Stories of Significance, Uncategorized

Jeanine B: The ordinary important

I first met Jeanine as a fellow expat living in South Korea. Over the years, I’ve watched her kids grow up, and enjoyed the fellowship of her and her family on 3 separate continents. Jeanine tells us of her inter-cultural and multi-ethnic life, the lessons her children have taught her, and her faith that’s sustained her through it all. Read on for her full story!

 

While I am Minnesota born and raised, my first name is actually French. Additionally, my maiden name is Norwegian, but my married last name is from Middle Eastern culture despite the fact that I am married to a Peruvian whose first name is of Italian origin.

Yes, our names Are quite strange, but they match an international lifestyle that we have had ever since we were married.

My husband and I met in Bible college and got married after graduating together with our undergraduate degrees. We went on to complete our Masters degrees and, once again, graduated together. Perhaps we will one day do our PhDs and graduate together again, but for now 5 degrees between the two of us will suffice!

My story begins as a child who did not know God, but yet, somehow, deep within knew that she wanted to marry a doctor and teach English overseas. After many years passed, this child grew to be a young lady who learned about the Creator of the universe who wanted her to know Him in return. After learning about God and accepting a relationship with Him, this young lady went through college, married a doctor from another country, and moved overseas to teach English all the while deeply studying and learning about God through having a relationship with Him.

Now that I have accepted a relationship with God, everything I do is out of love for Him who loved me first.

Since then, my life has changed drastically for the better as I no longer create a mess of my own life.

I have learned many things over the years as I walked with God. One of the biggest lessons has been that a materialistic life cannot compare to a relationship with God and a relationship with others, including those that are dearest to me: my husband and children.  I have learned over the years to say time and time again, this material thing is not needed and I can move away without it. This even included my wedding dishes only one year after receiving them.

While some would say that they do not desire to follow God because they do not want to have blind faith, I would argue that there is no such thing as blind faith.

I have been walking with Jesus for over 15 years now and He has always been by my side, even before I accepted him. He loves me so much and I can fully trust him. My faith is in Him with wide open eyes and He leads me to accomplish His will.

For example, when I was in graduate school for completing my Master of Education, I had a dean who knew me well and was the elder of my church. After graduating, the dean contacted me unexpectedly. He told me about a family in Haiti who needed a homeschool teacher. He personally didn’t know the family nor the organization seeking the help, but after hearing about the situation I knew from God that He was desiring for me to go.

From the time of hearing about the opportunity to the time of moving to Haiti, it was only a two week time frame. Thankfully I am married to a man who loves Jesus more than me, and who can also clearly see Jesus with full faith in Him, and so my husband sent me off alone to this foreign country neither of us knew.

I left on an airplane not knowing the organization, the family, or where, as well as how, I would live for the next three months.

I didn’t know how I would be able to help the family who needed a teacher as I was fresh out of education school. However, I did fully trust God who led me to that decision of going.

After arriving in Haiti, I was picked up by the organization and brought to a large, safe compound that contained a hospital, an orphanage, and two schools. I was given adequate housing and food. I was given an office in which I was to accomplish creating a school. The 4 children entrusted to me had the most beautiful hearts and I began to love them so much over the next three months.

Although humanly speaking I couldn’t possibly have made that decision to go, I had no qualms about going as I clearly saw Jesus hold my hand and give me peace in going. This is just one story of many in my short life of walking with Jesus, that I am confident that there is no such thing as blind faith.

I do not have a particularly glamorous life. But I have an incredibly important one.

My stay-at-home-work of caring for two children is well worth the cost. Laying aside daily my desire for things for myself, even something as simple as a moment to sit to read my favorite book or get a hot shower (by myself!), is well worth it. I have been entrusted by God to care for two human beings and I work hard every day for them to see the love of Jesus through the model of my life.

2 thoughts on “Jeanine B: The ordinary important

  1. Excellent testimony of faith. Perhaps you want to correct the typo in the first text banner, as follows:
    “… our names ARE …”
    rather than “… our names our …”
    as copied here:
    YES, OUR NAMES OUR QUITE STRANGE, BUT THEY MATCH AN INTERNATIONAL LIFESTYLE THAT WE HAVE HAD EVER SINCE WE WERE MARRIED.

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