Friday, January 15, 2016

Anniversary! . . .and Some Answers. . .and What's to Come

Four years ago today I arrived in Peru. Three days from now I was planning on returning. But, as Proverbs 19:21 reminds us, "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."

I had not planned to live on the coast of Peru. Truthfully, when I visited the area as a student I expressed that I would not want to live there. ". . .but is is the Lord's purpose that prevails." After a string of open-then-closed doors that is exactly where I ended up. I landed with plans to stay until someone could be found to replace me and carry on the work with the kids and teens. "Many are the plans in a person's heart. . ." so, so many.

It was a long journey to decide not to go back to Peru. I considered what God might have next for me when I knew early in 2015 that my time in Puerto was ending. In October while at a course at the JAARS center in Waxhaw, NC, I realized that returning to Peru in January was not a good choice for a number of reasons. It had taken me eight months of denial to come to terms with that choice. At the end of November, I began applying for jobs, and was offered a teaching position during the first week in January.

I am a lateral entry Spanish teacher. Lateral Entry programs accept candidates who qualify through career experience or undergraduate studies in a particular area to fill a critical staffing need. Lateral entry teachers are granted a provisional license, with the commitment to meet the requirements necessary to obtain a traditional teaching license within the next three years.

I have been praying these last few months that God would plant me in a place where I can find community and establish some roots. I have been praying that He would provide a job where I can be blessed and be a blessing. I have been praying for a good living situation and a church.

It has been 100% incredible to see the answers.

As I asked, I was imagining small answers. I was imagining the kinds of answers I had seen over the past few years. Encouragement, but not exactly the answer I sought.

I was asking for a bicycle, expecting a skateboard, and God has provided a Lexus. . .figuratively.

God has provided abundantly with a job and housing. I am excited to dig in and find community and a church home.

What's to Come
I am not Chele en Peru in the present season, though I hope to be again in a year or two. 

Beginning on Monday I will be Cheli en Charlotte.

Therefore, I will be taking most of this blog offline. I already removed many posts, and most of the other "personal" posts will be taken down as well. I will leave newsletters and travel posts on this site.

There is a possibility that another blog is in store, so stay tuned. . .

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cheli and the Salsa-Dancing Prophet

"You look like a teacher," he commented.

It's not something you really want to hear from a strange man at a bar.

You see, a teacher is a wonderful thing to be, but not always an exciting thing to look like. Good thing I was at said bar with friends for salsa lessons, not to find strange men.

But he spotted me. Before I spotted myself. Before my inability to say no landed me teaching fifteen English classes a week in a foreign country where I had arrived to do other things. Before a strange twist of fate and a series of friends who nudged me on to take classes. Before I ever planned on becoming one.

'You look like a teacher,' said the salsa-dancing prophet as I awkwardly adjusted my dark-framed glasses, scrutinized my borrowed dress, and decided how to respond. I probably landed on something witty like 'yeah?' Or 'hmmm'.

Thankfully, the salsa-dancing prophet disappeared, never to be seen again. But guess what! Now I am one! Really!

Not a salsa-dancing prophet, though perhaps one day.

I am now a teacher!

After an obscene number of applications and six interviews, I have been blessed with a lateral-entry teaching job at a school too good to be true.

I am a middle school Spanish teacher!

A big thank you to my saintly references who bore with me as I applied to at least ten districts, various nanny jobs, and some private schools. Thanks especially to you who landed me two of my interviews in your own schools of employment. You are each worth your weight in gold and your support has been such an encouragement.

Most of you already know that I am not returning to Peru in January, though I have not yet announced it here. I hope to finish my teaching degree and gain the experience necessary to teach abroad (Peru!?) in the future. Hence, I will be stateside for a time.

In the next week Chele en Peru will become Cheli en Charlotte.