I wanted to follow through and send you a sketch on how we actually got to Singapore, before I return to Singapore Aug. 1st. Rod is already back since, he resumed his new semester as of July 6th. I am SO glad to have email to keep in touch with him.
How we got to Singapore:
About 2 wedding anniversaries before we left for Singapore (maybe more, August ‘94?), Rod and I took two big steps. We got away to a nearby hotel to pray and plan together. And, I believe, that was the year we completed our GO application.
We discussed the possibility of Frank shifting from being a design engineer to teaching electronic design. We thought being a teacher might get us into less developed countries. And yet, Rod had no actual training to teach.
So I called Ariz. State U. to see if a master’s degree would be sufficient to teach electronics. They said you need a Ph. D. Then I contacted a local community college. Amazingly, they had a sudden, immediate opening to teach autocad starting the very next week! Well, it was a LOT of work starting to teach with no time to prepare in advance, and doing it along with a full-time job. But, it gave Rod a taste of teaching!
Then, sometime in 1995, a Mormon colleague of Rod’s had seen a job description on the internet that fit Rod to a “T”—in Singapore. A group from Singapore was in California doing job recruiting. Well, the timing was a bit late for us to interview, but we sent off Rod’s resume and began doing some research about Singapore—place, climate, culture, etc. Until then, we had never considered it.
By August of 1995, on our anniversary outing, we prayerfully committed to aggressively take steps to seek a job in Singapore. In fact, we decided to take a step of faith, and fly the two of us to Singapore to see it for ourselves. Since we were going to so much expense to see it, why not try to set up job interviews?
It “so happens” we were already host family to a business graduate student from Singapore, at the AGSIM “Thunderbird” campus in Phoenix. He was a GREAT help in getting some names of companies to contact, and knowing how to get around Singapore. He also said that January was a very good time to interview—there is a lot of job shifting after year-end bonuses in December.
Next came a lot of work, but it yielded a lot of fruit—internet access and searching. GO gave us lots of contacts, but none of them were specific enough to Rod’s field of integrated chip design. So, we contacted the National University of Singapore’s electrical engineering department. We found a web page listing their various professors. Then we found another website that gave their individual degrees, which gave us a clue to their areas of specialization. Then Rod selected the ones which seemed most closely related to his own experience and education. We found e-mail addresses for those and wrote them individually. We told them about our interest and Rod’s background and resume, and asked for any recommendations of companies in Singapore might be interested in meeting with Rod.
These professors were SO helpful. We also asked if there were any opportunities for Rod to teach in Singapore. In addition, I found some educational e-mail addresses by doing an internet search on “IEEE” (a world-wide electrical engineering organization). They gave their officers in Singapore, who came from the universities and polytechnics. I then contacted them. The fruit of hours of internet searching and e-mail contacts led to 9 job interviews when we flew to Singapore in January of 1996!!
It all started maybe 12 years ago with a desire to live and work overseas as a family, using Rod’s career and education as a means of getting into a country and supporting ourselves. With time and prayer, we became more strategic and aggressive. Though I can’t remember all the dates, the main thing is that we took concrete action to get a job—prayer, a plan, our GO application, weekly strategy/prayer meetings, trying out teaching, internet searches and e-mail, setting up interviews, and a plane trip to visit. The fruit—Rod’s current job. [During this trip, Rod decided that he would not take jobs in industry b/c they demanded 50+ hours/week. Rather he took a job teaching in a college—a technical institute.] It has been a whole family event, and it is wonderful to see our kids joining with us in making friends with Rod’s colleagues and our neighbors and in giving hospitality. This next 3 years we hope and pray we will see evangelistic Bible studies and spiritual fruit. Then we will need God’s direction at the end of the next contract (June 2001). Do we renew, or move to another country, ???.
— “R & J”