A Year in Review

It has been a crazy twelve months, filled with new adventures, new places, new struggles, and new joys.  It’s easy to forget the many examples of God’s refining love being poured on our lives throughout the year.  So we’ll use this space to remind ourselves, as much as you, of His goodness towards us in 2015. On a very cold Valentine’s Day morning at the KCI airport, these two youngsters said our goodbyes and headed to our new home: South Korea. Our reasons for moving were many. We wanted to get involved in a ministry overseas.  We wanted to teach ESL.  Finally, we wanted get first-hand experience with the struggles of daily living overseas. Thus far, it has certainly been a challenging experience. But this has been, without a doubt, the most growing year of our lives.

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Leaving for Korea!

Our town is the tiny farming community of Waegwan.  So obscure, Google seemed reluctant to provide us with any information when we first got here.  We teach at four schools. Hannah teaches at a public middle school, and a private boys Catholic middle school. Brady teaches at a public elementary school and a tiny country school outside of town. Life as a foreign English teacher (“Waygook”) is never dull!  Each day in Korea brings new life lessons. Managing a classroom of 30 hooligans who don’t speak your language–and REALLY don’t want to learn it–is a lesson in creativity.  Taste-testing traditional Korean delights–sometimes voluntary, often-times forced–is a lesson in open-mindedness.  Being the only foreigner in your workplace–trying to read memos in Korean, navigate Microsoft programs in Korean, laughing at office jokes in Korean–is a lesson in patience.  Just navigating daily life as the foreigner–figuring out the public transportation systems, paying bills, finding frozen chicken at the grocery store, using a squatty potty and never having toilet paper in public bathrooms–is lesson in humility.

 

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Hannah’s middle school boys

One of our favorite memories of the year was meeting Hannah’s brother Josiah for a Thailand summer vacation!  Our experience in Thailand was incredible.  From jungle trekking with elephants, to snorkeling on coral reefs, to climbing waterfalls, to cuddling tigers, and eating tons of street food, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

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With Josiah in Thailand!

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At year end, we can honestly say life abroad has been an incredible adventure.  We’ve been given so many new experiences. Through His gentle guiding, we’ve gained clarity this year on the passions and skills He’s given us.  More than anything, we’ve gained passion for life abroad, and can’t wait to continue our pursuit of overseas ministry. We are so excited for this new year, and the potential each day brings. We’ll miss our Kimchi family, we’re thankful for the blessing our time here has been.

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These past few months, we’ve been preparing for a new phase of life abroad.  In March 2016, we are setting out on a 2-month hike-a-thon across the length of Israel.  Raising money for Samaritan’s Purse water initiatives, we are raising awareness for the global water crisis. We can’t wait to grow in compassion for those who spiritually and physically thirst. If you’re interested in supporting the cause, you can learn more here!

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We are warm with thankfulness for supportive family, encouraging friends, and our loving Savior.  Many blessings to you this holiday season.

All our love,

B & H

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Why We Care & How to Help

Pure Hike: Why We Care

& How to Help

|| Why We Care ||

We’ve always known about the water crisis. It’s one of those things you see in a video clip, depicting the impoverished woman making her daily trek to retrieve water for her family. The video always leaves a knot in your stomach, big enough to cause discomfort as you take a sip from your ice cold glass. But small enough to be forgotten as soon as the clock hits noon and you rush to a lunch date. At least, that’s been our experience.

This time, however, the knot never left. We’ve been wrestling with this pit in our stomachs all year. The daily routine of our Western lifestyle has, instead of dulling the discomfort, only made it more defined. While we pour out the lukewarm leftovers of the drinking glass, 650 million people walk for miles to the nearest water source. While we enjoy comfort, safety, and health, 900 children die daily from diarrhea caused by unclean drinking water.

That’s a child every 2 minutes, dying from something that’s just an embarrassing annoyance for the rest of us.

The solutions to these problems are typically very simple. A class instructing people to wash their hands with soap can cut the chance of diarrhea in half. Teaching families to build a simple water filter with accessible materials can impact an entire community. In fact, clean water programs are one of the most cost effective ways to save a person’s lifeAccording to Water Aid, it only takes $22 to provide clean drinking water to someone who otherwise wouldn’t have it.

For the cost of eating at a restaurant, you could be saving a life.

So we’ve decided to do something to help, and we want YOU to be a part of it. We have partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, an acclaimed humanitarian organization doing a variety of relief work across the globe. You might be familiar with their program Operation Christmas Child (where you fill a shoebox with Christmas gifts for children in developing countries).  On their laundry list of international relief programs, Samaritan’s Purse has an impressive history of clean water initiatives in over 30 countries. These programs are saving lives, and it’s time for us to join the cause.

So we started this thing called Pure Hike.  It’s a hike-a-thon style fundraiser bringing awareness and support to the water crisis. In March 2016, we will start our 620-mile trek across the length of Israel.  And we don’t plan on stopping until we’ve walked every last one of those miles.  

We need you to be a part of this.

By committing support, you will help save lives with every mile.  By pledging pennies, nickels, and dimes, you will alter the future of entire communities.

Along the way we will post photos, videos, and updates. Through social media, you can follow our journey, encourage us, and watch your pennies turn into life-saving water.  As if this wasn’t enough motivation to participate, we’ll also have raffles and giveaways along the trail.  So yeah. No excuses now, right?

|| How to Help ||

| Pledge | Pure Hike is a walk-a-thon style fundraiser, meaning you pledge an amount of money for every mile we walk. The trail is 620 miles long, so the total possible amount you could be responsible for is:

(pledge amount) x 620

So, if you pledge $1 per mile, the maximum you could end up donating is $620. However, if we hike for 10 miles, break our legs, and have to come home, you only donate $10.

| Follow | You’ll want to follow our Instagram pictures, Facebook posts, and blog entires, because this hike will take us to incredible places. The Dead Sea, Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, and Bethlehem…just to name a few. We’ll be sleeping under the stars in the Negev Desert, staying in the homes of local Israeli families, and experiencing nomadic life with Negev Bedouins.   

We just partnered with SPOT, who has provided us with a GPS tracking device. Every 10 minutes, our current location is sent to an online map, allowing pledgers to track our progress along the trail!

| Donate | The trail takes between 40 and 60 days. We plan to cross the finish line in late April. We will then send out an update to each pledger, with the total amount of miles we hiked, and the $ total of your pledge. From there, you will donate directly to Samaritan’s Purse. We will give you with a link that provides an easy and secure way to donate.

So that’s why, and that’s how.  Now, let’s do something big together.

With love,

Brady & Hannahclick.here.

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