New Teachers in Tomsk
On October 5th three teachers arrived to teach in Tomsk for the school year. Amanda Burk is an MLC Elementary Education graduate from Mankato, Minnesota. Erik Janke is an MLC graduate in the pastor track. He is from Watertown, South Dakota. Mark Zondag is a psychology graduate of the University of Minnesota from the Madison area. Joanna Wordell, our fourth teacher, hails from Kenosha, Wisconsin. She is in her final year of studies at MLC. Joanna plans to be in Russia helping the mission until December 23rd, after which she will return to MLC to finish her last semester.
These four teachers are pioneers for the Russian mission. It’s not easy to be the first ones – there’s a reason we look with awe upon the pioneers who fought to make new lives for themselves in the Western United States. We admire their bravery, their hard work, their stubbornness to succeed. These four teachers in Tomsk are no different. They know that as pioneers there will be the initial hard crust of ground to break through. But they are going at it with spirit!
Our teachers conduct about 20-25 hours of English classes each week to support themselves. In their free time, they try to get involved with life in Tomsk. They share the Gospel with those they meet. The teachers invite these new friends to church and Bible classes. The teachers lead some classes at church themselves, and they also invite people to the weekly Bible classes and worship services led by the missionaries.
It has been such a joy to have these four young adults with us in Russia. They are competent, well-grounded, solid Christians, very likeable and fun to be around. They’ve only been in Tomsk for a month, but they’re doing really well as far as finding their way around, getting out and meeting people, and adjusting to their employers.
The Search Is On
Professor Tom Hunter from MLC came to the Russian mission the end of October. Professor Hunter finds international employment for English teachers. He arranged for this year’s teachers in Tomsk. God-willing we would like to expand our program for next year and have teachers not only in Tomsk, but also in Novosibirsk and Akademgorodok. Professor Hunter has found some promising employers. Now we look for teachers. Do you know a young college graduate who would like to teach in Russia for a year or two?
Thank God for Amanda, Joanna, Erik and Mark! Please pray that they would continue to adjust well to life and work in Tomsk. Please pray that God would give them many opportunities to share the Gospel. Pray that many new contacts would desire to learn more about the Bible.
Thank God for allowing Professor Hunter to find employment opportunities for more teachers next year. Please pray that young adults would step forward and offer to serve as teachers in Russia!