The ReachBudapest team is motivated by the knowledge that God has shaped each one of us for a particular place of influence in society. He's given us skills, experience, and passions that equip us for a "space" or "lane" that is uniquely ours! We want to enter into those spaces as disciple makers, inviting people into relationship with Jesus and into community with other believers. As a result of professional connections made over the years with other educators, I was invited to give a teacher in-service at a public school. The local church sponsors this event annually, where students are dismissed for the day, and while teachers are in professional development sessions, other teams of church volunteers work with the school’s janitors on projects to improve the physical plant. This is but one way that the believers seek to support their local schools throughout the year.
I was asked to develop sessions that would inspire the teachers while giving them practical ideas for student-centered instruction in their classrooms. And by the way, the 60 or so teachers would have students ranging roughly from first to eighth grade. My first thoughts: “Wow, God, what an opportunity you’ve provided! Thank you!” My second: “ That’s impossible! I have no experience in Hungarian curriculum and instruction. A day off of school where the teachers VOLUNTARILY come to an inservice? Now that’s pressure! I’m not even sure it can be done well given the spread of grade levels. How can I possibly make this work? Help!”
Help was on the way! My most creative colleague “just so happened” to be joining me for a research trip in Budapest and its surrounds during the same timeframe. Having worked together as professors of education for over 15 years, we’ve developed a trust and a presentation style that complements the best in one another. “Guess what?” I cheerily told him. “We’re adding a teacher in-service during your trip!” Despite the fact that we weren’t at all sure what to expect, we set to work making plans that could be morphed at a moment’s notice into several different directions.
As we traveled to the school that crisp November morning, I was a bit apprehensive. I had met the pastor of the church and one of the teachers at the school, yet knew very little else about the situation. My colleague admitted to being scared (repeatedly and to anyone and everyone, only half in jest). In our own educational system and culture, we have been successful, but in a new context, we had little confidence in our own abilities to bring anything useful to this group of teachers. And make no mistake; the teachers of Hungary are VERY intelligent! We prayed for God’s favor and direction and plunged in!
We could not have received a more gracious reception with the faculty! They were attentive and adventurous, participating in all kinds of group activities. They laughed at our jokes! We all had fun and learned from one another. We affirmed their expertise and they drew from ours. We chatted at lunch and parted at the end of the day with an invitation to continue the dialog as educational colleagues.
We count it a great privilege to have the honor to work alongside local Christians who are reaching out through their schools, supporting and blessing their community’s faculty on a regular basis. Our prayer is that we, alongside local believers, will continue to be the aroma of Christ in their lives (2 Cor 2:14,15) for the sake of His gospel.
– Posted by Robin, an educator and disciple-maker who splits her time between living in Budapest and the US.
ARE YOU A TEACHER INTERESTED IN USING YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE TO MAKE A KINGDOM IMPACT IN BUDAPEST? WE'VE BEEN ASKED BY A HUNGARIAN PUBLIC SCHOOL TO RECRUIT A TEACHER FOR THE ENGLISH FACUTY. THIS TEACHER//MISSIONARY WILL ALSO JOIN A CHURCH PLANTING TEAM IN THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY! READ MORE…