This blog was made public at the request of Jason Beals, my missions pastor, in a planning session for my upcoming mission to Tanzania. When Jason initially told me I should start a blog, my immediate response was twofold:
- I have nothing of importance to say.
- No one would read it except my mom.
Jason’s reply was that he would read it, too, and this was the most efficient way to update those prayer warriors in the states. Although I have a pitifully long way to go in my understanding of the power of prayer, I am 100% confident that I desperately need as much of it as possible, so here I am. I will try to be candid and straightforward, with an emphasis on being “real.” Here is a response to some questions you might have:
I chose this particular location in the world not so much for its location, as for the actual school (Haven of Peace Academy – HOPAC). I did quite a bit of research on the many teaching opportunities available internationally, and HOPAC was the school I felt would best fit who I am as both a teacher and my desires to serve and reach the lost.
I am currently completing my third year of teaching fourth grade in a public school in Southern California. I chose this job specifically because I wanted to work in non believing students and share the love of Christ with them. However, as I have progressed as an educator during those years, it has become more and more clear to me that I want to share the love of Christ as much as ever, but want to do it in a venue where I am legally allowed to say the things that are most important to me. Personally, I have also felt that I would be a more effective teacher at a higher grade level that was subject specific.
How long are you planning to stay?
I have committed to one school year, but am praying about the possibility of more.
How can I pray?
Please pray! Your prayers are treasures to me. Each and every one of them are so precious and vital in this work. Please don’t forget to pray.
a. New language, new house, new job, new climate, new students, new coworkers, new country, new germs, new continent……Need I say more?
a. I’m not afraid to travel by myself, but a lot can go wrong and from my limited experience, international travel requires quite a bit of physical and emotional stamina.
a. I’ll be completely honest. I’m afraid that the financial support won’t come in. This has always been a weak point for me. But I know that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and this is His work.
a. Right now my prayers are general: Adjusting to a new grade level and curriculum are the biggest things I will grapple with on a daily basis. I would also love prayer for the unsaved students God has already chosen to be in my class.
- Spiritual Growth
a. That He would be my strength, that I would love others more than I love myself, and that His Word would sustain me each day.
a. I know it’s a given that I’m going to get pretty sick for the first few weeks, but please pray for mental toughness and physical stamina to push through the worst of it.
a. From the flaming arrows of fear and doubt that so easily creep in with the fatigue and sickness that are sure to be part of the rite of passage into Africa.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time to check out this blog and for your prayers and financial support. I will try to keep this updated as often as possible, and post pictures, stories, prayer requests, and personal anecdotes throughout the year. My prayer is that through the saints praying together in this venture, God’s power and majesty would be made even more clear, and that it would result in our increased love, faith, and praise to Him.