Teacher’s stepping out in faith, but needs local help

Published 1:05 am Thursday, January 14, 2016

Elisabeth Nichols is shown with her students previously in Senegal.

Elisabeth Nichols is shown with her students previously in Senegal.

Florala High School graduate and Assemblies of God missionary Elisabeth Nichols never says no to what God has planned for her life.

“Things have been expedited big time, and I will now be leaving for Senegal in three weeks,” she said.

Nichols’ original plan was to start back teaching at Dakaar Academy in August.

“Once upon a time there was a teacher going about her Saturday morning, totally unaware of the surprise waiting in her email’s inbox,” she said. “She went about her morning as usual and scrolled through said inbox on her phone while eating breakfast. One email caused her to pause. It was an email from the elementary school principal at the school where she’d worked before.”

Nichols said the email said there was an open position at the school this semester and wanted to know if it was something she would consider.

Nichols told the school’s principal she would pray.

“God, if it is your will, let them offer me the job,” she said. “But God, if it is not your will, don’t let them offer me the job.”

Then Nichols received a confirmation email offering her a fourth grade teaching job.

Nichols, who has been home for nearly two years, has worked in special education in the Selma City Schools district.

“Then came the hard part,” she said. “I had to write a resignation letter and discuss it with the principal. It went well. Then came the tough one – my co-special ed teacher. My stomach was tied in knots. I knew what it’d mean. It’d mean letting her down. It’d mean adding more to load. So I prayed.”

All worked out well on that end as well.

Still, Nichols is taking the job on faith.

“Even though my budget has not been raised, my Assemblies of God West Africa area director has requested I come early to meet the need of a recently vacated teaching position,” she said. “So I will stop teaching here in Selma on Jan. 29, fly out Feb. 1 and become DA’s new fourth grade teacher, on Feb. 3. Talk about quick.”

Nichols said she was encouraged by Bro. David Strahan, the AG state missions representative to relay to all the pastors in the area, along with friends and family.

“Since my budget is not fully raised, I cannot receive funds from the AGWM,” she said. “Therefore, I will need to live on the $500 a month DA pays, plus my own savings. While this is doable, it’s not ideal, and it would definitely be challenging. So we are hoping to kick my fundraising into high gear and knock it out of the park soon.”

Nichols said with the pledges and contributions she’s received, she only need $475 more in monthly support and $7,900 in cash support.

“While that can look like a lot to raise in such a short time, we serve a great big God,” she said. “And if my God calls me to it, I know he’ll provide.”

Nichols said she’s prayerfully asking locals to join her on this adventure God has called her on.

“I know it’ll be an awesome ride,” she said. “I will be back in the states in June and July so I can ATTEND the school of missions training in Springfield and connect with supporters.”

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