Who are they?
Mark and Arleen have been selected for short-term service with CMS (up to 2 years), as English language teachers in church outreach in Moldova. This is a new field of service for CMS and the plan is for them to support an English language centre set up some years ago as a ministry of a Baptist church in Cahul.
The main languages are Romanian or Russian and, although not needed for doing the actual English teaching, Mark has started to learn Romanian, and Arleen hopes to!
Mark and Arleen are planning to travel to Moldova in time to prepare for the autumn semester, which begins on Thursday 12th September 2019. There are seven full teaching months in the school year, three in the autumn semester and four in the spring semester and they may also be involved in other activities, such as summer holiday clubs and camps.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and poverty means that many working age adults leave the country for offers of a better life. However, it has also made them vulnerable to being trafficked. Having English is a way of helping people find better employment. The language centre has also built relationships with the local community who are mainly orthodox and historically have been wary of evangelical Christians. There are about 400 people, adults and children, now registered with the centre.
In preparation for their trip they have been doing some reading, as well as their training. A few books that have helped give them some insight, including its recent history, are: ‘Missionary, Me?’ by Matthew Skirton and ‘With God nothing is Impossible’ and ‘Celestial Fire’, both by Maureen Wise.