As most of you already know, i move around an awful lot. Seems like i can't stay in one place for very long. That lifestyle has been fantastic for the past several years; but i think i'm finally ready for some stability. You know: like maybe it's time to put down some roots for a change. Seems like everywhere i move, i form really strong friendships. And when it comes time to move -- well, then i gotta say goodbye all over again. (Not to mention that packing gets to be a pain after a while.)
Well, now i'm heading off to Japan ... or, at least that's the direction God's leading me. For those of you who haven't heard the story behind this new leg of the journey, here's a brief summary....
Back in September 2009, i was working at one of the most magnificent places in the world: Camp Redcloud in Lake City, Colorado. Fantastic though it was, the low monthly wage wasn't enough to address the ridiculous number of financial responsibilities i had at that time (i.e., student loans, car loans, cell phone, etc.). So, much to my dismay, i was forced to search for alternate employment. I was hoping for something in Colorado (since it's such an INCREDIBLE state to live in), but i ended up looking pretty much everywhere in the United States. (And you know what? I couldn't find a single job that i was qualified to do that would also pay the bills!)
Oh, beautiful Colorado. How i miss thee!
Okay, that's the background; now i'm really gonna sum it up. In my job searching, i 'happened upon' (God's plan) this private school in Japan called MeySen Academy (www.meysen.ac.jp) and applied for a position. But because i was still six credits short of a bachelor's degree, i couldn't be considered for the job. So i ended up with a great job outside of Denver (an unexpected blessing after i had already moved back to Pennsylvania for five weeks) which enabled me to pay off a bunch of student and vehicle debt. To make things even more interesting: by May 2010, i had been offered a job as the "supervisor" of an outdoor education camp in the South African bush! Dave Rushworth (below) -- a South African zoologist, an authority on African wildlife, and a man who is totally in love with Christ --
saw my résumé and invited me to help him pioneer a new camp. But, due to South Africa's intense immigration laws, that door closed. Within two weeks of that closed-door realization, however, God provided me with an amazing teaching position at MeySen in Sendai, Japan! In fact, it was Dave Rushworth who urged me to apply for it!
Now, i'll give you a quick description of MeySen and a glimpse of the role i'll have there. MeySen Academy is a highly reputable private school for Japanese children that has been in existence for over 40 years. As i understand it, the school was founded by Christ-loving missionaries. The school is not, however, a Christian school, nor are all of the faculty members Believers in Jesus Christ. However, as a Believer, i will be permitted to talk about the Bible and share the Gospel with the students!!!! As for my role, i'm actually gonna be an English teacher. (Never thought that would happen!) But this isn't your typical English teacher role. It's a really active job. The students and i will be doing things like music, games, hikes, field trips, and so on. This falls right in line with my experience as an experiential educator. It seems that every week i find something new, unexpected, and totally exciting about this new adventure!
I don't have any photos of MeySen yet, nor do i have permission to use the photos on their website. But here's a glimpse of Sendai during one of their many festivals.
Now i'm gonna say this very carefully, but i'm gonna say it: My plan is to keep this blog updated -- at least once a month. So, if you wanna keep in touch with me, Facebook and e-mail are great; but it would help if you could just comment here so i can centralize all of my correspondences. At this point, i'm not sure if this blog permits you to send me a private message (if you'd prefer that). If you can, great; if not, please feel free to send me an e-mail or private message me on Facebook! Thank you for taking an interest in my life! I love you all!
† jake † (for those of you in PA)
† jacob † (for those of you in CO)