First of all, I went home for the month of February to be with my family. It was so great to be home for a while and it really gave me renewed energy as I started the 2nd semester. I was able to be with my grandmother (who is doing better) and spend some great time with my family. I will say that one of the best things about being home was waking up each morning in my extremely comfortable princess bed. Oh how I miss a comfortable mattress!! I was also able to visit several seminaries during the month. For those of you who don't know, I have decided to not stay a second year in China and I am coming home to begin seminary hopefully in the Fall. I have decided which seminary I want to attend and am now waiting to hear back as to whether or not I have been accepted. All in all I had a great month in the States, but was ready to come back.
Our second semester began on March 9th. I went into the classroom on the first day and told my students how excited I was to be back and asked if they missed me. Needless to say, they did not share in my joy of being back but I know in their heart of hearts they were glad to see me, even if they did mask their excitement well!
In addition to teaching at the university, I have recently started participating in 2 new ministries. One is teaching English at the local church on Sunday nights for the advanced English class. The teacher who was teaching last Fall had to return to his home country, so I was asked to step in and take his place. I started last week and enjoyed it so much. These students are at the same level as my students, so I can do a lot of the same lessons with them. But the really exciting thing is that I am able to use the Bible as a textbook because it is at the church. It is both thrilling and challenging at the same time. Many of these students are not believers and so they are hearing the gospel for the first time. My prayer each week is that I will allow the Holy Spirit to speak through me so that they might come to a clearer understanding of who He is. So often I get so excited about sharing the gospel that I want the person to make a decision right there on the spot, but get discouraged when they don't. God has to remind me that I am only His vessel and that He will be the one who changes them, not me.
The other ministry I am involved in is taking food to a very poor school outside the city. I and another guy went for the first time this past week and bought fruit for 108 children and then distributed it among them. When we arrived at the school, they were all lined up at the front gate in two rows and began clapping for us as soon as we stepped out of the car. It was so beautiful to see how joyful these children were over one apple, pear, and banana. All of the children have some sort of disability (blind, deaf, cerebral palsey, or down syndrome) but tried so hard to thank us in any way possible whether it was through sign language, a smile, or touching our face. We talked to the headmaster before we left and asked if we could come back every Thursday. It was a little frustrating because he indicated that he just wanted us to send money, but Scott told him that we would not donate money but we could buy anything the children needed. I don't know when we will be able to return again, but I know that God will open doors as He sees fit and will find some way for us to continue helping these children, even if we are unable to personally visit.
- Sunday Night English Class
- Classes at Guangxi University
- Fusui School
- Future plans for seminary