From the time I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Perhaps it was because my older sister, Julie, wanted to be a teacher so I wanted to be one too! She and I would ‘play school’ up in our attic and we would strongly encourage our three younger brothers to be our students. Our school was complete with: desks and chairs, a blackboard, books and supplies, including those infamous red pencils that we loved to mark up our brothers’ ditto sheets with!
Julie and I both went to North Park College where we graduated with our certificates to be schoolteachers. For a while we both taught in the same district at different elementary schools. I remember thinking then that I could not believe I was getting paid for something I loved doing so much! Then Julie moved out East and I moved to California and our lives went in different directions.
Reminiscing about these childhood memories and the paths our lives have taken over the years was a precious gift recently as Julie, and her husband, Bill, came to visit us in Colombia. We had ample time to talk and share and thanking God for leading us in our lives and in our educational endeavors. As I have grown in my faith, I know it is God who places that special call and passion within the hearts and minds of all people – that desire to serve, care, and prepare oneself in some way to contribute to society. For us – it was through teaching – which has provided a sense of joy, value and dignity as we see others discovering their passion and giftedness.
Julie currently serves as the Executive Director of SAIL for Education and of the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators. Bill, known as Mr. Bill Davis, recently retired after years of being a teacher and a principal. He and Julie have been part of a leadership team, creating curriculum to meet the needs of teachers and administrators in the area of leadership skills and online learning opportunities through SAIL.
I followed God’s call to become a Covenant long-term missionary in Colombia, learning and appreciating its culture and the Spanish language, becoming proficient in my language abilities in order to teach, preach, encourage and walk alongside others here in Colombia.
Together, we three, along with Gary, joined forces with our co-worker, Katie Isaza, and Eliana Perez in serving the teachers and directors of the FUSPA Foundation in Barranquilla with a two-day workshop. The themes were: Pronunciation and Phonics and Different Teacher Leadership Styles. It was great to be with this group of dedicated educators!
As little girls, Julie and I, never dreamed we would be sharing our passion for teaching by serving side by side in Colombia, bringing together two cultures and languages. God saw this happening and what a thrill it was!