The two years beforehand were spent in a land much different than the customary ways of which I was used to. The people stared, taxis honked, and the owners in the markets either liked you or gave you an unfamiliar eye. Two months previous to flying over to Asia, I had gotten married. We went from one honeymoon to the next, as the present culture in this new area had the way of a short-term trip to it. Everything was seen with fresh eyes, and the culture and its people were perfect.This didn’t last long, as I’m sure you are supposing.
A little over halfway through my second year, I felt a tug in my heart. A national asked me, “Daniel, what is your true passion? And don’t lie to us either.” Firstly, I was shocked that a national asked such a blunt question, but I was also joyful at the fact that she did this. Next came my honest answer. “Well, my true passion is working with children with special needs. You know, the people on the sidewalk here that are asking for food. Those are the people I want to be with. I love teaching English and being here, but I would rather do that.” This was what prompted me to return to the US in 2012. So we returned and both attained teaching jobs at a high school I knew well and was impressed with.
Though it was my third year of teaching, it was my first year in America. It was much different from the Asian education system I had been becoming acquainted with. It was a transition, to say the least. My wife and I had returned to America so that I could learn the ins and outs about special education. What I learned is that this means taking on a caseload of 25-30 students, team-teaching, and instructing students ranging from mild to moderate disabilities in the same room. Through the laughs and heartaches that have come through this year, my heart has been called to an area that is familiar. Not even halfway through this 2012-2013 school year, more and more reflections on the two years in Asia started happening. Many things began to make sense, and a lot of my pride and selfishness surfaced. A great majority of the reasons we had come back were personal reasons that could have been changed if we had taken them to Father and relied on the HS to guide us. Therefore, we contacted the same school in Asia. We wanted to work there again, if we could, but this time the reasons were different. We weren’t just walking through an open door like before, we were now being beckoned to come through the door and serve.
That is why this August, my wife and I will be returning to Asia to teach English. Father has confirmed this mission through our prayers, times in His word, and counsel from others. It just so happens though that it took a year back in the US for Him to do some mighty work in our hardened hearts.