Dear friends and supporters,
I am writing this third Baraka newsletter with gratitude for Zuzka, Sara, Martin, Klara, Veronika, Daniel, Benjamin, Hana and Samo. These are the people who decided to go to Baraka for a year when it was still just an idea. They did not know where and with whom they will live, what will their days or internships for the school look like. They did not know whether they will find their place in the whole thing, certainly had doubts about themselves as well as the project. I greatly value their courage. Moreover, I am thankful for their “yes”, because it expressed trust to themselves, to me and to everyone else in the closer as well as broader team of Baraka and Bilgym. I also want to congratulate them, because I deeply believe that the faithfulness to such Chestertonian “rash vow” is something objectively good. People love certainty yet can change themselves and the outside world only if they are willing to give it up, make a step towards the unknown, and continue walking. The people named above demonstrated these and other qualities. Despite this, I would not want to heroize them, as through the year they had – as did I – many moments of virtue as well as of weakness. However, in this semi-public manner, to the extent it is adequate for me to say it, I want to express that I’m proud of you. wish you a lot of Goodness In your next period of life. May God bless you and may you continue to be a blessing (Baraka) for your surroundings, as you have been for me, for one another and for the school.

How to find out who is home

I am also thankful for all of you – colleagues, friends, financial as well as prayer supporters. Baraka and all I described above would not exist without you. Please find below a few more photos from the last months of this year’s Baraka. Now we are in the midst of a quieter summer with small additional reconstruction happening at the premises. Thanks to your support, on the 31st of August, a new year of Baraka awaits us with Marek, Zuzka, Jano, Eva, Matej, Salma, David, Samo, Barbora and Jakub.

I wish you a nice summer. With gratitude,

PS: If you would like to know more, feel free to ask any of us questions such as “How was Baraka for you?” or “What was important/difficult/helpful?”. In addition to this, I am about to write a more complex reflection of the first year of Baraka as part of my character education thesis. If you would be interested – and don’t mind academic writing – please write to me and I will send it when it’s done.

Now during holidays it seems like a distant past, but not so long ago, our oldest students (and we teachers with them) were rather focused on finals (‘maturita’). Baraka was no exception to this with the study room often turning into a co-working space.

Even in the second semester, we were delighted to receive for dinner a number of friends from the wider environment of C.S.Lewis high school, including guests from the Minnehaha Academy, the church, D3/Navs and even the Benedictine friar Ján whom we befriended during our weekend-away and who came to talk to us on the topic of “vocation / calling “. Thank you, dear guests, for coming and sharing with us your thoughts, experiences and sometimes even culinary skills.

In addition to typical Baraka interships for the school (charity, teambuildings, tutoring, etc.), this semester, we discovered we can be helpful through cleaning of the wider neighborhood or even by welcoming guests at the school ́s reception.

Our home needs cleaning too. Here is one of those moments when rather than small sections of Baraka at a time, we did a swipe-through of all the premises. A spring cleaning so to speak.

A Saturday walk over Marianka village interwoven with many one-on-one chats and lively group discussions. At the end of it, we were welcomed – for barbecue and some more discussion – by Stevo and Maria Machajdikovci (who had been greatly involved in the dreaming about and planning of Baraka in previous years). Thank you for the food and company!

Life can truly be colorful in the living room. Among other things, take notice of Martin repairing the blinds…

Our final weekend-away together (and alone) at a rural cabin. Except for spending some intentional as well as spontaneous farewell time together, we also wrote up our experience – and tips and tricks – for the next generation of members of Baraka.