Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thoughts on going where the need is

It's strange to be in this place after so many years of waiting. We are actually investigating options about what's next in our lives.

It's a dillemna. I've blogged before about my need for more training in order to truly counsel well. I still believe that. I also can't see how I can possibly get more training right now. Since Isaac would be entering his field for the first time, he'll probably not be making much, certainly not enough to pay for both me getting a graduate degree and putting Judah in childcare. I also just don't want to put Judah in childcare.

I get opposite responses to that. Some people absolutely think I should be home with him, and I get a subtle pressure from that side at all times. I resist it slightly, because while being at home with a kid is great, I don't want motherhood to result in me throwing away nurturing God-given gifts and other vocations. However, I don't think it's either/or. I will be able to get training. I will be able to do it in a few more years, after little people are a little bigger. I don't want to miss this stage any more than I already am, when they are tiny and only with us and growing and being formed with such speed.

We've always intended to work overseas. I counsel and mentor. Isaac is a theology teacher. These are fields that are absolutely full in the US. If you look at the demand for theology professors versus supply in the US, it's just ridiculous. If either one of us were offered a job in our field and turned it down, there'd be 15 other people waiting in line behind us. On the other hand, there are many countries around the world where the church has absolutely exploded in size and the need for training and mentoring and counseling is immense. That's where we'd like to go.

And why not go? I've written before about my angsty thoughts on not having a default home. Unlike most people, leaving the US isn't a massive jump because we didn't grow up here, it really isn't home to us. We feel rootless. Sure, we'd love to be with family, but family is scattered anyways. So, if you have no home that you are connected to, why not go to where the need is, which is generally places that many other people can't or won't go to?

It's not, for us, about this sense of mysterious calling. Isaac is called to teach. I'm called to discipleship. We're called to each other, and to our children. That is our calling. Where we fulfill that calling feels quite free.
It's also not about taking all of our cultural superiority to the deprived masses somewhere else in the world. That's b.s. To be quite frank, there is a cultural richness in most places around the world that our industrialized and relationally shallow Western society is missing. For me there is certainly a desire to leave here because it's never been home. I don't want that to be my reason for going, though. Those emotions are there, but if we don't have a better reason for leaving then I will most certainly burn out when it turns out wherever we end up isn't home either.

So - we've been investigating. Where are there schools that need teachers? As I wrote, it's discouraging to see education being abandoned in many missions circles. We've been talking to one organization, though, that has schools around the world, still. In fact, it has schools in many places we're interested in. We told them just to send our information to all the schools and see who responds. That way we'll find out who actually has need.

It's downright exciting. I have no idea where this process will take us or how long it will take, I just know that I'm thrilled it's finally here.

6 comments:

Jaimie said...

I would go somewhere in Africa. That place is the dumpster of the world. They need help.

Kacie said...

However, I will say... Africa has had a thriving church for forever, they have schools set up and local leaders that are trained...

There are some places with great need for theological training in Africa, but many that don't need it.

Jaimie said...

Hm, I'm either thinking about the worst parts of Africa (which probably get all the publicity) or confusing teaching with medicine, lol.

Kacie said...

yeah, and something I'm trying to guard against is treating the people we are going to train like charity cases. I want to partner with them, to give them resources we may have that they have less of, and in our case that's education, but in some places that's money, etc. But how do you make them not just the recipient but a community that in turn goes and gives that resource to others as well instead of taking it and needing more?

Jaimie said...

Education is one of the few things that keeps on giving.

Sturgmom said...

Do you mind sharing the name of the organization you are looking into? Teaching overseas is definitely something we've discussed pursuing in the future. If you don't want to share it here, you can email me at sturgmomingeneral @ gmail.com Thanks!