Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits… ~ Psalm 103:1-2
Here we are again with a week of summer left before I fly out to Albania! It’s been a busy time back on the East Coast, and it’s flown by as quickly as I anticipated. Much of the time has been spent working on curriculum for next year as well as a fair bit of networking (with many of you!). Happily, my sister has been able to capitalize on opportunities to hang out and participate in my summer schedule, and I’ve had some solid family time. Not too long ago, Emily accompanied me down to Blacksburg where I gave a report to a church committee and met with a couple ol’ friends from college days. It can easily become a wistful, even melancholy experience visiting there given the trajectory of the past ten years. Needless to say, I was cheered by Emily’s company. The trip and activity did take its toll, however, and we returned home with her heart condition badly aggravated. (Going on two years now with her onset of “POTS”.) …This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.
I had the pleasure of seeing a bunch of old friends while I was back up in the Philadelphia area for a week taking an AP Summer Institute class to prepare for teaching AP Physics. Networking with my old community in such a short time left me feeling kind of like God was playing Tetris with my daily planner, packing every day with solid school prep and meaningful visits. I’ve even visited with out-of-state friends whose schedules aligned perfectly for a meeting. I am indeed grateful for my many contacts and friends and the layered chapters of life that God has given to me so far, though these experiences over the years have come with a pretty fluid sense of home; even for this Xennial, my transient sense of belonging can be disorienting sometimes. As grateful as I am for my friendships, I think I’m even more grateful for the hope of one day having one home in Christ’s Kingdom, whatever that may look like. It’s good for the heart to reflect, as I have with others a couple times over here in the States, that all of these brothers and sisters in Christ will indeed get to meet each other—even if they’re currently separated by oceans and different languages and a lifetime of experiences.
For those of you who are curious, it is true: I’m teaching another AP class in addition to AP Calculus this coming year—and AP Physics 1 will be a humdinger. I’m still scrambling to get a first cut of the unit plan and list of lab experiments and equipment to bring. Textbooks are coming in (including those of others’ classes), and at least the external logistics are coming together. In all I’ll be teaching three classes: AP Calculus for the second time, AP Physics 1 for the first time, and Pre-Calculus (a.k.a. Trigonometry and then some) for the first time. It’s a robust load for me and it will probably require constant planning this coming year, but with God’s help we can do this. Thank you for your prayers for personnel—recruiting didn’t exactly go as planned, but we’re making it work to fit the students’ needs.
I’m still getting finances officially in order. So far, factoring in some reserves from last year and expressly stated confirmation of continued support next year, I am 60% funded with a slightly altered budget. I am still looking to raise about $670/mo. If you have decided to help support me financially for this second year it would be helpful for budgeting purposes if you indicate by email or a phone call if you plan to do so. Let me know if you have any questions. There are a number of you with whom I still need to follow-up personally, but I rarely get around to directly asking for financial support since I’m usually content to simply share what is going on and find out how my supporters are doing themselves. If I haven’t interacted with you directly yet, expect a phone call or an email from me soon!
- I fly back to Albania August 15. That gives me a week to finish last minute preparation for curriculum Stateside where teaching resources (especially physics lab equipment) is most readily available. Please pray that I complete all the necessary tasks preparing for teaching this year!
- We have some new staff joining us this year, including some new administrative staff like my new boss and head of high school, Len. He, his wife, and others will need prayer support as they adapt to a new setting with unexpected challenges.
- Please pray for our students: the ones who have moved on to other locations on the globe (including college) and all those returning for another year at GDQ. I hope to be a better teacher than I was last year and to be more involved in their day-to-day lives. This will be a challenge since I will be very busy planning for new classes again.
Thank you all so much for your continued support, prayers, and friendship. You do not realize how encouraging it is to have a loving base like you. I’ve attached some photos from the summer, but unfortunately I lost nearly all my July photos when I inadvertently did a factory reset on my phone to get the screen working again—crazy!!
Looking forward to staying in touch.