Thursday, December 6, 2012

In The End, There Can Be Only One

Christiana again, processing what's on my mind. I have spent the better part of my last four work-days (and even some time over the weekend) updating the RCE website with the many, many positions available for teachers to serve overseas. I've populated so many pages with links to so many schools, in so many cities that I've actually lost count of the total number of teachers needed. This much I can tell you - the total volume  of staff needs in international Christian schools is just overwhelming to me.

If you're a recent acquaintance, then you might not know that I spent four years as an administrator at one of these partner schools. During the latter half of that period, I had the opportunity to recruit. I traveled to various schools to speak to potential teachers. I presented our school's staffing needs at international conventions. I trolled personnel data bases that had been designed specifically for international Christian schools. Every year, I prayed that we would somehow have every single staff position filled before the start of the year. Every year, there was inevitably a vacancy that we scrambled to cover.

(This is not to say that God didn't provide; He always, always did.)

As I entered each of the positions available, and as I typed in the names of each administrator, I reflected on those days of struggling to fill spots. I know what it's like to hold an incredible resume in your hand, to think you've stumbled upon the IDEAL candidate for a key teaching position, and to contact said candidate for an interview by Skype. I know the feeling of elation when -post interview- that candidate follows through in completing a very extensive application, and his or her references start to arrive. I know what it's like to make that second call, to offer that job, to hope that this person or that will join your staff. I know exactly how it feels when that ideal candidate thanks you profusely, only to turn down your offer.

After awhile, you learn not to take it personally.

I'm particularly sensitive to these needs right now, because for the first time in more than a decade, Phil & I are on the other end of that scenario. In someone's estimation, *we* are the ideal candidates. We submitted the applications, the resumes, the references. We were the ones to receive the phone calls or e-mails. We have been offered the job - at two schools. Obviously, we can only accept one of them.

We'd like to make a decision soon, but we certainly want to make sure that we've thought through every aspect, that we've prayed sincerely over both possibilities. We'd like to be able to send out a reply by next week. One way or another, we're going to make one school administrator very happy...and another one very disappointed. Prayers are appreciated.

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