Carrie

Turkey

Carrie is a teacher with NICS in Turkey. Read more about her journey here.

Tell us a bit about yourself, (how and where you grew up, where you went to school).
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, IL.  I am the oldest of three children, raised by two godly, supportive, loving parents. I graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.
What made you decide you become a teacher?
I knew I had a burden to serve overseas and I loved working with youth, so I pursued my teaching degree to prepare me to serve in these areas.
How did you first hear about opportunities at NICS?
A friend of a friend was serving at a NICS school. When she knew that I was looking into opportunities overseas, she told me about NICS.
Did you speak any languages beyond English?
I speak Spanish.
What did your family say when you told them you were teaching in another country?
They were, and still are, very supportive.
What was the biggest barrier keeping you from signing on as a NICS Teacher?
Seeking certainty that this was the path God had for me
What convinced you to overcome that barrier?
Praying about the decision and seeking counsel from friends and family
What was your biggest fear once you signed up?
Being far away from my friends and family
Did your family encourage you to go? If so what was the most encouraging thing they did?
My family was very encouraging to me. They have prayed for me and maintained regular communication with me while I have been overseas. My church family had a commissioning service and time of prayer for me before my departure.
What was your biggest fear when you first landed in your new country?
At the time I arrived, my biggest fear/concern was finding my place/niche in my new community. Over the years as my community has changed, as any International community does, it has been challenging to say goodbye to dear friends and to find my new place in the community, but God has always provided relationships and support near and afar.
What was your favorite experience living in a new country?
My favorite experience has been getting to befriend people from around the world and to learn about their lives and cultures.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you as you acclimated to a new culture?
We all have funny language learning mistakes. My favorite language learning mistake was ordering a “sausage (sucuk) coffee” instead of a cold (soguk) coffee during my first few weeks in the country.
Tell us your favorite story from teaching at your NICS school.
This is a really hard question. One of my favorite aspects of life in Turkey is getting to serve with the International youth group. For the past 5 years we have annually been able to take groups of teens to a mountain retreat center for a weekend retreat. These weekends have been definite “mountaintop” experiences of getting to see God work in the lives of all the youth and adults who have been able to attend has been a huge blessing over the years.  I don’t think I can narrow down a favorite teaching story either. One of my favorite things about teaching at my school is getting to work with students who need extra attention and seeing them grow in their ability and confidence, and getting to be a part of that.
What makes teaching at NICS so special?
All children and people of any age are precious, but one of the most special things about teaching with NICS is the opportunity to know and befriend people from so many places around the world and to share truth with them.
How did your experience with NICS help you grow as a teacher?
I have learned how to be flexible and to improvise. I have also had the opportunity to work with many students at various levels of English language acquisition, which I believe has developed my skills in working with students who are learning English. I have also learned how to use my resources: books, people, the Internet, to find solutions to challenges I have faced in the classroom.
What do you wish you knew before you signed up?
That even though serving overseas and with other people from very different backgrounds will sometimes be challenging, God will use these opportunities to help me grow and will provide friends who will become family here for support. The place you serve will become a second home.
What would you tell someone considering becoming a NICS teacher?
There will be challenges, as with any career/ministry, but it is worth it to be part of what God is doing around the world and in the lives of each individual you will work with.
What is the one thing a new teacher should pack for their trip?
A good camera to record all the memories that you will make.  I also recommend that you make a quote book. Students and co-workers will say a lot of funny things and I recommend recording them to look back on and share
What is your best advice for getting used to a new culture/climate?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Use the language that you know. It will help you to learn. Be intentional about reaching out and initiating friendships. Don’t be nervous.
What final words of encouragement do you have for someone considering a job with NICS?
No matter which opportunity you pursue, there will be highlights and there will be difficulties. Teaching overseas is an amazing platform for ministry and I love it.

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