Many people think that I am crazy for not only going back to China, but also going to rural China where there might not be the hot water and electricity everyday. As a graduate from the top one social work school, I have a chance to pursue a better job in Shanghai. As a Catholic, yes, I might should have made a more Catholic choices( as Somebody said..lol..)…
Some friends ask me whether you are excited. I have to say that I have not felt excited about anything for almost 2-3 years.The more feeling I have during the past couple years is the combination of frustration, sadness, and most importantly, the joy from God and the happiness from the surrounding of friends. Excitement come from the achievement of high expectation and long waiting, but I do not have that. After 2012 and the hard job hunting process in the beginning 2013, after so many things happened in my life, I feel that I do not really have any expectations except God… I feel more about responsibilities, about the necessities of sufferings, and about a kind strong will to do certain kind of things.
I began to feel deeply empty since the time I began to write my graduation paper on the collective action and public goods provisions. I feel that I am just so theoretical. Every thing I know is from books. Every thing I can write about is theories. How can I be a professor if the only thing I can teach my students is just from books which they can read themselves? At that time, I decide that I should go to the field to work and accumulate experiences.
At that time, I had a talk with one of my favorite professor. She is few of the professor whose class is really rich. I asked her basically how I can work in the field of community development and become a good professor like her.
she told me, where do you like to work? I said, of course, I want to help my homeland.
She said, go back home and work there
I said, er….
She said, what are you worried about?
I said, money.. ( very honestly.)
she said, you might not know that my first job was in Africa, teach English for two years and salary was less than $ 500.
She lived in Africa for almost 10 years to do field work.
Another professor mentioned same things but in a more harsh way to me, I guess a lot of students know him. Professor Yadama. He made fun of us, social worker who claimed to care about the poor but never really go into the field. He told me when I was frist year that, if you really care about the poor, go to the field. Although I really do not like his harsh style, he said the truth.
Choosing Teach for China actually is not that idealistic as a lot of people think. I followed up with this program for almost two year. It is a pretty mature program which at least can guarantee my safety and help me with the long term development. Although I might live a slightly harder life than here in STL or back home in Shanghai, it won’t “kill” me. so do not worry about that, friend, but I do need courage for that.
Here is their website: http://www.tfchina.org/
Gaining the courage for serving in rural China actually takes really long time for me. I thought about that after my undergraduate school. My father has already asked me to do that for helping me become more mature, but at that time, I definitely do not have courage to do that.
During the job hunting process, this idea came back again in my thought and I tried, but I was not sure how much I could do that. The actually confirmation for dong this job is from the Novena of St. Joseph. After praying six Novenas to St. Joseph, the prayer every times jumps in front of me is how St. Joseph worked hard with Jesus in the Nazareth Farm in modesty and poverty.
I am a kind of person really weak in faith. I am much weaker than Thomas who has to see and then believe. After job hunting for three months, trying different type of jobs. Finally, the H1B Visa cap has been reached so early this year and those who have applied have to go through the lottery. It makes me feel that it is time to go back home to fulfill the promises I have made before. I think God holds me accountable for that.
Although it is a program about teaching, I believe it is a first step to know the communities in rural China and know the people there who are actually the true contributor to the economic development everywhere.
It is not about being idealistic but about fulfilling responsibilities.
It is definitely not a step for settling down, but a step towards new page of life.
Please pray for me, friends!