About a decade ago, Art and Lisa combined their heart for teaching with their passion for missions by serving as teachers to the children on our SEND Russia field. Over this time, our team has opened several new ministries among unreached people groups, which (while very exciting) means Art and Lisa’s students live three time zones away from each other. At the moment, Art and Lisa are flip-flopping from city to city every three months or so, but this approach won’t work for the long term.

In short, SEND Russia is desperate for another teacher. So desperate, in fact, that one of our families will need to seriously consider leaving the field if another teacher doesn’t arrive.

Drawing on their years of experience, Art and Lisa share what it takes to be an MK teacher. Turns out, it’s mostly about love.

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart

The ultimate purpose of this teaching job is to reach the unreached, to bring God more glory. “The places we work are among the least-reached peoples in Russia,” Art and Lisa said. “Knowing that we help keep families serving and reaching and sharing is very rewarding, but these can be challenging cultures to live in. If you don’t love the Lord with all your heart, you will never survive the ministry here.”

2. Love the kids with all the energy God gives you

Art and Lisa strive to live out 1 Thessalonians 2:8, “We were delighted to share with you not only the gospel but our lives as well.” With such a low teacher/student ratio, they are able to go far beyond simply imparting math facts or handwriting skills.

“It is our joy and privilege to invest in these children, to share in their emotional support as well as supply educational service,” they said. “We endeavor to help these children love the Jesus their parents choose to follow, so that in no way are they left behind in the process. We form strong and lasting bonds with these children; they are more than just students to us.

3. Love teaching (experience optional)

“Our position is not solely the JOB of teaching, but one of ministry, incarnating the self-sacrificing love of Christ.”

Before joining SEND, Art taught science at a Christian school in Indiana for 17 year. Lisa homeschooled their four children. Both of these approaches provided excellent training for the work they now do. ​​In their opinion, “Teaching experience is very helpful, but optional. If you love the Lord and love the kids, your heart will teach you and drive you to make sure they get all they need.”

4. Get ready to meet people you’ll love

In addition to teaching our team’s children and thereby enabling their parents’ ministries to flourish, Art and Lisa have learned another language, participated in community outreach, helped with church construction, sung in a Russian choir, spent the night in a yurt — and developed precious friendships along the way. “To think that we would have close friends in Russia would never have crossed our minds when we were younger, but now we cannot think of life without these dear friends!”

Do you know someone who could play a significant role in sharing the love of Christ in Russia by teaching missionary children? Please share this article with them!

Perhaps you ARE someone who loves the Lord, loves children, loves teaching (even if you don’t have formal experience) and is ready to dive into a new culture and meet new friends! Click here to contact a mission coach who can help you get started on the journey! It will just take a minute, but it could change your life and the lives of many others for eternity!