Well our summer was busy, and apparently September was too, because I can't believe it's already October and our calendar is filling up with activities from now until the end of the year. But school is going well for both boys and we're excited for new opportunities and friendships God continues to bring us. Recently I've had a few friends ask what a typical day is like for us. And it made me realize that sometimes things become so normal to me that I forget to share with our friends and family around the world what we're involved in and what God is doing... so this post is about one of those things that has been a part of my daily life.
Some of you know that Justin attends Okinawa Christian School International (OCSI) and Noah will start there next year. We heard of the school as soon as we moved to Okinawa and have been so blessed to be part of the school community as parents, and our church also partners with OCSI in many things. But when we had been in Okinawa about 1 1/2 years, I (Julie) was asked to join the school board. I also grew up at a private school and was excited about the chance to serve the school and expand our involvement in Okinawa. The school is set up so that local missionaries and pastors make up the board, and you are asked to serve for 3 years.
When I first joined the board, I only knew a few teachers, and I didn't even know the other board members much. I had no idea how God would use that experience to change me and give me incredible friendships. I learned a lot while serving on the board... my Mom was previously a school principal and teacher, so I knew that working at a private school was very stressful at times. But I really had no idea. ;) Yes, sometimes it was really hard and we had to deal with very difficult things. But it was such a privilege to deal with those difficult things together, with amazing brothers and sisters in Christ. We are blessed with an incredible community of churches and missionaries on Okinawa. We are all from different backgrounds, denominations, and organizations, but God has blessed our relationships with unity, encouragement, prayer support, and incredible friendships.
I learned so much from the other board members and school administrators, faculty, and staff I got to work with. God stretched me and challenged me in ways I hadn't experienced before... it was hard, but so good. And now that my 3 year commitment is finished, I know how to pray for the school in a different and deeper way. We are still very involved in the school as parents and through church partnerships, and sometimes I do miss that tangible way of serving, but God is opening new doors and opportunities. It's actually really cool that we've been here long enough to go through 'seasons' of serving in different ways. I am so thankful for my time on the board, and now I'm thankful to get serve God at the school in other ways. But my life has been changed by the incredible people I got to serve with and their love for God and dedication to him. And if you ever want to serve at a great school on a beautiful island in Japan, just let me know and I'll send you an application... :)