Monday, September 25, 2017

A Mile in Their Shoes



Do you remember being nine years old? Ten? 

I do. I thought I was pretty cool. I never spent a night away from family (if not home, grandparents or uncles and aunts) until I was 16 years old. I went to my friend Kate's birthday/slumber party, but I was sick and ended up going to sleep before everyone else, anyways. It was two more years before I spent a single night away from family again. But enough about me. 

At nine or ten years old, were you very brave? Adventurous? Could you have handled traveling to a strange school with strange teachers and staying there for a week, well? 

Maybe I was a cool 4th grader.... but I really don't think I could have done it. Nothing familiar? Nothing comfortable? No family? Foods I might not like? Why? 

But these kids I teach every week here in Taiwan. They're brave. They load up on a bus and travel hours to get here to the Character and English Institute, a place they've never been to and possibly know nothing about. Their school teacher accompanies them on the trip, but after a brief orientation Monday morning, their teachers are gone before lunch. 

65 kids from 7 different schools. 65 kids with 65 names to memorize. 65 kids with short attention spans to keep held rapturously during 12, 40-minute English classes every week. (Okay, okay, 'rapturously' is a strong word. It's more like a very concerted effort to be interesting enough so they don't all declare strike and walk out on us out of boredom.) 

Yes, it's a big job. Not easy. 

Kristina and I get up every morning and work all day, if not teaching, working on creating more teaching materials in hopes of providing better and better English classes. 

But lately God has been reminding me: walk a mile in their shoes, Kimberly. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

"How's It Going?"



For as much as I see God, and for as much as I know He's growing me, I've been struggling to write it out. Like, at all. Little journaling, little blogging, little social media-ing. It's not coming easily. 
I love my family and friends. Y'all text, email, message, leave videos and voice mails. You're so sweet and I love, love, love to hear from you. But when you ask me how I'm doing or how it's going or how I'm adjusting... I don't always know how to respond. 

I'm good. In all honesty, I'm great. I have everything I need. I see God working all around me every day. I'm healthy. I'm safe. I feel super blessed to have a teammate who is nearly fluent in Chinese and is willing, not only to teach me Chinese, but also to translate for me any time I need her. (That's awesome.) I get to turn on the A/C at night, which helps me sleep through the heat and humidity. I have electricity 24 hours a day. I have fast wifi. 

I'm great! It's easy here. There's not much culture shock. So blessed. 

But how am I doing? How is everything going? Do you really want to know?
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