Family Spotlight in Mongolia!

FAMILY SPOTLIGHT

 

Meet Justin and Helen! 

Their son, Caleb, is 8 years old and their daughter, Caroline is 6.  This amazing family is living and homeschooling in Mongolia! 

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What do you consider your “home” country and where are you living now?

We consider our home country to be the United States of America.  Both my husband and I lived in East Tennessee our entire lives, except for a few years of marriage when Justin was attending Veterinary School at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. We are now living in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. We have lived here for 16 months.

Why is your family living in a different country other than your home country?

Our family feels like the Lord is calling us to work in Mongolia right now, to volunteer at a Non-Government Organization that trains and advises Mongolian Veterinarians.  There are many aspects of the work of the NGO including Herder Training, Drug Sales, and the running of a Small Animal Hospital. Justin advises full time at the Small Animal Hospital, sharing knowledge and advice to the National Vets. 

What has been the best part of living overseas?

For me, the best part has been falling completely into the trusting arms of the Lord. Saying yes to the calling the Lord put before my family was very hard for me, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences and faithfulness the Lord has shown us. He has truly been so good to us and filled us with His grace.

What has been the hardest part of living overseas? 

For me, there are so many hard things! I think the hardest are the days I don’t want to keep going and I feel far from God. As I said above, the best thing is the closeness and deeper relationship with the Lord, but that doesn’t mean there are not hard days where I am ‘over it’, want to quit, or just feel like a failure.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed with all the little things that make living overseas hard.

What is your children’s favorite thing to do in the country you now live?

Spending lots of time at the playground that is right outside our apartment. It serves a few apartments and my kids have made so many acquaintances and friends by spending hours playing. They are always excited to see who is out. I love seeing them play easily despite language, society, or cultural barriers.

What homeschool curriculum have you found that works for your family and why do you like it?

I have used My Father’s World curriculum and Singapore Math since my oldest was in Kindergarten. Since then, I have added All about Spelling, Lessons for Language Learners, and Writing with Ease. I like My Father’s World curriculum because it is written in Units and has a strong foundation. It is a nice ‘backbone.’ I also like having the leeway to add and change things as it works for my family.

What piece of advice do you have for women around the world who are homeschooling?

This is my first year homeschooling two children, and I am learning a lot. I think God is mostly teaching me to trust Him everyday when I sit down to Homeschool. I seriously cannot do it without Him, and have tried my share of times. It’s a constant battle for me. He has really grown me lately through revealing my sin and my struggle in some areas of homeschooling.  I am learning that it is best to confess those quickly and trust Him for the rest. So, my advice is to assess yourself (with grace) before you take things out on your kids, and trust God with the rest.

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