I believe I have to take you back a little ways to explain where we find ourselves today. Shannon and I thought we were coming to Alaska for two years. She would finish her schooling (Masters in Elementary Education) and I would do my seminary internship at Alaska Christian College. At the end of those two years, we would head to North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago where I would complete my schooling and Shannon would teach at a local school. These were our plans and we didn’t ever question them.
A year and a half ago, Shannon received an unexpected surprise; Liberty University (the school she was attending online for her Master’s degree) informed her that she didn’t have the right core competencies from her undergraduate degree and would have to take more undergrad classes before she could get her master’s degree. We saw this as a setback. Though Shannon tried to make things work where she could still finish her degree in two years, there was just no way that it could happen. We decided to stay at Alaska Christian College for one more year until Shannon completed her degree.
It was not until this past semester, as we accepted that God’s plan may not be the same plan as we had lined out for ourselves that we begin to explore the idea of not heading to Chicago for seminary. We begin to ponder where we wanted to live…Shannon loves the schools in the area and is already certified to teach in the State of Alaska, our hearts have grown larger and larger for the native students that we serve, and we love the fishing, clamming, dip netting and hiking all found outside our backdoor. In short, we love living in Alaska, the people we work with, and the students we serve. As the two of us realized, Shannon before myself, that we really wanted to stay in this community, the two of us were overcome with a sense of joy and peace.
I will still be attending Seminary in the fall, but I will be attending online instead of in the classroom. Shannon is currently looking for employment within the local school district since she received her Master’s degree on January 7th!
We are looking forward to what God has for us, and the new adventures that we will have in this New Year…and years to come!
-Sean and Shannon