Thursday, July 13, 2006
I have been in China for a week now and am absolutey loving it!
The 2 day plane ride went well, all things considered.
I was so worried about getting blood clots from sitting so long, as my doctor warned, so I was up every hour doing aerobic stretches with the foreigners and the flight attendants in the back of the plane. They didn't speak English but they knew alot of the same stretches (?) so we had great fun!
Praise the Lord I was seated next to a team of college students from UCLA who were also going to China to teach a summer English program! So we were able to swap lesson plans and ideas the whole time! While waiting in the airport I was also able to witness to a Chinese Morman family from Canada. That was cool. They weren't converted just then, but we had a great spirit-led discussion, so please continue praying for them.
If all is a loss in this whole missionary journey around the world, at least God let me witness to some Canadian Mormans =)
But I digress, China has been spectacular! Our team spent 2 days in Beijing touring the Great Hall of the People, Tinnemens Square, The Forbidden City, the silk market, and of course the Great Wall of China!
After Beijing we took a sleeper bus to Chang Zhi (sounds like chon jur) where we will be spending the remainder of the month teaching English and American culture at the #1 Middle School of Chang Zhi. (Which is really a highschool)
Teaching has been a strange and wonderful challenge. I have rediscovered that I love teaching, although there is a world of difference between teaching Chinese students and teaching inner city American students.
The first hour or two of class was rough because I didn't know what to expect.
I have learned it is best to have no premonitions here because everytime I think I have something figuired out it gets changed on me. I was pretty nervous.
After introducing myself and my expectations for the class I began to ask them questions and was blown away by how advanced they are.
These are some sharp cookies, 16 going on 60.
They already speak and comprehend English very well. Their sentences, grammar, and punctuation are excellent. They have a broad vocabulary and good pronunciation.
So I'm standing their thinking/praying "o.k. Lord, there go my lesson plans for today and the next 3 weeks. What do I do?!"
Thinking "I must not look confused, must not look inept, must look professional and prepared and all those nice things my leader said about me in front of all the students and communist officials this morning. Please help me Lord!
Then the bell rang and it was time for my next class. I cried to God in my desperation and He heard my prayer! He always does. His power is made perfect in my weakness.
So after that brief morning of panic and prayer I returned to the hotel for lunch and spent the whole time on my knees. Giving everything to God again.
When I returned to class for the afternoon session He let the ideas flow. One topic led to another teaching them new words and concepts from American culture, and facilitating small group discussions...
He gave me several new ideas for my class to learn and practice their English. Before I knew it the time was gone, and we all learned something. Praise the Lord!
Thank you so much all of my faithful prayer warriors at home! God is in His high heaven and all is right in Chang Zhi =)