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What About West Africa?

What About West Africa?

As I write this, the rain is
pounding down on my roof.  I am in West
Africa, and it is rainy season.  Three
months ago, I was living in Central Asia, and Africa was not even on my
radar.   My husband and I were preparing
to leave the place we had called home for almost 7 years and had no idea what
God had next.  We were seeing hints of
maybe this or that but no definite leading.  
Our first month in the states was full of seeking, updating resumes, and
filling out applications.  We sought
counsel and talked with friends.  We took
long walks, prayed, slept and ate too much good food.  By the end of the month, it was clear we
would be going to West Africa.  So today
I want to tell you about how we got to this place. 
Now I am not saying that I
was one of those gals that said she would never go to Africa but I was pretty
close.   I did specifically say I didn’t
want to move to the Congo.  (Sorry if any
of you live in there.)   This move would
also be different for our family.  We
were moving without the kids.  I would
need something to do in this new place. 
I no longer had the kids to occupy me.  
So as we sought opportunities, we looked for something that would be a
good fit for us.  We explored
international schools, other jobs overseas, and even working at a college in
the states.  Our hands were open to what
God wanted from us.  Some choices seemed
hard.  Others just a little cushy.  My husband seemed more excited about the
opportunities that fit me better. 
Whereas I leaned towards those that fit his skill set better.  But through it all we kept asking, “What
about West Africa?”
“What about West Africa?”
There was a need, actually one that needed to be filled sooner than later.  This would mean a fast turnaround.  But my husband would still get to fly and fix
planes as well help lead the small aviation program there.  It was a good fit for his skills.  All the other options would be no flying
options, and we were not sure we were ready to give up flying.   The thing is there wasn’t a job for me.  Being a teacher, we knew I could eventually
find something either at an international school or helping out somehow in the
community where we would live.   Still I
had a peace that it would be okay somehow. 
My husband would talk about another option that was a good fit for me as
a teacher, and I would find myself saying, “What about West Africa?”  It didn’t make any sense.  I don’t like hot weather all that well.  I had no desire to go to Africa.  And I wasn’t sure what there was for me in
this new place.  As we prayed about it,
we made the decision that if they offered my husband the job, we would take it
in faith that God had something for me. 
But then God…  Isn’t that how all good stories work?  God is at work in the places we do not
see.    We were interviewing with the
country director finding out more details about the program and life
there.  Then the director asked me to
tell him about myself and our children. 
I told him about our life in Central Asia, how I was a teacher and had
the privilege of teaching at the international school as well as homeschool my
kids and others, and about W and Big D and where God has them now.  Then the director told us that his education
program director had just turned in her resignation, and they were looking
specifically for a secondary teacher who was strong at math and science.  It would be a job that would require
supervising homeschooling as well as doing some direct teaching.  Basically the job would take all my past experience
and put it all in one job.  But God…   You can
guess what happened next?  I applied for the
job and got it.
April was spent with my
husband and I getting ready to move to West Africa.  There were interviews, shopping, doctor’s
appointments, and much traveling.   As
America decided to have a cold spring, I tried to figure out what living in a
warm, humid climate would look like.  I
also wondered if I was up to this job God had sent my way.  Yes, it is a good fit.  But it is also a new thing.  I will be doing more admin stuff plus also
dealing with a kindergartener and second grader.  Total I will have 6 to 8 students most of
them being in middle school.  It would
not be a walk in the park but there was a need and God is with me.
Now it is May.  We had orientation, good byes and now we are
here in this new place.  It is all so
different from places we have been before, but that is okay.  And though it doesn’t feel like home yet, it
feels like the place where we are supposed to be in this season.

How has God been leading
you?  It may be a big thing like a job
change or adopting a child.   It could
even be taking on a new role or becoming more involved in your
neighborhood.  I would love to hear you
story in the comments.

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