Wednesday, June 27, 2007
In a couple of weeks, we'll be visiting Eng's mother in Malaysia for two weeks, but apart from this, we're home for the summer. This is a refreshing change. There is no need to rush, pack, travel, or live out of suitcases. On the negative side we don't get to visit any family or friends in the places we could be in (this is always a real treat!) but it's also good to just 'be' for a change.
It's actually perfect timing as I'll be teaching Grade One for the first time at Grace International School. Not having done it before, I've got a very steep learning curve that I need to overcome. There is a lot to do and learn. I'm so grateful that I'm able to go to school early in the morning before the kids even wake up. I've got a crash course in lesson planning, selection of activities, classroom management, classroom procedures, and even learning how to read Big Books effectively. I truly have a new appreciation for teachers now. Having helped Mrs. Austin last school year, I saw the results of the hard work she put in. Now, I do understand what the hard work feels like.
Back to the summer, we've also had our share of swimming, watching movies, hanging out in malls, eating out, or simply relaxing. Life is just as busy for Eng and I but it's great to have the boys home to spend more time with when our energy permits it.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Please pray with us for the workers who are trying to reach out to the Tai Dam.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I will be going with the CMCC (Chiang Mai Community Church) youth group and will be staying in China for two weeks. This adds an interesting twist to the whole thing, as I don't attend the youth group and only know two guys (the rest going are girls). Though suffice to say, I'm not all that worried about getting to know people and such.
At long last the China visa is completed, the Thai re-entry permit has been taken to the consulate and there only remains one thing left to do: pack. Yesterday was a full day of shopping and driving around. The re-entry permit was approved and things were bought for the trip. The items bought were a small bag of engraved elephant keychains, to explain to the kids at the camp about Thai culture, and a bag of coffee from the supermarket, to supplement the camp's dwindling supply. Both items were requested by the camp as optional, but we decided that we would help as much as possible.
Today will be spent packing enough clothes for two weeks, and making sure I have everything on the list they sent, ex. towel, flashlight, etc. I am actually hoping and praying that it will be very cold when we get there. It's not in my nature to really enjoy the summer weather, I just can't take the heat as well as I can appreciate the cold.
Please pray for the Lord's provision, safety and sharing opportunities as we embark on this trip. I have never been to China and honestly find it slightly embarassing that I won't be able to speak to a lot of people as I don't know Mandarin or any of the other dialects. Pray for a lot of communication between us and the 'campers' and that we will be able to affect them a lot by radiating God's glory through what we do.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Recess Monitor job itself might have been uneventful and boring if the children behaved as they did during their 1st month in school. It was nice and easy. But by their second month, they got used to each other and were soon completely unpredictable and daring. The boys were climbing anything that stood, swinging sideways, and throwing dirt at each other. I’ve had to be the ‘bad’ guy and spoil their fun in many occasions. Once, a second grader actually needed stitches when a swing accidentally hit his head. During rainy days when the children stayed in the gym, they kept running every which way and would inevitably bump into each other. With the noise level being much louder in that self contained play area, it was hard to tell when someone was crying. I actually watched the time and prayed for 10 AM during those ‘hairy’ days so I could blow the whistle.
By Songkran time (in April) I was praying for them incessantly. I remember discussing the difference in the disposition of the children with a parent volunteer helping me out. The kids were tense, impatient, and quarrelsome. The spiritual climate definitely made a difference in how they behaved and I was glad someone else saw it too. Children are so susceptible to the wiles of the enemy. I’m truly glad I helped at recess or I wouldn’t have prayed for them as much as I did. While praying I always remembered a Principal in another international school in the city who grew up as a Missionary’s Kid (MK). He does not want to have anything to do with God and strictly enforces the ‘no-sharing-of-the-gospel’ in their school. But for the grace of God, what would become of our MKs? Pffffttt!