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Back in June, we decided to take action on some ideas that we had swirling around in our minds for the last year or so. In our almost five years of serving here in Spain, we have learned so much about what is possible with Jehovah’s spirit and what it really takes to be happy. Each year it seems that we learn new lessons along these lines that end up shaping our actions going forward. As we have now been in the south of Spain with our current congregation for a couple of years we felt that things were going well. Actually, a little too good if that makes any sense. Even while serving in another country we could see that it is still possible to get a little “too comfortable” and that there is always more to do and new ways to grow in our service. We had a very nice apartment near the ocean and we were pretty comfortable with our teaching jobs and our routine. So why change, right? Well, we wanted to make ourselves even more available to take up any opportunity as well as to simplify our lives so that we can more fully focus on kingdom interests. In order to do this, we needed to free up our time and our expenses to a greater degree. So one of the ways that we thought we could do this would be to leave our apartment for something different. For those that were following us in June, you know that we went to the UK. Here’s what was going on behind the scenes and how things worked out.
Leading up to our trip to the UK we had given the notice to leave our apartment by mid-June. At that time we didn’t have anything else lined up but we knew that if we worked in harmony with our prayers then things would fall into place. We also decided to both take leave from our teaching jobs for the summer so that we could focus on our new projects. One of these projects was the creation of our YCTEO Course. This would be a way for us to help more people to be able to support themselves as needgreaters as well as a way for us to have complete freedom with our time. The course was a lot of work to develop but we are happy with the final results. At this point, we were giving up both our apartment and our jobs with the goal of simplifying. We had some ideas of what we could do but a lot was still up in the air. Our course launched one week before we were set to leave our apartment. The course was only open for enrolment for one week and on the Sunday that it closed we would be leaving our apartment. Needless to say, that week was quite stressful but also exciting. We really had to rely on Jehovah during that time and be confident that we were making the right decision for our circumstances and with good motives. As the week finished out we were excited about the good response that the course received! So what happened next? The day that we left our apartment we decided to take action on the second part of our plan. We would go to the UK to purchase a caravan which would be our new home. So that Monday we set off to the UK with our trusty Renault Kangoo. We didn’t have any specific caravan selected already. Instead, we decided to just go and find one once we arrived. After a few days of traveling through Spain and France as well as taking the Ferry across the English Channel, we finally reached the UK. Now it was time to start making some visits to caravans. We searched for a few days and saw all sorts of caravans around the country. We found one that we knew would be perfect for us because it had the layout that we wanted as well as solar panels and it was well taken care of. We really saw Jehovah’s hand in preserving it for us. We had gone to see it and we decided to take a day to think about making an offer. In that time someone offered to buy it sight unseen. The owners decided to save it until we had decided since we saw it first! These and many other things helped us to see that this was the right one for us. We ended up buying the caravan and then we headed back to the south of Spain taking it across the ferry and then driving the rest of the way.
Another issue that we would have to encounter was where to put the caravan. Land is sometimes difficult to find in this area and caravan camping parks are not so cost-effective. We searched through the classifieds and we found some land that was located only five minutes from the kingdom hall. The land was also in a scenic area surrounded by trees with a view of the ocean and cool ocean breezes. We were able to secure the land and now we have a home for our caravan. By the way, we named her “Anna” from Downton Abbey. Our Kangoo is named “Mr. Bates”. Our plan is to build an off-the-grid setup with our caravan on the land. In time we may plant some things as well. We have seen Jehovah’s hand in so many ways connected to these events that it is really faith-strengthening. Now we are able to have an even simpler life and focus to a greater extent on kingdom interests. As a result of our efforts online, we are taking a break from teaching as we focus more on helping others to learn how to support themselves so that they can serve where the need is great as well. We hope that you find this post encouraging!
If you would like to learn about how we support ourselves abroad check out our posts about teaching English online.
If you would like to learn from our experience moving abroad then check out our FREE seven day moving abroad guide.
If you enjoyed this post be sure to follow our Instagram accounts @jwabroad and @kaniciacognard. We post regular updates from our experiences serving abroad and we usually do Instagram stories of what is going on during the day. Turn on post notifications on Instagram for more photos and videos. Oh yeah, we also have a new Instagram account for “Anna”. You can follow her adventures and transformation by clicking on @annathecaravan. If you like this post or have any questions let us know in the comments and be sure to share it with others that would appreciate it and follow for blog post updates and other fun stuff by clicking the link below.