I write to you today from my apartment on the campus of Shandong Institute of Business and Technology in Yantai, China. About 20,000 Chinese students attend the university. All students are required to study English their Freshmen and Sophomore years; putting qualified English teachers in high demand. This semester I am teaching three units of Freshmen Speaking, and five units of Freshmen Writing.
Living a Life of Obedience
On the surface, it might look like I am just like any other teacher, preparing lessons, grading papers, and giving tests. This is all true; I am a teacher through and through. But if you were to dig a little deeper you would see there is a bit more to my job than just teaching English. Our Father has a special plan for each one of us where we are right now. Our Father is the one who knit us together, and He has a plan for each one of us. With confidence, I can say the Father has prepared me for this time in my life. Prepared me to be a teacher at a Chinese university. I desperately try to live a life of obedience to the Father, that is why I am where I am now.
Reasons to Celebrate
My main focus this school year are students. My goal is to intentionally spend time investing in the lives of students. This can be done by sharing a meal, practicing English, or playing a game. As a teacher, I do not need to go seek out students; students come to me. Students are required to take my class, hence are required to be with me. This is something to celebrate but it is also very humbling. It is crazy to think the Father is using me to be His light to hundreds of students this semester alone. It is a joy to daily walk into a classroom and illuminate the love of the Father on my students.
The Word never says the work the Father has called us to will be easy; there are challenges in the task. Most students I spend time with know little of the Good News you and I have grown up knowing. Students are not hostile to hearing the news which my team and I bring, they just know little of it. Many students can be described as spiritually stagnate. Knowing little of the Father and the love He has, but not opposed to talking about it. This presents the unique challenge of bringing the message of the Good News. We are bringing up a topic which students don't think about. This has been a challenge.
1. The Father has a plan for my team and the students we work with at Shandong Institute of Business and Technology. Please lift us up that we will remain faithful to the plan the Father has.
2. Living in a different culture and teaching are two very exhausting callings. Please pray for spiritual and physical health.
3. Pray that the Father’s name will be glorified here in Yantai and throughout China.