Hi, my name is Kyle. I am currently teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Chaojhou,Taiwan through IBLP. This past year has been the most exciting year of my entire life!
I grew up in a Christian home, but for me Christianity was just a front that I put up every day so that I would be accepted by my Christian peers. I knew all the “right” words and actions, but inside I wanted nothing to do with God. I was a man filled with bitterness, malice, rage, anger, hatred, and immorality. I was headed for destruction, and was blinded to a lot of things. On March 31, 2009 at a Journey to the Heart, God miraculously changed my life! I repented of my sins, accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, and my faith became real for the first time! If you would like to hear a short version of my testimony, listen to the podcast titled A Launching Pad for Life.
The Fulfillment of a Promise
After I got home from the Journey, I had many opportunities to share my testimony. As I made it a point to give God the glory for what He did in my life, He opened the door for me to share my story again. At that time, I was less than three months away from graduating from high school. Honestly, I had no idea of what I was supposed to do with myself. However, the Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Each time I acknowledged God, He fulfilled His promise and began to show me the path He had for me after graduation. In other words, God did exactly what He promised: He directed my steps through circumstances and showed me which way to go. He “made my paths straight” and it was amazing!
One seed of direction was planted when my family and I attended the Regional ATI Conference last May in Big Sandy, Texas. At the end of the week, having heard my testimony a few times, Mr. Gothard suggested to my parents that I apply for the teaching trip in Taiwan. They shared his proposal with me, and at first, I had no interest at all. I thought to myself, “Me? Teach English? I hate English!” Obviously then, teaching English hadn’t even entered my mind. In fact, I thought it was ridiculous and therefore responded, “No way!”
However, as we drove home, my parents and I discussed the opportunity and through those conversations, the Lord “watered” the seed. I actually began to ponder the possibility. I prayed about it. Having a new desire to walk in God’s will instead of my own, I decided to apply for the position. I trusted that if God didn’t want me in Taiwan, He would “shut the door.” Interestingly, the more I thought about this incredible opportunity, the more excited I became!
A few weeks after I applied, I was accepted to join the team of people traveling to Taiwan to teach English! I had seen God open so many doors . . . . I had just become a Christian, I had just turned 18, and I had just completed a Journey to the Heart. The timing for me to go was perfect. My parents were at peace about it; in fact, they were encouraging me to faithfully pursue this opportunity. At that point, I had all the required prerequisites completed, except one. The last thing I needed was my TESOL certification . . . and $1,300 to pay for the course! My parents prayed. I prayed.
God heard . . . and God responded. I’m from a small country town, where jobs are sparse, but the good Lord opened a door for me; He gave me a six-week summer job that allowed me to earn the exact amount of money, to the dollar, that I needed for my TESOL training! Without a doubt, He “made my path straight!”
The Equipping of the Called
As time went on and the reality of my departure set in, I began feeling more and more stressed. I had a long list of things to do and I thought I would never finish in time. Also, I allowed fear to set in. Once again I thought, “I don’t know anything about teaching English!” My human reasoning took over and I thought I was going to fail. Just days before leaving, I had an emotional breakdown. My dad shared some words of encouragement, which have stuck with me the entire time: “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” This gave me peace in the midst of my fear and stress. As I trusted in God, He was faithful, and in His proper timing, He worked everything out!
My Mom and I began praying specifically that I would be placed on an experienced team with another godly young man. God answered both of those prayers! First, I was placed on the same team with the directors of the Taiwan ministry. And second, out of six potential teams, God put me on a team with my new friend, David. We had met and become really good friends during the TESOL course in Oklahoma. God answered our prayers above and beyond what we had even asked!
The Experience of a Lifetime
Ephesians 3:20 says that God can do “exceeding abundantly above all we can ask” and that is exactly what He has done for me! First of all, I LOVE teaching English! I LOVE these kids! I am so thankful that I was encouraged to walk in faith, and not in fear! These past seven months in Taiwan have been filled with exciting new adventures that I never once thought I would ever experience! I have had the opportunity to work with rural mountain kids in Thailand! I experienced scuba diving and snorkeling in the ocean, mountain hiking, touring the oldest city in Taiwan, and the list goes on and on.
One of the things that I love most about being in Taiwan is my team! God has blessed me with an AMAZING team of teachers! I appreciate each one of them so much. I could not have asked for a better team! God has truly blessed me this past year in Taiwan. I have come to realize that God’s purpose for me coming to Taiwan was not for me to be an English teacher or a missionary. Rather, the most important reason God brought me to Taiwan was for my own personal growth in the Lord. God paved the way for me to spend time here for personal refining! These past seven months have been an incredible time of growing in my relationship with God . . . and I am thankful!
It all started with a Journey, and the Journey still continues . . . . all Glory to Christ Jesus!
March 2009 Journey