Friday, July 27, 2012

Why Venezuela?

This is the number one question asked of me. 

It's not an easy answer... To begin, I would have to back up about 2 years.

"What is my purpose?" I thought to myself as my pastor spoke about recognizing the fingerprints of God on your life... "What things come naturally to me? When do I feel truly alive?" 

These 'fingerprints' of God  are the Hansel and Gretel crumbs that we must follow along our journey in life if we want to live out our purpose. I had received a taste of these crumbs as I completed my student teaching in Ireland. I was thought to be crazy when I extended my stay and worked without income doing exactly what I loved: teaching, helping, volunteering, traveling, loving.  It was during this experience that I learned and practiced one of my favorite biblical concepts: Yahweh Yireh - the Lord will provide. GENESIS 22:14

As I thought back on this experience, it occurred to me... Teach overseas. 

Immediately, I began looking for opportunities. To cut a long story short, The Peace Corps: teach, help, volunteer, travel... Boom, let's do it! The process came easily; I was accepted and going through the final stages of vaccinations. The day immediately following the shots, I began having extreme migraines that felt like a knife was stabbing the back of my head with each throb of my heartbeat. 

Over the next 6 months, I was having scan after scan to determine that the main artery going into my brain had a narrowing. The doctors checked my heart rate, cholesterol, and overall health to determine there was no rhyme or reason why this was there. Perhaps, I had it since birth, but why were there no signs until now, especially as extreme as it was? I was placed on a medication called Topiramate with the warning: "Topiramate may control your seizures or migraines but will not cure your condition." After the side effects became too much to handle and started affecting my life, I wanted off. My doctor approved and the detox began. Another migraine. 

In a helpless prayer, I asked God to wash my brain clean. My God who moves mountains, tells the oceans where to stop, almighty, loving and compassionate... if it's Your will... wash this brain clean. For whatever purpose You have for all of this - Let Your Will Be Done.

This prayer was during my yoga class' resting pose of savasana. In my mind, there was an image of red balloons floating upward with a sudden BURST... there was a sudden pain in the back of my head and a warm sensation down my neck. In that moment, I cried with the sense that it was all gone. 

Going back for a final scan, I felt confident that everything was fine. The scans confirmed: it was as if nothing were ever there. I re-opened my Peace Corps application, but decided I should also look up some back up plans just in case. 

In a Google search, The Network of International Christian Schools appeared. When looking for a job, they say apply to everything, so I did. 

The process of application, although very thorough, came just as easily... I was accepted, and was tossed to different positions that were opening and closing at different schools. After being hired at ICS Caracas, I was waiting for something to 'come up' to change my plan again. 

On Sunday, just 2 days away, I will be moving to Caracas, Venezuela to be the 4th grade teacher at International Christian School Caracas. 

I've met 2 of my roommates and 5 of my coworkers while at training. I couldn't be more blessed. I am so eager and excited to begin this journey.

The short answer for 'Why Venezuela?': 
That's exactly where He wants me.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ROMANS 8:28