I have been thinking about this post and trying to compose it in my head for more than a month now. It is complicated and may end up being a two-part post. I can sum it up as: God will provide.
When we went to the U.S. this summer, our future in China was a little uncertain. We knew we were headed into the last year of our initial commitment with Clear Creek, and we were not sure what would happen after the 5 years were up. We knew we were willing and wanted to continue in China for a while longer. We are not finished here yet. We were not sure what Clear Creek would want.
We came back to China, knowing that we would stay in China at least another 2 years but not in the same place. We had several options and all had good points. We really were not sure where to go. So we started praying.
We have been praying that God will lead us where he wants us to be and where we can do work for Him. Every time we took prayer requests, Liam would ask that we pray for guidance.
One of our options was to move to and work in Binjiang. This is a district in Hangzhou. It is still in Hangzhou, but it is about an hour (40 minutes on a good day) from where we live now. We started spending more time with the group in Bj. There is a need for some workers there and plenty of “work” that we can do. We felt that maybe this was the place for us, but we wanted to make sure it was not just what we want, but what God wants.
Then Jon was reunited with Chuck. He is a brother that Jon has worked with in the past, but he hasn’t seen him in quite a while. It turns out that he moved to Binjiang!
There were a few simple coincidences like this that made us feel good about moving to Bj. But Jon would have to find a job. We started praying specifically for a job and still for guidance.
There are a few universities in Bj, but not that many. We looked around some and even looked on-line at a few. I think Jon may have even sent an e-mail or two out. We even looked at a new elementary school in that area. Then Heather (from the US) introduced us to Roger.
Roger is Chinese, but he lived in the US for about 15-20 years. He is starting an education company based here in HZ. Actually it is a branch of an American company, and HZ will be the hub for all of Asia. Roger said he needed someone to help with curriculum development. That is perfect for Jon!
Long story, shorter, Jon now has a new job (in addition to teaching at the University). This semester he is only part-time but next year he will work more full-time. He helps with developing the curriculum and he also is in charge of hiring other foreigners to come and teach. This could be great because it could be a way to get more workers here! We are very excited about this.
So, now we know where we will be next year, and we have a job. Next, we needed to find an apartment. We started praying for an apartment. We looked at several. The first one we looked at, was really too small for our family. The second one we looked at, was nearly perfect, but it was really too expensive. We kept looking and saw some that might work. Then we received word that the price on the one that was too expensive was reduced by 1500 Yuan! We signed the lease about 2 weeks ago!
We will move into the new apartment at the end of April. Our lease for this apartment expires at the beginning of May.
This is a time of transition for our family. It is not always going to be easy. We have to move all of our stuff. Pack it up and then unpack it and organize it. Jon will continue to work at the University which means some long commutes for him 3 days a week during May and June. Since we are moving about an hour away, our ayi (household helper) will not be able to continue to work for us. We will need to figure out how to get around and where markets and shops are. We hope that the kids will be able to find some friends and playmates.
We feel that we were lead to this place and we know that God will do wonderful things in Binjing.
Please pray for us especially during this transition. Pray for the group we know we will be working with and pray for God to lead us to more work and people to share with.