Archive for the ‘Hungary’ Category

Christmas Miracles

December 19, 2008

— Written by a Teacher in Hungary —

My 10D English class

So… continues my journey here. Between all the people I’m meeting here, and new relationships, I’ve been a bit distracted by all the fun, trips and parties, especially at Christmastime, from what I came over here to do. And, I continue to ask God daily, if He’ll work through me inspite of myself, and my lack of focus. And this is what He is doing:
I have a class of all girls, that I truly believe to be a handpicked group from God. These girls go CRAZY when they see me, and class always ends up being photo with Miss Teacher time. I have no idea what I did to get them to like me so much, but they do. So, a few weeks ago, these two twins did not show up. And when I asked their friends where they were, they said, “oh, at home, bad family.” Come to learn, their mom is an alcoholic and there’s a lot going on there. So, I wrote them a little card, my friend translated it, telling them I was praying for them and their family, reminding them that God loved them. And when they came back they had their own card, thanking me for the prayers, as “this all feels good to us and helps us in our faith”. Wow. Then, the girls of the class ended up giving me a pillowcase with a huge blown up picture of me and the girls, saying, “Love 4ever” That was the bomb.
Then there’s Briggi. Briggi came to me for extra help in English, and I agreed to tutor her. As we were talking about the holidays, I came to found out that she was struggling with some issues that I had a lot of experience dealing with. I told her if she ever wanted to talk, that I would listen, cause I really do understand. And she said, thanks, and Merry Christmas, and I went on my way. A few minutes later, she stopped by the teacher room, and asked if we could go to lunch after we get back from the break.
God is great. He is moving, and calling His people back to Him. He is just pouring girls into my lap, and I am asking for your prayers, that I would be able to be Jesus to them. I am praying, that God, inspite of my problems and lack of discipline, can still use me. And if not, that He would use somebody. I think it’s so great, how He sets up ministry appointments in the times that are the least likely. I know that that’s how God works, but I am surprised everytime.

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God working through Teachers

November 3, 2008

— Written by a Teacher in Hungary —

So, just for the record, this past week has been really great. Lots of affirming people have come my way, as well as those from the States…. it’s actually been quite fun! I met some new people, and am getting to know them… it’s been great! yesterday, I was off, and enjoyed sleeping in, and cleaning my room!

Well, today, i got to school, and was quite tired… However, I went through the motions in my first few classes, especially after being told I was getting more classes ( I don’t mind at all, it’s just the fact that I was simply being stuck in made up teaching slots, with more beginners… as well as a few made classes, simply to put on paper that I’m teaching enough… Hungary…)

Anywho, I went to my last class of the day, a rather advanced class… We were going over an article on women’s roles, etc., and one of the vocab words that came up was “residential”. I explained what residential meant, and explained that my neighborhood is residential. This, for some reason, sparked a question from a student, who asked, “How is it living here?” I vaguely answered, “it’s good”. To which he asked, “is it true that teachers in America make 10 times as much as teachers here in Hungary?” I told him that I was paid less than a teacher at my last job, and I was paid 7 times as much in the states than I am in Hungary. They all were like “Whoa! Why did you come here?!”

I paused. I almost gave the blanket answer “cause money is not important to me.” and I got really nervous, cause I knew that they might not understand what I was gonna say, but that I came all the way over here for an opportunity like this…

So I told them. “First off, I’m a Christian. And being a Christian means that my life is about God. Whatever He wants.” And I proceeded to tell them that I prayed, and felt God telling me to move over here… I explained that it’s not about money, and that as a Christian, I felt called to go where others didn’t want to go, and to help those who needed it, not always those who could afford it. I mean, I didn’t get into the Roman Road or anything… there was no altar call at the end to “just as I am”, nor did I draw on the board a stick figure of me, across a chasm from God, with JESUS as the bridge…. but it was awesome that I got to tell them just Who I belong to and why I do the things I do. I thank God, that these things do come up…it’s all Him, and it’s all an answer to prayer. Please pray for that class, 12A, that God will use today to plant a seed, a seed of curiosity or hope, and will continue to water that seed to fruition…. Pray for [my students], that what they heard today is the beginning of something new in their lives. This class, actually, I’ve gotten papers back from them, on themselves and their family, and learned that most of them do not believe in God, if any. So, I thank God that this came up in this class….

pray that this continues to come up in this class, as well as other classes. Pray for teachable moments, and seeds to be planted and watered…. God is Good!!! In the midst of a school that frustrates me with their insane policies, God is working. PTL.

Oh yeah…. school

October 22, 2008
— Written by a Teacher in Hungary —




Well, I’m finally feeling sort of settled in. That’s nice because I’m getting tired of thinking about myself all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still will think of myself most of the time, but I’m beginning to think about others too. Specifically, I’m thinking about how I can be more intentional in showing the love of Christ with fellow teachers and students.I’m definitely enjoying teaching and getting to know the students. I find that teenagers are teenagers. Besides a few minor cultural differences, the high schoolers here don’t seem too different from the high schoolers in America. Some want to learn, some don’t care. Some are bullies, some are victims. Most just try to enjoy the day while doing what they know they have to do. As in America, I mostly teach the youngest and oldest (9th grade, 12th grade, 13th grade), and I enjoy the differences. The 9th graders are squirrely and goofy and sincere and forgiving. The older students are a little more mature and skeptical and subtle and adult-like. All of them are pretty respectful and willing to go along with the program.

Speaking of the program, several people have wanted to hear more details about the teaching, etc…so here goes. There are some differences, but also several similarities to teaching in America. As I said, students are very similar. But the whole schedule is quite different. At my school, students can choose a bilingual track and, if they do, end up taking many 9th grade hours studying English. My role is “conversational English”, which means mainly listening, reading, and speaking. Part of my job is to prepare students for a final exam that they must pass in order to advance and graduate.

I teach 22 hours per week (as opposed to last year’s 30). My schedule varies quite a bit. For example, Mondays I have only two classes starting at 10 and ending at 11:40 (nice), while Tuesday I have 7 straight classes starting at 8 (not so nice). There is no lunch break, but there are 10 or 15 minutes between the 45 minute classes. Teachers don’t have their own classrooms but change each period.

A big difference is the attitude. American schools are very student-focused (maybe to a fault), but Hungarian schools place a high value on respecting the teacher. The teacher arrives after the bell rings while the students are waiting by the door. After unlocking the door (sometimes with a sweet skeleton key), the students enter and remain standing until the teacher allows them to sit. Often class begins 3-7 minutes after the bell rings, thus shortening the classes even further.

Overall, I really enjoy the school and life here. I’m excited about further opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ but also to verbally share how He has changed my life. I appreciate your continued prayers. I also welcome any communication. Actually, I have way more of a social life here than in La Conner (probably not hard to believe), but still miss people from home. In addition, if God puts it on your heart, there is an opportunity to give financially. Let me know if that’s something you want to do…or just go to the teachoverseas.org website. I’d just prefer you didn’t give any stock at this point.

Oh, [I had the opportunity to play] paintball with some 13th grade students. We played at an old Russian army base in the woods and in old decrepit buildings. It was an American lawsuit waiting to happen, but what does Hungary care? It felt like WWII and was possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever done. We started off using the friendly fire signs “flash” and “thunder” like they did in Normandy (students’ idea), but then switched to “hey” and “you” for accent purposes. Those same students asked me if I wanted to do a “Band of Brothers” marathon day…and also if I like chocolate fondue. Umm, yes and yes.

The 3 pictures are in my communist “flat” and are my living room, kitchen, and bedroom, respectively. Not too bad.