Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm staying two more years!

The past few months, I have been seeking wisdom about the Lord's will for my life. I will finish my two year term at the International Christian School of Vienna (was Vienna Christian School) in June.

While special needs programs are very common in the states, they do not exist in Europe the way we know them. There are no resource rooms or paraeducators. The schools here rely heavily on a shame based philosophy. They think that if they embarrass a child in front of his peers it will motivate him to try harder.

This year, we had a missionary family move here from the Netherlands so they could get special needs services for their son. Starting this week, we have a boy coming that is a non-reader and has some behavior problems. He hasn’t been getting the help he needs in the Austrian schools and is acting out. We are currently in the process of accepting another boy of a missionary family with developmental delays. He hasn’t made much academic growth in his current school. So, as you can see the need for a program here is growing!

As I work one-on-one with these students I have the unique opportunity to share Christ with them as they struggle in the same ways that I struggled! Many of my kids from Africa are unsaved.

My gifts and talents are being used here. The program is just getting started. As I've wrestled with this decision the past couple months, I have come to a peace about staying for two more years to serve the Lord in this ministry. I look forward to working with my students as we welcome more to the school. I look forward to developing the program further, educating the teachers here how to work with kids with special needs, and offering families the unique services they need.