International Snapshot

January 2020
Do you have 20/20 vision?

Fellow International Christian Educator,

Welcome to 2020. Like you, I’ve already received a lot of 2020 greetings and the occasional references to “20/20 vision”. That vision analogy is not a bad way to begin this new year and new decade. So, how is your vision, I mean your spiritual vision? One cannot help but think of Hebrews 12:2: “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne” (HCSB). That’s true 20/20 spiritual vision.


A few years ago, I started noticing that my eyesight was becoming a bit cloudy and in certain lighting conditions was quite bad. I learned that this was a buildup of cataracts in my eyes’ natural lenses. Thankfully this can be addressed with cataract surgery where the skilled doctor takes out your cloudy lenses and replaces them with new clear lenses. Sounds scary right, but WOW, is it ever worth it! This reminds me that every single day with God is a new grace-filled day in which to keep our eyes on Jesus, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). With Jesus it’s like getting a new set of clear lenses every morning to fix our 20/20 eyes on Jesus!


Have a good semester!

Tim Shuman for the International School Team

Tim Shuman for the International School Team
Tim Thompson, Assoc Regional Director
Anne Jones, Exec Assistant to Tim S.
Kimberly Park, Exec Assistant to Tim T.


  1. Check out the NEW ICEC Africa webpage. We are only three months away from the conference—ARE YOU COMING? The International Christian Educator Conference (ICEC) will take place on the campus of Kigali International Community School 1–4 April 2020. Each registered delegate from a member school gets a 12-month subscription to ConNEXUS Premium that begins upon registration!  
  2. The International School Leaders Conference will be held 26-28 April 2020 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Two bonuses this year: each leader will get a copy of the book “The Longview by keynote speaker Dr. Roger Parrott, and you will get to meet ACSI’s new President, Dr. Larry Taylor. 
  3. PreField Orientation, June 23–July 1, 2020. Heads of schools (or their designate) can attend PFO for free, join the PFO staff, and invest in their new hires. Do you have a plan for how well your new staff transitions, approaches crises, how they handle dips in emotions in their first year, etc.? If a pre-job orientation is done well, we believe new hires are more likely to stay longer on the field. Take a look at the PFO webpage to learn more about how we can partner with you in this process.  


  • Bites on the Bible. From our friends at CPX, “These resources [Bites on the Bible] aim to help students explore important questions to do with the Christian faith, such as whether the Bible is reliable, the relationship between science and Christianity, and how the human experience of suffering fits in with the Christian notion of a good God.” These bites might be good for your Intro to Christianity class.  
  • English Lit Teachers. Here’s a nice little blog post on “Why the Book is Better than the Movie”, but you probably know this already.  
  • College Guidance Counselors. Were you aware that google has quietly entered the college search space (what else is new)? This so called “super app” (apps that can do it all) is what young people are using to aid in searching for the right college to attend. Read more herehere and here 
  • If you are reading this newsletter there is a high likelihood that you are an expatriate (“a person who lives outside their native country”). is dedicated to connecting expats to other expats and providing helpful information in making expat life work well. You will need a paid membership to read the articles. InterNations recently published a fascinating and comprehensive document entitled “Expat Insider 2018”. If you are into interesting data points and trends you will love this download. There is a good chance that your current country of abode is listed in this study. 
  • Africa Ascending. Here is a good resource that shows how Africa is home to the world’s fastest growing college-aged population and “by 2030, one of every four people aged 15–24 will live in Africa.” 
  • A NEW Global Christian Education, Master of Leadership, designed for international leaders like you just launched. Prairie College’s Master of Leadership is “designed for educators who wish to expand their leadership abilities and are especially interested in Christian education in a global context, whether that means teaching a globally diverse classroom in North America or engaging in education around the world.”  
  • FREE. Check out International School Leader e-magazine. This free online publication is “for senior leaders in the global international school market”.  
  • Our friends at Interaction International will host three Cross-Cultural Transition Seminars this summer for your students experiencing re-entry transition. Two seminars are for students who have recently graduated from high school, but all those who are 13 or older are welcome, and one seminar is focused on younger teens. Find out more about the seminars here. It would be good to push this out to your parent community. 
  • Pray with us. Search for the International Schools Prayer Community on the ACSI Community platform and then click Join. If you get this newsletter you have access to all Community Groups.
  • The ACSI Blog. Have you read the latest ACSI Blog post?   


  • Knowing that teacher and staff recruitment is one of your greatest ongoing challenges we will add this staff recruitment section to our newsletters from time to time.  
  • Let us know about your creative ideas for staff recruitment and we will share them here. 
    *Let’s get started ... Do you have a staff recruitment tracker to recommend to your sister-international-schools? 
    *Please write to me if you do. 
  • In the coming months we want to add more resources that you can use such as: 
    *A new kind of online listing (webpage) of each one of your schools as opportunities to serve. 
    *Articles/white papers that show the benefits of teaching overseas.
    *Short stories from staff who have made a difference in their overseas service.
    *To make those stories and papers possible we will need your help. Stay tuned for more information about your part.  
  • Revisit Recruiting Staff for the International Christian School for a collection of good recruiting ideas. 
  • Are you taking advantage of your eight free postings on the ACSI job board? This is part of your membership benefits. Only ACSI international schools get eight free postings per year! 
  • Are you looking for a school change? Visit this site from our most recent International School Job Fairs. It lists hundreds of teaching opportunities at the schools that participated in the School Job Fair.  


  • Last month I recommended David I. Smith’s upcoming book entitled “Digital Life Together: The Challenge of Technology for Christian Schools”.  
  • This month I want to recommend the book “The Giver and the Gift, Principles of Kingdom Fundraising” by Greer and Weekley. Every busy head of school should have this one, read it and then discuss it with your team. This thin book, only 106 pages, is packed with wisdom and excellent thinking. While it focuses primarily upon larger donations situations, the principles regarding relationship and accountability are also true for those raising personal support. Most interesting: the first half of the book is written from the perspective of the person receiving the donation (Greer) while the second half is written from the person giving the donation (Weekley). A genius approach to the topic. I wish I had read it years ago.  



We didn’t get much response from our Christmas poll in December, but I want to thank the three readers that participated. Looks like each of you enjoyed a Christmas full of familiar traditions from home and new traditions from your host country. Thank you.