Saturday, May 7, 2011

Not Missionaries… Just Obedience To Jesus’ Command

If you haven’t heard by now, God has opened an amazing door for Liz and me to teach in the country of Honduras. Well, we just signed our 2-year contract with the school and have every intention of staying for at least a 3rd year (with a very real possibility to make that our career). Before I describe how amazing this opportunity is, I want to explain why we are doing it.

Liz and I will be doing “missions” work. But we are not going because we feel we are called to the mission field or missionaries. We are going because Jesus commanded his disciples to go. We don’t know if God will keep us there or lead us back to the States. All we know is that he said to take the Gospel to all the nations. Sadly, many missionaries have moved out of Honduras. So there is a void that I am hoping to fill.

I would encourage every Christian to consider something such as this. It doesn’t have to be a 3 year trip. It can simply be one week every year set aside to give the gospel outside of your local context. And knowing American culture as I do, I know that many families can sacrifice one week to the Gospel for the cause of Jesus. After all, many Christian families sacrifice one week of the year to themselves for the cause of “vacation.”

So Liz and I will be teaching in Academia Los Pinares. They had an opening for Bible and another for elementary. Actually, they have many other openings if you looking for a great opportunity too. The school is comprised mainly of the rich aristocrats to prepare their children for college in the US or UK. The main draw for these types of families is that the school is accredited (SACS), meets US standards, and is bilingual. That means we will be teaching in English! The school also has a good number of working middle class families who desire a Christian education for their children. It is self-sufficient and affiliated with many different denominations. Most of the kids come from a Roman Catholic background, so every classroom is a mission field.

The way in which God brought this opportunity to us is clearly providential. I had been helping at Cornerstone Gospel Baptist Church for a year. An elderly couple in our church had a nephew that they hadn’t seen in 25+ years. So while he was in town, they asked Pastor Chuck if he could present this Christian school ministry he had in Honduras. That Wednesday evening, Liz and I were confronted with the chance of a lifetime. On our way home, we couldn’t stop talking about it. I think we both knew then that this was where we were going to be, come August ‘11. So Liz called her mom, and then I called my best friend for some godly counsel. After their encouragement, we called other family and friends. I praise the Lord that God put nothing but encouragers in our paths. I praise the Lord that our parents replied with either a “why wouldn’t you go?” response or a “this is what we raised you to do” reply. Our minds were made up. We filled out the application the next day, and so the process began. Maybe a week or two later, we had our interviews completed and the signed contract.

Now here are some of the benefits of teaching at ALP. Hopefully you can see why this was such an easy decision. First, we won’t need to raise support or join a mission board to go overseas (though we may need a little help initially for plane tickets and such)! The salary we get is meager, but they provide housing and insurance. We get an annual bonus of $900 to travel. They even will help pay for graduate degrees! Every year we teach we get a raise. And maybe the best part is that we are getting a free education in Spanish. The school has over 900 students. The facilities are absolutely beautiful with many newly constructed buildings. Even the teachers’ apartments are wonderful. The 25 acre campus is 5,000 feet above sea level, which means a dry heat (though they claim it stays in the 70’s and 80’s most of the time).

Quite honestly, the biggest hurdle we are facing is getting rid of all our stuff. This has helped me realize that all this junk that fills our house is really insignificant. I am looking forward to having little to no access to a television. This will force me to read all the books that I have been wanting to read. Hopefully after I sell my car and get rid of this junk with yard sales, we will be free of this mess.

Friends and family, we would covet your prayer as we embark on the next major step in our lives. We do not ask for courage or provision. Those are things guaranteed to us already. We would ask that you pray for opportunities to present the Gospel. We want you to pray for the people with which we will be interacting. We want you to pray that as we plant seeds in Honduras, God will give the increase.


Jon B said...

Praising the Lord with you. I'm excited for you.

Chris Collins said...

We are so incredibly excited for this opportunity God has given you! I'm sure it's one of those amazing challenges that will change your life! We will be praying for you as you prepare. (Can you take all your books with you? :) Maybe you need a Kindle...

Anonymous said...

so excited for you!