Yesterday was my last day working for the after school program that I had been with the entire year. (Actually, today I have my exit interview, which should be interesting . . . .) We have been praying and seeking counsel about the new path that God has for us. God has graciously opened and closed doors.
Months — or even weeks — ago, I never would have imagined that the upcoming job situation would have lined up the way it has. Even harder than saying “yes” to the jobs I’ll outline below, I struggled to say “no” to some great opportunities. I am thankful for friends and mentors have walked alongside us every step of the way.
Where I Will Be Working . . .
Going into 2012, here is what I’ll be doing to support my family and to have an impact in this community:
- In-school tutor. I started this in November, and will continue through the end of the school year. I have been assisting 2nd and 3rd grade students, mostly with reading and math, two hours each day.
- After-school tutor. I have signed up to work with One on One Learning, starting in January. The coordinators are still organizing the details, but last I heard, I will be working with a small group of 6th graders two days per week, from 4 to 5:30.
- Football coach. I have enjoyed being around the football team this past fall (including this Culturally-Engaged Weekend). When I told Coach Ford about me resigning from the Boys & Girls Club, he immediately offered me a spot on his coaching staff. (He must be desperate, having only 11 of 13 spots filled this past year.) Through the spring, I’ll mostly be around the weight room, getting to know the players more, but it will pick up in the summer and be very busy in the fall.
- Teacher. This opportunity came up out of nowhere, within the past 2 weeks. Starting January 3, I will be teaching science for two periods (1 biology and 1 chemistry) at a local private school, Patrick Henry Academy. The current teacher is going on medical leave, so I will take over for the remainder of the school year.
I’m excited about the mix of age groups that I will be working with, and the different educational systems (public school vs private school, besides my own kids being homeschooled), and the different cultures (black and white, poverty and middle class).
. . . And Where I Won’t
I turned down a few opportunities, including full-time teaching (we felt like I needed to have more flexibility to build relationships with students and families) and two different ministry opportunities that would have taken us away from Allendale (the jobs were intriguing, but we feel compelled to still be in Allendale).
Three out of the four jobs are only guaranteed through the end of the school year, so we’ll continue to seek opportunities and God’s guidance for what the summer and fall look like.
You can also read about the volunteer roles in which I plan to serve.
Regarding our involvement with Grace Church, I want to clarify our relationship with our “home” church. According to the language used by our culturally-engaged philosophy, Grace is partnering with us in our adventure. To partner is a level higher than supporting, but not as connected as being sent. We are like scouts, settlers, and explorers.
Leaders at Grace and I will continually evaluate and discuss our ministry relationship. I am so glad to serve under and alongside a church that has our best interest at heart, and, even more importantly, a desire to see Christ’s kingdom grow and be glorified.
Thank you for your prayers as we continue through this transition. We know that God provided through the job I had in 2011, and we trust that He’ll do the same in 2012.