OMS Outreach Online September-December 2021 - Page 13

Opening a Preschool in Europe

By Amanda Buck , Regional Communications Coordinator , Europe / Middle East
Does giving your life to Christ mean you also have to sacrifice your summer vacation ? For the DePue family , the answer was yes . In spring 2015 , Aaron and Shannon DePue looked forward to their first full summer vacation with their three young children . The faithful West Virginian duo had recently followed God ’ s prompting to leave behind their successful careers in pharmaceutical sales to start new careers . Seeing a need in their community , they took the risk of opening a private Christian preschool , of which Shannon was co-owner and director .
But as the DePues began researching what fun things they could enjoy together , the two began to feel God calling them to something more . So , they searched for summer service projects to do with their kids and eventually found a One Mission Society ( OMS ) English camp in Hungary .
Once they landed in Europe , God revealed what he was planning — more than just a summer trip . Serving alongside the OMS Hungary team , the DePues learned about recent governmental regulations that require all children ages 3 to 6 to attend preschool , despite the country ’ s severe lack of available preschools .
“ Overnight , Hungarians , who highly value education , were faced with the challenge of competing for spots for their children in local preschools ,” explained Europe / Middle East regional director , Jonathan Long . “ When the DePues came to help with camp and we learned about their background in starting their own preschool , it seemed like a no-brainer to fill a need in the community while also sharing the Gospel .”
The DePues ’ attentiveness to the small voice calling them beyond an ordinary vacation led the family to move their entire lives to Budapest , Hungary , where they now serve as regional social entrepre- neurship directors . The preschool that was just a need a few years ago is now becoming a reality .
“ Children form their worldview by the age of 12 ,” Shannon shared . “ The opportunity to teach young children about the love of Christ during this impressionable time is huge . Leveraging the need for a quality preschool education will allow us to bring transformation not only in the lives of the children but also in their parents and community .”
Could God be calling you to give up something unexpected , even something you have been looking forward to , in order to expand his kingdom ?
To learn more or give to this project : onemissionsociety . org / Projects / detail / hungary-preschool-project