You can teach WEI
lessons face-face as many are doing every year. Here is a letter from Dick
Ady to a teacher who is planning to teach in Hungary. He wants to know what
it is like teaching in a foreign country on a STM activity.
Things are still in a state of flux. Gian and Anita Monzon, the missionaries
in Debrecen, are looking into housing. The two apartments that have been
available to teachers in the past are no longer available. They have been
rented. There is, however, a dormitory very close to the worship
center that rents rooms out for $15 a night. The rooms (apartments)
have kitchenettes. The hotel (located a block and a half from the
worship center) has rooms for $25 a night. Double occupancy is a
little more. Special arrangements can be made to eat breakfast there at
extra cost. There are several restaurants within two blocks of the
worship center; thus, food should be no problem. A big meal costs
about $10. Most people get by for about $5 a meal. Express trains run
between Budapest and Debrecen several times a day.
Jo, our sister-in-Christ in Arkansas who has been doing short-term mission
work in Hungary for many years (11 times), is planning to go to Debrecen about the
first of June, and she will help the Monzons with student recruitment and
screening. She has a contact at one of the universities who might help
spread the word among his fellow-students. By the time my team arrives July
6, each of us should have six students waiting for us, she says.
Ordinarily, we start each day with a devotional and a communication session
(8:15 to 8:45). However, Jo had polio when she was young, and it takes time
for her body to get going in the morning. She has asked if we could have our
devotionals at the end of the day (5:00 p.m.) rather than at 8:15 a.m. Since
she probably will stay through most of the summer, the same schedule should
apply to the second team.
Any male preachers and Bible school teachers should expect to be asked to
preach and/or teach on Sundays or in special classes during week-day
evenings. Teachers will be tired by the end of each day, but it will be a
good tired. Serving the Lord and building relationships with our
students will be satisfying to the soul.
Since we will arrive on Saturday and leave on Saturday, there will be only
one free Saturday for sightseeing and personal things such as shopping for
gifts and doing laundry. Each group may want to spend an extra night in
Budapest or Vienna on the way home unless financial concerns prohibit it.
For those who have not participated in a WEI short-term
mission effort, here is some basic information:
1. Each WEI short-term missionary is responsible for raising his or her own
travel funds. I would suggest that each teacher raise $3,200 for airline and
train tickets, food, and lodging, plus $200 of personal money for
sightseeing in Budapest or Vienna. Each teacher should also raise $50 to
cover the cost of Bibles and teaching materials. That comes to a total of
$3,250 each plus $200 personal money for sightseeing if desired.
2. Each member of the team will teach the same six students each day, Monday
through Friday, for two weeks. The first student arrives at 9:00 a.m., the
second at 10:00, and the third at 11:00. We will take two hours off for
lunch and rest. Our fourth student will arrive at 2:00, the fifth at 3:00,
and the sixth at 4:00.
3. We will expect our students to do most of the work. Students are asked to
read their lesson assignments several times at home, answer the questions on
the lesson at the back of the book, and to be prepared to tell us the Bible
story in their own words when they come to class. If they can't do that, we
ask them to read the lesson in the WEI Bible book, section by section. After
they finish reading each section, we ask them to explain in English what
they have read. If they keep reading without interruption, we don't know
whether they understand what they have read or not. If they misunderstand
what they have read, their teacher helps them.
4. At the beginning of each class period, I ask my student, "Did you
understand the English lesson? Do you have any questions about it? If not,
let's turn to the back of the book and answer the questions." (Each teacher
will have read the WEI lessons and answered the questions in his or her own
books, with the help of a grading key.) I ask the student to read the
question before giving me the answer. First-time teachers will need to have
their own answers in front of them so that it will be easy to check their
student's answers. If a student's answer is incorrect, we don't say, "That
is wrong," or "No, that's not right." Instead, we say, "Oh,
is that right?
Let's go back to the lesson and find the answer." That way, the students do
not lose face.
We usually spend about 5 minutes on the English lesson. Most of the students
have studied English in school, and many of them know the grammar as well as
we do, or better. Their primary interest in studying English with us is to
improve their pronunciation, comprehension, and verbal skills.
5. After spending about five minutes on English, I say, "Now, let's look at
the Bible lesson. Can you tell me the Bible story in your own words?" Most
of our European students will be able to do that. Some will not. When the
students finish reciting or reading the lesson, our job is not complete. I
ask virtually all my students to read the applications at the end of the
lesson. This reinforces the lessons they have learned from the story. Then,
we ask the students to turn to the back of the book, read the questions on
the lesson, and give us the answers. Finally, we assign the next lesson in
both English grammar and Bible books as home-work and ask the students to
come to class the next day prepared to tell us in their own words what they
6. Ideally, our students will learn one lesson in the English course and the
parallel lesson in the Bible course each day. On the first day, we usually
spend most of the hour getting acquainted, asking them to tell us about
themselves and their families, and telling them about ourselves and our
families. At the end of the first period, we assign Lesson One in the
English book and Lesson One in the Bible book. We let them know that
learning a language is hard work, but we promise that their work will pay
rich dividends in the end. Encourage them not to give up, and assure them
that we are here to help them learn. Ask them to prepre each lesson well,
because each lesson is a stepping stone to the next. Most of our students
will be Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Reformed, but most of them will not be
well-acquainted with the Bible. The English and Bible courses will teach
themselves. All we have to do is to build strong friendship relationships
with our students and encourage them to prepare their lessons.
It is good to take some post cards of our home city or state with us to give
to our students. Most of the students love picture post cards. We should
not, however, give our students expensive gifts, because they will feel
obligated to return the favor, even if they can't afford it. It is good,
also, to take a map of the U.S. so that you can show them on the map where
7. By the end of the fourth week of study, we usually have a graduation
ceremony and hand out WEI diplomas. Some of the students will be thinking
seriously about being baptized into Christ. Most will hesitate to change
their religion. I encourage all our WEI teachers NOT to put pressure on
their students to be baptized. It is better to wait until the students say,
"Here is water. What hinders me from being baptized."
The second team of teachers will have the joy of being there for the
graduation ceremony. The first team will sow the seed and till the soil in
preparation for the harvest. In modern Europe, we should not expect the
harvest to be as plentiful as in Africa, India, or the Philippines. In some
cases, the harvest is not reaped for years. Our job is not to reap the
harvest, even though that is extremely satisfying. Our primary job is to sow
the seed and let God give the increase at the right time.
8. Each prospective short-term missionary must be a faithful, active member
of the Church of Christ and be recommended by the elders of his or her local
congregation. Each must fill out an application form and agree to certain
conditions in order to ensure a successful mission effort. Application forms
will be provided for each applicant. All members of each team should be
motivated by a desire to serve the Lord and to lead people to Christ, not by
a desire to travel in Europe even though that is a fringe benefit. A summer
WEI campaign belongs to God and is designed for his glory.
I realize that I am preaching to the choir, but these are some factors that
need to be considered by all prospective teachers before they sign up.
May God bless us as we prepare for a wonderful experience next summer.
With brotherly love,