Let me walk upon the water wherever you would call me.
If your church is like ours, you've sung this song innumerable times. Did you mean it? How did God answer your prayer?
He has answered ours in a very surprising way.
In March we announced to our financial supporters that we were taking a step of faith by resigning from SIM, the mission we've served with since 2002. After 15 wonderful years of ministry with SIM, we felt God moving us into full-time teaching ministry. We hoped that a full-time job would materialize for me, but even if it didn't, we knew what we were called to do: Danny would focus on keeping our household running smoothly so that I could devote my energy to teaching. Lots of people step out in faith to become missionaries; our step of faith meant no longer raising financial support. Danny moved down to part-time with SIM while we explored possibilities.
We knew what we wanted -- to stay planted in Oregon and keep teaching (preferably with a full-time salary), to keep investing in these students and these relationships. But when no doors opened in Oregon for a full-time job, we began checking job postings in other locations. We knew this year could be a roller-coaster. Most schools post academic jobs around the beginning of the fall semester to begin the following academic year. That makes for a long season of uncertainty about what's next. How much energy would we spend imagining life in different locations, waiting for an interview?
But God had a surprise in store.
|The Maxwell Center, Prairie's Main Administration Bldg|
They say that if you're the least bit open to taking a job, you should apply for it. I remembered having a good impression of Prairie when I was in high school, looking for a college. It's a small school well off the beaten trail with a long history of sending missionaries all over the world. Crazy as it sounded, I applied.
I figured there was little chance of an American being hired. Canadians would be given priority. But applying was a matter of due diligence. The up side was that there would be no long roller coaster with this one.
The next couple of weeks were a flurry of research. When I emerged less than 2 weeks later as the top candidate for the position, we felt the weight of the decision. We wanted to go in with our eyes wide open. This would be a major transition for the entire family -- not something to be taken lightly.
We scrambled to talk with mentors, read about the school, and explore the area online. I made a long list of questions and concerns. Danny started working on a budget. And we prayed. If we said 'yes,' we would be crossing an international border, with a complicated and expensive immigration process ahead.
|Danny and Carmen, Alberta Bound|
Imagine my surprise to discover that God had been making arrangements for this job since birth.
|Scenic View not far from Three Hills|
|Carmen with Mark (President) and Elaine (CFO) Maxwell|
When my official job offer came, there was another surprise -- a part-time job for Danny that fits his skill set beautifully.
So we said "yes"!
We're in the throes of packing, selling our house, writing syllabi for fall classes, ordering passports for the kids, and saying our goodbyes.
|Parable Place, where Carmen's Torah class will meet|