Updates from Connie: Where will be my next teaching placement?

For those who follow The Current, the UMC Illinois Great Rivers Conference monthly newspaper, you now know the full story. If you missed it, here it is below. (I’m on page 12.)

I also covered this topic in the March 26 entry on this website.

Briefly, China’s Amity Foundation (amityfoundation.org) has closed its English language teaching program. This means that my sending agency, the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries (UMGBGM), no longer has a placement for me in that country as an English language teacher.

After 24 years,  my service there is no longer available.  

Request for another overseas placement

While I have been grateful these 3 years to be placed in America as the Mission Advocate for the North Central Jurisdiction, my heart has always been in the classroom.

With my 3-year contract ending in September, I have requested for another overseas assignment which can utilize my skills as an educator while allowing me to join with local Christians and churches to continue my position as a United Methodist Global Ministries missionary.  At present, Rev. Paul Kong (Asia regional director) and Rev. Judy Chung (Missionary Service director) are discussing which placements are available for me, either in Asia or other parts of the world.  

What’s the process? I’m finding out: Slow!!

I have learned there are a lot of steps in a new assignment through Global Ministries.

Once that decision has been made, there will be detailed job descriptions written, documents signed by GM and the partner organization, a visa to obtain (that takes months sometimes), air tickets to purchase, 6 months (or longer) language study in the country and perhaps some further university education classes needed, depending on what the placement requires.

My things in China at present are being moved to a friend’s apartment in Luzhou.  The school wants to empty out my college apartment on the campus before June 1.   Once I know where I’ll be going, I will return to ship off my weeded-down-to-bare-essentials things to my next home.

A busy summer as Mission Advocate

In the meantime, I continue with my USA assignment, Mission Advocate for the North Central Jurisdiction.  I am helping 10 conferences get ready for their Annual Conferences with materials needed, missionary video requests, power point creations and whatever else is asked of me to help advertise Global Ministries many service projects, programs and my overseas mission colleagues.  

Leading English Fellowship Hour via Zoom with some of our United Methodist GMFs

I am currently creating numerous power points to lead 6 sessions of an online English Fellowship Hour for our new Global Mission Fellows (GMFs). These are young people, ages 20 – 30, who have applied for United Methodist programs and will serve for 2 years in community development and agricultural projects to help poverty-stricken areas worldwide. There are currently 19 new GMFs but for some, their first language is not English. A retired missionary teacher , Jane Kies, and I will be preparing those with limited language skills for the  upcoming summer missionary orientation. The orientation is all in English due to the GM staff being mostly native English speakers. Jane and I will be having 6 in our Fellowship Hour from the following countries: Togo, the Congo, the Ivory Coast, South Korea, and Columbia.

Jane and I will be meeting with them every Thursday, 7 a.m – 8 a.m.. my Central USA time. We’ve already had our first session. Such lovely, mission-oriented, committed young people! It truly restores your hope in the world.

Attending Annual Conference

 I will be attending, manning the missionary table, and speaking at our Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference from June 8 – 10. One exciting (and a bit nervous) moment for me will be addressing the bishops, delegates and others during one of the meeting time slots. I have been asked to represent Global Ministries, send greetings from the staff and give thanks for all prayers and financial giving to our missionaries and many projects in the world. If you are watching online, you’ll be seeing me but I don’t know the day or time yet. I’ll post when I know!

Visiting Churches for Presentations

I also continue to visit supporting churches and UWF units to give updates.   If you want me, let me know! I already have several Sundays taken for May and June. July is fairly open.

In Closing

Watch this space for more news of rescue dogs Lucy and Beanie, still looking for homes.

Also following this entry will be another, concerning my obscene amount of things in China (over 100 boxes plus other “stuff” ) which will be soon moved to storage in Luzhou . . . . without me being there!!  Eventually, I will return to go through everything to scale down to a decent amount for shipping.  In the meantime, I am relying on a dear friend (Australian Geoff, age 70, in Luzhou) to help with this venture.

(See the previous entry about Geoff and his wife, Snow:  https://connieinchina.org/2020/02/24/my-friend-australian-geoff-gives-weekly-luzhou-updates-via-snows-site123-me/)

The date is Wednesday, 2 p.m. China time (China is 13 hours ahead of us in America).  Send good thoughts my way, and definitely Geoff’s as well.  


About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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