by Sandra Lovelace
previously posted at Lifeway
Continued from Life After Homeschooling (Part 1)
Our first international trip gave us a few hints that there was life after homeschooling and that it was a mixed bag of ups and downs.
Yes, the travel was wonderful – marvelous scenery and architecture, friendly people, delicious food. It was also tiring, sometimes nerve racking, and often unpredictable. We got lost, our leader missed us at a train connection, and we arrived at a hotel late at night to find no reservations. The heights of joy and excitement of service were often assailed by timidity and concern for personal safety. Through it all we requested, received, and came to rely on the glorious grace and faithfulness of God.
Besides giving us a message to bring, God gave us an audience to hear it. The people who attended our first two education conferences were missionaries serving in the Czech Republic and Poland. Although missionary parents chose a variety of education options, virtually every one of these children was homeschooled either part- or full-time. These families were delighted to receive the instruction and encouragement we offered in the name of our Lord. The children brought bright minds, warm hearts, and open countenances into their activity sessions. We ended our times together with prayer for each family member. It was powerful!
We did take a bit of time to discover some of the sights of Prague and Lodz. The old world charm gives one a perspective of the world’s history that is hard to grasp otherwise. We visited the chapel where Jan Hus, an early reformer martyred in 1416, preached to his loyal followers. We saw the depressing landscape of gray concrete buildings erected by the Communists that stretched as far as the eye could see. We came to understand the deep economic strain under which the nationals and missionaries live. It was a time of learning for us, the servant teachers.
We came home tired in our bodies but exhilarated in our hearts and minds. We received positive feedback for our humble efforts. It was rewarding to know that the offering we made was well received and appreciated. We added a list of new names to our friendship and prayer lists. We asked that God receive all the glory and honor for His work and accomplishments through our introductory journey.
I reflect often on how God brought me onto this new path He is laying out for me. I see how He wove many details together in perfect timing to bring me to where I am today. I also see that all along the way my omniscient Father was using every experience in my life to prepare me for the work I am now doing. I admit that I did not like many of them, and did not appreciate most of them. If I had my own way, I would have avoided as many as possible. I am thankful that His love for me is greater than I can imagine.
As I mentioned, we were pioneer homeschoolers. Like the pioneers in the westward movement we made our way on unmarked, unfriendly, and often treacherous trails. For the most part there were no footsteps to follow and few friends in our wagon train. We were thrown into the dust on our knees before the throne on a regular basis. Our commitment was to move forward step-by-step in obedience to what our Lord was calling us to do each day. In this new phase of ministry He is using the lessons He gave us and the truths He taught us to pass on to others and bring glory to His name.
I do not know what direction your next phase of ministry will take. I do know that our King is already preparing you for it in ways you may not fully understand even when you get there. I can assure you that it will be a challenging and rewarding opportunity for service that will bring glory to His name, if you follow Him in obedience. I would like to offer some suggestions for those of you wondering about what’s coming next.
Be faithful to your current call; ask our Lord and Savior to prepare you fully for what’s ahead; seek His guidance as you make your way. It has been my experience that He takes every offering, no matter how small, and repays it with rich blessings and an abundant life. I pray that in the months ahead, as I share with you some of the divine appointments I have had in my dream job, that you will come to embrace the truth that there is life after homeschooling.