Heartland graduates Jaden & Katelyn Regier love their new life in Thailand and have embraced the challenges of immersing themselves in a new culture, language and teaching.
It’s always fun to catch up with Heartland alumni who have made their way out into the world doing some pretty worthy work. Jaden Regier is a 2018 Heartland graduate, and Katelyn (Janzen) Regier is a 2016 graduate living and working in Thailand.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska Omaha, they both received their degrees. Jaden has a Bachelor’s in History and K-12 Studio Art for Katelyn. They were married in 2019 and became involved in Providence Church in Omaha, where they made connections at a Cross Con conference.
“In the fall of 2020, God was slowly preparing our hearts for global missions, but after attending two conferences previously, He really solidified a calling to go,” said Katelyn. They didn’t fully know what it might look like, but they both understood the need to obey and pursue it.
They were connected with two prominent mentor couples through their church “who helped us discern our call to serve God overseas, and eventually find and look into TeachBeyond,” said Katelyn.
Next, they had a time of preparation and prayer as they waited for an opportunity for when and where they might serve. They became involved with Global Friends during this waiting time, which helped them grow their love for people and cultures around the world.
The Christian International School where they serve was formed to assist missionaries in educating their children with affordable tuition. Their teachers are not paid, so they are volunteers supported through TeachBeyond. The school has about 200 students, grades K-12, hosting students and teachers from over 20 countries.
The majority of their students are local Thai students, and next are missionary students who are originally from the United States. They both teach a wide range of ages, with Jaden teaching high school and kindergarten students social studies. Katelyn teaches art to high school and elementary, so their teaching skills are stretched, to say the least.
“Our work is so much more than the lessons inside the classroom. Jaden and I co-lead the middle school youth group that happens on our school campus each week, as well as coach boys’ volleyball in spring! We mentor/disciple students during and after school hours and volunteer with many school and ministry events that happen throughout the year!” said Katelyn.
They have both enjoyed the warmer weather year-round in Thailand and have loved learning the language and culture of Thailand, but it can be challenging, they said.
Some challenges for both of them were stepping into their first-time teaching roles and, at the same time, being immersed and adapting to a new language and culture. They admit it was exhausting their first year, but their second year has been smoother.
Katelyn’s family, Alan and Kim Janzen, sisters Grace and Miranda and her husband Jason were able to visit them for the first time this past June. They have committed to a two-year term with TeachBeyond but plan on serving in this role indefinitely as the Lord wills, they said.
They will return home to Nebraska for a couple of months visit in 2024. It’s a long journey, and the total travel time can be as long as 25-35 hours, depending on your choice of flights. Jaden’s parents, Derrick and Anne Regier, and family plan on visiting them this December.
When asked how their worldview had been changed by their experience, they admit it has been “eye-opening and beautiful to meet and hear the stories of missionaries that God sent not only from America, but from South Africa, Brazil, Korea, The Philippines, and more, all to bring the same gospel message to those who haven’t heard.”
“We do all of these things for the glory of God’s name and in order to serve the missionaries in our area who are spreading the gospel to the unreached in Thailand and surrounding countries,” said Katelyn.
Thai families and school and community friends the Regiers have met while living and working in Thailand.