You know how caterpillars go into their cocoons and do not emerge back into the world until they have transformed themselves into a beautiful butterfly? Well, this week I have become a caterpillar. Only it is not myself that I am transforming but instead all my lesson plans for the upcoming weeks. Yes, I have become a recluse much to my dismay!
This week is the annual Harvest Festival and so we have been given the entire week off from teaching. Almost all the foreign teachers have left the city and are traveling around China and other parts of Asia. However, I decided to spend this week working on lesson plans and studying my Mandarin. I know many of you are shocked beyond belief because I have always been one to pick social activities over work. I mean we are talking about the girl who stayed at Late Night Cafe "studying" until 5:00 am the night before her big Statistics Mid-Term just so she could hang out with friends. However I knew that if I took off this week and traveled I would feel very overwhelmed when I got back. Then I would then need a vacation from my vacation. So my goal by the end of the week is to have at least the next month of lesson plans figured out and to have mastered Chapters 1&2 in my Mandarin book.
There has been some play amidst the work this week though. Saturday I gave my apartment a much needed makeover (well just my den) and painted it! It is truely amazing what a little coat of paint will do. It already feels homier (not really a word) and I think it has motivated other teachers to paint their apartments as well. I am also going to try my hand at making homemade applesauce tonight. I was really craving some, but you can't buy it here. So we'll see how domestic I can be and hope it turns out somewhat edible.
My big prayer request this week is for the time I will spend with the other foreign teachers who stayed behind. I have had 2 guys ask me over for lunch on 2 separate occassions and I know this will be a great opportunity to share about my love for God and how He brought me here. One of them was in my apartment today and noticed that I had bible verses displayed on the wall. He read them aloud and then asked if I was a Christian. I know he isn't a believer and my prayer is that I can be bold in speaking if the opportunity to share presents itself (which I am sure it will). Ephesians 6:19 has been my prayer for this week, "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel."
Thank you all my brothers and sisters back home and truely "I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3