My last Sunday in Greensboro is a bittersweet memory. After two years at Church of the Redeemer and about 24 years in Greensboro, I was sent out in late August of 2018 after a year of growth and preparation in the Greensboro Fellows Program. At the beginning of my year in the Fellows, I knew the Lord was preparing me for a ministry in international education though I wasn’t entirely sure where that would be until that December. Through considerable encouragement, wisdom, and prayer from my Redeemer church family (big shout-out to the Fellows, Larry Bost, and the Hawkins family for bearing with me and supporting me through that process), the Lord began revealing the next step that I was to take.
I departed Greensboro, North Carolina for Caracas, Venezuela to serve as the Secondary Social Studies teacher at the International Christian School of Caracas (the school itself was a part of the larger Network of International Christian Schools). I arrived with the dream that Caracas would be my new home, but as the months unfolded and the political situation in Venezuela deteriorated that dream was quickly shattered and shown to be one of my own invention, not one that the Lord had meant for me. At this same time, a new school in Prishtina, Kosovo had joined the network and I was graciously provided the same position there. I was all set to join the school in August of 2019.
After five short months in Venezuela, I left this past December with a mix of feelings: uncertainty about this ministry, anxiety about the transition, excitement about new experiences, and hope for everything that I could accomplish in the time before my new position started. I was determined to spend it preparing for the new transition in order to make it as smooth as possible. You would think that after my experience in Venezuela that I would have learned to be wary of “the plans of man,” but you would be wrong. The new plans that I had made to prepare myself for this next step were quickly discarded as soon as I was told that they needed me in Kosovo ASAP. After a few short weeks in the States, I was back on a plane and headed to another new school.
A little information about Prishtina High School: It occupies a very strange position as a Christian school. While most of the staff are Christian, the majority of our students and their families are Muslim, as is the majority of the population of Kosovo. Both my students and I are equally open about our faith and how it impacts our lives. This past month, as I write this, has been especially interesting as I have quite a few students that are engaging in the Muslim holy season of fasting known as Ramadan. This ability to be in such close proximity with students and families of different faith backgrounds is such a rich ministry opportunity that I would have missed out on had I been allowed to live out the dream that I had for my time in Caracas. Only through taking away the closely guarded dreams that I held onto, was God able to lead me into this ministry, and He has continued to reveal His faithfulness as I have served here. As my first semester in Kosovo comes to a close, I eagerly await to see where He will lead this ministry. As I continue here in Kosovo, I covet your prayers and partnership.
My primary need is prayer: if you would like to receive prayer updates or if you’re interested in staying connected with my ministry, please reach out to me at email@example.com. If you feel led to support me through giving, my goal is to raise $3,000 in yearly support. The easiest way to give is through (http://www.nics.org/donate/) and then use my project number (004132) or my name and fill out the donation form. Below are some of the ways that you can be praying for me and the ministry here in Prishtina.
- For the students and staff that attend Prishtina High School. Pray that they will experience the love that Christ has for them and that He would continue to make His gospel truth know to them. Pray that the Lord would continue to use the believers among the teachers, staff, and students in this way.
- For the nation of Kosovo. Pray that God would make himself known to its leaders and people. That He would continue to bring healing to the wounds this country bears. That justice, righteousness, and peace would reign.
- For the students and the staff. Pray that we will resist the temptation to succumb to the burnout and weariness felt at the end of the school year.
- For the new staff and students that will be joining the school next year. Pray for wisdom and endurance for the challenges that are a part of transitions. Pray that the community here will receive them with open arms and show the love of Christ to them.
- For the students and staff that will be returning next year. Pray that the summer will be restful and rejuvenating. That the staff would use the break to pray for our students and the upcoming school year. That the students will return with open hearts and minds ready to receive knowledge and truth.
- For the students and staff that will not be returning next year. Pray that the Lord will ease their anxieties and fears, and provide for them new schools, friends, and teachers that cherish them and love the Lord. That they will recognize God’s providence and be able to sing his praises.