A couple of weeks ago, I (Radka) received an invitation to speak at a conference for Lutheran Teachers of English in Budapest, Hungary. David had a chance to attend the conference as a guest speaker a year ago. The current consultant for the Hungarian Lutheran Church who is responsible for English language teaching in Lutheran schools, Mrs. Anikó Császár, asked me to share about incorporating religion into the work of an English teacher.
Many teachers, if not most, received their degrees in English from state universities. They may be excellent English teachers. But many of them, if not all, are Christian especially those teaching in local Lutheran schools. Where do they learn to be Lutheran teachers? This point has become of increasing importance for the Church in this part of the world. Many churches have started training their own teachers, but these programs are in their infancy. In fact, the reason why in the year 2000 I chose to study at Concordia in Seward, NE, because I thought it was simply amazing (and unbelievable at the same time) that I could study to be a church worker, which was not an option at home. Much has changed since then, and there are now two universities in Slovakia that offer a Lutheran teacher diploma.
The focus of my presentation will be on being a Lutheran teacher and what that means. David and I both hold teaching degrees from Concordia University Nebraska. I received two diplomas. One of them is a Lutheran Teacher Diploma. But we all know that it’s not only about degrees and diplomas. It would be very hard to know the theory but never see it in practice. That’s why I consider it a great privilege that my studies first in Green Bay, WI, and later on, in Seward, NE, allowed me to be a part of Lutheran education, to actually live it and experience it. That I could meet those who not only taught their subjects but shared their faith through teaching. I’ve not only heard about what it means to be a Lutheran teacher but I was also taught by many of them. I even teach with two of them at Missionary Orientation every year and talk about “salting” in our teaching. That makes a big difference.
This is what I will be talking about next week in Budapest, Hungary. There are 25 teachers who signed up to attend, and according to Mrs. Császár, this means they are interested in the subject!
Please keep the travels on Nov. 20-21 and all the interactions with the teachers in your prayers. There’s much praise to be given and much to be thankful for that the leadership of the Lutheran schools in Hungary is holding a conference to better prepare their teachers for the church and the world.
May we be a blessing. May HE be the focus of our vocations wherever we are serving.
For your information, it takes a little less than 4 hours by car to get to Budapest from where we live, and we currently have two GEO missionaries who are serving in two Lutheran high schools in Hungary, Sarah Berta-Somogyi (Cusson) in Gyor and Mellisa Karges in Sopron.