"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
~ Isaiah 40: 11

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Teaching in Tainan

For the past week I have been teaching crazy middle schoolers in the south of Taiwan, called Tainan, how to learn English. During my time in Taiwan I have been able to rule out many jobs that I would not like to pursue as a career. First, I do not have any ambition to be an actress on television (or on any medium.) And now I have learned that I really do not have any desire to be a middle school teacher especially teaching English as a Second Language. Oh my goodness - you know being able to communicate to the students in their language is an important asset to teaching - I learned that this week!

My students are mostly boys, around 7th grade (12-13 years old). They like to run around, yell, hit, and do everything but what I tell them! When I was a teenager and would misbehave my mom would always tell me, "wait until you have children and they act like you are." Well mom, I didn't have to wait until my own children - I have experienced 60 times the chaos I caused you and dad this week! I truly appreciate the patience and perseverance of parents more.

I am trying to teach my students English vocabulary and I am using many different activities to do this. They are working on a drama to perform at the end of the camp. Each group will also perform a tv commercial that I wrote for them. Heaven help us all if the groups that perform on stage actually get through their little performances and don't fall apart in stage fright. I don't think they actually realize what they are going to have to do although I have tried to enforce the fact that they will be performing. Also I am teaching all levels of students about eating at a restaurant and playing jeopardy with them. I have played jeopardy seven times already and will play it 5 more times before the camp is through. I have had my fill of "Sports for 200...." for years now.

All in all the experience has been good. I have learned a lot about teaching and more importantly about controlling a classroom of crazy students. A little controlled chaos is okay. However, I am ready to go back to Taipei, sleep in my own bed and start my Chinese New Year vacation.

Chinese New Year starts February 6th and I will let you all know how it goes. I am just ready to not be around over 300 talkative, energetic, rambunctuous preteens!!!

Until next time,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saying Goodbyes...

Friday morning I said goodbye to my dear friend and fellow intern Lori. Lori came to Taipei just a few weeks after I did. We have travelled, laughed, cried, shared, and prayed together during our time in Taiwan. To say that I will miss her dearly is putting it lightly. It is amazing how God puts the right people in my life at the perfect time and He did this with Lori. I saw God use her in many of the lives of the students and impact my own life as well. Even though I have only known her for a mere four months we have experienced a lot of unique moments together. I will miss her laugh, her deep thoughts, and her silliness. However, I know that the Lord is leading both of us toward His perfect plan in the future. Right now for me that is staying in Taipei and for her that is going back home to Charleston, S.C. Well, I just want to shout out to Lori. Thank you for being a loyal and loving friend - for reflecting the love of Jesus to me and to the students of Christ College. God has used you to "till the soil" and "plant seeds" in the hearts of many here. I miss you already.
One amazing answer to prayer happened as we dropped Lori off at the airport. She was flying standby and there was no room for her on the plane. We were about to leave and take her back to the college and come back the next day when one of the airport service women told us that there was an extra seat - she had only twenty minutes to make it to the plane. She did and got to fly first-class! Man, God is so good.
I ask that you would pray for me as I adjust to the change of not having Lori here. It will be different. God has provided many other friends and spiritual guides for me here but I will miss Lori. I also need guidance on now being in charge of the English Dorm and other activities that Lori was helping with. Pray for Christ's College and the faculty and staff as we labor to share the Gospel with a student body who really needs Jesus. Only 2% of the population (of 23 million) in Taiwan say they are Christians. I can feel the spiritual warfare here. Please pray that I will not try to fight in self-sufficiency but in utter dependency on Jesus.
- Until next time

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My new career... as a tv actor!

I had no idea that I would have so many different and interesting opportunities to experience new things here in Taiwan. Recently, I was asked by a alumni of Christ's College (the school where I am serving) to help film some English scripts for an English class that she is teaching. So for two Saturdays I went downtown and filmed 14 different English scripts for Taiwanese university students. This was my first time (and probably last!) time as a "professional actress." I mean we did the whole thing - hair, make-up, the green room, the "cut", there was a director, producer - it was the real thing.

I now have a deep respect for real and aspiring actors because it is incredibly tough and tiring. I had fun getting to know new people and spending time with another MTW missionary that I don't see often. The bad thing - this program will air on Taiwan television long after I leave. It will be on for many years - Yikes!
Here are some pictures of production. You get to see me in curlers and fully coated in make-up. Also we acted in a green room and they created virtual scenes. So on the television we saw the set but in actuality we were acting in a lime green room!

Well, the experience was unique and definitely memorable.
Until next time...