07 February 2011

Frequently Asked Questions, Part I: The Logistical


What will you being doing in Spain?
I will be teaching middle and high school English classes at a Christian school outside Madrid. Not English as in ESL, but English as in Language Arts. The curriculum is North American, so all teaching is done in English. My students are either native speakers of English or have reached a certain level of English proficiency. Unwritten in my job description is the whole process of mentoring and caring for kids who are living outside their passport country.

Who are the students?
Predominantly, they are children of missionary/expatriate families living in Spain. Some have parents working in other countries, and some are from the community.

Have you taught before?
In my own school classroom, no. But as a Sunday school teacher, a camp co-director, and a training coordinator, yes.

When are you leaving?
I am still in the process of gathering paperwork to submit my visa application, so I will leave whenever I have a visa in hand. That might be a month from now; it might be later in the spring. At this point, my plans have changed at least three times, and I have no doubt they'll change again. My original departure date was August 2010, but I didn't have the funds at that point. When I got the funds, I had a paperwork snare. So now...I don't know. I will leave when I am supposed to, and that's the best answer I can give!

What will you get paid?

To keep schooling affordable for missionary families, ECA doesn't offer staff salaries. All my expenses are being covered by very generous friends and churches who want to be a part of this journey by giving. I am so thankful for them.

What if I have been giving you money for the past year while you've been in the States?
All gifts are currently sitting in my WorldVenture account to be used once I get there. So if you've committed to a two-year commitment, for example, you might have already have one year under your belt. In that case, your commitment may officially be done in 2012, even though what you've given will be used in 2013.

What are you doing until you leave?
This is my second year working with a special needs middle school student. My teacher has been really gracious and flexible about letting me stick around while the rest of my life is in limbo, so I spend my days working on reading and writing and Shrek puzzles. This child is so adorable I could eat him. But I won't, except metaphorically.

Why did you choose to go with WorldVenture?
I knew some people who knew some people who liked WorldVenture. Out of the three agencies I scoped out, WorldVenture offered the opportunities I was looking for. Also, they were so very helpful and patient while I was dragging my feet through the initial commitment process. I haven't been disappointed so far!

How long has it taken you to go through the process of getting to Spain?
About eleven years. I read that book in 2000, I think. Maybe 1999. So that's when it started started.

I think I started emailing missions agencies in the spring of 2007, just to check out the options. In the spring of 2008, I decided for sure to quit my job at that time and pursue teaching overseas. In the spring of 2009, I officially jumped on board with WorldVenture. (Good grief, those poor women who sifted through years worth of emails, waiting for me to make up my mind. The day I decided to stop being impossible, I emailed one of them and said I was ready to make a decision. I got a phone call an hour later.)

In October of 2009, I was officially endorsed by WorldVenture, and I started fund-raising in January of 2010. Fund-raising took about ten months. And now it's February of 2011, and I'm still waiting on paperwork, and it's been a long journey, a long process, but the whole starting part is finally coming to an end after years and years and years! I mean, I know there will be another starting part, but the starting starting part is nearly over.
 
What happens if you don't go?
Honestly, that is not a concern for me. I know that where God calls, he also provides. Yes, I have been known to have stress dreams about timetables and schedules, and I'm finally getting the point where I don't really care. I don't mean that in a dismissive sense; I only mean that I'm tired of trying to keep control of everything in my head, then fall apart when it doesn't come true. The word "if" no longer pertains to the situation! I will get there.

Are you crazy?
Yes. But it goes undiagnosed.

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