Saturday, October 9, 2010

another great week of teaching has come to a close. in grade 3 we have been working on describing people (both orally and through writing) using words such as happy, sad, tall, short, old, young, fat, thin, etc. some of the students described themselves as both fat and thin; i tried to convey that you are one or the other. this concept of picking just one (tall or short, old or young, etc) was a little tough to grasp. we will keep working on it ha. in grade 4 we have been expanding our vocabulary to include words such as noisy, quiet, healthy, sick, strong, weak, etc. and learning about how many of these are opposites. i thought it would be fun to implement a little acting into my teaching so i decided to act out each word before verbally describing it. i must say, my acting skills went over quite well with the students ☺

not only was i a teacher this week, but i also assumed the role of a student. one of the girls who lives here on the compound named Lem Lem (8th grader) offered to work on amharic with me. i eagerly accepted this opportunity not only for the obvious purpose of improving my amharic, but also getting to spend some time with this sweet girl. her spirit truly radiates with love for people and love for Jesus. she is such an encouragement and a joy to be around.

many of my afternoons are spent playing with the children who live here on the compound. sometimes it’s basketball, sometimes soccer (which is definitely the favorite here...i was so happy to be able to bring them back a new soccer ball from addis last’s getting LOTS of use), and other times it’s sitting with the little ones and just loving on them or reading books with some of the older kids. no matter what child i am spending time with, i always leave feeling blessed and uplifted. we keep things simple here; it’s all about the quality time and the authentic relationships—two aspects that are clearly desired cross-culturally.

i truly see these people living out a passage from Jeremiah 29 (verses 12, 13) that reads, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” they understand what it means to commit their decisions to the Lord and live in sincere dependence of Him. i see it through their actions; i see it in their conversations; and i see it as they earnestly pray and worship. i’m encouraged by their fervor and passion for serving Jesus whole-heartedly.

things i’ve discovered:

- chalk has dual purposes. not only is it a writing utensil on the chalkboard, but it also can serve as an eraser for those using pens. rub a little chalk onto the area that has pen and it will cover it right up. it’s like their own version of white-out. clever students i have. give it a try and see for yourself.

- erasers (those used to clean chalkboards) are called dusters. took me a while to figure this out.

- my students find it totally humorous when i try and speak a little amharic to them, such as gebachu? (do you understand?) and zimbelu! (be quiet!)

- once the students reach grade 5, all of their classes are taught in english (except for their amharic class).

- the hair braiding process is painful to watch, and i’m sure even more painful to experience.

- taking out the trash is way more fun here. after i dump it into the incinerator i get to light a match to it and watch it burn. a little more exciting than taking it out to the garbage cans in the garage.

- peanut butter and jelly is what i look forward to at the conclusion of each meal. yay for a little taste of sweetness.

- the Lord is faithful and true to His promises, as He says in Joshua 1:5, “ I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.”

please pray...

- that in the hard times i remember to lean on God, in the quiet times i worship God, and in everything trust God with a spirit of boldness and thankfulness

something to think about...

“chocolate is not candy. candy is colorful” (one of my students). awesome ☺

and on a more serious note... each day is a gift from the Lord. with each new day, i’m challenged to ask myself these two questions: how am i going to edify and bring glory to Jesus today? how am i going to be a blessing to someone else?

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