In June 2017 during General Assembly and Conventions in Indianapolis, Indiana, Linda Dortch “just happened” to sit on a bench in the Asia-Pacific Region booth and a missionary “just happened” to walk up and start a conversation about cross-cultural ministry.
The missionary was David Potter, who, with his wife, Sylvia, is helping to develop the Church of the Nazarene on the island nation of Vanuatu. Later that week, the Potters shared with Linda and her husband, Jim, about the need for someone to teach English at South Pacific Nazarene Theological College. Since Linda has extensive experience as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, she and Jim agreed to pray about this need.
Over the next few weeks, the frequency of emails and prayers became more intense as Jim and Linda explored this possibility. The turning point came one day when they remembered their own struggles in learning to speak Spanish.
“Each time God placed a teacher, a tutor, a class, an opportunity for us to inch our way to the next footing in Spanish, we celebrated," the couple said. "What if these English learners in Vanuatu feel like we feel? What if they need someone to help them inch their way to their next foothold in English?”
Jim and Linda knew that God could use other people to go and teach, but they kept thinking back to the conversation that “just happened” on the bench at General Assembly.
After much prayer, Jim and Linda said yes to a short-term assignment. On 23 January, the couple flew to Vanuatu where they are now on a two-month assignment as English teachers at SPNTC. They are also helping with English conversational groups as an outreach program for the local Church of the Nazarene.
For more information about Jim and Linda’s assignment in Vanuatu, visit steppingstonejourney.blogspot.sg.