Susan in center with blue shawl next to another American volunteer from Indianapolis. The others are all students from Russia, Poland, Ukraine.
Susan surrounded by the TCM students from Kazakstan, Romania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
Evening camp fire fellowship
Photo of TCM students from Hungary and Czech Republic). Sunny, on the right, is full time TCM staff at Haus Edelweiss
One of my designated tasks was to prepare ALL THE COFFEE AND TEA for all three meals on daily basis for over 120 people! I ended up being called the Coffee Mama so I think I could put "coffee barista" on my resume from here on out.
Susan hostessing a table during a meal.
Hungarian students waiting for the bell to ring signaling entrance into the dining room for a meal
In Matthew 28:19 Jesus commands us to "make disciples of all nations".
This is exactly what I got to witness first hand while serving at TCM (Training Christians for Ministry) International Institute "TCM" in Heiligenkreuz, Austria upon arriving there on July 13th. (Mission assignment #1 of 3)
TCM exists to prepare men and women for Christian leadership in their respective countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. During Session V......there were over 100 participants from 13 different countries......diligently involved in intensive accredited graduate-level studies to complete course program requirements in order to receive Master of Arts or Master of Divinity degrees in practical ministry.
Where was my part in all of this? As a short term volunteer worker, considered a vital part of the ministry of TCM .........I had the opportunity to provide servant hearted contributions by working a daily 10 hour vigorous schedule on either a guest services, meal preparation, or maintenance/grounds team......along with hostessing responsibilities of a table at each lunch and dinner meal. The object of having volunteers (aside from incredible operation cost savings for TCM) is to enable the student participants to be fully focused on their ministry study while the volunteers assume full responsibilities of their daily needs during their time at TCM International Institute. I was on the Guest Services Team which required the daily cleaning of classrooms and student housing units. It was a humbling experience to get on my hands and knees cleaning and scrubbing the floors, steps, bathroom showers, sinks, toilets, waste baskets etc. Then after a quick personal clean up.........completely shifting gears to be in the dining room on time in order to assist in the preparation, serving and clean up before and after each meal. I am not exaggerating in admitting it was a very taxing work schedule involving exhausting physical labor day in and day out.
BUT....it was all worth it....knowing that the TCM goal of serving 2000 students and graduates actively discipling 4,000 more and ultimately serving at least 100,000 others in reaching their churches, countries and cultures for Christ. It was amazing to witness how the participants of 13 different countries during TCM Session V made geographical barriers go away when the love of Jesus is central to everyone’s' priority objective. It was also evident.....that TCM served as a house of prayer.....in fact a concert of prayer...... as many of the students prayed in their native tongues with and for each other. (by the way, my
Russian language skills sure came in handy! as Russian was the most popular language utilized only 2nd to English. Praise the Lord I was considered extremely helpful in that regard too)
Thank you again for partnering with me in ministry with your mission trip contribution. My first assignment enabled us to be part of a work which is poised to help re-shape the entire future of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The people we served will be able to go back to their respective homes in countries like Russia, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc. to build God's Kingdom. This mission assignment was all about achieving the Great Commission and YOU were part of it! I am convinced the participants will continue to turn that part of the world upside down with the gospel and hope we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please pray for me as I prepare for the second assignment to take place this week and next in the Czech Republic with In His Wakes Ministry......followed by the third assignment at Oasis Baptist Church Bible camp in Wisla, Poland through August 27th.