The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A way to live my faith

ELCA global mission volunteer teaches in Slovakia

I began serving as an ELCA missionary in Slovakia in 2004. I’m the coordinating teacher in Košice and Liptovský Mikulás. The Lutheran school in Košice is a 15-minute stroll from my apartment. I teach English language and conversation to 200 students ages 15 to 20. I’m married to a Slovak Lutheran seminarian I met while working at Nawakwa, an ELCA outdoor ministry in Arendtsville, Pa.

The joys and challenges of my work are closely tied together. Each week we read literature, study current events and do writing exercises. When I enter the classroom, students rise from their seats and wait for me to say “good morning” or “good afternoon.” They respond in unison, then take their seats. They enjoy expressing their ideas, and demonstrate an often hilarious wit. On skit and role-play days, the students elaborate on a theme. There’s a subtle joy in watching the gradual progress of their English skills.

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