elementary school for a short time after graduating. And in 2002, I qualified to teach English as a second language. But standing before a room full of rowdy, undisciplined boys who spoke no English was not something I had prepared for. For the first two months, every morning when I woke up I asked myself, Janet, what in the world are you doing here? Planning my own curriculum, preparing lesson plans, getting a
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AdventistVolunteers.org. Then another miracle occurred. Instead of getting under my skin, those kids began getting into my heart. Not only the ones in my classes
* Sylvia had roomed with Gladys in college. Gladys was the director of the English as a Second Language program at Nile Union Academy where her husband, Tom, served as principal.
Students “kidnap” Janet to lead her to her surprise 75th birthday party.
Students enjoying Janet’s birthday cake.
Janet’s birthday cake.
Janet and Chuck receive a final goodbye from students at the airport before returning to the United States.
handle on classroom management so learning could take place and I could retain my sanity—these were my daily challenges. Every few days I would cry on Gladys’s shoulder, and she would encourage me that I was doing just fine. Guess what? About three months into the experiment, my students began sprouting English—honest-to-goodness meaningful sentences in English. It was amazing! It was exhilarating! It was miraculous!
but those in Chuck’s classes as well. I learned to entertain them in our living room, which was also our dining room, our family room, our bedroom, and our study. In short, I learned to love them. Would I do it again? Well, not right now. You see, three of them managed to get through the red tape at the United States Embassy to get student visas. They’re currently living in our home while they go to college to follow their dreams.
Janet Wildman Schlunt
and her husband, Charles, have been married 55 years and have two daughters and one son, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Currently living in Indiana, they served as missionaries for 18 years in Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, England, Ghana, and Egypt. Since 1965 they’ve housed some 40 students in their home.