Cathy

Japan

Cathy is a teacher at ICAN in Japan.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how and where you grew up, where you went to school.
As a native Texan, most of my life was spent in Houston. After moving north, I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. A short time later while in my mid-twenties, I came to faith in Christ after someone shared the gospel with me.
How did you first hear about opportunities at NICS?
I sensed a call to the mission field shortly after trusting Christ. Decades later as a middle-aged widow with two grown children, the timing seemed right to explore opportunities for serving as a missionary teacher. A friend mentioned the website for acsi.org, where I found a link for overseas opportunities. As I scrolled down the alphabetical listing of countries, I prayed for guidance, asking, “How does a missionary know to which country they are called?” At that point, I reached the “J” listings, and there was JAPAN! I had been corresponding with a Japanese penpal since I was in middle school, and this teaching position was located very close to my penpal family’s hometown. I knew with certainty that this was the answer to my prayer.
Did you speak any languages beyond English?
No. Although I continue to glean bits and pieces of the Japanese language, I have discovered that some adults in the Japanese community are eager to practice their English with a native English speaker.
What did your family say when you told them you were teaching in another country?
Most family members, as unbelievers, did not understand why I would leave family, job, and my house to move overseas to be a missionary teacher. I was encouraged by the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:29, “…everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
 
What was the biggest barrier keeping you from signing on as a NICS Teacher?
There were no barriers to signing on, as I was convinced that it was God’s direction for my life.
Did your family encourage you to go? If so what was the most encouraging thing they did?
My church family encouraged me through their prayers and support.
What was your favorite experience living in a new country?
Upon my arrival, my penpal family took me on many outings and introduced me to the culture and unique etiquette of Japan.
Tell us your favorite story from teaching at your NICS school.
In my 17 years of teaching at ICAN, my greatest blessing is when a young student approaches me with a desire to trust in Jesus. There is no greater joy!
What makes teaching at NICS so special?
Through NICS, God has provided me with the privilege of sharing the gospel in a country in which many have not yet heard of Jesus.
 
What do you wish you knew before you signed up?
Actually, I’m thankful that I did not know anything that might have discouraged me from going. I was so convinced of the Lord’s will in this, that I wasn’t concerned about too many of the details.
What would you tell someone considering becoming a NICS teacher?
Check your motives: Are you simply looking for the adventure of an overseas teaching job, or are you a mission-minded teacher seeking to be a part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)?
What is the one thing a new teacher should pack for their trip?
It will vary depending on your destination, so be sure to check with your teammates. But you should probably pack a lot less than you think you will need!
What is your best advice for getting used to a new culture/climate?
Although it may differ in many ways from what you’re accustomed to, it’s important to show proper respect for the differences in culture.
What final words of encouragement do you have for someone considering a job with NICS?
As you consider a teaching position with NICS, I pray that you will find joy in knowing that…we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us…” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
 

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