Some quotes for this week:
"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart...pursue those!"
"God Whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." - C.S. Lewis
I read these quotes in a book a missionary offered me to read by Vernon Brewer ( who I remembered from his many Chapel visits while I was at Liberty) titled Defining moments. I can't help but feel that after a week complete with packing my bags ( again!) and moving into a new home, uncertainty seemed to want to set in. Uncertainty of what life would look like for the next 8 months, What would my transportation look like now that I didn't live on the campus? Was this really where the Lord wanted me if things were actually going wrong?! Ah but my Lord saw my ( thomas) heart questioning and so He chose to Answer.
Something I was thankful for this week: He chose to do that through the Parent Teacher conferences that I had totally forgotten about, not been prepared for, and had somewhat dreaded all semester. :)
Never knowing I would end up appreciating that short meeting more than even parents themselves!
After coming into my classroom Friday morning and setting up their little chairs for "Friday Veggie Tale Movie Day" ( its now tradition) another teacher stuck her head in my door and asked if I was ready for the Big Day! I was also asked if I would need an interpreter for my conferences, which is still something that can be somewhat funny at times, communicating with the many Spanish and Korean Parents! haha. My moto is ...just try, and when you can't...act it out.
After the early morning reminder I began nervously skimming through the names of parents on the "sign up" form, and rehearsing the answers to the questions I was SURE they would ask, and somewhere in there I would send up some very skattered prayers. Talk about being caught off guard.
Well by 1 pm when my first conference was schedualed to happen, the Lord had given me a peace that He would give me the words to say, and I had begun looking forward to getting to know the parents. Funny isn't it, how something we fear, can so quickly with the Lord's help, be something that we end up looking forward to...in a matter of minutes ( or sometimes hours . :)).
My first parent who arrived at 1 was especially special because of the fact that she herself is the wife of a Korean Pastor of a church that has over 4000 korean people who seek to learn about Jesus. I wasn't prepared for the sweet encouragement she came in wanting to give.
I'll never forget her broken English with tears streaming down her face, right there in my little classroom, telling me" I know where your from is much easier than it is to live here, so thank you for coming."
My role here is tiny, and I might never see someone come to Christ directly, but knowing im loving and teaching the daughter of a Pastor who is reaching lives of thousands of Koreans every Sunday, I began to see a little bit more of the "Big Picture" and be reminded of why the Lord had captured my heart for this ministry.
Im thankful for how he finds ways to remind us of why our heart was captured in the first place, and gives us the strength to continue pursuing those things..
Something that broke my heart this week: Here in Santiago there are many beautiful homes and penthouse, skyline apartments, nice cars and palm tree lined Hilton Hotels, and beautiful candle lit restaurants with ornate furnishings and food lining the sidewalks, while just one block over there might be a cluster of shacks made from mud and wood boards, with sewage running down the sides of the road, and cable cords holding drying mismatched, old and torn laundry. The stark contrast still moves me. Litterely from block to block it will go from wealthy, metropolitan city, to destitution and slums. They say here there is either Rich or Poor, no blue collar, no middle class. You have, or you don't.
Something I Learned this Week: I must say the hugs and smiles of those who "don't have" are some of sweetest, warmest hugs i've ever received. Im still getting used to all the kisses and hugs that are given at a greeting and departure, but I like it. I like that it just is naturally kind and disharming. Its made me realize we don't demonstrate our love for others as much as we could, You can go an entire conversation with someone back in the states and not touch them in any way. No hand shake, hug, definitely not a kiss, pat on the shoulder or back, or even acknowledgment, but here...you go to any social function, church, ect, and you will go around tha entiret room and greet every single person with a hug, and I just love it. Its sure hard to stay upset at someone if they greet you with a hug and a kiss. I think our church's in the states might be a little more friendly and friendships might resolve sooner if one was forced to hug and greet that other person!)
Something I'll remember about this week: I went to Word of Life Chile's Campus today to support the Soccer ( Futbol) tournament,outreach ministry that was going on, and felt again that I glimpsed the bigger picture of what God is doing in Chile. As I watched a group of 10 men from Ireland here on a mission trip using Soccer as their outreach, praying with those men before each game and reaching out to them...was a very Special memory. Plus gotta love the accents!
Something New I was able to Do this week: My new room is a blessing. The family who offered for me to live with them has been so kind and welcoming to me, and I truly feel as though the Lord hand picked the family for me to live with. I was finally able to put up pictures on my wall that I hadn't been able to when sharing a room! And if you know me, you know my love for pictures, especially over here. Seeing faces of everyone back home smiling back at me, is always instantly sweet and calming. My mom bought me a collage blanket that I was able to drape over a book shelf, thus creating an entire wall of pictures- That blanket is one of my favorite items I brought with me from the States for sure.
Some Things I loved this week:
The New Shane and Shane CD
Meeting a New Friend, MaryAnn.
Their grape juice- so much lighter than Welches
Hearing one of my little spanish students...singing Jesus Loves me IN ENGLISH as he was coloring!! :)
Listening to Dad's Sermon series on Nehemiah
Figuring out how to use the beast of a Laminator at the School. I can't stop laminating things now!!
My little kids smiles and hugs
A Small Challange from this week: Next time you enter into a conversation with someone, start it out with a hand shake, or even a hug. It truly starts the whole conversation out on a better, slightly sweeter note!