Our Story

John and I met in late 2005. 
He was a Texas boy gone Canadian and I was a NorCal girl through and through. 
He was fresh out of Bible college, eager for life and ministry, and also in a band. ^^ 
I was in my junior year at Sonoma State University, cynical and too-cool-for-school with my Sector 9 long board and pink hair. 
We met and began talking incessantly; Myspace, instant messenger, phone conversations, you name it. 
We wrote long, silly, flirty letters via email and got to know each other. 
Christmas Eve 2005 he asked me to be his girlfriend. 
We dated all over NorCal; taking trips to the coast, to the zoo, into the city, to concerts; 
we discussed religion and hot topics on my ultra-liberal college campus; 
we took long walks, wrote music together and fell in love fast and hard. 

By September 2006 we were engaged and planning a wedding for exactly a year from then. 
Along the way we decided that we couldn't wait that long and we moved up our wedding date to 
June 1, 2007, six days after my college graduation. 
We were married on Muir Beach near San Francisco, CA
with a small group of our closest people surrounding us. 
A short walk away from the beach we receptioned at an adorable English bed & breakfast 
in their conservatory room. 
The next morning we rose early for a 15 our drive to Seattle where we boarded a ship for our one week honeymoon cruise to Alaska.

We spent our first year of marriage living and working in Sonoma county in northern California.
We both worked as social workers for developmentally disabled adults.
Really tough but really beautiful work.
It was such a great year for us.
We were living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet,
close to family and surrounded by great friends.
We were involved in a church, had pretty good work schedules, and plenty of free time.
We had a great apartment and had people over often.
We traveled, dined out frequently, bought furniture and cars, threw parties, took road trips,
and shopped often. It was a very full year,
but it was all adding up very quickly.

On top of our school loans we were adding to our credit card debt weekly.
For one thing, we were living in NorCal, and the living ain't cheap there.
For another thing, we weren't exactly making great choices to live simply or frugally.
Our credit card debt was growing quickly and we weren't making any headway
on our student loan payments.
We knew that something needed to change.
Within two months, and through a series of God-ordained events,
we had sold or given away most of our stuff, said our goodbyes to our community
and family and friends, packed our bags, and hopped on a plane for a 12 hour flight
to our new home in South Korea.

God had provided us both with jobs as ESL teachers in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
We never thought we'd be teachers, but these jobs paid us very well
and also provided us with free housing, score!
[For more information about Teaching English as a Second Language in Korea, click here.]
We knew that God had given us these jobs to start us on the road to becoming debt-free.
When we arrived in Korea in early August 2008
we were $50,000 in debt (student loans & credit cards);
we were scared, excited, completely out of our comfort zones and far from home.
We set up house in a small apartment in what Koreans call the "rural" town of Pyeongtaek.
I don't know what they mean by "rural" because Pyeongtaek has a population
of 500,000 people and is more city-like than any place that I have ever lived.
We nested, learned to be teachers, explored Korea, learned the bus and subway systems by heart,
tried new foods, fumbled through communication, met and made amazing friends,
adopted a cat, and made so many memories!
We've been homesick, dealt with every mood of culture shock, struggled,
been depressed, loved everything, been amazed at God's provision
(especially His provision of people), made hundreds of Skype calls,
traveled to a few other countries, gotten lost, served in a church,
and had all sorts of adventures.
We have truly had an amazing time and
there's absolutely no way that I could put it all into words.

But now change is coming.
We are excited to report God's faithfulness to us
in that we are finally DEBT-FREE!
The goal we came to accomplish is now complete 
and we have no idea what is going to come next. 
We've recently made a big decision and a big announcement.
We're scared and excited for this bittersweet transition. 
We only hope and pray and strive to stay rooted in God's will 
for our life, wherever He may lead, whatever His plans may hold. 


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