Thursday, February 5, 2009

When are you leaving?

One post I've been meaning to do for a very long time is an update on our search for an overseas teaching placement, so here goes...

1. The beginning: About 1 year ago Andy came home from work and let me know that an economics teacher at an international school in Beijing, China was transferring and what did I think about moving to China for a teaching job? My initial response, "Um, well, I'm kind of busy with all this laundry and stuff, can you ask me about it in, say, 20 years or so?" But in a very short period of time I went from there to, "When can we go?". That's God. If you know me, I really like things that happen in "due" time and especially if they follow a pattern. And I really like where we are right now. Things are pretty good (thanks be to God). So changing my heart to a place where I was excited about taking my family half way around the world for a year (or more) was completely God.

2. The middle: We have looked into finding a job my ourselves (not easy), have applied with the Department of Defense (involves waiting until at least March and probably later), attending a job fair for international jobs (would be next January in Iowa) and finding a placement in a Christian school (that would require us to raise significant support).

Andy has applied for jobs with the Department of Defense. There are several "1 year" commitment schools of which we would consider the following countries: Italy, Korea, Japan, Turkey and the coast of Portugal. Other schools that we wouldn't accept include: Cuba, Bahrain and I think Vietnam. Now we are just waiting to hear when jobs open up for next year. That could be as early as March and as late as June.

If that doesn't work out for next year, we are looking at attending an international job fair that is held in Iowa each year. Those jobs generally require a two year commitment which would be a stretch for us. They are also with international schools just about anywhere in the world. They provide almost total cultural immersion (as opposed to a DOD school that would be on a military base).

If we go next year, we assume that Andy would teach full time and I might tutor or do some part-time administrative work. Next year Muffin will be in third grade, Doodle in K and Mator will be 3. If we go somewhere the following year, Mator would be old enough for preschool and I would consider teaching too.

3. The end - Well, we aren't sure when we are going to get any answers, but we believe God has placed this desire in our hearts. There is no other way to explain why we would be willing to give up all of this:
Living next door to my parents and one brother
Living within 20 minutes of all my children's cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents
Andy's Department Head position at the high school (he could get a year leave of absence and get a job back, there is just no guarantee what or where it would be)
A great Christian school
Teaching opportunities for me at OU-L
Our wonderful church family
Our friends

So we wait and know that God will move things in His time and provide a way for us to survive without all of those things listed above (that right now I can't imagine living without). Your prayers are appreciated, and thanks for asking about updates!

3 comments:

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

Hello,

I just wanted to thank you for your message to Tuesday's family. Your heart is made up and will be delivered to them with many messages of love & encouragement.

Please continue to spread the message. I want to fill a whole box for the Whitt family.

God Bless!

Tamara

http://proudtobecheap.blogspot.com/

Adina4Christ said...

Wow that sounds really exciting. I have actually thought about teaching in another country too! I just had no idea where to start with it. We should talk so you can fill me in on more logistics. I would love to go back to Italy or anywhere really I just think that would be so exciting!!

Melissa Lee said...

Janis,

I am so proud of your willingness, your fearlessness and your openness. What a testimony to your faith in God.

And girlie, that's what it takes to be my friend! Not cuteness.

You are just my cup of sweet tea.

Melissa at Stretch Marks