I was recently asked to write down what brought us to Saipan, so I thought I would post it here.
What brought us to Saipan? God brought us here.
My husband came out from his personal prayers one day and said that he felt that it was time for him to start looking for a new job. He was the head of facilities and engineering at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine. We loved it there--it's beautiful and it was only a two-hour drive from our families. Since he had often expressed the idea that Mount Desert would be our permanent home, I thought something must be wrong at work. When I asked him, however, he said that everything was fine and he was as surprised about the inspiration he was receiving in his prayers as I was.
We started looking in newspapers, trade journals, and the internet. After about a month of searching, we found a position on one internet site that said something along the lines of "work on a beautiful tropical island". Right. It had been posted 4 months before, and I told Casey that I thought that it was a "phantom job"--the type of thing you see on the internet that nobody actually gets. He wanted to apply anyway, so he did.
That all happened at the end of January 2000. In April of that year, Casey got a call one night from a lady at the Commonwealth Health Center on the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of The Northern Mariana Islands. They had quite a lengthy conversation and she started talking to him about coming out for a site visit within a month, but which actually took place at the end of August. As that summer dragged on without hearing from anyone at the Health Center, we began to think that this was a lost cause and we should turn our effort in some other direction. Yet, whenever Casey prayed about it, he felt that he should just be patient and hang in there with Saipan.
One day I related to him a strange experience I had had the week before. I had been wondering about what it would be like to live on a tropical island, and suddenly I experienced a--sensation? I'm not sure what to call it, but I knew what it was to live on Saipan...not the laying-on-a-white-sandy-beach kind of living, but the day-to-day living...almost as if I were remembering instead wondering about it! It was very different than just thinking about something--I don't ever recall having an experience like it before or since. The thing that really amazed me, was that Casey related an almost identical experience he had had about a week before mine. When I told a friend about the incidents, she looked at me and simply stated, "You're leaving." This was in July and we hadn't heard from the Health Center since May.
There were many other things that happened--prayers answered, obstacles removed--that brought us eventually to Saipan. We arrived here in January of 2001; a year after we first saw the "phantom job" on the internet. Sometimes I still wonder why the Lord brought us here, but I never wonder if He did--because I know He did.