Miresevini, I am a tutor living out and practicing what I teach by being mum to four children –Eden (12), Timothy (11), Matilda (7) and Lillian (4 months). I am married to Neil, we were teenage sweethearts and have been married for a long time!
For the past six years our family has been missionaries living in Albania, where we lived on a former illegal settlement developed on swamp land and lacking a lot of regular amenities such as drains, sewers, rubbish collection, regular electricity and water. However, the area was rich in people, relationships, friendships and frogs.
Living there we saw the opportunity and need to develop a centre for children, young people and the community to provide formal and informal education. Our children attended the local school and so we were aware of the limitations on teaching and amenities, the school was built for 500 and had over 1200 students. The centre looked to develop incarnational approaches, to build family links, practical support and real learning opportunities as well as large outreach evangelistic events and small discipleship groups. We would have over 100 children and young people attending each week, famously they would crowd round the gate, sometimes a couple of hours before we opened waiting to get in. We provided training for other people wanting to develop youth provision, as there is very little support in this area. I also had the experience of home schooling three of my children during this time, to supplement their learning at the local school and we got to go on great field trips to the local sites of Rome and Thessaloniki as part of our studies into the Romans and the Greeks. I was trying to find a curriculum that covered Barbados but failed!
Prior to this I worked in my local church as youth pastor serving the church and working on community development in an ex-mining town in North Nottinghamshire. This was my home and had been my placement during my study at MCYM and was also the place where I line managed two MCYM students, worked from for personal tutoring and small group tutor (now PFG’s)… you could say I am a bit of CYM stalker!
I began working with children and young people in a small Derbyshire village and fairly soon moved over to the sights and sounds of Hollywood when I emigrated to California. As well as Disneyland, the mountains and the beach this was a place where my passion for outreaching to young people really ignited. Working with young people from abusive families, gang members as well as the cheerleaders and wholesome American teenagers I saw how God touched lives, was meaningful to all and added to a whole person.