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Jamie Van Buiten, High School Earth Science Teacher
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in North Haledon, NJ, but have spent the last two years living in Rehoboth, NM, where I was a middle school science teacher. I moved back to NJ to be able to spend more time with my family.
When I am not inside the classroom teaching about God’s creation, I love to spend outside experiencing God’s creation. I enjoy running, hiking, biking, rock climbing, cross country skiing, anything that gets me outside. I experience God in a different way than anywhere else when I am outside.
Tell us the story of how God brought you to work at EC.
I went to Eastern Christian from Pre-K to 12th grade. After finishing my schooling at EC, I went to Calvin College where I earned my education and integrated science degree. After I graduated from Calvin, I participated in the LIFT (Leaders in Further Training) program at Camp of the Woods in Speculator, NY. God used this program to help prepare me to lead inside my classroom, but also how to allow God to use me to lead my students and others to Christ. After LIFT, God called me to Rehoboth, NM, where I worked at Rehoboth Christian Middle School for two years as a science teacher. After being away from my family for several years, I felt that God was calling me back to NJ.
At the time I needed to make a decision for the following school year for Rehoboth, there were few positions open at any schools in NJ. God provided the faith that I needed to decline the offer from Rehoboth, without any jobs waiting for me in NJ. I spent a lot of time in prayer and waiting for God to provide a job. I also had a large community at Rehoboth praying with me I prayed often that God would provide a job for me, even before I moved to NJ. I saw a position at EC for HS science about 2 months before moving. I inquired about the position and applied, and about a month before moving I received a call from Ruth Kuder asking for an interview. I had an interview two weeks before moving and was told it would take about a month to tell me about the position. Even though I had prayed that God would provide a job for me before I moved, I concluded at that point that it was not in God’s timing that I would not find a job before moving. Two days before moving I received a phone call from Ruth Kuder at 6:30am (she had forgotten about the time change) informing me I had received the position. I was so thankful to Christ for providing a job, and not only a job, but a job at a school that had been such a large part of my life. God used this experience of coming to EC to teach me how to put my full trust in Him.
Why Eastern Christian?
I work at Eastern Christian because EC allows me to integrate my faith into the content I am teaching. I can help students learn more about God through his creation and how he created his world. It gives me the opportunity to share something I am passionate about, and encourage students to grow deeper in their faith.