When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher. I could have been a teacher had I taken a 5th year of college but I decided against that at the time because I had found my calling as a camp program director. Well, life took a turn and I ended up working the family business. What a blessing that has been for my family! I was able to raise my children on my desk and provide for my family. God is good.
The teacher part of me never left. I’ve enjoyed teaching my own children. I’ve had opportunities to each other peoples children and I’ve had an opportunity to teach many women the ways of the Lord. Teaching is just part of what God gave me to do.
So, you can imagine that when the opportunity came up to travel to Slovenia and teach English to the Slovene youth, I was excited to take the chance. I’ll admit I was thinking about just being an assistant and supporting the process but as it turnd out I was given the responsibility to TEAM teach with a woman from our church that I had not met prior to preparing to leave on our mission. **Spoiler Alert: Ms. Chris is AMAZING and the best partner anyone could ask for!
We did recieve curriculum before we left Bend but didn’t have time to meet and prepare. There was A LOT to go through. So I printed out all the millions of pages of handouts, enough for 2 classrooms of 10 students and ended up with 1/2 a suitcase of paper and 5 lbs over weight on the luggage. The kind lady at check-in waived the fee and off we went, completely terrified and unsure that I was adequate for the job ahead.
We took some time the day before camp to prep our first 2 1/2 days and settled on praying for God’s provision the rest of the week. He provided. Imagine that, God giving you just what you need when you need it. Doesn’t it say in His word, not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries? or something like that? Well we stood on that verse and went on our way to the hills of Maribor.
I’d like to say I’ve never seen more beautiful country but it is very similar to the Wilamette Valley where I grew up. Just a bit more romantic and enchanting!
So……How did it go?
FANTASTIC! Could not have gone better! Honestly, it was because of our students. They knew English speaking, writing and reading better then I expected. They participated and ate American candy (yes we know how to gain trust and build relationship here!). After day 1 I felt at ease and from that point on things just flowed they way they were supposed to. We spent each day in a different American City. We packed up and New York, navigated the weather in Chicago, line danced in Nashville, ate lemon drops (and talked about Grandpa Adolf, more on that another time) in Los Angeles, hiked around Seattle while trying beef jerkey (1st taste for most) and had the best time learning new words, discovering new things and exploring the culture. Turns out I’m an English teacher.
Would I encourage anyone else to go on a mission? Or perhaps visit Slovenia on a mission trip with Josiah Venture?
ABSOLUTELY! This is an opportunity that EVERYONE should seek. It hasn’t been easy but it has been rewarding. Being a business owner and taking off for 2 weeks to a foreign land seemed insurmountable but my team made it a reality and for that I’ll be forever grateful! My life has been changed, my eyes have been opened and my heart has grown.
Let me leave you with this thought: If you have a chance to travel to a foriegn country on a mission, TAKE IT! You only have one life to live and this is something you need to add to your days. I’ve learned a lot about how to prepare, what you should bring and things to consider. So…….
WHEN you do go, lets talk…