Sunday, September 03, 2006

First Full Week!

This past week was wonderful and exhausting all at the same time! It was filled with meetings and opportunities to meet the other teachers. There are 40 total foreign teachers from various places around the world. Most of them are much older than I am, but they are all very kind and I am looking foward to getting to know them more as the school year progresses.
I got my class schedule and found out that I will be teaching Listening and Reading to entering Freshman. That is exactly what I wanted, so I am very happy about that!! I basically will be teaching Monday-Thursday from 8:00-12:00 and Friday I have one class from 10:30-12:00. Some afternoons I will have free and some will be used for office hours and English corner. There are also Mandarin classes for 3 hours every Friday afternoon. However, Dee and I are looking into taking private lessons a couple of times a week instead. I think I will learn the language faster if I am just taking with one other person, and we can choose what we learn. I will begin teaching on Monday the 18th, but will continue to be busy until then. I have workshops all this week and I think next week I will be testing the new students to determine their placement in classes.
I visited the church for the first time this morning and am so thankful that there is a public place where believers can gather to worship. The order of service was very similar to what we have in the States, however everything about the service was in Chinese. We sang familiar hymns that I was able to sing along with when I could remember the English words and I knew the scripture passages that were being read, so I could follow along there as well. At one point during the sermon, I began daydreaming because I couldn't understand what the pastor was saying. So I opened my bible and began reading from Romans 10. I got to verse 14 and just paused to reflect on what I had read. "How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" How wonderful it is that there is someone whom God has called to preach the saving message of grace to these people. In a country where Christianity is not widely practiced or accepted, there is a place where believers can gather to worship the almighty Lord. Although I may not have been able to understand the words, my heart knew what was being proclaimed, the beautiful message of our wonderful Lord.
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Outside of church building

Going to church!

Prayer Requests
* Continual adjustment to the new culture
* Relationships with other teachers (both foreign and Chinese)
* Direction on whether or not to teach additional English classes at the church

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