Chelsea Dietsche (2011)
Chelsea teaches English at La Iglesia Cristiana Luterana, a Lutheran mission in Linares, Chile.
WHAT YOU DO • • • I teach English in Chile while working with a team to share the Gospel. We're pioneering a new way of using EFL (English as a foreign language) as a bridge to share the Gospel in Chile, which means my job is constantly adapting and changing. There are many facets to our work. First of all, there's the mission side. Everything we do is oriented to sharing the amazing Gospel message with more people. Therefore, part of my job is to grow in my own understanding of the Bible and to literally study and practice the clearest ways of sharing and explaining it's message.
There's also the personal/social side. When working in missions, one has to understand the audience in order to be able to "sow the seed" in the appropriate way at the appropriate time. My goal, with the missionary, is to develop genuine and lasting relationships with my English students. As these relationships grow, we look for opportunities to share Christ's love with them outside of class. As students ask more questions about the real message of the Bible, I help connect them with the missionary so that they dig deeper into the Bible to find the answers they're looking for.
Of course, there's the educational aspect. We want to offer an excellent English program that helps spread the name of our church and draws more students. With that in mind, I became internationally certified in teaching English the summer after I graduated from Bethany. Now, I work to stay updated on EFL methods. I also research curriculum for the courses I offer. Beyond this, I strive daily to design engaging lessons, and then teach them well! In any given lesson, my students listen to songs, read newspaper articles, debate or discuss, act, or write an essay. I teach four levels of afternoon/evening classes for adults.
Finally, there's the administrative/business side of the job. This includes budgeting, finances, promoting the classes, brainstorming the program's future, and sharing news from Chile with others who are passionate about foreign missions.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • Since I was a little girl, Christ's great love for me has motivated me to want to share that love with others. It pains me that there were people out there in the world who might never hear about Christ."... How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (Romans 10:14)
Mankind's biggest problems have always caught my attention: addictions, poverty, human trafficking, depression, unemployment, gang violence. etc. I loved reading stories about people who were crucial in helping entire societies reform or overcome such problems: people like Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr. With that in mind, I studied sociology while at Bethany because that field specifically deals with large-scale human problems.
However, I realized that even if I helped solve one of these problems, it would mean little in the scheme of eternity. What I mean is this: I could help a teenaged gang member turn his life around, go to college, become an awesome entrepreneuer, take on a positive philosophy of living... But what would he gain if, after all of that success, he still did not know Christ? Eternally he would be lost. One very focused and intense man, Paul of Tarsus, realized this, too. His words have probably served as my biggest inspiration: "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." (Philippians 3:7)
A Christian can share the Gospel with anyone wherever they are, but I was especially drawn to the foreign mission field. When I was five years old, my parents had a friend who became a missionary and went to Nepal. I still remember his going-away celebration. It really impressed me that someone would live somewhere so far away to share the Gospel with others. I gravitated toward presentations, books, and movies about other cultures and missionary work (End of the Spear, for example). Other languages and cultures have always caught my attention, and I knew I wanted to travel or live abroad someday.
Some people think I'm brave, some think I'm extreme, some even think I must be a little crazy...I don't know if those things are true. But really, my motivation doesn't matter - as long as Christ's love for us is shared with others.