Worker profile: J. and M. W.
Posted on April 23, 2021 by VMMissions Staff
Service program: transForm
Serving since: 2016
I (M.) am teaching English Language Learning for elementary students, for whom English is a third language after home and local languages. This year, I am also mentoring a student teacher. J. is Business Developer for transformational educational businesses. A current project involves starting a new preschool. He also mentors leadership teams to develop sustainable witness, and has been serving as interim director at an international school.
With COVID-19, learning to teach effectively online is a growing process. During the fall, when some classes were being held at school, our reality included constant monitoring of everyone’s health and needing to find coverage for teachers when they couldn’t come to school. The constant need to evaluate plans was draining, but worth it so some students could learn at school. This was especially important for early elementary students and other students who struggle to learn online.
In addition, it has been difficult for me to not see my dad and our older son and his wife for over a year. It is heartbreaking to cancel plans twice to visit, especially with my father’s gradual decline in memory. Another area is not being able to worship corporately.
J. has missed being able to visit and support in person our team, language school, and computer programming business in Central Asia this year. However, the work there continues through remote conversations. A local leader who was gone for a period of study returned in December. We are praying for new outreach opportunities through his witness.
My greatest joy is in seeing my students grow. In the spring, I was really worried about how they would learn online. I was able to assess them in person after 10 weeks and we were all thrilled to discover that they had done well. It is also a joy to know that their parents are able to continue their ministries to some degree because I am teaching their children. We praise God that he is bigger than this pandemic and that Emmanuel is working both in our lives and those around us.
J. is especially grateful that the new school leadership team is working well together and distance learning is going decently. It is great to see a new team in place and to welcome a new school director who started in January. In addition to this, classes at the preschool started in August. This school provides daily opportunities for the leaders and two believing teachers to impact co-workers, students, and parents.
A typical day:
I teach in the mornings. My afternoons and evenings are a combination of home-tasks, exercise, finishing up lesson plans and taking time to talk with our high school aged son. Some evenings I take time for worship on my piano and once a week I call my dad to see how he is doing. Processing the day and upcoming decisions with my husband is also an important part of my day.
J.’s typical days involve changes to what he has scheduled, as well as frequent surprise visitors. In the middle of it all he is mentoring others, whether it is ironing out details for the new school building contract, listening to a parent who has a struggling middle school child, or helping staff members figure out how to manage the ever-changing schedule.