free to decide, either we will respond as Habakkuk did (3:17-18) “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines … yet I will rejoice in the Lord…”, or as an ordinary man. The example of the heroes of the faith (Hebrew 11) inspires us to make the first choice. Then we can get a chance to experience what Job did: “I have heard the legends about you but now my eye can see you.”

Which way will you choose to go in the time of a black day? Prepare yourself for it! It is just a matter of time, when you will have to face it, and it can be even darker than mine.


Does church need any structure?

“What does remain from our Christianity and our faith if we remove the structure, visible symbols, the liturgy, the tower, etc? Or what would we want to remain? What is that thing what makes Christianity the true Christianity and we cannot afford to lose.“

During the uneasy meditation and even more difficult discussion about this topic I have remembered time when I found the screw driver and pliers as a small boy. May be you went though this (if you are a male). The insistent longing to explore things came to my life. For me personally it was my dad’s radio, small transistor radio. At the stealthy moment I started to take it apart with the hunger to utter the essence of its life. The heart or soul, what gives it the life and makes it the excellent companion at any time. I expected to find the very little, secret piece that is evidently alive and pulsating. Simply put – the big secret of the transistor radio. I had the feeling, that I understood the string and pulleys that were switching the stations during the rotation, but the other parts were mysterious to me. I disclosed them. They did not resist, the condensers seemed unimportant to me and the inside of them was really boring. When I bent to the speakers I found just piece of paper, magnet and some kind of coil. I was disappointed. No real life. I did not know what to expect before I started to explore, but the result was poor. Then I remember my father sometimes change the batteries so maybe there is the essence of the life. But I did not find there anything mysterious either.
At that time I have learnt something about the difficulty of the life and that it is not something easy to grasp or to be caught. And also that life goes badly out of the structure. The life, to be able to play, need to lean on something, to meet somewhere, to touch someone, to expand, to breath by something, to be able to recharge somewhere, to connect. Maybe that is why it is surprising that the apostle Paul is organizing even the spiritual affairs of the church. Even the spiritual life of the first church has its structure which is not just spontaneity. The collections are organized in advance (1. Cor. 16:1-2), the spiritual life is regulated. Also the spiritual activities as prophesying in community or usage of the speaking in tongues (1. Cor. 11:5-7). Apostle is helping the life to be in some reasonable and helpful form to serve for development of the spiritual life. The ability how to arbitrate demands certain maturity. Because we do not want the structure to bound the spiritual life but to help it toward expansion. It is the same with the skeleton. Without it we cannot move forward, it would be our end. Life needs this organic structure. But we need to grow according to our body’s needs. (It is not like with the plaster. It is fine, but just for a time, when we are hurt and the bone needs to be reunite, later it is just a burden.) Let’s be alert not to go to the extreme “plaster from concrete”, or longing to be unbounded. In the spiritual life it would be tragedy.
Dad’s radio lost its life and it was not able to work anymore and I have learnt needed lesson. That is why the wise thing we can do before taking something apart or demolish is to consult with the One who understands the life much better and who has the answers about the essence of life. So the music does not glide from our life.

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