"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Prov. 16:9
The school year is winding down, but I haven't said much lately about Nathan's plans for next year. Going back to the end of 2014, Nathan finished up a zillion applications and interviews. He was notified in December that he received a 4 year type-1 Air Force ROTC scholarship. This pays for all his tuition for 4 years at any school, plus a book and fee allowance of a little less than $1000 a year, and a monthly untaxed stipend during the school year that for freshman is about $300 a month. Only 5% of scholarships are type 1. How exciting! He also was pleased to find out he received a nomination from our representative. You should apply for all the nominations you are eligible for, so although he had Presidential nominations to all 3 academies because of Bob's service, he also had applied to all 3 of our congressmen. The unofficial word here in VA is that the congressmen talk, and they do not duplicate nominations because there are so many qualified applicants, especially in our district in northern VA. So we were astounded when Nathan received word that he had also been awarded a nomination from one of our senators! He even called to make sure it wasn't a mistake. It wasn't--it just apparently is extremely rare! So that was very exciting too.
On Feb. 5, Nathan was surprised to receive a "big fat envelope" containing an appointment to West Point! This was a huge surprise as well, since he had only a Presidential nomination for there, and he certainly wasn't expecting an appointment there, especially not one sent out in the "first wave" of only 500 appointments offered. He had not really seriously considered going there, although we have several Army friends who we respect so very much, so he and Bob made an appointee visit up there in March. He spent the night there and had a wonderful time. He and Bob both were very impressed by the caliber of cadets they ran into. The only drawback he could see was that when you graduate, you're in the Army, and Nathan really would like to fly. February was really an "Army" month, because he also received word that he was awarded a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship!
March also brought word that Nathan had been accepted into Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. He really enjoyed his visit there in the fall, so that was very exciting to hear. Our friends who had been involved in Cru ministry with the Corps, however, said in their monthly ministry letter that they were being called in a new direction--out to Colorado Springs to work with Academy cadets! So we were thinking that the Lord was definitely moving for Nathan to go out to Colorado next year. But we received word in April that he had not been offered an appointment this year. Since it seemed like everything was lining up for that, it kind of felt like the rug was pulled out from under us, but we can definitely say that the Lord slammed that door shut. So the decision really was between West Point and VT. In the end, Nathan decided he wanted to stay with the Air Force, so he will be using the AFROTC scholarship. If he decided to reapply to the academy for next year, he could do that as well. We'll see how the Lord leads. In the meantime, other friends are also going to VT, so he is looking forward to a fun year next year. And he will be closer to home, for sure, so that is a nice advantage. We are really proud of him, and are so thankful for how the Lord has blessed his hard work! We are trusting that the Lord has good reasons for shutting the door he did, even though it was hard to hear.