Wednesday, October 23, 2013

       Update on Vienna, Austria 

(I'm not in South Korea ;)

Well, the recent news is that I have to move again. It was quite difficult with my landlady to get the documents I needed for my visa, and as a result I will be moving to my own apartment soon, probably in the next few days.

Because of all the upheaval, I felt like feeling sorry for myself. But you can only feel sorry for yourself for so long when you're living in a city like Vienna and have great friends, coworkers, and students. Somehow the craziness has started to feel normal, and I had a great week with my kids even though I've been distracted by this situation and others.

This week we had a spelling bee in two classes and the kids had presentations over their books. I've added a few pictures of them and a couple of me in Vienna. Enjoy.

P.S. I'm sending out snail mail support cards and info soon, so if you prefer snail mail over email and feel the urge to support me or simply want my picture on your fridge, send me an email and let me know :)


Me and a good friend

11th Honors English

12th Regular English

11th Regular English
(Peter is from S. Korea so we busted out peace signs:)

6th Grade English

Spelling Bee Blues

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Would YOU Like to Be in the Top 25?

I hope this post finds you well. I know we are all in different seasons of life, and in the last couple months I have found myself in an interesting predicament. This March I had envisioned myself to be in Europe this year and had tried to find a job in Germany before I left South Korea, but because I was unable to find anything, I made a last minute decision to sign a contract with a school in Jinju, South Korea. When this summer started and I flew to Germany, I was relaxed and planned to have fun and not worry about finding a job. However, God had other plans. Five days before my flight was supposed to leave Germany for Seoul, my contact at my new school let me know I didn't have a job waiting for me anymore because I was unable to secure the documents needed for the new visa in time. (This hadn't been a problem at my first school so I didn't expect this news.)

After a phone call with mom, canceled flight, multiple trips to the internet cafe in Bonn, Germany, and seven days, I procured a job at the International Christian School of Vienna as an English teacher for 6th, 11th, and 12th grade. Two days later I was on my way to start the new job. On my way there I lost my makeup bag, so I arrived in Vienna with no makeup, no professional clothes, and no place to live. I started teaching three days later. It's been stressful to say the least, but the silver lining is that all along I wanted to be in Europe, especially a German-speaking country. My things continue to arrive from Korea, and soon I will have all my belongings again.

Some of you may remember that about three years ago when I was in college at Texas A&M, I had made plans to be a missionary to Germany. I ended up getting teacher certified and heading to Korea because those plans never materialized. After that disappointment, it was never my goal to become a missionary again. Ironically, the school in Vienna is a missionary school, and the majority of staff must raise their own support. I am happy to be here and be able to be a missionary this year, I just never thought it would happen like this (or happen at all, for that matter).

Most missionaries at ICSV raise their support before they arrive, but because of my unique circumstances, I am unable to follow this pattern. If you are able to help me financially with a commitment for this school year (October to June), I would really appreciate it. And if you cannot commit to a year, a one-time gift will go a long way in helping me get settled here in Vienna. These donations are tax-deductible.

To speak candidly, the start-up cost is around $6,000 and includes visa fees, apartment deposit (around $1,500), rent, travel to Vienna, the yearly card for the U-bahn (subway), and food and daily living costs for the past month. Thankfully I have been able to use money from savings so far, but obviously this situation is not ideal. If you are able to help with a one-time gift for these start-up costs, I would really appreciate it.

My initial goal for support this year is to find 25 people willing to send me at least 25 dollars a month from October to June. Next year is not until next year (and if I’ve learned anything in the last few months it’s not to count my eggs before they hatch), so at this point I would only ask for a commitment for this year. These 25 people would be helping me with daily expense needs and any excess will go towards off-setting the cost of what it takes to run the school.

ISCV is run as a non-profit organization, charges about half the tuition of other international schools in Vienna, and offers scholarships to many students. Most staff raise support, covering their own living expenses and helping fund student scholarships. The student scholarships allow kids who would otherwise be unable to attend the school to have an alternative to the Austrian school system, which can be rigid and unaccommodating to speakers of languages other than German.

Even more than money, I covet your prayers. To be able to relax and stay at peace during this stressful situation is not in my nature, so thank you for praying for God to be in control of my circumstances and stay focused on him instead of the chaos. Also pray that I will be a light to the students and be an effective teacher.

If you are interested in helping me financially, shoot me an email and I can send you the necessary forms to donate. Donations need to be made out to RCE and not me so that they can be processed correctly. The money goes to RCE based in the United States, and then it is sent from there to ICSV, and then to me.

Thank you so much for your prayers and concern.