Voices from the Field Kristi TenClay Get to know Kristi

More Questions Than Answers . . . Resting in Him

Published on February 12, 2024

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What has filled YOUR last month or two? In a season so often filled with a whirlwind of activities and events, did you have any moments of calm to rest at the feet of Jesus? This Christmas season, I enjoyed some quality rest and was blessed with many special moments with other members of our little Forest Community (the people living on our compound). I was struck repeatedly by how precious community can be!

Christmas pageant on our compound . . . with a real baby this year, and a very interested young angel. 😊

A group of RFIS students show off the Christmas stockings my mom made (filled with goodies from teachers and the Parent Teacher Fellowship).

Countless other hours have been spent on cheesecake, brownies, chocolate pie, lemon cupcakes, mini pumpkin pies, specialty chocolates, spaghetti sauce, and meatballs. Anyone hungry? Our 12th grade students (who I serve as a class advisor) are responsible for our annual Valentine’s Day event, so I have made (and tasted and shared!) many samples, played with lots of recipes, and canned more quarts of tomatoes than one person could eat in a year! The kids will have a couple work sessions between now and then to prep the meatballs and to make sure we have all the details worked out, but we are all excited to host an event that will hopefully pull a wide range of community members together for a fun (and tasty!) evening.

RFIS Class of 2024 takes a moment to gather during their Second Annual Soup ‘n’ Stew Cook-Off for a quick picture with the trophy and prize cakes.

In many ways, life goes on like normal: preparing and presenting classes; enforcing, communicating, and/or adjusting policies; supporting other members of the community; hoping the internet will cooperate for scheduled Zoom calls; and praying for God to provide staff members for next year, while simultaneously working toward possible plans for the school. However, change is a constant part of life.

In the summer of 2022, I returned to Cameroon to begin my fourth term at Rain Forest International School. My previous four-year term had ended somewhat abruptly in the chaos of burnout and utter exhaustion, but after the rest, counseling, and recovery experienced during my home assignment, it was clear that God was calling me back to Cameroon at that point. Taking a step back from leadership and administrative responsibilities, my plan at that point was to complete a three-year term before returning for my next home assignment. Though it has been a tremendous blessing to be back, it has become increasingly clear that my time here is coming to an end. Thus, it is with both joy and sorrow that I want to share with you the news that I will be finishing my time here in Cameroon and at Rain Forest International School at the end of this school year in June 2024.

So, what happens next? Good question! At this point, I plan to return to the US this summer to begin an abbreviated home assignment with the NAB. Beyond that, I have many more questions than answers! I, along with the NAB, will keep you updated as the situation unfolds and as I seek to discern if another mission opportunity is being prepared around the bend.

Quite honestly, I have no idea YET where God is leading for the next chapter of my journey. Your prayers are much appreciated as I pray, explore, and seek the counsel of others in the process of discerning my next steps. For now, I am trying to wait well, to finish well, and to rest in the confidence that God’s plan always has been and always will be good.

Kristi TenClay