As I mentioned on my Fishnet page, teaching is a form of ministry in itself. Connecting with students in the classroom can lead to amazing opportunities for deep discussion and relationship outside of the classroom. Students here, no matter the age, are curious about life in America. They want to spend time with us outside of the classroom and they truly want to know why we're here. My goal, as a Christian and native English speaker, is to not only be an effective teacher, but also to model Christ's love in the classroom.
Besides teaching, there are a handful of other ministries here in Ostrava that are available to tap into. There is a group called Tensing, which is a choir ministry for youth, a youth group at my church, and Young Life. I have chosen to be involved with Young Life. If you aren't familiar with this organization, it's very similar to Campus Life (Youth for Christ) back home. Young Life provides a bi-monthly club for youth, as well as a Film Night once a month (which consists of showing a film in English with Czech subtitles, having a short message to connect the film with the Bible, and then discussion in small groups), and various events and camps throughout the year. Some of the youth are believers and some are not, so it's a great way to connect with them and share the Gospel in a fun and non-threatening way.
When I arrived, I really wasn't sure what kind of outside ministry I wanted to get involved with, but I knew that God would provide the opportunity He wanted for me. And of course, I kind of fell into this ministry, though knowing God, it was no accident. After maybe two weeks here, there was a Fishnet/Young Life camp reunion at the Young Life club room. Every summer, Fishnet and Young Life partner up to have an English camp where kids can come to improve their English and learn about God. It's an amazing opportunity, one that I hope to be a part of this coming summer. I felt a bit strange attending this reunion since I hadn't been there for camp, but the Young Life leaders wanted to introduce the new Fishnet teachers to all the kids, so I went. Since I had such little experience working with youth, I was nervous at first, but the kids were all so welcoming and interested in getting to know us. It was a great time. Since then, I have attended every Film Night and club event possible (including a Film Weekend, which I will do an individual blog post about), and each time has only grown my love for these kids. Now, after about 3 months here in Ostrava, I can't imagine not being a part of Young Life.
I hope this gives you a glimpse of how God is allowing me to work in Ostrava. I will be posting individual stories on my main blog, so stay tuned for those. Also, please continue to pray for my ministry here in Ostrava, both in the classroom and as I help out with Young Life. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask :)