Lucy Sudworth has just spent 10 months serving as a homeschool teacher to Isabelle (11), Esmé (9), Iris (6), and Sebastian (2), while their parents, Chris and Sarah Power, lead a ministry team and teach English in Mayotte, where Chris also serves as Unit Leader.
What made you serve short term?
God placed mission on my heart after my first trip to the Philippines in 2012, and it is something that I have assumed as being part of my calling. After a previous visit to see good friends, Christoff and Sarah Power, I was asked if I’d be willing to return to the island and join their team, serving as a homeschool teacher and supporting the children’s ministry for ten months on the island of Mayotte, among the Shibushi people.
Why did we need a homeschool teacher?
Chris & Sarah Power explain, “Our kids attend French schools on the island. Though they read in English at home, we haven’t incorporated any real English curriculum into our routine. We often wondered how they would manage if we returned to the UK, as the expectations and the style of teaching is so different. Lucy worked with each of them and we are so grateful. Her willingness to look after the kids and slot into our family life was such a blessing as we juggled different work commitments.”
Did you just leave your job?
When the opportunity of short term mission came up, I requested a sabbatical year from the headteacher and governors of the primary school I work in and was granted the opportunity to teach and serve overseas. I was sent by my church and received lots of encouragement and support during my year away.
What was a highlight from your time on Mayotte?
One of the biggest blessings I experienced during my time overseas has been meeting new people from a different religion and culture and learning so much from them. The Shibushi people helped me in learning their local language, trying new foods and understanding a new culture and environment.
Did you have any opportunities to share the gospel?
I became good friends with a girl who lived in my village, who was also an English teacher in one of the public schools. As I helped her with English and she helped me with Shibushi, God provided opportunities for me to share Jesus with her. She was open to listening and asked questions about my faith. I thank God for using the gift we both have in common to provide opportunities to talk about Jesus.
What was the most important thing you learnt?
One of the most important things I learnt from my time overseas is that God is working. Sometimes despite us! God is working through missionaries serving alongside locals and he is breaking down the cultural traditions which hold people back. I have returned to England encouraged and with a stronger faith.