Teach Beyond is a global Christian organization that supports schools throughout the world seeking to provide a Christian centered education, often in countries where a Christian witness is limited. They are also seeking to support schools in refugee centers through a sister organization, Beyond Borders. As of this writing, there are TB schools in over 60 countries (see: https://teachbeyond.org/).

There are other organizations that provide a similar service. Leadership Development International (LDi) performs a similar function, largely in China, and the Network of International Schools (NICS), a smaller organization that began in South Korea, does the same in 13 countries, mostly in the Far East. There is a degree of cooperation between these organizations so as to maximize global impact.

The Lord led us in a most organic way to this organization. Black Forest Academy, where we served for a year in the mid-nineties, is the founding school for Teach Beyond, and many of those with whom we worked in Germany are still part of the larger organization. Our Vietnamese/Canadian friend Mic, whom we have supported since we first met him at Fuller while we were completing our Master’s degrees, also serves with Teach Beyond in the Far East. David D, who is the new CEO of the mission, is a former student of mine from BFA. Clearly the Lord had been preparing us for these roles for some years before we arrived.

Now that we have arrived at TB’s global office in Horsham, we are going to take some time to get settled. There are always transitional hiccups with moving to another country, even if it is the country of your birth. Most of the personal ones are either sorted or soon will be. Then there are the settling in issues with the mission itself. Most of those remain to be sorted. One of the most important took place as we spent the last weekend at a retreat with TB staff in Shropshire.

Cloverly Hall, where the retreat was held, is a typically drafty old county estate with horse barns converted to conference rooms. These two old tropical plants found the damp air chilly with a notable lack of sunshine. However, there were spectacular views of the British countryside to compensate and jovial air of camaraderie to brighten the spirits. I drank gallons of tea to warm my insides and wore several layers of clothes wherever I went. On a spare afternoon a new friend Clive and I went to explore the canals and churches of the area and were not disappointed.

It was a longish drive to Shropshire of about four hours, but our new little Ford Fiesta had no trouble keeping up with the 70 mph traffic on the M6. It was nice to be able to see the British countryside, and the stop in Stratford was a lifelong dream. The retreat was a great introduction to the mission and its people, and we look forward to getting deeper into our roles and responsibilities with our new lives in England.