When we left Texas last year, our plan was to stay in Korea for two months, and then return there after our wedding. However, while we were in South Korea, I felt that door being closed for us. We wanted to move back to the place where we met, but it turns out that this was not the greater plan for us. That is not to say that we will never live in Korea again, but we felt like that was not where we were supposed to look for our next teaching position. Our thoughts kept being drawn to our friends in Qingdao, so we we chatted to them, and then we all prayed.
One down… One to go!
For all of you wondering why we are still in South Africa? How much longer we live be here? When we will be leaving? And where we will be going next? Here is a travel update on all of that…
We have been nervous to say too much before things were certain, however we have made some significant progress, and we want to share this with you. Justin and I will be moving to China this month. We have been praying for guidance, and this is where we feel like we are meant to be.
Next week we will be returning to South Korea to pick up the winter clothes and extra bags that we left at a friend’s house. We try to travel light, but hey, what can I say?! We are not that good at fitting all of our clothes into two bags each. After two or three days in Korea, we will head over to China and meet some close friends in Qingdao. This will be our new place of residence for the next two years. If you have been following the blog for a while, you would have already seen some of our trips to Qingdao:
Link here: Our Dusty-Start in Dongying
Our first year in China was spent in a very dusty city called Dongying, so it was hard for me to bring up ever moving to China again. Justin was completely off this idea when we left in 2012. During our time there we learnt so much about ourselves. All those quiet months in a city that had not much more than dust and poop resulted in a lot of self-discovery and personal growth. Even though it took a long time for us to see through the dust, we really enjoyed our time in Dongying once we accepted our humble life. There was one place we really enjoyed visiting, and that was Qingdao. Our trips there, a mere 3 hour bus ride away, where like holidays in a foreign country.
A few months later we were applying for work permits for China, and our friends, Zach and Heather, have been helping us all the way through this. We are so thankful for friends who support and lead us in the right direction. This is not something that Justin and I are used to because we are normally on our own, but it is definitely something that we want more of. As our time in South Africa draws to a close, we think of those here who have been generous and kind to us. We love and appreciate those people so much, and we apologise if in all the madness of wedding, travels, dinners, moving, family, and visa applications that we may not have said thank you for all that you have done!!
We love you!
Today I picked up my Chinese visa. I am going on a tourist visa and I will convert my visa once we are back in Asia and can get the necessary paperwork. For now (and 30 days after entering China), I am okay. Justin: Well, for once it’s his paperwork we are waiting on, and not mine. Admittedly, that is because my work permit was declined. No reason though, just DECLINED. Instead of giving up, we keep pushing forward. We know that really great things are coming, and that would never happen without some opposition. Forward and onward we push!
Almost time to bid Cape Town farewell
We are supposed to leave South Africa next Tuesday. We have already extended our tickets, and we may have to do so again. This costs us a lot of money, and with each week that passes we miss more work. For this reason, we are praying for favour in the next few days.
Justin’s paperwork is currently on its way from China to Dallas. It will then be taken to Houston on Monday, and his visa application will be handed in. It will then need to be processed the same day, and sent to South Africa as quickly as possible that afternoon. We are hoping to receive the passport on Tuesday evening, so that we can leave on Wednesday.
We will be packed, ready, and waiting by Tuesday.
If we have to, we will extend our tickets (again).
This will mean more time with family and friends.
Bitter Sweet because we are really excited to get to China
… And start the next chapter of our lives there.