Michelle Saint-LothEurope/Middle East
My name is Michelle Saint-Loth, and I am serving in the Czech Republic in the city of Prague. I have been in country since December 2015 but began coming as a volunteer missionary since 2013 after initially visiting in 2012. I am currently a Career Missionary; thus, I hold a few different hats here in Prague. First, my teammates and I run a Christian counseling ministry called Hope and Healing Counseling. We aim to serve ministering families and church members here in the Czech Republic as well as those in the surrounding nations when necessary. We also serve the expat community here in Prague.
Secondly, I serve at our local church, Life Church. I am one of the youth leaders in our youth group, UPSIDE DOWN. I also sing on the worship team and occasionally help with kids’ church. I also am a part of our evangelism ministry, Life Center, where I help teach English to teens and adults weekly, help with our annual summer camps for children and youth, and work in many other community activities that help us interact with the community. Our goal for the community is that they would see Christ’s love, experience His hope, and feel His peace.
I am also helping with the Ukrainian school our church is hosting. It has been a difficult season for our Ukrainian neighbors. Our Pastors have opened our church to help students from kindergarten through high school age have a safe place where they can continue to learn in their language and process the many horrors they have seen due to the war occurring in their homeland.
I have many wonderful memorable moments, but the one that encourages me the most on hard days happened with our youth group. After our first quarantine ended, we were finally able to meet with our young people. Virtual youth services had been good, but meeting face-to-face was a breath of fresh air. Our youth pastor had us go around and share things we loved, appreciated, and/or missed about one another. One by one we went around and took the time to love on each person. When my turn came around my “babies” shared that the thing they missed or appreciated about me most were my hugs, how I loved and affirmed them. If you work with teens and pre-teens, you know they see the world with different lenses. They are all at different stages and “tolerate” us older folks to enter their space and world at their own pace. Here in the Czech Republic that is even more defined. Entering community with a Czech can take a while. Hugs and touch can often seem just too much for some Czechs. Thus, hearing that the very things that often are avoided were the very things that our youth loved about me really touched my heart and continues to till today.