Saturday, May 30, 2009

Part 1: How we came to Korea...

...we flew, of course. And boy, are our arms tired.


Thanks to the miracles of facebook, I have connected with several old friends who all end up asking the same question: What on earth are you doing in South Korea?

Most of this portion has been written before; so if you are a long-time reader, feel free to skip on through.

I suppose I'll "start at the very beginning, a very good place to staaaaart."

Back in the fall of 2007, my husband and I were discussing his post-graduation plans. He was set to graduate in December of 2008 with a degree in Math Education, and we were discussing the best place for him to teach. Of course, at that time, we weren't planning to go much further than a neighboring county.

Around that time, I had a guest lecturer in one of my International Relations classes who talked about his time teaching English in the Middle East. His entire lecture was basically one long advertisement for young single men who wanted to make a pretty penny after graduation while simulatneously risking their lives to teach English. When I got home that day, I joked around with Brandon about how, if he could survive a year in the middle east, we could pay off all our student loans upon his return. While the thought of him teaching anywhere that dangerous (with a wife and child at home) was totally out of the question, that conversation would actually stick with both of us for several months to come and eventually lead us to pursue other over-seas teaching opportunities.

Over the following months, Brandon and I casually looked online and talked with a few people about the possibility of him teaching in an Asian country for a year. At that point, the plan was for him to go alone (since a "bachelor" can live fairly cheaply over here) while Chloe and I would stay home in the States while I finished my degree and continued working at New Covenant as their children's pastor.

But it seemed that no matter where we turned or which direction we went, we always hit a dead end. Either the door of opportunity would completely close to us, or we simply could not get a peace about walking through an open one. Finally, in the spring of 2008, we made a decision. We would stop pursuing this thing. We prayed, "Lord, we will not pursue any more because every door keeps closing. But if you place an open door in front of us, we will walk through it."

It was about that time that Kidoong (a Korean pastor from Myung Deong church in Seoul) was sitting in my friend Kathryn's living room, asking her to keep an eye out for an American couple that would be interested in teaching English in his father's church for a year. Kathryn mentioned this to Starr (one of the only two people who knew Brandon and I were seriously looking for just such an opportunity) who then mentioned it to me.

Per our previous prayer, Brandon and I said we wouldn't mind getting more information, but that we would not actively pursue this. Within a week, we had received a packet of pamphlets and videos from Kidoong, and an email from Cheonan Joongang Presbyterian Church, asking whether or not Brandon would be willing to fly out to see the church and interview with the Senior Pastor (Pastor Yi, Sun). Once again, we prayed, "Lord, we will walk through this door if you open it. Either provide the ticket or provide the funds for the ticket, and Brandon will go." (At this point, we were still thinking that Brandon would come by himself, for only a few months, without me and Chloe.) A few weeks later, an airline ticket confirmation arrived in our inbox. The church had purchased a ticket for Brandon.

He flew out in June of 2008 with Kathryn and her family. While in Korea, he fell in love with the country. Apparently, it fell in love with him too because the church offered him a one-year contract if he brought his family along.

So after a series of over-seas phone calls and late night prayers (both together and separately), we both agreed that this was where the Lord was calling us.

The following months were filled with finishing school, packing our home, applying for visas, and preparing our family for the big transition that was about to happen....

1 comment:

Beloved of the Lord said...

I'm part of the this story!! Yay!!

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood