From the Prayer Room to Albania: Saying Yes to God

What did your transition to GDQ look like? 

The preparation process for me began in the prayer room and with the Biblical principle: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Some other church members I knew were exploring the idea of transitioning to the Balkans in the fall of 2020, and I felt led to sow into their trips through prayer times and financially. About six months later, the Lord opened up the door for me to go through my church’s nine-month discipleship school program for the 2021-2022 school year, which is a part of my church’s sending process for field workers. Over the course of that year, He also led me to change jobs, change ministry positions – I began serving as a youth leader! – and move into a women’s discipleship house. It was just the beginning of the transitions to come.   

In April of 2022, the Global team at my church joined me in a month of prayer dedicated to seeking the Lord’s specific direction for my life. By this point, I had an inkling I’d be leaving the States by the autumn of 2022, but had no idea exactly where to or what I could offer as far as transferable practical skills. April 29th, in answer to many prayers, I got an email from my contact at the sending organization I had been in communication with about going, with the subject line: “Unique and urgent opportunity.” There was a school in Albania looking for teachers for the next school year; the job would begin in August.  

Over the next month, I had email exchanges and phone conversations and video calls with the admin from GDQ and the family that had contacted the sending organization about GDQ’s need for teachers in the coming school year. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing, with a minor in History, and the school had openings in High School English and Social Studies.  Stepping into teaching high school felt exciting, intimidating, and like the open door, I had been waiting for for the last eighteen months. So in June of 2022, nine weeks before school started, I  said yes when offered a teaching position.  

Over the course of that summer, I had very little margin time. Between youth camp, AP training,  a two-week trip to the Balkans with my church, a wedding of some dear friends, and a youth girls and women’s event, everything went very quickly and all too slowly all at once. One of the  things that anchored me in the transition was a phrase the Lord gave me about what was  coming, “You’ll be running into an embrace.” He was telling me the truth.  

From day one in Albania, I was welcomed into a community and walked through the variety of changes and adjustments that come with integrating into a new culture and life. Whether  roommates giving me tips on the best vegetable stands to visit or fellow teachers showing me the ropes of Google Classroom or teammates welcoming me into their homes for a meal, Tirana quickly became home, a place of belonging.   

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