Teacher Feature, Myrt
November 19, 2018 | FeaturedHarvesters
Gillian Myrtle Grimm-Turunen [known as Myrt to all]
Sixteen years ago, when I was “only” 54 years old, I received a phone call in the middle of one night. The caller was Director Rex Freel, who desired to interview me by phone, as I had applied to teach for NICS. Rex was on furlough in the USA, and I was in South Africa, thus the time difference.
Previously I had taught in South African Govt. schools for 13 years, then for 11 years I had assisted to establish, teach and lecture at 2 large mission schools and a Christian Teacher’s Training College in the heart of Zululand, South Africa. After that I worked hard for some years, to establish Care Centres for street kids in George, southern South Africa. But my heart longed to return to be a teacher abroad again, which I could attempt to do since I had then become a widow and my two children were self-sustaining or studying.
The NICS opportunity seemed like a dream come true! I travelled beyond the oceans to start serving our Lord and His kids, in Uijoengbu, South Korea, which was, during my first year there, quite a culture shock for me. Nonetheless it was there, far away from home, that I realized that no matter how far we are from home and family, God places us in new families which are loyal, friendly, accepting and caring. I joined a warm, inviting church, made Korean and American friends, (whom I currently still value as friends and prayer supporters), while opening my house and heart to our U.S. soldiers serving in S Korea, who later became my key supporters when I served with NICS in Kenya and Ghana.
While serving in Uijoengbu, the school kindly assisted me to start my MRE through Cornerstone University. I later received my MRE with honors, which has also equipped me to teach the Word of God to many.
WHY do I tell you the above? Now that I have reached a ripe age of 70 years, but not yet retired, I still have such a passion for teaching. I look back at how our Lord wastes nothing! He uses ALL of our experiences for His glory and His Kingdom. NICS opened my eyes and life to the vast possibilities of lovingly ministering to various cultures; something which my Finnish husband and I do here in Finland for many refugees who come from numerous nations. My MRE, combined with my time with NICS, unlocked the keys to many new and rewarding nurturing tasks, which I pray I can continue doing until Jesus takes me Home.
Even though I had had very responsible positions in some schools, my time with NICS schools taught me new perspectives and new ideas for teaching. The methods we used to plan and execute our lessons to reveal God's Truths in all knowledge, caused my teaching skills to come alive, not only for the students I taught, but also for me. The Bible classes I taught to some South Korean mothers paved the way for me to regularly teach the Word at International meetings or to women, here in a cold northern country.
I rejoice and am so thankful that I feel I will always be a part of the NICS family. I receive the newsletters and pray for NICS -- the schools, leaders, staff, teachers and students frequently. NICS is like a stone thrown into a stream, where the rippling effects radiate outside the circle, again and again, deeper, wider and further. NICS not only impacts students, but also those who are called to minister to them. We don’t only reach those in our schools, but also worldwide, into countries some of us are not even aware.
The harvest is ripe, and the reapers are few. It is virtually impossible for us to go to some specific lands, but our Lord makes a way – He brings the harvest to us in the form of students. May our Lord waken us up to plough, to sow and to gather for His Kingdom no matter when we are. If you are considering teaching with NICS, I encourage you to "go for it;" you will not regret it. (And don't let age stop you!)