Recently, Maggie and I shared an important update with friends and family–that we will be moving to the Czech Republic in approximately a year and a half. In this post, we want to provide some more context for our decision and call to “GO”, as well as invite you into our story, to be a part of our journey.
Our Story, Part 1 (Addison’s Perspective)
For me, this journey began a long time ago–in fact, when my family moved back to Kansas from the Czech Republic when I was twelve or thirteen, I promised myself that I would someday return to the country. Well, I actually promised myself that I would return as soon as I was an adult–but, God clearly had a different timeline. It is amazing, though, to see the ways that he has paved the way for this new journey to begin over the past few years:
In the summer of 2020, Maggie went through All Nations KC’s CPx training and began to work part-time for All Nations KC. Soon after that, in prayer, I began to feel that I, too, was supposed to go through this training. Thus, I went through the training in the summer of 2021. It was during this 3-week experience that God spoke to me and confirmed several times that we needed to change our focus and begin to work towards moving to CZ. The sessions at CPx–particularly, spending so much dedicated time in Scripture and in prayer and considering and immersing myself in the actual words of Jesus–convicted me that I must live into His narrative fully. And, if Jesus is my King, I must follow His commandments, in love. Jesus calls all followers to spread the Gospel–the good news–and to bring others into His love. The call to make disciples is central to the story and calling of the Church, as we help to bring Christ’s kingdom here and serve as a part of His redemption narrative; thus, as a follower of Jesus, I cannot ignore that call.
I also know that God can call us to make disciples in a wide variety of ways and contexts. Jesus is my King, but he is also my friend and my Creator–as such, He knows me intimately. He knows my callings, and my dreams, and my interests, and my joys. He knows Maggie’s, too. And, I believe that though God does not always put us where we want to be (and certainly not where is easy), our ultimate identity and innermost desires, dreams, and callings are found in Him and his call.
This is my fifth year working at MidAmerica Nazarene University and the Nazarene Bible College as librarian and faculty member. I love this work, and I love working as a part of a community of believers with the common purpose of providing Christ-centered, transformative education. I love teaching English; I love serving as a librarian; and I love working in a faith-based, relational academic context. When I first told my colleagues of our incoming move to the Czech Republic, I knew that this might be the end of this work; yet, I affirmed my desire to continue at MNU should there be an opportunity to do so. I trusted God to “make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”, even as he promised Israel in Isaiah, chapter 43. He has provided such a way. When we make the move to the Czech Republic, we now know that I will be able to continue in my full-time role with MNU and NBC, continuing to teach online (Associate Professor of English) and provide remote library services (Research Librarian) for both institutions. This also means that we will be fully funded for our ministry in CZ from the outset. Our God is truly a God who provides.
Our Story, Part 2 (Maggie’s Perspective)
For me, this journey began in 2017. I was able to go for a month to teach in the theatre section of an arts camp. During that trip, I fell in love with the Czech people. After I came home, I felt God calling me to go back. At that time the avenue available for return was a six-month internship working in seven central European countries including CZ. At home, however, I was given the opportunity to transfer into a full-time management role in a new city with my job. This would mean moving out of my parents’ house to a new place and all the many grown up things that come with that. After extensive prayer, I felt that God had given me the option to return to CZ within a few months and have no concrete plans after that, or to wait, gain experience, relationships, and resources, and return to the Czech Republic later full time. I decided that I would wait.
In the waiting, Addison and I got together, we got married, I got pregnant, and I started working for All Nations Kansas City in an administrative capacity. Due to my new position at ANKC, I had the opportunity to take CPx in 2020. During that time, God started speaking again and I felt that my return to CZ might be sooner than I had been recently thinking; and this time, I would have my family, my team, with me.
Summary: Our Mission
While CZ is where we are called to be, academic work (transformative education for Christ) is still what Addison is called to do. In addition to Addison’s work at MNU/NBC, we will be engaging in ministry together. The specifics of our practical day-to-day mission in the Czech Republic are yet to be determined; still, we have a passion for working with young people, and there are already opportunities for Addison to teach English part-time, potentially for a school he has already partnered with through week-long teaching experiences. There is also opportunity for us to potentially collaborate with the ministry of Out of Ashes (https://www.nadejezpopela.com/home) and to continue our call towards hospitality. Also, with Addison’s doctoral dissertation (centered around narrative-based identity development for teachers and learners) finished in approximately two years, he will take up his own storytelling again with intentionality—as he believes that stories are a vehicle God uses to fight back against the darkness. So, while details will be determined in time, our mission is to love the Czech people through providing hospitality, training young people, and telling stories. Thus, we will ultimately focus on building lasting relationships among the Czech people through showing the love of Jesus in each of these contexts.
Prayer & Partnership Needs
As we prepare to move to the Czech Republic (prospective launch planned for Spring, 2023), we would love to gather network of friends and family to be part of our stories / cover us in prayer. If you are still following Addison on Facebook and/or receiving this update, we consider you a part of this network. We would also like to keep you updated on ministry needs we have, so that you can be a part of our journey. Thank you for supporting us!
If you would like to support us financially, here are some of the initial costs we have, beyond our own day-to-day expenses. Any money raised will go to these projects/funds:
- Travel/Moving costs (costs of moving overseas, visa costs, and costs of visiting friends/family in our year of preparation)
- Hospitality costs (ministry costs associated with providing hospitality or other non-budgeted ministry expenses)
- Camp costs (we hope to lead an MNU team of students to teach at a camp both in summer 2022 and summer 2023–teaching and ministering to Czech students. This funding would go to help students and supporting faculty make the trip, and to fund logistics of making the camps happen)
If you are interested in contributing to our ministry fund for any of these purposes, it will be tax deductible and you can do so through this link: https://allnations.kindful.com/?campaign=1075382
As an addendum, I (Addison) wanted to share a blog post I recently wrote for the All Nations International Following Him blog. This blog is a book review of Borden of Yale–the posthumous biography of a missionary, which I read this past summer through the ANI book club. However, this post also relates to our story, especially as we seek to eliminate distractions, build habits of listening to and abiding in Christ, and obey Jesus in our call to “GO” to the Czech Republic.
Finally, please let us know, through any of the means below, if you have questions about our call or would like to talk more about this new adventure.
- Facebook page / Messenger
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you; thank you for being a part of our stories!