Happy December, Comrades!

The Happenings of a Missionary Teacher

Hello again!

Five days til I’m back in Fort Wayne… Eleven days til Christmas… How are we already two weeks into December??

And yes, it feels strange and surreal to say that I will be in Fort Wayne in just five short days. I realize how blessed I am to be able to celebrate another Christmas with my family, and I am so extremely grateful and excited! I am also looking forward to seeing my friends and Wallen family! (And for those of you wondering, I will be returning back to SPB on January 7th.)

It’s been a long while since I sent out my last update… and I promise I’ll try to be brief with this one, especially since I will be home soon and will be seeing many of you in person!

Well, I’ve been busy busy busy these past few months with teaching and tutoring; being a first-year teacher is just as crazy and overwhelming as I’ve been warned, and I am also tutoring four times a week. However, it’s worth it. I find that I am most happy when I am teaching and around my kids, and I love the girls I tutor. There have been so many teaching moments and small details - all of which are too many to describe - that assure me that I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what God wants me to do. I can't emphasize enough how much I love being involved in what God is doing over here!

Tallinn, Estonia

With the craziness of teaching, tutoring, and other ministry involvements, I had a much-appreciated break in early November. I spent a few days in Tallinn, Estonia, with my dear friend from church, Katherine; the city is so quaint and relaxed! And how cool is it that Tallinn is just a seven-hour bus ride away from St. Pete? We had a fun time exploring the city and learning about Estonia’s history.


I’ve gotten regularly involved with an after-school ministry called Friday@5. About every other Friday, the middle school and the high school students meet (separately) at a student's or teacher’s home for dinner, games, worship, and a Bible lesson. In other words, it’s very similar to youth group, except it’s organized by the school. I lead the Bible lesson for the middle school girls; it’s so encouraging to see so many of them already in love with Jesus!


As I mentioned in a previous update, I’m involved in a homegroup (Hope Church’s version of small groups/ABFs). Long story short, I now co-lead a homegroup with one of my roommates, Jamey (who also attends Hope Church). When I was first asked to start and lead a homegroup, I was extremely hesitant; frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to commit myself to one more thing. However, God kept reminding me of the obvious need for an English-speaking homegroup in my area of St. Pete, so here we are! Due to the fact that Hope Church is so international, our group consists of Russians, Americans, Brits, Nigerians, and Cameroonians… And let me just say that the language barrier is alive and well in my apartment on Wednesday evenings; sometimes Bible study inevitably turns into a game of charades or taboo, but this is how memories are made!


On Thanksgiving Day, I celebrated with my church family. Basically, three of us Americans introduced the wonderful holiday of Eating Way Too Much Comfort Food to our Russian and Brazilian friends who have lived in deprivation and darkness for all these years. The poor souls didn’t even understand the concept of piling food on their plates! I joke, but it was a lot of fun and it was a great experience. I spent the following Friday celebrating Thanksgiving with some American teachers/families from school. I really am so grateful for Hope Church and International Academy.

Fort Wayne, here I come!

I’ve no doubt found a great church and community over here in St. Pete, but these five months away have helped me see just how instrumental Wallen has been in my life and how thankful I am for all of you who support me in the work I am doing over here. Lately, I have been thinking about how absolutely fortunate I am to be involved with two great churches; God is so, so good!

As I get ready to fly back to Fort Wayne in a few days, please be praying for my travels. As most of you are aware, I am downright pathetic when it comes to following a map or a set of directions - airport terminals not excluded. For real, though; airports totally stress me out! So please be praying for me, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the near future!