Monday, September 30, 2013

FOCUS #1: Getting settled and finding work

As I type focus number 1 is going good. Christiana and I have both found jobs that fit our schedule and its going good.  I know that a lot of people were nervous because we came over with no jobs.  Just to stress again. All the people that we talked about this venture stated that is way better and easier to find job (at a good school) once you are here.  The alternative is signing a contract with a big school and being stuck in a bad situation. It was a leap of faith. God provided.  It is still an adjustment to be a english teacher but the kids are great.

Getting settled? I pose the question: What does settled mean?  We have a place to live, to work, made some friends, have cell phones.  So if that is the case then yes, we are settled.  If settled is feeling comfortable, relaxed, knowledgable, and routine? Then No way are we "settled".  When you rely on taxis, walking and buses to go everywhere you never really know how you got there. Right now i am typing this in one of our favorite new places, L.A.X Burger, and i couldnt even tell you how to get here or get back to our house. LOL.  But we like it here. We are friends with the owners and we feel comfortable here. Oh and the burgers are flippin awesome.

So as far as FOCUS 1 goes. We have jobs. We are on the way to being settled.  This is one of the main reasons we committed to staying 2 yrs.  I feel we wont even really feel settled until the first year is done! So continue to pray for us.  We are trying hard to adjust (i am having trouble with the local food, surprise i know) and trying to find our place in this lovely, hot, crazy, busy, noisy, fun, interesting, place.  For someone who has never been out of the country its like jumping into the deep end of the pool having just learn to swim.  But its a great adventure!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


We have in our new home of Taiwan for 2 months now! I cant believe it. Going from the mindset of thinking there is no way I could ever live in a foreign country (pre surgery) to actually living, working and acclimating to a different land is still mind blowing.  Very thankful to The Lord and everyone who helped us get here. Blessed we truly are (a little yoda for ya)

So what is the focus of these past two months? Well coming in we knew that three was a three part focus for the first 6 months.  I will write about each one in depth a little later but now I can give you a quick overview of what we are up to.  

1. Getting settled and finding work
HA? Are we settled? Settled in the sense of having a place to live, cell phones and jobs. Settled in the sense of relaxed and comfortable. Not quite there yet.  We both have jobs which we are extremely grateful.  There are pros and cons to each of our schools and work but overall we are pleased. Still yet to get paid but still pleased.  We are slowly still learning our way around Taichung. We know at least around neighborhood now.  I think. 

2. Building relationships and learning culture. 
This is my favorite part about the move here. We have met the most amazing people.  Not just locals but amazing helpful foreigners that dont know us at all but have lent an helpful ear and hand to us.  This is the most important aspect to me.  I am people person and i think its very important that when we do find or start a ministry we have already built a support system.  We have found people here that we already feel will be life long friends. Just stunning and amazing that God brought us here. 

3. Find a ministry. 
After 13yrs of working in the local church it is very freeing and scary to be wide open in what God wants and can do.  Seriously, just going to church as a regular church attender is a very foreign experience (ha, see what I did there!). So we feel that God is going to show exactly where and what to do. Is it a drama ministry? Is it concert ministry? Youth? Children? Teaching a bible study? Dont know that is the scary and great part about it. 

So that is and was the main focus of the past two months. Please continue to pray for us.  

Jimmy and Christiana

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Week of School

Hello! The first week of teaching has command gone and things continue to progress here in Taiwan. Today I have some pictures for you and a little update about each of our schools.

Jimmy's School
Jimmy is teaching at a buxiban (after school program) in a suburb of Taichung called Fungyuen (which we lovingly refer to as Funyun). He has several different age groups over the span of his classes and so far he especially enjoys his second grade class. Jimmy is working on getting to know all his students and his co-teachers, Sugar and Albee. He is doing very well at the school but it can be overwhelming at times. Pray for Jimmy that he will continue to build relationships, have safe travels everyday, and have fun teaching English at his school.

Christiana's School
This was also my first week of teaching. I am working for a well established, private school brand. I am enjoying my young learners but I sometimes feel out of my depth because of their limited English and high energy. At first I was intimidated because the school oversold my teaching experience to the students' parents to compensate for the teacher they had to fire after only one month (long story), but now I feel like I am starting to settle in. Pray for me that I will have patience and lots of love for my students and that I will continue to improve in my classroom management techniques. I am very thankful for my co-teacher, Connie, who is a certified Taiwanese teacher. I hope to learn a lot from here and to build a strong bond with her. She is very sweet.