Hello all. Just a reminder, I am working with a missionary organization named Envision, stationed in Taiwan. I got here last July and I am teaching English (1st and 6th grade) while I intern with the Aroma Church/Cafe in Ximen. Ximen is a shopping district in Taipei City, in the north part of the island, full of people, scooters, and sky scrapers dripping water and probably other things I do not want to think about.
In February, I made a week’s worth of blogs in which I logged what I did each day, and I had promised to do do another later. I was on a long break from school at that point, so today I will begin the School Edition of Everyday Life. Come along for the journey! (You can choose to click the “Follow” button on the right-hand side if you would like to get a notification of each new update.)
Monday mornings are usually pretty chill because the Aroma Cafe (same building as the church) is closed. The Cafe is a small, two story shop with a counter on the first floor, seating for 50ish on the second floor, and basement for meetings and prayer. On other days I usually walk the 10 minutes it takes to get there from my house for a prayer meeting at 10 am, but Mondays the gate is down and everyone takes a Sabbath.
So this morning I got up and prayed for a couple of hours and ate a grapefruit for breakfast. (I usually have cereal but I am out of milk.) Prayer is a walk of faith, let me tell you. Sometimes it is easy and the conversation comes naturally. Other times, you have to make a list and just get to it. Today was a little of both.
At around 10 I started preparing for today’s lessons, which I learn and study first and then hours later teach (this used to scare me to death, but I’ve gotten the hang of it a little now). For first grade I had little to do because we were just going to read a book for phonics (so, focusing on words with “ea” “oe” and “ai” sounds).
Sixth grade was a little tougher because I had to teach something called Reported Questions, which means how to go from “When will you taste the tomatoes?” to He asked me when I would taste the tomatoes. Seems pretty simple until you really look at it.
God gave me a brain that loves to figure out how things work and what makes things go, so I can really see him using that in this season. It is cool how God makes us precisely for what he knows we will have to face.
For lunch I made a pulled chicken sandwich and ate some of it here, and put the rest in a bag to take with me to school. I usually eat a little here and a little when I get off the bus because I want to make sure I am there on time but I do not go in right away. I’m a little weird. 🙂
How I get to school: Walk 10 minutes to the MRT (subway) station. Walk around the platforms and pray for Taiwan til my train comes (get strange looks from the guard, make sure to take the one for Xindian, not Taipower Building). Take the MRT for 10 minutes to Gongguan. Go up the escalators and wait for a bus in the median that goes to the Mamington stop. Read the Bible on the bus (about 20 minutes). Get to Mamington at about 1:35 and sit on a bench, finish my lunch and read the Bible.
Today I did not have much to prepare for the 1st graders, so I just listened to worship music and wrote down some questions to use in 6th grade and waited for 2 o’clock. At 2, my boss and I woke the kids up from their naps (my co-teacher was gone today; the kids sleep sitting at their desks on little pillows and blankets–so cute!).
We talked about the weekend’s holiday, the Dragon Boat Festival, and asked some daily questions to get them practicing their conversation. Then I taught them some vocab from the book, did a little phonics review, and read the book with them. We had a reading competition where they had to read in teams, getting points for good strength, flow, diction, and inflection, as well as listening to the other teams. At the end, I read them some of The Cat in the Hat Returns by Dr. Suess.
In 6th grade, we usually start off with some dictation (they have to write down exactly what I say orally), and I then write the name of the kid who has the best score on the front of the board with a little crown next to their name so they feel special. Everyone was super tired today! Even Ben and Johnny, the wildest kids, were quiet!
After dictation, I taught the lesson about reporting questions and blah blah blah two hours later I was packing up, ready to go.
After work today, I went to ((I just missed 11 by one minute! Ahh!!)) eat in Ximen (that shopping district) with a lady named Sweetie. She is a Christian who became a follower of Christ a few years ago and then got a call for missions to Africa. She just returned from about a year and a half’s worth of work in Kenya and Uganda, and God has brought her back for a season to rest and recharge.
She might be my roommate when I return in August!
We talked about friendships and apartments and missing home and how to balance work with ministry with Church with friends, and then we prayed. Oh, and I also ate cow stomach. That was new. A little spongy, but not bad.
Came home, am writing this. Andrea, my roommate, and a friend were watching a movie, now they’re in bed; Justin and Michael went to play Ultimate Frisbee (which I want to rejoin as soon as my knee feels better, prob. next week); Brittany is sitting on the other couch doing something on her computer; Kennedy is in bed (Brit and Justin’s 3 yr old); and Nathan is asleep. 11:30 in our house is often like this.
- Please pray for my students to finish well. We all only have 3 weeks left– pray for excellence and not apathy.
- Please pray for me to take every opportunity to share Jesus with my students.
- Please pray for a house to live in when I return.
- Please pray for me as I will start fundraising soon as an Envision Resident for the next two years.
- Please pray for Sweetie’s Ugandan ministry to be run with integrity and hope. 🙂
- Therese Langevin– my prayer warrior from the States. Thank God for her! She prays for me all the time, and she is ready to go at a moment’s notice. Thank you, Therese. You are a blessing.
- Sweetie– we are planning to make our future home a house of prayer!
- Jesus– my strength in trying times. Yes, this morning I also cried because of family, friends, life… But he lifts me up when I’m down.
More Pictures from the past week:
Keep the Faith!