Who Will Go?

by Lisa Jurgens and Haley Quinn

This past summer, Eastbrook field workers returned home from all over the world! Whether home from East Africa, China, Asia or the Middle East, coming home means refreshment, recon- nection and recharge. It was in this spirit that Gregg and Rawda Doolittle gathered for dessert with friends at an Eastbrook pastor’s home on the evening of July 18. The Doolittles a have been ministry partners with Eastbrook for over thirty years, serving the Lord by running Christian schools in the Palestinian West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem.

The Doolittles were only going to be in town for about 48 hours, but turned to Eastbrook to share a burden on their hearts. The Bethlehem school was in the midst of expanding the grade levels it would provide, but several of the English-speaking teachers they thought would serve at the school in the fall had suddenly pulled out. The school was in danger of having to o er classes not taught in English, a cornerstone of the education the schools provide, or worse having to turn families away! Even the Israeli government was on board to facilitate meeting the Doolittles’ need with visas for teachers! Would Eastbrook, their faithful praying partner lift up this need and help spread the word?

The answer was a resounding“Yes!”…and then some. The Holy Spirit moved dramatically in people’s hearts and within three days of their visit, Haley Quinn and her grandparents Marc and Nancy Erickson (Senior Pastor Emeritus of Eastbrook Church) had made the decision to join them in Bethlehem. Eastbrookers Jennifer Klukas, Rae Green, and Julie Dresser joined in the weeks to follow. ■

Now that the “Bethlehem Six” have been living, serving, and working overseas for a few months, we wanted to take this time to hear more about how these six individuals felt God’s prompting to leave their lives here in Wisconsin, and serve.

Marc + Nancy

What made you decide to “go” to Bethlehem?
When I [Nancy] try to answer this question I think of Isaiah 6:8: Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” When Isaiah saw the Lord, he was unraveled. But when the Lord asked, Isaiah answered, “Here I am, send me”—that is my heart. I have seen the Lord and what He has done for me, I am so grateful, I just want to serve Him. Eastbrook has partnered with the Doolittles for 35 years, and when they came to share their urgent need for teachers for this year, I just felt God say, why not you? I had no good reason to say no, and a heart full of love to say, “Yes, here I am, send me.” Within 3 weeks we had cleared our calendars, packed and were on our way!

Here we are, pinching ourselves. Who saw this coming? Only God. It is like all of life. We can look at God’s plan and provision and be thankful, or we can look at di culties and grumble. The school is prepared, furnished housing is available, students are eager to be taught and we are excited that God will still use us. To top it off, we have the privilege of living and serving with one of our granddaughters. This is such joy to see God at work through her!

What has been most rewarding so far?
I am teaching 2nd grade. I have 9 eager students! 5 spoke almost no English and so had no reading or comprehension. That has been challenging both for them and for me. My daily prayer is that these children would experience the love and hope of Jesus in me every day, that they might not become discouraged. I think it is happening! Marc serves as chaplain to the staff. He shares the Word every morning before class starts. He has also been doing some writing, and making friends for Jesus around us. On top of all this we have had the privilege of Saturday night dates with [longtime field workers] the Plants! We feel rich in love!


What made you decide to “go”?
I decided to go to because it sounded like an exciting opportunity to work in another country and see first-hand how God is working through Bethlehem Evangelical Academy.

What are you teaching?
I teach 4th grade and physical education for elementary students.

What has been most challenging so far?
Teaching! I just graduated, so I had no experience teaching elementary school before I decided to come. It has been a challenge to gure out how to be efficient in lesson planning, patient with classroom management, and calm in the midst of chaos.

What is the most rewarding part so far?
The most rewarding part of this experience so far has been developing relationships with the students, parents, and other teachers. It has been so fun to learn about and from all of them! They are all such sweet people. I have
learned so much about others and myself while living here.


What made you decide to “go”?
The timing worked out, I had peace about raising support, I didn’t have any plans set for this year and BEA was able to be flexible about my arrival. I am working as a Teachers Aide in a K5 classroom with another American teacher. I assist her throughout the whole day and I also lead the Bible lessons that the kids have twice a week. In the afternoons I help with the after school program.

What has been most challenging so far?
Teaching has been the most challenging part for me. I am not a trained teacher and in many ways I do not feel like it is a strong suit for me. However, I am very thankful that I am able to be in a more secondary role as a teachers aide to another American teacher.

What is the most rewarding part so far?
Gaining the love of the twenty 5-year-olds in my class and watching them learn and grow has been very rewarding. I also love living here and walking around town. Getting to know my neighbors and enjoying Arab hospitality is a wonderful blessing.


What made you decide to “go” to Bethlehem?
I decided to go to Bethlehem after using for God to make it abundantly clear where He wanted me to go. I knew I wasn’t going to stay in Milwaukee forever. I chose Bethlehem after I ‘accidentally’ ended up at a missions meeting that I thought was a party!

What has been most challenging?
The most challenging part has been gaining control over a class of 26 six-year-olds. In a different culture.

What are your responsibilities?
I teach first grade. It’s great! Challenging, but great!

What is the most rewarding part so far?
The most rewarding part, for sure, is teaching a concept, and having a student understand that idea. Especially the student who is struggling with English.


What made you decide to “go”?
I came to Bethlehem following God’s lead, there’s really no other way to describe it. It happened in less than three weeks from beginning to end and I never thought of [what a big deal it was until] getting off the plane in Tel Aviv.

What has been most challenging?
Not understanding what people are saying and the fact that I can’t just walk out my house and go where I want.

What are your responsibilities?
I am responsible for teaching 5th grade English, Reading, and Writing, U.S. History and Geography, Religion and Character Training and I co-teach Math, 4th grade Reading, and 4th and 5th grade Phy Ed.

What is the most rewarding part so far?
Most rewarding is what God is working in me. My students, their parents, my colleagues, neighbors, and even cab drivers recognize and honor the God in me.