It’s nearly lunch time at school, but somehow our thoughts are not on food. In just a few moments we will take a brisk walk to our apartment to have a quick bite to eat before rushing back to the next class of shouting and screaming little Korean children.
My wife Inge and myself have been praying earnestly as to whether or not Inge should renew her teaching contract in Korea. It’s been almost a year since we’ve left our beautiful farm in Ladismith, South Africa, in order to teach at one of our private schools on the East coast of South Korea.
Korea – a beautiful country with a war-torn past – a proud people. People driven to endless ours of hard work and never ending studies. A country steeped in Buddhism and oriental traditions. A country where Christianity is a “label” for the few. A country in which we have made strong friendships, and experienced an exciting new culture.
Now that Inge’s contract is drawing to a close, we need to decide to stay – or to move on.
Up until now I have been unable to work, due to visa restrictions. We have prayed and battled and tried to negotiate every way we knew how, in order for me to obtain a visa to work at the school. Nothing has worked!
Then we were directed by the Lord to read a blog posted by the Steck family. Immediately my heart strings were touched, for an opportunity to really serve and work in a remote part of the world. The thought kept nagging inside my head . . .”write to them – ask!” But how could we? We had come to Korea to pay off debts which we had incurred while in South Africa. Debts which were long overdue in being settled. So we settled down to just reading the various blog posts that were describing the happenings at Sunshine Orchard.
We both felt a longing and a desire to join the small group of missionary families who have dedicated their time, effort and energies to helping others. We both knew that time was getting short; decisions for renewing our contract would have to be made!
We walked briskly home from school, talking about the possibilities of – going to Thailand! However the same obstacles came up every time – DEBT! We got home, had lunch and Inge asked that we once again bring our problems to the Lord in prayer. She was extremely eager to just leave her teaching and go to Thailand – but without a clear “thus says the Lord”, we both knew it would be foolish. We got down on our knees and asked the Lord to REALLY open up the doors for us, if it was His will that we should go! Not just a small gap in the door – but for Him to open the way “clearly” and to show us clearly that this is His calling.
We hastily finished our lunch, and rushed back to school. When we got back to school, Inge opened her e-mail, and her eyes immediately fell on a mail from the Adam’s family at Sunshine Orchards! Knowing that they don’t often get a chance to write, due to poor internet connections, we were both surprised at this new e-mail.
Inge quickly read it and forwarded it to me! It was a letter asking us to PLEASE come and join them at Sunshine Orchard. WOW! We couldn’t believe our ears/eyes! “God was this You answering our prayers?” We both just looked at each other in unbelief. What now?
That night I decided to Skype my children in Cape Town. I hadn’t spoken to them in quite some time. After a few attempts I managed to get thru. Joshua (my eldest) was there, but David wasn’t. Before I could say anything, he said to me “Daddy last night I had a dream about you! I dreamt you went to Thailand!” I could hardly believe my ears! Was God confirming my doubts and fears? Was He speaking to me thru my son?
The next day we made up our minds. It was clear. The Lord wanted us in Thailand! With still many questions unanswered, Inge decided to hand in her two months notice, indicating that she would not be renewing her contract. As I speak she is on her way to see the English Department head to hand in her written notice. We are still not sure of many things – like visa’s, finances, housing etc. But we have decided to go in faith.
These are “our beginnings” as we step out on a new adventure with the Lord.
We pray for His guidance. We pray for His will. And most of all we pray that our lives will be so molded as to reflect His character to all we may come into contact with.
We invite you to pray with us, as we too step out in faith to the call in Isaiah 6. “Who shall go?”