by Martha George, St. Maries Church communication leader
On July 9, John Peirce, pastor, had the pleasure of baptizing Filip Slansky in the St. Joe River in St. Maries, Idaho. Slansky is from the Czech Republic. He came back this summer to visit his former host family, Syd and Sue Clark, whom he affectionately calls his American mom and dad, and his church family, the St. Maries Church.
The whole church family rejoiced with Slansky in his decision to live for Christ. He made a deep impression on all. He blesses others with his musical talents and his joy for life.
I interviewed Slansky about his decision to be baptized (the Mom and Dad he speaks of in his answers are his real mom and dad).
Martha George: Filip, why did you come to the United States? And when?
Slansky: I came to the United States as an exchange student for the school year 2009–2010. My brother was an exchange student two years before me in St. Maries, and brothers always want to do the same things, so that's why I wanted to go, too. I wanted to master my English, become independent, and get to know new people and their culture. I had many expectations, but what that year meant to me surpassed them all.
MG: Filip, were you a Christian when you came to the United States?
Slansky: I was led to Christianity by my mom. My dad is an atheist. I was baptized in the Catholic Church around the age of 13. However, I lacked faith, and going to church was rather a formality. My character wasn't changed, and after a false feeling that something was different with me, my life was in the old tracks again. My mom stopped going to church and so did I. So if I was a Christian, I was a very dead one.
MG: What drew you to Christ while you were here in the United States?
Slansky: I really enjoyed the time spent on Saturdays with the St. Maries Church and the extra time with some of its members. My personal experience with Christ began at the end of my exchange student year. I realized that in order to become a Christian, I must make the choice myself. That, in my opinion, is very important. Parents can lead children to faith, but just so far and not any further. Children need to make the steps (at least the final steps) willingly by themselves. After this exchange student year I stood up on my own feet, and I believe Jesus has been leading me since then. My old "I" died, and I experienced a radical shift in my behavior, interests, thoughts, etc. I began my personal Bible studies and started to do some research about the Adventist Church. Later I found this church in [the Czech Republic] and started going regularly there.