Exactly one year today, we landed in South Korea. Caleb was 9 months old, Steve had never lived outside the U.S. before and I had never been to Asia in my life. Our little family made one of the hardest transitions we have made thus far - moving across the world to a new country, a new home, a new job and a new church. At the time, we really weren't sure what we were getting ourselves into or if we were making one of the biggest mistakes of our lives. We couldn't shake the feeling that this is where the Lord was leading us and this is what we were meant to be doing but we also had moments of extreme doubt: we had just left almost all of our "worldly possessions" behind, all our family, all our friends, one of the best churches a person could ask for, a job I loved, and everything else familiar and normal! Even now, it sounds a bit crazy.
|Before moving, Caleb almost 9 months|
Not gonna lie, the first months were really rocky. Nothing was as we had imagined. There was a steep learning curve. Korea was a lot more foreign than we had prepared for. We didn't have heat in our apartment for several days (and it was freezing outside). We didn't end up getting paid or reimbursed for our move for almost a month after we moved here (meaning all we had was about 12 U.S. Dollars to our name those first weeks). Our washing machine didn't work for several months (meaning we washed our clothes and cloth diapers mostly by hand in the bath tub). We didn't have a broom and our floors were covered in grime. We didn't speak the language, we didn't have any close friends and we didn't know our way around. The list goes on.
Things did eventually get better. A lot of things are still hard. A lot of things are really great, better than we ever imagined. We have some close friends and a solid community and Church. We are beginning to figure out our way in Korea and how to get around and get the basics of life done. We have heat, we have a nice washer and dryer, we have a broom and some days we even have clean floors!
In some ways, I can't believe we survived and lived to tell about it! In many ways it feels like we have lived here 5 years, instead of just one. I can not believe all that has happened in just one short year. Our lives have been busy and full. We are on the adventure of a lifetime. In many ways, as I reflect, I can not picture our lives had we stayed living in MN. I can't imagine if Steve still worked a desk job and had been doing the same old same old for another year. I can't imagine not being home with Caleb and getting to watch all the learning he did this year take place or if Steve hadn't been here to have countless good conversations with young adults figuring their way in this world. I can't imagine had we not moved here and met this Church or these youth or this community. I can not imagine if we hadn't had the chance to learn the subway or metro or bus systems, if we hadn't taken Caleb to the CoEx or if I didn't spend my Wednesdays enjoying beautiful fall days at the Korean Folk Village with my 21 month old son. I know this is exactly where we are Meant to be, this is exactly the place the Lord has for us right now. Is it easy? Often times no - there are many hard things about it. Is it good? Mostly, yes - there are many great
things aspects people about it. We are on a great adventure -- life is full, life is meaningful and life is exciting. You only live once, right? And man will we have some stories to smile over as we grow old!
|Tonight, exactly 1 year later|
Steve's top 2 biggest lessons learned this year:
- God will sustain you and will be with you wherever you go. I love that this truth is something being in Korea has taught me. And that God is the same God wherever you are!
- My wife and my son trust me wholeheartedly to lead them wherever we go and home is where ever we make it!
Sarah's top 2 biggest lessons learned this year:
- Contentedness, contentedness, contentedness (still learning.....but have come a long ways....)
- Live in the present, count your blessings, take one day (or one hour) at a time, keep big picture in mind
Caleb's top 2 biggest lessons learned this year:
- Talking (non-stop, mostly English and some Korean)
- Running (always)
|Korea on the map, come find us!|
To sum it up - WE SURVIVED!!! And we're doing okay, mostly well.
We thank the Lord for sustaining us, we thank our families for supporting us, we thank our church for caring for us, and we thank all of you who have loved us from afar and kept in touch - it means more than you know!