Tag Archives: teachers

Fingerprints all over the place

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The Book of Esther in the Bible is a fascinating story about a Jewish girl who won a royal beauty pageant and was chosen to be queen.  She became aware of a plot to wipe out the Jews, and she determined to beg the King for mercy for her people at the risk of her own life.  The most famous verse in Esther is where her uncle is counseling her in how to proceed and spurring her on to courage. He tells her, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  It is an inspirational story that is still celebrated in the Jewish holiday of Purim and in the commencement speeches of Christian schools all across America.  But the astounding thing about the Book of Esther is that the name of God is not mentioned once.  Not Once!

Even with the lack of direct mention, no one can doubt that this book belongs in the Bible because we see God’s fingerprints all over the arranging of events and lining up of “coincidences”.  In the olden days they would have called that “Providence”.  In modern Christianese we call these “God moments” or “Divine appointments”.  It doesn’t really matter what you call it.  There are just times when God reaches down into the space-time continuum and gets involved in human lives or in history on a grand scale.  God is not a far off, distanced ruler.  He is intimate.  Another name for God is Emmanuel which literally means “God with Us”.

I love those moments when you look back and see that God was guiding the details of your life.  I love finding God’s fingerprints all over the place, evidence that He is God with Us.  Part of my responsibilities as Vice Principal include beating the bushes for new teachers.  This year nearly our entire staff changed.  Some of the positions were filled from connections that other teachers had.  Some of them came directly from my circle of acquaintances.  And some of them were Divine appointments- pure God.

For example, we had filled the 4th and 5th grade positions with relative ease.  But the 6th grade class was still vacant.  We interviewed several people, and nothing was fitting together right.  Both the principal and I decided to pray specifically that God would lead us to the right person.  I felt that God was saying to me, “This person is not going to come from YOUR resources.”  So I had no idea what God had in mind!  OK, God, surprise me.

One day the Assistant to the Principal and I were the only two in the office.  In walked a young lady who simply asked, “Do you have any teaching positions available for September?  I’ve been taking classes at the language school this summer and I’ve decided that I want to stay in Costa Rica.”  The Assistant and I exchanged big-eyed looks.  I interviewed her on the spot, exchanged email addresses with her, and that was that.  A miracle literally just walked in the door.

Photo credit: Jack Spades / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Jack Spades / Foter / CC BY

Then this week, another miracle was handed to us directly by God.  As you know, our second grade teacher quit just 2 weeks before the first day of school… 8 days before teacher orientation.  That day I spent a lot of time in prayer, asking the Lord to provide the right person that He had in mind.  I posted the plea for teachers on Facebook, and over a dozen of my friends reposted my status or forwarded it to friends of theirs.  A friend of a friend connected me with the name of a girl and I sent her a message.  I explained the job and asked if she would be interested.  She told me that she had been specifically praying for a teaching position in Costa Rica for this school year!  And she could be here in a week!   “And who knows that you have come here for such a time as this?”  I am totally flabbergasted at how God pulled that one off.

I was at the end of my resources.  I had already asked every teacher I knew in Costa Rica during the previous teacher search.  I had exhausted all of my connections in every direction.  So when this need came up, I was empty handed.  I went to the Lord as a pauper, a beggar.  And I am astounded at His extravagance.  Divine appointment or God Moment… whatever… God was in the House and His fingerprints are all over the place.

I’m supposed to be on Vacation!

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I’m supposed to be on vacation for one week before the week of Teacher Orientation.  One week.  We are done with teams for the year.  We have no more traveling planned for this week.  I only wanted to brush up on my Spanish subjunctive tense, devour a few books on my Kindle, and knock off a few Sudokus a day.  I’m supposed to be on vacation.

Photo credit: BrittneyBush / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: BrittneyBush / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

So if you read my blog yesterday, you will know that I started my day with bad news.  Now that it’s official, I can tell you that our 2nd grade teacher quit… two weeks before the first day of school.  I’m the Vice Principal, so of course she sent the email to me.  I saw a month’s worth of work unravel before my eyes.  I’m supposed to be on vacation.  I’m not supposed to be madly searching for a new teacher just days before the school year starts.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time in prayer and a lot of time hovering around my cell phone, email, and Facebook just communicating with those who needed to know and those who could help get the word out.  I could do nothing else.  It’s not like there are a bunch of American teachers just waiting around in Costa Rica, longing to be hired.  And anyone that we hire needs to move to a foreign country basically by the end of the week, two weeks at the latest.  How many of YOU could do that?  I certainly could not.  So you can see how limited my pool of teacher choices is.  So much for being on vacation.

Eight Facebook friends reposted my desperate plea for a new teacher.  And I posted the need on a prayer group board for our home church.  A friend of a friend of a friend connected me to a name.  My parents both wrote with a recommendation of their own.  Another teacher offered to ask a friend of hers if she was interested.  One of our sweet newly graduated students wrote offering to substitute until we found another teacher.  We were all beating the bushes simultaneously.

At dinner time I did a quick phone interview with one potential candidate and received a resume from another.  In the morning (today) I will have a meeting with our Head Director the Principal and myself.  We will discuss the situation and read the resume together.  They will probably want to do a Skype interview right on the spot.  None of us are supposed to be in the office this week.  We are all on vacation.

How will this drama end?  I’ll be sure to let you know when I come to the end of the story.  I am sure that God has a plan.  I am confident that God has the right person in place for this job.  I am totally convinced that we are seeing a miracle unfold even as I write these words.  It’s just excrutiatingly stressful to see the birth of something new even though it didn’t take God by surprise and neither is He stressed out by this contraction of my best laid plans.  I just have to remember to keep breathing.  Breathe, breathe, breathe and think about vacation.