The Tale of Joy and a Job
I've been asked a few times recently about the status of working at the local elementary school. I wish I had progress to share, but instead I just have news. I talked with the principal this week, who explained that my substitute application (which begins with an interview at a local school) has now been sent to the district office, and from there is sent to the Honolulu office. I turned in my paperwork over a month ago, and I have no way of knowing where in this process my paperwork sits. Though she assured me this timeline is normal, I'm not resting assured. In the same conversation we spoke (again) about volunteering, and I am willfully hopeful to start this coming week. Though I cannot wrap my brain around the slow, somewhat lethargic, response to a VOLUNTEER with experience and a degree eagerly waiting to be put to work, this also raises other questions about our life.
What does this mean for me (Joy) working for pay? Most likely, it means I won't be working this school year. I'm 8 weeks from my due date, and then I'll have a new baby to take all my sleep awaylove on. I will gladly volunteer the time I have, and sincerely hope to help some struggling students this year, but the level of consistency I can offer over the next 6 months is seriously lacking.
Can't I just try another school? Yes, I can. I can try a private school. However, we see our role as missionary pastors largely as connecting with the community. Eric can do this in several ways, through committees and fellowship meals and meetings and working at a local coffee shop, etc. My biggest resource to offer is through education. I'm passionate about kids having the opportunity to learn, and so many children are first/second generation immigrants. They need the language support, and that's where the majority of my training is. These kids are in the public school. I DON'T think I'll work in a public school forever. I DO think there are other, more creative ways to assist students and their families. I just think this is a good place to start, to meet people working in the (education) trenches on daily basis, and to asses the need a little closer.
Will we make it on Eric's income? Well, no. But will we make it on Eric's income + financial support from generous donors? YES! To be perfectly honest, the cost of living difference still has us a bit shocked. Nearly everything is more expensive here. We can say with confidence we are frugal spenders and we are saving where we can. One decision that will help us this first year is we've decided to make our "transitional housing" into permanent housing. More accurately, the church has offered us our "transitional" housing space to rent for one year. This is not what we planned on, nor what we hoped for, but we are peaceful in our decision to stay. As we near our baby's due date, I am particularly happy to know where we will live when the babe enters our world and excited to do what we can to make this place home.
How are we feeling about the change in projected finances? Some days we get a bit worried. Most days we carry on as normal. Every day we trust God's leading. We know we are here on purpose, and not by accident. Currently, we are not in jeopardy of running out of money (don't worry, Mom!), but this might be a different story next June. We are grateful for those who have supported us during this first year, which affords us the time to think through our fundraising efforts for year 2 and 3. Right now we're doing fine, actively budgeting for the future, and eagerly expecting baby #2.