Holiday, Conference, Retreat,Oh My!

The Happenings of a Missionary Teacher

Spring is Here! (I think.)

Well, St. Petersburg now has more hours of daylight than my friends and family back home. (Cue my happy dance music, please.) And I think spring is here to stay; we've been having warm, sunny weather, but we did get one random snowfall a few weeks ago... So my fingers are tightly crossed. I've also refused to wear my heavy winter coat, as if my defiance will somehow persuade the weather to comply.

It's been a while since I last sent out a letter, and so much has happened! I really am so thankful that I have friends and family who desire to stay involved in my life over here (and are equally patient when updates are long overdue!). Shall we just dive in?

Conference in Germany

For the first four days of IA’s spring break, I attended ACSI’s International Christian Educator’s Conference (and what a mouthful of a conference). It was held in Kandern, Germany (at Black Forest Academy, if any of you are familiar with the school), and there were over 300 missionary teachers/educators who represented schools from over 15 countries! It was a beautiful time. In a way, I witnessed God's massive presence around the world; it was so humbling. The conference left me feeling encouraged, challenged, and validated in my role as a teacher at IA. So glad I was able to go!

Traveling Through Switzerland

Kandern is located at the southern tip of Germany, so I decided to spend the remainder of my spring break traveling through Switzerland with Katherine. We chose to spend less time in cities and more time in the Swiss Alps, and never before has the grandeur of God’s creativity and power been so undeniable! I could not help but praise Him; I lost count of the number of times I looked across the Alps and whispered, “God, you are so beautiful!” And for those of you truly dying to know (which is zero of you), the city of Gimmelwald is now my favorite place on earth.

Church Retreat and Homegroup

Soon after I returned from Switzerland and got back into the swing of things at school, I joined my church family on a weekend retreat at a place about an hour outside the city. There were about 50 of us (including families), and we had a guest speaker from England. I know I say this often, but I am so thankful for my church family!

My homegroup continues to meet at my apartment on Wednesday evenings, and I am also thankful for this little family within my larger church family. We’ve grown just a bit, so there are now about 10 of each week, give or take. Please pray for Jamey (my flat mate) and I as we co-lead the group, and that our time together would be fruitful.

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Meeting with Nayeon

I also continue to meet with Nayeon (one of my 7th-grade students) each week. She is so honest about her struggles, and so eager to grow closer to her Father. She just finished reading through the book of Romans and she was excited to tell me about the parts that really stood out to her. She flipped open this Bible journal that she started, and I thought it was the coolest thing! Continue to pray for our unique relationship, and also that she would continue to deeply desire her Savior. It's hard for her since she's the only Christian in her family.

One Year, Two Years, Three Years - Who Knows??

A few months ago, I officially decided that I would stay and teach for at least one year more! Many have asked how long I intend to stay in St. Petersburg, and this is the most concrete answer I can give: I will remain here until God makes it obvious He wants me somewhere else. I am very passionate about this role God has called me into; not only do I love teaching English, but I am equally excited about how God is using this school to both support missionary families and reach unbelieving business families. I want to be involved in what God is doing over here, and I want all of you to be just as involved! In the near future, I will be sending out a separate letter detailing prayer and financial needs for the coming school year. All of you have already invested in my life in some way or another, and I look forward to this next year with a confidence and peace that comes from Him alone.