An Interview with Theresa

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

It’s hard to say just a little bit about my family. There are seven of us and all five kids were homeschooled by my lovely, patient, and driven doll of a mom and guided by our wise, kind dad. My parents epitomize the gift of hospitality and made sure that growing up we understood how to give. My siblings are such individuals and I have a unique friendship with each; I am so lucky to call them brothers and sisters. I myself am studying Elementary Education with a focus on literature at North Park University in Chicago. Learning and kids are two things which I love, and I am glad to have found a natural marriage of these in teaching.

When did you first get interested in missions? In Africa?

I have had an interest in missions for many years—I’d say the starting point was sometime in middle school. When I realized the possibility of my own life looking like that of missionaries we knew, or those we learned about in Sunday school, my mind held on to the prospect and hasn’t let go. In terms of Africa, I’m not sure where that came from exactly. It’s simply always been where I’ve felt called to. Dreams of being a teacher in Africa when I was little, experiencing a taste of Sudanese culture when my family housed several young men from Sudan, a great many family friends who are missionaries in Africa, a dog named Kenya—many small things rolled together fueled the surety of wanting to teach in what is, granted, a large continent, but one which I am sure holds a place for me at some point and for some amount of time.

What, if anything, are you particularly excited about?

I am excited about everything—firstly a chance to integrate all my teaching terminology into practice. Hanging out with kids and their beautiful hearts and brilliant thoughts after a long school year of sometimes monotonously like-minded peers will be lovely. Being in a place I can practice French, potentially have locally grown coffee (fingers crossed), see a lion, eat interesting food and meet interesting people, get slapped in the mind with a dose of difference, of what I’m not used to to heighten my cultural competence and decrease my general ignorance…by golly, I mean it’s Africa—what’s not to get excited about!

How can we as a church support and pray for you?

With few people to communicate smoothly (in English) with and no one I know very well, I anticipate I might feel a bit lonely. Traveling alone scares me because the minutiae of directions and travel procedures baffle me. Prayers for peace and safety would be great. Pray that I will be useful and not a hindrance in any capacity. That I would keep my eyes open for opportunities to show God’s love, and trust in His provision and plan. Also, pray God would provide the last bit of finances needed. The last thing you can do is give my family plenty of hugs on my behalf!

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