Michael Gott International
By Becky Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org
MARSHALL – During the school year, Stephanie Allison can be found wrangling music, playing music, directing, helping with costume changes, planning programs, chaperoning, driving buses and even calming nerves of students in the Marshall High School choir program.
For the past 12 summers, the 16-year teaching veteran trades in that teaching hat for a different one – she teaches about Jesus and conversational English to citizens in Ukraine.
Stephanie, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, made her first trip to the Ukraine 12 years ago while she was teaching in Killeen. It was after she heard Michael Gott, renowned minister and missionary, spoke. He spoke of international ministries. Stephanie went to lunch with Gott and the singles’ minister from the church, and they talked about the trip to Ukraine. They felt like Stephanie would be a perfect fit for the team Gott had put together.
“I was like sure, I am single. I have my passport and I had been looking for a mission trip to be a part of,”she said, and added, “I was like, ‘Why not?’”
The group teaches conversational English to Ukraine citizens of different ages. “Just like Jesus uses physical needs to teach and reach people spiritually, we are using the need of knowing English to help them spiritually,” Stephanie said. “All of the classes are about conversational English, and they are not Bible studies, but we introduce them to Jesus.”
Once Stephanie arrived on her first trip, she knew she was supposed to be there, and felt the calling through the daily devotionals. She fell in love with the country and the people.
Though she continues to work with her local church in Marshall, helping to meet the needs of the community here, Stephanie believes in the calling of going beyond Marshall to teach and reach those who don’t have as easy an access to church.
She has normally participated for a two week session and one component of the ministry group. This year, Stephanie will be participating in three ministry groups for six weeks, and will be working in an area where she has been before.
The ministry teams work from sun up to sun down every day, and only take one day every two weeks off for recreation time. “We have four two hour classes a day. We start our devotionals at 7:30 a.m., and then we don’t go to bed until 11:30 p.m.,” she said.
“We wear ourselves out for the kingdom,” Stephanie laughed.
“We are very blessed as Americans,” Stephanie said. “While there, I have seen what hard work and perseverance truly looks like. They love their country and culture and are proud of their history. Even the students can tell you things about their cities and the history.”
When asked what, if anything, could her community, her friends and others do to help her in this summer’s journey, and Stephanie said, “Pray. We do have a specific prayer guide, and you can email me and I will send you one.” The email address is email@example.com.
Humbly, Stephanie did mention there was a financial need. She is raising her own trip money – $2,400. “We live to the bare bones, and keep our costs as simple as possible – the trip there and back, living expenses … if anyone would like to donate, they can donate to me directly or they can donate to the ministry group.” (Visit the website at http://www.michaelgottinternational.com/#sthash.Z8yocDNP.dpbs) The trip total cost is $3,500. Stephanie saved and lived on a tight budget to pay what she has paid for it thus far.
The ministry group also has other opportunities for mission service during the summer and fall. More information about it can be found on the website, or you can contact, Stephanie Allison at her email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.