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Lenka.jpeg.jpgBy Katrina Hudson, a graduate of Hazard, Ky.
WILMORE, KY— Recent Asbury College graduate Lenka Kolarikova answered the question “what’s next?” at least a thousand times in the weeks leading up to graduation and the days that followed. Lenka, who is from Riecka, a village in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, came to Kentucky as a high school exchange student. After spending a year in the United States, learning the language and becoming familiar with various aspects of American culture, Lenka decided to stay and attend Asbury College.

During her time at Asbury, Lenka, a media communication major, was one of the students selected to work at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. She was also actively involved in several student productions and won an award for her short film “From America with Love” at the 2009 Highbridge Film Festival. While Lenka says that she will miss all the friends she made at Asbury and will remember them fondly, she is truly ready for the things ahead that God has planned for her.

After a brief return home, Lenka will be traveling to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a Micronesian nation that consists of 29 atolls (a ring-shaped coral reef and a small island, enclosing a lagoon and surrounded by open sea) and five isolated islands located in the Pacific Ocean. Mostly inhabited by indigenous people, the nation has a generous distribution of Christian denominations and foreign missionaries who operate freely. Lenka recently spoke in an interview about her impending journey.

How did you learn about the opportunity to go to the Marshall Islands? I learned about the opportunity from my Pastor Philip Derber (Grace Fellowship Ministries) who has been a missionary to the Islands for many years now.

What will you be doing there?
I will be teaching in school or assisting teachers. 

What kind of information did you have about the Islands before this time?
I’ve often heard testimonies from the Marshall Islands. I’ve learned the most from my pastor. He and his wife witnessed many miracles there. One that I remember is of a blind person who began to see after they laid hands on him and prayed for him. I also heard about the Marshall Islands from my friends Dana and Belinda, who have been missionaries there for three years now. My church had been covering all the expenses of people they’ve sent in the mission field.

What type of ministry opportunities do you expect there?
In the school we will teach children basic things such as how to read and write and how to count as well teaching them something they can build their lives around – the Word of God and how to have a relationship with a loving God.

How does your experience at Asbury prepare you for service?
Since I graduated as a Media Communication major, I feel that Asbury College gave me a set of practical tools, from operating a camera to web design, that are applicable in the mission field.  I’d love to document my experience, post pictures on my blog and if possible film a short documentary to inform other people about God’s work in the Marshall Islands.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be?
I will see once I get there. I have faith in God that with every challenge, He will give me the strength to overcome.

What do you hope to learn or accomplish?
Above all, I hope to be a positive influence on children. I think that children are especially sensitive to spiritual things, yet often they are growing up in a world that is spiritually dull. I pray to see them as unique individuals and have words of wisdom that will speak to their strengths. If it were not for a teacher who once told me that I had value, I would probably never try to accomplish anything. I want to be a positive influence on kids, helping them believe in a God of possibilities who is stronger than any of their weaknesses.

Are you excited about service in the Marshall Islands?
Oh yeah. I’m very excited. I’m glad to get out of this kind of world that is so business minded, materialistic, and somewhat lacking friendship. I know there are many challenges that people in the Islands encounter such as poverty, but I also have been informed that their culture is very relationship oriented, welcoming, and excited about God.  I am excited to be there for a year.

What is your prayer for yourself and the people you meet in?
I pray that I am yielded to God and that I always give my best to do His work. My prayer is that I get to know people there and their culture, and that we experience God’s power together. I want to see many miracles and even more than that, I want to have a character that God can trust.

What do you plan to do after you finish there?
I want to finish my masters and work in media. I am completely open to God’s leading though, so I might end up doing whatever He has in mind. However, I know that media will play a part.