Tuesday, November 9, 2010

As I have published "Czecherboarding" over the past few months, I've taken a unique English-major delight in its intricacy and careful level of thought; have tried to pour into this blog some of the same precision that I put into writing a literary paper. And I've had people comment on its intricate style, telling me that they enjoyed reading the thoughtful analysis or sometimes reminding me not to be too academic.

Tonight, however, is different. Academic befuddlement is something I do not have time to create tonight. I am too tuckered out by carefully grading essays on why news comedy is not actually news, on the dangers of a 'black market' in Adderall, and (most interesting of all) why Americans should add insects to their diet. I am smack-dab in the middle of preparing to teach my Intro to Lit students about hegemony and direct domination tomorrow (thank you, Dr. Dayton) and the allusions to Locke and Demosthenes in Ender's Game. So I will make this post short and sweet, with more academic befuddlement to come later on.

I will be leaving for Prague on December 29, to spend six months teaching high school English at the international Christian school. Late last month, I learned two things: first, that I had enough support to purchase my plane tickets and second, that a staffing need at the Christian school made my presence in the spring a necessity. Put the two together, and I was on my way to the Czech Republic.

My thanks go out to those of you who have promised, or given, to my missions project financially. Without you, it would be impossible for me to serve at the Christian International School of Prague, even for this spring when another English teacher is so desperately needed. I appreciate your generosity and your consistent interest in this work - God's work - more than I can say. My thanks also go to those of you who have been praying for me, and I ask for your continued prayers as I finish out the semester here at Kansas State University and then depart for the other side of the world - a departure coming up in a mere seven weeks.

At this time, it is far too early to know whether I will be able to return in the fall for a full year of teaching. It is not too early, however, to start getting excited about teaching there this spring. I am looking forward to joining the staff of the Christian school, reaching out to the students and to the Czech people with the love and wisdom of Christ our Saviour. John Milton (see, I had to talk about something academic!) wrote that "The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents [Adam and Eve] by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love Him, to imitate Him, and to be like Him". As a teacher, I am responsible for the 'learning' of students, factual information and critical thinking about literary skills and rhetorical techniques. As a teacher, however, I am also responsible for the 'learning' of my students on a spiritual level, reaching new insight about who God is and growing in their love for Him, and it is this responsibility that, I hope, will be heart and soul at the center of my time in Prague.

Nearer to my departure, I will be sending out a more informative blog post with details about my planned arrival and describing possible financial needs. For now, however, I am glad for the opportunity to serve Christ for six months in the Czech Republic, and thank you for your prayers and support and interest with me over the past ten months.

I'll keep you posted.