What a Noob!
Tomorrow afternoon, Monday the 31st of August, I will begin teaching at Sunshine American School. Here’s for trying new things, right? (*Fist in the air.*) I begin at 2 pm and get off officially at 6:30 pm, and this is a breakdown of the schedule:
- Level 1A (Basic Learners, First Grade)
- 15 Students
- Co-teacher’s name: Jennifer
- Level 6A (Sixth Grade)
- 20 Students
- Co-teacher’s name: Kaiti
I work Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and have the weekends off. 18 paid hours a week, plus whatever else it takes me to grade homework and papers. Woot.
Today I spent a large part of the day thinking about how to lay down the guidelines for behavior and such in the classroom. God gave me the idea a couple days ago to use 1 Corinthians 13 where it talks about the characteristics of love, along with the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 4, as my guidelines. I am excited to use these as my ‘rules’ and see what the outcomes are. You know, “against such things there is no law” 🙂 (Galatians 4:23).
I also got in contact with my co-teacher for the 1A class, Jennifer. I have already met Jennifer, and she seems like she is a really nice person. I think she is about my age, but I cannot really tell. It is hard to guess people’s ages here. I emailed my other co-teacher, Kaiti, but I have not gotten to talk with her yet. She was out of town when I visited last week for observations, so tomorrow will be the first time I meet her.
- Please pray that when I meet Kaiti, we will click right away and be able to work well as a team. I am the main teacher, but she will be there to help in the classroom.
- Please pray that Kaiti will feel welcomed into the classroom and that she can have a positive impact on the students.
- Please also pray for Jennifer as above.
- Please pray for the students to trust me and respect me.
- Please pray 1 Cor. 13:4-8 and Galatians 22-23 over the students. Pray that my classroom can be a place of peace and trust and feel like a home for the kids.
Teaching MWRF at Sunshine.
Chinese lessons on Monday and another day possibly in the evenings.
Language Exchange with two people on Tuesday (I teach something in English, they teach something in Chinese).
Teaching piano on Tuesday to Jesse (super excited to teach piano again!!).
Auditioning for the worship team on Thursday at 8 pm.
Coffee Talk on Friday.
Relax after a busy week on Saturday and Sunday, and praise God for helping me get though the first week of school.
Right now, I am in the middle of what the Taiwanese call Ghost Month, a lunar month where the Buddhists (and many others) believe that the doors of ‘heaven’ and hell are open to the earth. Spirits roam the earth and go around looking for offerings and or people to kill or trick. If you are a spirit who drowned, you look for someone else to drown. Drowning has some special thing to it apparently, to make the ghost of the person who died not be able to rest until it finds another victim, if I hear correctly.
Things Buddhists and many other people tell you not to do during Ghost Month:
- Do not walk alone at night.
- Do not stay out too late at night.
- Do not go swimming at all during the month, especially at the beach.
Things people do during Ghost Month:
- Shoot off firecrackers for the spirits
- Bring more offerings than usual to the shrines or temples
- Certain days are offering days for different groups of people. For instance, this week, many businesses had long tables covered with fruit, water, and other food set up outside their shop.They ask for blessings on their business, and for the ghosts to come and help their shop. Another few days will be dedicated to families, and then they will set up their offerings.
- Smoke fills the air when you walk by them on the street because they are burning fake paper money to ‘bribe’ the ghosts to help them. As if they could not tell it was fake money…
You do not believe in ghosts? That is okay. Neither do I. But I do believe in evil spirits, or fallen angels, or whatever you want to call them. They exist, and they are working for the devil.
Friday night I had a hard time sleeping, so I came downstairs and prayed off my balcony. I asked God to send his angels to guard us and the street we live on from evil. We have a shrine a couple of doors down, and a temple on the corner of our street, plus on the other side, there is another shrine dedicated to the spirits of people who died and who have not been claimed. I know that there is a lot of space for the devil to work here. As I prayed, I could literally feel a pressure lifting off of me that I had not realized was there.
I awoke later to a dream where I had been praying against an evil spirit and commanding it to leave, so Jesus was showing me that he protects me, even in my dreams.
- Please pray that Christians in Taiwan are protected during this month from spiritual attacks.
- Pray especially for The Aroma Church and Cafe.
- Please pray for the people of Taiwan to be released from the bondage of serving these spirits, and be transformed into warriors for the gospel who stand against fear and slavery to sin.
I am looking forward to what God has in store for me to learn in the coming months. Praise God with me for new beginnings! Praise him for protection, and the power of his name!
And… okay, I admit, I am getting homesick. I miss wide open spaces and deciduous trees that change colors, and cool breezes that mean winter is coming after fall… I miss being able to be loud and obnoxious and only be passed off as a girl having fun, instead of a loud and obnoxious foreigner who does not know what life is like here. I miss running around barefoot and picking agates and my friends from Crown… I miss being able to talk to strangers…
But, I know I am supposed to be here. I have never felt so sure. Thank you for believing in me and praying for me!! I love you all,
Keep the Faith!