I have to be honest. I did not know what I was getting myself into when we decided to move to Lithuania to work at LCC International University. Since we have been here (less than two years):
COVID has interrupted everything. Isolations, lockdowns, remote teaching, etc.
War between Armenia and Azerbaijan interrupted the lives of so many of our students. Family and friends had to fight and many lost loved ones.
Belarus continues to be controlled by a dictator who refused to accept defeat in an election that would have brought freedom to this country. Our students from Belarus suffer as they worry about their friends and family getting arrested. They worry about whether they can return to the country that they love.
Afghanistan has suffered so much recently with the American withdrawal and Taliban takeover. Our Afghan students suffered as they waited to see if their families would be okay.
Kazakhstan recently saw riots that claimed the lives of over 200 people. The riots were put down when the Russian military was called in.
Ukraine has been invaded by Russia with the help of Belarus. Our largest group of students comes from Ukraine. They are afraid and worried for their family, friends, and country.
This doesn’t include those who suffer from trauma from the Russian invasion of Georgia, the genocide of the Yazidi population in Iraq, the war in Syria, and the list goes on…
I never expected to be working and serving in such an environment, but I cannot image a place I’d rather be today. I have seen a strength and grit in the lives of my students that is inspiring. My prayer is that our students will leave this place with the education and support they need to make the world a more peaceful place for all.
- Mike McDougle