Robertson enjoying missions trip to Czech Republic

10 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Leaving one’s family and friends behind to do a missions trip to a foreign country can be a daunting and emotional experience.
But that did not stop Houlton’s Alicia Robertson from doing precisely that. Robertson recently completed the first half of a two-year missions trip to Brno, located in the Czech Republic. In Brno, Robertson is teaching English to children and adults, while also helping spread the word of God. Robertson was recently home for a two-week vacation before returning to the Czech Republic last week.
“I tried to go into my missions trip without too many expectations,” she said. “I had been there before, but knew it would be different. I tried going with a mindset of being able to teach them and build relationships. Trust is a really big thing in the Czech culture and it takes a great deal of time to earn that trust.”
She interned in Brno for six months back in 2007, which originally sparked her desire into doing something longer term. While she spends the bulk of her time teaching English to the local students, Robertson has also had to learn how to speak their native language of Czech.
“For English speaking people, it is not an easy thing to learn,” she admitted.
Her classes are held at a facility called Majak, which means lighthouse. Robertson is one of five teachers in the facility.
Technology has made doing her missions trip to a foreign country a bit easier. She regularly communicates with her mother and father (Brenda and Wayne Robertson) whether it be through phone calls, text messages or Skype (video conferencing). She was able to participate in the family’s Christmas celebration this past year by having a live video session with her family.
“Being away from home is the hardest part for sure,” Robertson said.
While the bulk of her time is spent teaching English, she also spends some time spreading the gospel, particularly through “Conversation Club.”
“Those sessions are usually pretty light-hearted, but we also throw in stuff like ‘What is love?’ or ‘What is hope?’ And that segues to other conversations.”
At the conclusion of her two-year tenure, Robertson said she may have the option of extending her stay for a full four-year missions term.