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Unexpected Plans: The Story of a First Year Teacher in Southeast Asia

Rachel never expected to be a missionary or a teacher, and she never planned on living overseas. She had a plan for her life, but looking back, she could see how God was preparing her: giving her the right tools, presenting small steps before the giant leaps. While Rachel never expected God would lead her to teaching in Southeast Asia, after only 6 weeks, she already sees how much she’s grown. While her new home and job present both challenges and blessings, God is working through her to bless the people in her new community.

The city where Rachel lives is rapidly growing, causing a rift between the wealthy and lower class, most of whom live on less than $100 per month. It looks like any first world city, but those who live in the nearby villages, must ride on animals because the buses are too expensive. While the city grows, it also brings uncertainty to its culture and identity. While Rachel makes connections, she also has to learn cultural rules about eye contact and smiling.

Working in an international setting requires flexibility. Rachel is teaching everything from beginning violin to expository writing; she teaches everyone from the elementary children to adults working at her school. Adaptability is important in any international school, but it is difficult, especially for new teachers. These experiences are helping Rachel to trust in God. “It’s remarkable: when put into a new culture, even the small things feel like gifts from God.” In her church, Rachel is not only hearing the Gospel, but also learning about her new home and building relationships in and out of her classroom.

It is the challenges of Rachel’s new role that make her realize what God does for her. Rachel mentions that she’s learned to ask Him for help first, not just after things go wrong. While the path she is on is not necessarily the one she had envisioned for herself, she sees how God has led her here, and how he is using her work to bless the people in her new home.

14 Nov 21
by David LeGault