In 2007, I was given the opportunity to teach English to students in the Czech Republic during the summer of 2008. I would help run an English Camp for one week, stay in one of the student's home, and finish up with a day or so sightseeing in Prague. I accepted the opening and began to prepare for a trip I'd never forget.
After forty-eight hours of travel, my eleven companions and I were completely spent, but through the exhaustion we were able to maintain our excitement to be trained, to be challenged and then in a few days take on a class of peers to teach them English. Our goal was to help Czech Students become better at reading, writing, and speaking in English. It was to be a week long camp full of learning, games, friendship, and Jesus. Our goal was also to spread the gospel and show God's unrelenting love for them.
We spent the next three days with other teams from several different places around the world. We were being trained to teach English better, learning camp songs, and practicing other responsibilities we had previously been given. Training was gone in the blink of an eye and it was time for classes to begin bright and early Monday morning.
My teaching partners, Lindsey, Lauren, and I were blessed with the beginners class. This meant we could have students who ranged from barely knowing their ABC's, to students who could have a complete conversation about their school day with no anxiety. We would teach them through daily vocabulary words, skits, games, and by having them teach us words in Czech. The most remarkable thing to me was the amount of progress the students made in just one week. Many first time students were able to put together sentences without any assistance and the more advanced students were able to carry on a regular simple conversation with us. It proved to me that hard work and perseverance does pay off in the end.
After the camp we were given four days to spend at a homestay. Three of us went to a family's house. This time meant the most to me, not because I learned so much about them as people and their culture, but their hospitality and generousity was so genuine. Instead of having us guests sleep on the floor, they gave us their beds and they slept on the floor. Even then, breakfast would be ready for us the moment we woke up. They went more than out of their way to make us feel welcome and it has left a permanent impression on my heart. The Havirov, Czech Republic people I have encountered are truly great people.
I went to the Czech Republic to make a difference, but I came back with a change in me. I now have proof that God is evident and alive in people's hearts across the world which gives me hope that all is not lost for a better tomorrow. I am so thankful for this change and this trip.
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