"Reporting to you live from Sweden..."
I have a job in Singapore. It came suddenly and without warning. I had applied for a job in Korea, where my friend Elaine would show my resume to various members of Kosin University, but mother pestered me (as mothers are wont to do) about applying for more than one place. Weeks before I had emailed Mr. Eiler, my former science teacher, about working at my old school as a freelance something-or-other and he pointed me in the direction of Mr. Herring (wonderful name), whom I emailed on the double. I had no expectations whatsoever--I did not think a mere question would cause a stir (but it did)--and I was quite surprised to find a letter waiting for me in my inbox the next day. Then followed a flurry of emails, as Mr. Herring tried to reach me, by phone (which did not work) and through Skype (which I missed). He finally managed to catch me for an interview on Sunday morning, which we held over Skype and from which I had to excuse myself to replace the malfunctioning headset with an unreasonably large microphone father had bought the day before. I felt a bit silly. Mr. Herring gave me three days to decide.
Over this brief few days, I was inundated with greetings from people who had known me at some stage in my young life; they wished me well, as if they knew I would inevitably accept the job. To everyone else the choice seemed obvious--TAKE THE JOB AND RUN--but I refuse to move until God points me in the right direction, and now he closed to door to Korea and gave me a well-timed shove to the southeast to let even this bear of little brain know that this was His doing.
Before college graduation last year, God told me to wait, though it made absolutely no sense and flew in the face of all those scrambling for first employments and mumbling about college loans.This year I waited and wrote my father's book, and I have been blessed with an incredible time of encouragement. I have worked through the necessary paperwork for my employment over the last few days, and though the thought of Singapore seems distant, the thought of leaving my friends is far too close. The work in the church is just beginning to bud, and there is so much more to be done. I understand now for the first time how my father felt in leaving his ministry work in Singapore in 1989. Larger political forces had intervened in his life. The wall had fallen in East Berlin, and missionary efforts were immediately funnelled into Russia and Ukraine. Even before my father was pulled out of service in Southeast Asia, he knew he would go home:
Håkan and Erika assumed they would be staying on [in Singapore] for the next few years, but human plans are laid in the face of an unforeseeable future, and on 26 August, 1989, Håkan went into his inner chambers to pray and seek the Lord and read his Bible, and “suddenly like a flash, a word from Isaiah jumped out from the text. ‘You shall leave ‘the East’ and return from where you came.’ Håkan walked out with his Bible, verse in hand, and showed Erika what the Lord had told him. They would be moving back to Sweden, and though the Lord’s call was abundantly clear, it was not easy to hear; they wanted to stay on and nurture the work that was just beginning. It felt like deserting a newly-ploughed field.
Funny how one life oddly mirrors the other. Almost as if I were part of some Greater Plan.