The main benefit of using a free little Google blogspot is I've never felt the need to do any advertising in this space.
Until today. Because today, I'm advertising, um, us. Gil and I. Our family. Anybody out there looking for people like us? After 16 years in Tanzania, we're moving to America, and we are starting over. We are open to wherever God leads us.
It feels weird to write about this, because we are still all in here in Tanzania. We are still very much fully immersed in our life and ministry here. We love our life; we are not anxious to leave. July still seems very far away and it feels early to start thinking about what will be next. Yet rationally, we know that it's not that far away, and we need to start planning.
It's been a really long time since we've lived in America, so we're pretty out of touch. Yes, we are checking out job listings and doing a lot of research, but I also have over 2000 people reading this blog, and most of them live in America. So.....hi guys! Want us to be your neighbors?
In all seriousness though, I'm wondering if any of you might have some ideas for us. Mainly because we aren't just looking for jobs that could use our set of skills and experiences, but because we are looking for a unique kind of community--a school, a church, or a neighborhood that will be a healthy place for our unique family to transition to life in America.
Whether it's a community or a job, we really could use your two thousand sets of eyes and ears out there to help us find a good fit.
Ready? Here we go.
Regarding community: We would love to know where pockets of African immigrants are living in the United States. Or maybe refugee communities, or multi-ethnic immigrant communities. We would love to hear about churches or schools that have high populations of refugees or immigrants. We would be thrilled to know about Christian schools or college towns where there are thriving international student ministries.
Regarding jobs: Gil and I are "all in" kind of people. We love holistic ministry; hospitality is our thing. We have extensive experience in education, theological training, TCK ministry, cross-cultural ministry, and missions. We would love to find a church, school, or non-profit that sees our experience overseas (and our multi-racial family) as a advantage, with something unique to bring to an organization. I'll write a little more about the specifics of Gil and I at the bottom of this post.
Bonus points if the community or job is in or near California. But even if it's not, we want to hear about it. (Be aware, though, that northeastern winters might kill us. So you'll have to tell God to make it really, really clear if we're supposed to head out in that direction.)
So. Got any leads for us? Feel free to share this post with anyone you think might be interested in us. Or send me your ideas to everyoneneedsalittlegrace(at)gmail.com.
Here's a little more about us:
Gil and Amy Medina have been Reach Global (Evangelical Free Church of America) missionaries for 17 years. We have four Tanzanian kids between the ages of 8 and 14.
Gil Medina, age 42
BA Biblical Studies, The Master's University
MA Theological Studies, Talbot Seminary
Experience: 2 years in church planting (youth ministry), 3 years as a college ministry leader, 8 years as Bible teacher/youth leader/chaplain (grades 6-12) at an International Christian School, 6 years as a theological trainer for church leaders in Tanzania.
Gil is a visionary, strategic thinker. He is a gifted Bible teacher and preacher, and specializes in taking complex theological concepts and making them understandable and relevant. His favorite teaching topics include Life of Christ, Romans, and Worldview/Apologetics, and he designed his own curriculum for almost all the classes he has taught. He loves discipleship, especially with young people. His other interests include photography and sports (he has coached youth/high school soccer and basketball for 20 years), and he is an avid reader.
Ideal positions include: Bible teacher (preferably post-high school but open to high school as well), international student ministry, college/young adult ministry, church outreach director, missions training/mobilization.
Amy Medina, age 42
BA Liberal Studies/Teacher Education, The Master's University
Post-graduate California Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential
Experience: 7 years as an elementary school teacher (grades K, 2, 5 and 6), 10 years as a part-time teacher/assistant chaplain/youth leader, 3 years as a school board member, 3 years as elementary school principal at an International Christian School (150 students, 20 direct reports).
My specialty is in being task-oriented, detailed, and efficient. I love training and encouraging others to do their jobs well. I love teaching kids and anything having to do with Christian education. Biblical worldview integration is a particular passion of mine. I am an avid reader and writer and a quick learner.
Ideal positions include: Administrative assistant for a school or non-profit organization, church children's director, refugee or immigrant ministry, international student or TCK ministry, ESL teaching, missions mobilization, elementary school education. (Though I absolutely love my job as a school principal right now, I won't be looking for a school leadership position in the near future.)
Thanks for your help!