Bethany: “So I had rabbit today.”
Me: “Really? Awesome!”
There’s a first time for everything and today it was Bethany having dumplings with rabbit cream sauce. How did this happen? I’m so glad you asked.
It all started yesterday. Bethany got a few texts from some other missionaries near us asking if she’d be interested in helping out at a local preschool here in town. The Czech and English preschool needed someone today and tomorrow to speak English to the little ones for the day. Normally they have a girl from Australia teach English, but she was sick. We talked it over yesterday and Bethany decided she was interested and since she could take our kids with her that made the decision a little easier. So early this morning, with the help of another missionary friend, Bethany and the kids left the house to be at the school by 8am.
Titus hasn’t started preschool here yet, but Bethany would say today was a really great little introduction to what it would be like. Schools in our town have been really full this year and normally they register kids in January but since we weren’t here until June we haven’t been able to get him in yet.
When you walk in the building there’s a place for all the kids’ shoes. Bethany shared the building is actually very large (like the size of a high school), but the preschool uses one classroom about the size of an apartment. She also said it’s a little eerie because the rest of the building is actually empty and not being used at all. It was the Czech teacher’s first day on the job as well and her only study of English was back in 6th grade and she’s a college student now. Bethany said they could communicate just fine so Bethany was instructed to teach the parts of the human body (in English). There were only four students today plus Titus and Avery (so a total of six). She would say “chin” and point and the kids were supposed to repeat it back. They did okay for the most part, but Sonja (the Czech teacher) said they need to make sure they can repeat it back tomorrow.
Outside of a few little lessons like that there was snack time, lunch, nap time and free play. For lunch they had to walk as a class to the cafeteria which was back behind the building. Bethany didn’t know she would have to pay for the kids lunch but thankfully she had just enough cash on her. (Her meal was paid for because she was teaching). Like all Czech meals, it started with soup and today it was some type of egg soup with veggies. Avery seems to really enjoy the soup here and has gotten pretty good at slurping it with a spoon. It’s still messy, but we’re glad they’re getting a little practice in. The main course was bread dumplings and a creamy meat sauce which turned out to be rabbit. Bethany said to me tonight, “I definitely felt sick after they told me I had eaten rabbit.” There’s a first she’ll never forget. However she admits that the meal wasn’t too bad and that for our kids it will probably be a normal meal in school.
During snack times they enjoyed rolls with cream cheese spread and in the afternoon cookies and apples. They always serve the snack with unsweetened hot tea which our kids didn’t enjoy. Once Sonja realized our kids weren’t enjoying the tea she offered some syrup fruit sweetener which Bethany really liked (she ended up drinking their tea).
One of the great blessings for Bethany today was that she was able to practice her Czech with the teacher and the preschoolers because essentially that’s the level of language we are at! It was really helpful to hear the little ones talk in Czech and have the teacher speak in simple sentences over and over.
During nap time Bethany got to spend time with Sonja getting to know her. Bethany shared that as she was talking with Sonja it really struck her that if she doesn’t talk about Christ with this young girl, who will? She’s a full time student with two jobs and has a boyfriend in our town even though she lives about twenty minutes from here. Bethany said she’s a very sweet girl but she still desperately needs to hear the gospel. Bethany really wants to invite her over to our house for a meal. Please pray for this!
As well, a mom named Eva was picking up her daughter and Bethany got to talking with her because she also spoke English. Apparently she worked in Krakow, Poland at an English-speaking business but she has a British accent because she has spent time studying English in England and New Zealand. Bethany told her we had just moved here and was complimenting Eva on her English. Surprisingly, Eva offered to go to coffee with Bethany and told her to get her phone number from the school! This feels like an open door for a relationship. Side note: We have been so impressed how hospitable the Czechs have been. Please pray for Bethany to be able to get Eva’s phone number and hopefully go grab coffee soon.
My wife is courageous. She’s brave. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her leaving and going to an unknown school in an unknown place with our kids. But then I’m reminded why we moved here. We didn’t move our family across the globe to just enjoy Christ and keep Him to ourselves. We came here with the intention of diving in to a new culture and language with the goal of one day sharing the love of Jesus. By God’s grace, we may get that opportunity sooner than later and in may be even in English! Please pray with us that we would continue to move forward in bold faith and trust Christ with the results.