Heading Back to Lithuania

Posted by admin in June 5th, 2011
Published in Blessings, Lithuania, prayer

Sorry guys. I think I promised not to use my blog for newsletters and self-promotion! Ugh. But again, I’m up against a timeline and so wanted to let everyone know how God has answered prayers and opened doors. Please forgive the format.

Abraham heard from God at Ur. God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. Paul had that Damascus Road experience. And Teri McCarthy? Well I heard God as I was coming out of the ladies’ room at Vilnius Pedagogical University. (Of course you did!) It was May 12, 2009. Daryl and I had just met with university officials working to place IICS professors in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania.

After our meeting, I went to the ladies’ room. When I came out, the bell rang dismissing classes. Suddenly I was caught in the helter-skelter of students running to and for; from one class to the next. As I stood there everything went kind of slow motion. I started hearing students’ voices clearly and distinctly. My heart started racing. I stood there for what seemed like minutes, but was actually just seconds. But something happened to me in those brief moments in that crowed hallway and I was deeply moved; forever changed.

I stumbled through the crowded hallway and fumbled around until I found Daryl waiting for me at the top of the stairs. I was crying (big surprise). He took my hands and asked if I was okay.

“These are my students, Daryl. This is where I belong. I have to teach here.”

When I spoke those words to Daryl it seemed an incredible impossibility. We had no executive vice president at IICS at that time to manage the office and general operations. We didn’t know how we could uproot our lives in Kansas City and move overseas. And yet the pull on my heart was so strong, it was almost physical.

That was two years ago. And on May 14, 2011, I received a contract from Vilnius Pedagogical University’s Department of Philology to start teaching September 1st— this fall!

I wish I could adequately communicate my excitement! God is faithful; He answers prayers; He still directs us and guides us; He still upholds us with His victorious right hand (Isa. 41:10)!

As many of you know, Daryl and I moved to Klaipeda, Lithuania, last August to teach at LCC International University. It was Daryl’s first time to live overseas and he did very well. We loved it there. Klaipeda is a great place to live. Our students were talented and they represented 24 nations! But I started having health issues. Eventually, we realized we had to come back to the States for surgery. On our flight out of Lithuania, my Dad passed away. We got news of his death while waiting for our connection in Copenhagen.

Immediately upon arrival in the States, we had to prepare for my Dad’s funeral. After the funeral, I stayed with my Mom three weeks. These events postponed my surgery, but during that time an OB/GYN—a good friend and an IICS board member—recommended a new type of surgery that was less invasive and required less recovery time, but required me finding a new surgeon. Again, another delay. Finally, on February 22, I had surgery and it went very well. I was up and running within days. I praise God for good counsel from a great friend and for an excellent surgeon.

While home, Daryl and I started talking about our long-term plans in Lithuania. As much as we love Klaipeda and LCC, infrequent flights from there added several hours each way to Daryl’s travel back and forth to the U.S. There are more flights in and out of Vilnius. Add to that an IICS professor, Dr. Steve Garrett and his family, lives in Vilnius. We liked the idea of an IICS team in the capital city. Steve is starting a center for Christian Studies that will serve all the universities in the area. That is a project we’d both like to be a part of. After much prayer and deliberation, we decided to try and find work in Vilnius. Of course, my experience at VPU in May of 2009 gave me a strong sense of calling there.

I asked Steve Garrett to walk my CV over to the English department at VPU and ask if they’d be interested in hiring me for the fall. After the meeting, Steve emailed me that it didn’t look too promising. The powers that be needed to have a meeting and then they’d decide if they could use me. Their last words to Steve, “We’ll be in touch.” Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.

Honestly, I struggled with the news but said to the Lord, “Not my will Lord, but Your will be done.” Within 24 hours I heard directly from the dean of the philology department asking me if I’d be interested in teaching starting in September. By May 14—two years almost to the day of my hallway experience—I received my contract in the mail to teach at VPU! Somebody say “AMEN!” God opened doors.

So yes! We are heading back to Lithuania this August. Vilnius Pedagogical University is a major state-run, teacher-training institution. There are 12,500 students enrolled—the majority from Lithuania.

I’ll be teaching two master’s level classes and one undergrad class of seniors. Philology comes from Greek, meaning the love of language. My department is part historical linguistics and part literary text analysis. My students will be future English teachers, translators/interpreters, as well as future linguistics professors. In addition, the university has invited Daryl to be a guest lecturer and present a lecture to the English department each month. I think that’s good for him and good for the university.

We thank you all for your prayers and amazing support! Thank you for all the lovely cards and emails while we’ve been back! Each gift, each prayer and each kind word really ministered to our hearts. Thank you. God has been good to direct our paths, open doors we only could have dreamed of, and to provide us time back in the States with our Moms, kids, grandkids and extended family. We are grateful. God always makes a way!

The university pays me a stipend of $600 a month, but none for poor Daryl. They also don’t provide housing or airfare. But we trust God and are willing to do whatever it takes to serve Him in Lithuania. We ask that you pray for us to be powerfully anointed to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ with our students at VPU. Thank you so very much for standing with us through your prayers and support. We are very grateful.

Vilnius Pedagogical University

3 users Responded In This Post

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475. Cuzzin' Linda said,
June 6th, 2011 at 8:18 am

Your blogs are always a blessing to me – seeing how God uses a faithful servant to do His will. It is exciting to see God move in mysterious ways. Love you!

476. Britt Pumphrey said,
June 6th, 2011 at 8:33 am

VERY exciting! I love to hear how God is working around and through you. I look forward to updates in the coming months. Your friends at LPC in KC are praying for you two.

Keep on!

477. Lisa said,
June 6th, 2011 at 8:45 am

SO thrilled to hear again how God works with your open heart and hands!

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