Our School Without Walls (SWW) students are trained and equipped to use creative ways of living out the gospel in their workplaces, even if they are not allowed to share their faith openly. Many SWW students and graduates–like Alina, a young school teacher in Russia–use their vocations as a form of ministry to their colleagues, employers, students, and those around them–they truly see the workplace as a mission field.
Alina shared how God is using her as a minister of the gospel in the school where she teaches:
“I have been a 1st-4th grade teacher for two years. I really like my job, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. The director of my school knows I am a Christian, and after I was hired, he told me that he and his family are also believers. There are 28 children in my class, and they are all very different. Whenever I experience challenges with my students, I remind myself that God is in control and He is using these challenges to help me grow.
“Recently, I have seen God’s hand in my work with one of my students, Max. Last year, he often didn’t do his homework, and I learned that his parents are not very involved in helping him. He wouldn’t listen to me, and he refused to participate in classroom activities. At the beginning of the new school year, I prayed for God to be at work in Max’s heart and at work in my heart to improve my attitude about Max . . . and I’ve already noticed a big a change in Max’s attitude and behavior in the classroom. At the beginning of this past school year, Max was more mature, and he was acting out much less in my classroom. I continue to do the best I can with teaching Max, and God sustains me every day!
“I am always so encouraged when the children run to greet me at the start of the day, and I am thankful that I have good relationships with them. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to openly share my faith, but I try to teach my students about right and wrong in various situations, and I thank God for this opportunity! I also have good relationships with my fellow teachers, and I remember many of them from my own time attending the school as a child. I am particularly thankful for Svetlana, another teacher, who mentors me.
“I am not ashamed to share my faith, and I often tell my colleagues about the different SWW events that I’ve participated in. They are surprised that I travel so much to serve God, and some of my supervisors don’t like that I request time off for these events, but they still let me go. Praise God for my wonderful job!”
Along with her job as a teacher, Alina is also part of a SWW team that is working to plant a church in the low-income section of her town.
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