Monday, April 6, 2009
History (Nathan's Viewpoint)
Don't really know where to start in telling this story of how we ended up looking to move to Panama. There is really no way to share all of our thoughts and the events that brought us to where we are. We can look back to those discussions we had as an engaged couple, planning our life. With myself, being an education major, Clare had introduced me to the organization of Network of International Christian Schools (NICS). Of course being a young man and always seeking adventure the idea of teaching on foreign lands and travel appealed to me. Best of both worlds, right? We considered doing it when we were first married, but we were given the advice that there is enough newness and stress to a new marriage to throw a new culture, and no familiarity on top of it. We followed that advice and revisited a few years later, but decided that it was not the time either. Teaching overseas would come up in conversation from time to time and we knew it was something that we would do, it was just a matter of when. I had decided (in my infinite wisdom) that we would do it before our oldest, Ro, began high school and got too busy with important things in life like sports and friends. Soon after Christmas, Clare and I had a chance to catch our breath and share with each other what we both had been feeling separately. That now was the time to look into going overseas for a season. We ran through a list of concerns and drawbacks as well as the positives. We began looking into international schools and what openings were available. We started with the NICS program based out Southaven, MS. We filled out their application and signed up for their job fair. In the meantime I came across a great website, Missionteach.com. It had listings from christian schools all over the world. Some independent and some networked including the NICS openings. That is where I came across a school in Panama, Crossroads Christian Academy. I worked on the application and began speaking with CCA as well as other international schools. We began sharing our thoughts with a few people, who were both surprised and encouraging. In mid-February we attended the NICS job fair and yearly reports. It was an opportunity to hear what the Lord is doing in their schools around the world. We were blown away and we had a great time talking with families that had been living what we had been praying about. We walked away without any doubt that this is what we are being called to do. We talked to many schools around the world, but we felt like the best fit was CCA in Panama. It is for a position as the middle school and high school PE teacher and Athletic Director. They want Clare and I to come down and check out the school, church, and community and make sure that it is a good fit for us. So off we go on April 14th to visit. Field is going to join Clare and I on our visit while the girls stay with Bam-ma and Papa.