Friday, 29 November 2013

What I'm Thankful For..

So far Korea is teaching me a big lesson in gratitude. Here's a short list of things I've become newly aware and/or extremely grateful for.

1. New friends. We've made great friends out of the two Korean teachers and Chinese teacher at work. We hang out on the weekend and go out for lunch every Thursday.

2. Old friends (and family). I'm extremely grateful for old connections. I love being able to stay in touch and continue to share our lives together despite the many miles between us.

3. Salvation Army I bought a brand new bright red Ralph Lauren down coat at the end of winter last year, anticipating another cruel Pennsylvania winter. The jacket has served me well in Korea's windy city.

4. Crossword puzzles They give us challenging English after a day of repeating, " I like the smart queen. No, I do not like the stupid mouse."  Also, it gives us time to bond together as a couple when we work on one.

4. The fact that I'm from a country where I don't have to physically take my gas pipe with me. Apparently, when you move, you take the piece of pipe that connects to the gas line outside with you. I'm not sure if this is to discourage squatting or what. Why can't they just shut off the gas?

5. That I'm from a place where I don't have to boil or purchase drinking water. 'Nuff said.

6. That God lead us out of the USA during a particularly rough time. We didn't have to deal with the stress of the government shut down or the health care fiasco. Hopefully, when we return, America will have a new, stronger, Christian leader to lead us out of the mess we have created

7. I have a God that cares for me. Me, individually. He provides meals, warmth and even a kind person here and there to translate an extremely large Korean menu.

Let's remember to always give thanks!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Its Chili in Daegu!

The winds a blowing and I'm missing the comfort foods of home.

So, what better to do than brew up a nice hot bowl of chili!

The recipe differs slightly from what I make in the States do to the availability of certain ingredients. Anyway, here's what I concocted.

Serves 4!


2 cans pintos in chili sauce
1 can red kidney beans (drained)
2 dangcho (spicy peppers) chopped
half an onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 packet taco seasoning (from overseas)
pinch of red pepper powder
baby spoonful of butter
s&p to taste

1. Mix beans  with taco seasoning and red pepper.Set over low heat.
2. Meanwhile, sauté all vegetables except the carrot, in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add veggies to beans and increase heat to medium.
4. Stir in grated carrot.
5. Simmer for hald an hour

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

My God is an AWESOME God!

So do not worry ,saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:31-33
When we arrived in Korea we learned that we would be paid on the 15th of each month. This meant, on October 15th that we would be paid for a weeks worth of work and would not receive a full paycheck until the middle of November.

We had several unexpected  out of pocket expenses such as physicals and alien card fees. We also needed things for the bathroom, like a shower head an a toilet seat.

We'd saved money to bring with us but these unexpected expenses cut in quite a bit.

Now, we come to the week before payday.

We got down to our last several thousand won (I can't remember but I think it was around $50ish). (1,000 won is just under $1) This had to get us each 2 meals a day  for a week and a  six pack of 2 liter water bottles. We also usually buy a small snack to get us through the afternoon. 8 hours without eating gets to be a long time!

Our cupboards were down to 2 slices of bread, 3 slices of ham, a couple slices of processed cheese, onion, a box of cereal (no milk)and 3 packs of ramen. We also didn't have enough water to make it a week.

We've slowly learned that in this country it is usually costs more to buy groceries than it does to eat out. We could easily spend $50 on groceries and not make it a week.

Mike and I prayed that God would get us through the week and that we wouldn't be miserably hungry. We usually purchased snacks to get us through the 8 hour shift, but it looked as if we wouldn't be able to afford them this week.

On Sunday we bought a pizza box. It included a pizza, chicken tenders and fries and spaghetti. We were able to eat all day Sunday and lunch on Monday from this box. Monday we stopped and bought drinks for later in the afternoon.

However, the amount of spaghetti we shared left us hungry part way through work. It was Pepero day. A day devoted to cookies sticks covered in chocolate and other toppings like nuts. Teachers and students often exchange these treats. We didn't have any to give out, but God blessed us greatly by having students gift us with a couple boxes of them. We were able to have our snack after all! I truly felt has if God had had some marketing guru suggest Pepero day just to help Mike and I out of our hunger!

Monday night we ate more leftover pizza and left over chicken from Friday night. On Monday night Mike calculated our cash in hand to be 20,000 won (just under $20)

Tuesday morning, Mike counted our money and determined we actually had 40,000 won. It was as if God had come into our apartment and slipped us a $20.

Tuesday we went out to eat for lunch. Mike had a rice stirfry type dish and I had a noodle soup. Our typical orders at this restaurant. Usually, it costs us 8,000 won. This time it was 7,500 won. This allowed Mike to buy a Pepsi, for a pick me up. Another food related blessing came today. We had been helping a student prepare for a speaking competition. Her mother dropped off two loaves of coffee and nut bread for the teachers to share.

Wednesday, we ventured to McDonalds and discovered that (Praise God!) they were running specials. We both ate full size meals for the same price as two Happy Meals. Towards the end of the work day, I was starting to get hungry. Suddenly, I began to smell cinnamon. One of the managers had gone out and purchased brown sugar cinnamon pancakes from a street vendor. Knowing my love of sweets, she graciously shared with me.

Wednesday night, our next door neighbor and former boss dropped off a bunch of extra bananas. I ate mine for dessert with melted pieces of chocolate that were a gift from my student. We have enough bananas to each eat one for a snack tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrow, God has provided enough money for us to keep up our traditional lunch with the teachers at the food court across from out school. I'm so looking forward to a warm bowl of curry.

We've yet to see what God has in store for the rest of the week but I am confident he will provide. Ever since we've started tithing we have never needed for anything.

I feel as if I am living the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fish.