27 Jan Real, Called, and Serving
Teacher/Administrator, Rainforest International School, Cameroon
It was wonderful that so many family members had made it to the airport at such an early hour. The presence of a representative from my mission agency made a huge, positive, and lasting good impression too. After prayers led by my father, and a hearty round of hugging, I cheerily waved goodbye and headed for passport control. Only at that point did the reality of being apart from my wonderfully supportive family forcefully hit me. Family members would enjoy many get-togethers; I would be absent and very far away.
Due to the late arrival of my plane in Paris, I had to stay in a luxury hotel courtesy of the airline for a couple of days. After pre-field training, packing, and the numerous goodbyes and leave-taking events, it was a bonus blessing to have those days to rest. Further blessing a waited me.
On arrival in sub-Saharan Africa – in a strange land and amidst the tropical beauty, vibrant worship, hospitable and generous locals, delicious food, mosquito nets, dust, heat, loud music, braiding-style driving, and abundance of mangoes– God graced me with an extraordinary, real sense of homecoming peace! An absence of anxiety, home sickness, and feeling unsettled, mixed with joy combined to reassure me that this was where God wanted me to be.
When God prompted me to contact Wycliffe Bible Translators, I was curious as to what He planned for me to do. I was delighted to discover that there was a great need for teachers. Teaching, I knew, would be perfect for me! From Papua New Guinea to the Philippines, Mexico to Mali, Togo to Tanzania, teachers were needed to provide quality education for the children of missionaries. Called by the Lord of the harvest, they leave familiar comforts, job security, family, and, some, leave financial certainty, to serve, to walk by faith in a cross-cultural setting where the Saviour leads. Their availability and service mean that the children of pilots, administrators, linguists, exegetes, translators, agriculturalists, doctors, nurses, vernacular media specialists, seminary teachers, veterinarians, and others working in missions, can receive an education that prepares them well for their next stage of life.
On arrival in Cameroon to teach at Rain Forest International School, I soon had to adjust to teaching a diverse group of high school students holding a dozen different passports between them, speaking a variety of languages, and coming from assorted backgrounds –diplomatic, military, rich, modest means, civilian, business, and missionary.
Called, connected, commissioned, and with the delightful, surprising affirmation of the students’ grateful missionary parents, I have no doubt that, as a teacher of children of missionaries, I serve as a missionary and my service contributes to the Bible translation movement.
A Bible translator, a literacy worker and a parent of three RFIS graduates commented:
“I’m very grateful for the teachers at RFIS who have taken a load off my shoulders so that I haven’t had to teach my kids through high school so that I have been available to concentrate on helping a people group learn to read their language.”
Every year there is a turnover of teachers at Rain Forest International School. Please consider joining the staff at this wonderful school.