Most of you know Michael and Lucy McDougles. Their family arrived at LCC last Fall. Last year we interviewed Michael and heard his story. This time we asked both Michael and Lucy to share about their life, work, and ministries at LCC.
Despite the last year’s challenges that teachers at LCC have faced, Michael shares that it still felt wonderful to teach, to get to know the students, and his colleagues. One of the reasons why he enjoys teaching here at LCC is the students. He shares: “I love how they engage with the lessons and are willing to participate in class discussions. I have especially been enjoying reading some of the students’ essays where they share their belief about an idea they have.” But what motivates him, even more, is the support of the surrounding staff and faculty, who are driven by the same mission to serve students, hence reflecting the love of Jesus.
While Michael teaches PRIME and BA students, Lucy serves with some on-campus ministries. Besides an FYS course, she helps out with the food pantry. Lucy mentions that one of the other ways she serves the community is simply by making herself available for people. She shares: “People I know or interact with, sometimes need help or need to chat. This available time allows me to have time to help them. Whether it is to go out to coffee and chat about something, help them with an event they are organizing, run a sick student to the doctor, etc.” Thus, Lucy serves the students, staff, and faculty by offering a hand in situations that need one, or by simple conversations.
Besides the mentioned service, Michael and Lucy have started a Russian Bible study on campus. Both Michael and Lucy saw the need to organize a Bible study for students, whose native or second language is Russian because of the large Russian-speaking community at LCC. Unfortunately, their Lithuanian language skills are not as advanced, so they are not able to connect to the local community as well as they can connect with LCC students.
“Originally our family went to Russia and then to Ukraine as missionaries. Our goal was to learn the language, get to know the culture and then to establish a local church.”
They can use the Russian language they know to encourage the LCC students to get to know God in the language which is close to their hearts. Michael and Lucy hope that this Bible study can serve the students well, since “we’ve heard from others in the past that when they come to know Christ in English related activities or church in English, for some, there is a bit of a disconnect with their personality when they start interacting in their native language.” Therefore, having had a similar experience, where they were looking for services in their own native language, Michael and Lucy wish to provide such students an opportunity to experience Christ to their core, in the language that is close to their hearts.
Besides inviting students to the new Bible study, McDougles also like to invite students to their homes for dinner or games and connect to them in such ways. They mention the many ways of relating to students, but most importantly, they want to make the students feel appreciated as individuals and people, and not just as students.
Read more about how Michael McDougle got to learn Russian in the first place, as well as about his and his family's missionary life here: https://lcc.lt/news/michael-mcdougle-an-introvert-who-dreamed-of-being-a-missionary