Our decision to live and teach abroad
It’s amazing to see the Lord work. It’s wonderful for me to look back and see how He’s been preparing us for years. There has been a process to get us to this place of “yes” and I’m so thankful we went through it. We truly believe there is something better than the American Dream, which for us has been a 9-5 that wears you out and leaves nothing for the other things in life. I really think that Satan uses busy-ness and stress to keep the American church from changing the world. We live in an oppression of our own choosing. We leave college, prepared to find a job and build the life of our dreams, but so many of us are shackled to thousands of dollars in debt. Then we buy cars and houses so that we can live the “American Dream” but we find out that we can’t do the things in life that are really important to us because we’re constantly taking care of the “more pressing” issues. That’s where German and I found ourselves. We found ourselves in a house that was too big. We couldn’t enjoy it because we were always tending to its upkeep. We found ourselves with jobs that dictated most parts of our lives. We found ourselves living as roommates because we didn’t have time to be a family. We knew we wanted something different.
A year ago we started talking about selling our house in order to decrease our monthly expenses and do other things. I wasn’t ready. I loved our house too much. Around the beginning of this year, I came the point where I saw the freedom of not having a house to take care of at this point in our lives and we decided that we would sell and move into an apartment. We thought we would have kids by this point and we don’t (which is an okay thing for us, we’re happy waiting on the Lord) so why do we have such a large house? We’d rather travel and explore the world! Why is so much of our time and money tied up in something that we don’t need? We’ve been looking for awhile to find something that could provide a lifestyle of travel and time with people while still providing a sustainable income. When we started looking into teaching internationally, we knew we’d stumbled upon something that fit us.
German told me that we would find jobs and move abroad this year. I told him that he was crazy and that would be moving to quickly. I said that we needed to take things slowly and find the right jobs (and y’all, German’s the planner in this marriage!). Little did I know the Lord was already preparing jobs for us. We decided together that we would continue our research and go through the international recruiting season of 2017-2018 in hopes of finding jobs for Fall 2018. We really felt a pull towards Southeast Asia for no explainable reason. As part of our initial research, German called a friend who used to be a band director in Texas and now teaches in Taiwan. He really wanted to pick his brain about what it’s like going from teaching band in Texas to teaching music abroad. During the conversation this friend asked German if we would consider something for this year. German told him that we were pretty set in our plans of going in a year and taking everything slowly. Then he told German that if we would consider coming this year, he was looking for a Music and a Spanish teacher. We couldn’t believe it. We had been praying for the right jobs (we just weren’t expecting them now). German found out more information about the jobs and asked when we needed to apply by. We had a week to research, think, pray and decide. Thankfully, German was on Spring Break for the week and he is the master researcher in our family. He spent the entire week looking into the school, into Taipei, looking into Taiwan and so many other things. After researching and speaking with different people in our community, we made the decision to apply for the jobs in Taipei, knowing that the decision to apply was the decision to go if we were offered the jobs. We scheduled an interview over the phone and at the end of the interview we asked what to expect next and the director of the school said, “Well, I love you guys and the jobs are yours if you want them!” We said, “Yes!” (after a few shocked looks between us).
The Lord has had His hand on every part of this. When I told my boss at work she practically jumped for joy at the opportunity we have been given. What a wonderful woman she is! Our house is now under contract after only being on the market for a week! In fact, we had an offer on our house after the first showing. We’re selling our house for more than we thought we would be able to. Our families were not just supportive, they’re excited about this chance of a lifetime. Harvey, our sweet puppy, found a loving home with a bunch of kids to keep him busy. Even though I freak out from time to time about everything that has to be done in such a short amount of time, one of my sweet friends continues to remind me that the Lord really has been directing our steps and He will continue to do so. I see it in all of this. And did I mention that the reason I have a teaching certificate is because I wanted to live abroad and I figured the best way for me to get a job abroad was to be a teacher?! German has never wanted to go, so I thought it would be a dream that was never realized. Until the Lord got involved that is!
We’re very excited about this wonderful opportunity that we have been given. We feel like we haven’t forced a single thing to work, but God has been lining up the pieces all along. We know that there will be really difficult things (we are both acquainted with culture shock!), but as another of my friends pointed out, this path is very life-giving for us and we are overjoyed that the world is open to us. We can’t wait to see what else Jesus has up His sleeve!