“You are both children of international Christian workers, enjoy living overseas, and know that other places in the world need to hear the Gospel, so why aren’t you doing missions abroad?”
This is what God spoke to GIS Parents Nathan and Shannon Clifton when they were in the States. Their parents were international Christian workers, so they met each other at Morrison Academy, an international Christian school in Taiwan. Responding to the Lord’s call, the Cliftons decided to move to Hong Kong in 2011, where Nathan worked with an organization training pastors in different countries who don’t have access to seminary-level education.
After a few years, the Cliftons intentionally moved to Chiang Mai so their children could attend GIS and not have their future limited by their choice to respond to God’s calling. Shannon says, “Because of our experience at Morrison, we know the impact that an international Christian school like Grace can have on our kids’ spiritual, social, and academic needs.” Her positive experience at an international Christian school has also led her to happily serve on GIS staff as the Educational Support Director to help other children of international Christian workers flourish at school.
After moving to Thailand, Nathan’s primary focus has been training and sending Asians around the world as international Christian workers. His mission is to equip Asia to reach Asia, focusing on Mongolia, where many want to go overseas but don’t have any mission training. Nathan remarks, “In the past two years, over twenty Mongolians have gone out to do ministry abroad, including countries where it is difficult to get into, especially for Westerners. On paper, it may not seem possible to have a Mongolian-focused ministry in Chiang Mai—I would have never come up with the idea—but God made it work. We are bringing a group of Mongolians to Chiang Mai to do training because there are so many experts and resources here to tap into on just about any topic. It’s remarkable.”
Through the Cliftons, the impact of raising future Christian leaders and Christian education can be seen. Due to growing up at an international Christian school, Nathan and Shannon have developed hearts for missions in Asia and serving children of international Christian workers like themselves. It is because of Morrison Academy that Nathan and Shannon’s parents were able to respond to God’s calling, and it is because of Grace International School that they themselves can follow God’s calling for their lives without having to sacrifice their children’s future.