Ben and Amanda were just easing into the final stretch of the American Dream when their plans took a sharp detour. Amanda had been retired for about a year from her job as a literature professor when Ben announced he was retiring from the pastorate. That very Sunday, Amanda sat him down and said, “Honey, neither of us is going to be any good at being retired. We’ve got to find something to do!” With their son teaching in Boston and their daughter and grandchildren living in Phoenix, Oklahoma City just wasn’t home anymore. They looked into new hobbies and even considered buying an RV, but nothing seemed to pique their interest.
Then Amanda ran across a documentary on women’s education around the world. She learned how essential female education is to community health and how many women in developing countries still lack access to basic education. Meanwhile, Ben met a Colombian pastor at a local coffeehouse and ended up spending a solid hour “talking shop” with his fellow minister. Ben was astounded to hear how many pastors around the world have next to no theological training and must make do with just a few pages of Scripture and their own intuition.
That evening over dinner, he fidgeted nervously with the tablecloth as he told Amanda, “Love, I think I want to move overseas and teach.” She leaped up immediately, clapping her hands and squealing, “That’s what I want to do, too!” They now live oceans away from Oklahoma City, teaching language and business skills to women in the city and trekking into rural areas to lead indigenous pastors in theological training.