From the Word

"May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great." Psalm 138:5

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Reflections from Taitung City

I have now been home for 2 weeks, the time has gone very quickly as there was much to do.  I had a wonderful week in Taiwan.  The students were so gracious and eager to learn.  I am excited to see how the children will respond when our students are back in the classroom full time!

Before we left we spent few minutes at the beach; it was odd seeing the Pacific Ocean from the 'other side'.  We saw some interesting people, a huge pet pig, and an amazing umbrella-type structure.  We walked up under the structure and there were etchings in the floor with the milage to various islands in the Pacific.  It was great to think about how close we were to Australia!  I hope to go back next year and have a little more time to sight-see.

 I wanted to share a couple of pictures of the school and the children and the beautiful infant and toddler classroom.  The children made a lasting impression on my heart.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm in Taiwan!

Sunday was a VERY long day for me.  After finishing teaching and packing it was almost midnight Saturday night before I went to bed.  Then up at 4:00 to catch the 8:30 flight from Beijing to Taipei where I was greeting by my next hostess, Jane Wang.  We traveled to the other end of Taipei to wait 5 hours for our flight to Taitung City where I am teaching now.
While in Taipei, we visited the world's 4th tallest building, Taipei 101.  Of course we only visited the first 5 floors which were filled with high end stores, but this is a pretty impressive sight!
It is early Thursday morning and we are already halfway through this class. As always, God has sent some really wonderful people to take the class.  They are all very well educated in early childhood, but very eager to learn more about Montessori education. 
We observed in the lab school here on Tuesday morning and when we discussed our observations I guided them through an exercise to see how a change in the environment could affect the behavior of the children.  That afternoon the students begged to go make some changes, so we worked about 2 hours and rearranged the environment.  When we observed again Wednesday morning, the difference was profound!  This is one of the reasons I do this--it is so rewarding to see students grasp the ideas, desire to implement them, and then see positive results.  They still have a way to go, but I am confident that after I leave, they will continue to make positive changes for the children.

I received a warm welcome at the University where I am teaching!  Here I am with Jane, on the right, and my translator, Dr. Shu-Feng Chen on the left.  The flowers and sign were a gift from the students.

Friday, June 21, 2013

From my point of view

This is the view from my hotel room on one of the clearer days we've had.  If you look closely you can actually see the mountains.  When I look this window I am filled with many emotions; there are so many people.  The streets are crowded with cars, bicycles, mopeds, and pedestrians.  The high rise buildings are filled with people and the air is filled with a myriad of aromas.  I have come to love these people and my heart aches knowing that so many of them live lives void of any relationship with God.  They are good people, caring people, and so many of them are oh so lost.

I have one full day left in Beijing; in many ways the time has passed quickly.  As always, I conclude this time wondering if I did enough.  I wonder if they understand the concepts and if I inspired them to go out and make a difference?  Was I clear in my teaching?  Are they pondering the new information and processing it well?  How many of these students will complete all of the assignments and have a successful internship that leads to certification?  So many questions, but I did my best and ask my Heavenly Father to bless my words and multiply my efforts.  I also pray that they were able to see Jesus in James, Michelle and I.  James and Michelle will be teaching here 4 more weeks; I pray for their strength, health, wisdom, and witness.

For the many friends I have made this month I am extremely grateful.  For the opportunity to worship with fellow believers at the Beijing International Christian Fellowship I am truly blessed.  For the meeting I had with Dr. Marlene Barron at the AMS training center I am indebted, and for the "chance" meeting with Karen Brenneman from New Day Creations orphanage, I am amazed.  I don't know what future plans God has for me in China, but I am at peace and strongly feel I will be back.

As wonderful as this year's trip has been, I really miss home--western food, television, and mostly my family!  (I did find a Papa John's pizza--look at their delivery vehicles!)  30 days without seeing my husband and kids is a little too long for this lady; of course ATT should be happy!!  Ryan finished 2 weeks of camp today and it sounds like he had a blast.  Rachel is doing well and trying to not give birth to Emmerson until I return, and Edgar is taking care of all the details on the home front.  I fly to Taiwan early Sunday morning for  week of teaching and then HOME on what would have been my mom's 98th birthday!  I will try to post a few times from Taiwan, thanks for reading and for your prayers.


Monday, June 17, 2013

God's Busy in China!

Have you ever had what you thought was a "Divine Appointment"?  I believe I had one on Sunday!  We went to Beijing International Christian Fellowship for the third Sunday--such a blessing.  Each week there has been a different speaker and worship team, all very different and all very good.  This day after church one of our students, Sarah from the Philippines who introduced us to the church, wanted to take us to a Tex Mex place to eat as she knows I am craving western food.  The place was about a 15 minute drive from the church and we got there, ordered our food, and who walked in but the preacher, Byron Brenneman and his wife!!  Seriously there are 20 gazillon people in Beijing and this was 15 minutes from the church---are the odds we would end up at the same place for lunch?!!

They recognized us from church (we sat in my normal spot on the third row) and waved hello. Once they had ordered their food and we had finished ours, I went over to talk with them.  The church is trying to raise funds to print some children's Sunday School literature and I wanted more information.  As we talked they asked why I was in China and I briefly told them.  At this point his wife, Karen, became very interested and said that two of the girls who work with her had just come back from taking Montessori training and were very excited about it.  She is, are you ready?--the director of an orphanage for special needs children in Beijing!! 

If you know anything about me, you know that for MANY years it was my desire to adopt a little girl from China.  Each time I come here I keep thinking I would love to visit an orphanage.  Well, one thing led to another and Karen asked if I would be interested in coming over to do any training at the orphanage!!! Really?  I don't know how or when, but we exchanged information and I am already thinking of how I can do just that.  God knows the desires of our heart and His timing is perfect.  I don't think it is possible that we will adopt a child, but to have the opportunity to serve, even for a short time, is amazing to me.

So, I think that was a Divine Appointment, what do you think?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

May I introduce you?

Do you see this lovely lady with Michelle?  Her name is Ye qigong Zhang, no I can't pronounce it either, but neither can I forget her.
I originally met her last summer and was so impressed with her servant's heart.  You see, she is the custodian for the school and she is an incredibly hard worker.  She is at the school 6 days a week and is always smiling, I mean really--this woman is cheerful!
She mops floors, cleans windows, scrubs playground equipment, washes sinks...she keeps the entire building looking great and never complains.
Ye qigong is a very humble woman and I had to twist he arm to take her picture, but she has touched my heart with how sweetly she goes about her daily chores.  I am reminded of a poem I memorized when I was a child.  I think it is a good reminder on this Saturday evening as I prepare my heart for worship tomorrow morning.

"Father, where shall I work today?"
My heart asked willingly.
He pointed toward a little spot, and
Said, "Tend that for me".

"Oh no" I cried, "Not that little place,
Why no one would ever see!
No matter how well my work was done,
Not that little place for me!"

And the words He spoke, they were
Not harsh, He answered me tenderly.
"Aw, little one, search that heart of thine,
Art thou working for them or me?  Nazareth
Was a little place, and so was Galilee."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Holidays and Hailstorms!

Today the students presented their Prenatal Timelines.  I am really pleased with the work they are doing--this is a dedicated group of men and women!  We have completed 9 days of class--72 hours of lectures and discussions, whew!

The city has had three days of holiday for the Dragon Boat Festival.  The Dragon Boat Festival is also known as the Duanwu Festival in China. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.  Tonight is the culmination of this festival and there are many fire crackers exploding!  Because of the holidays only our class has been meeting; the children and staff will return to the school tomorrow--I have missed them!

We had some crazy weather yesterday--in the morning the sun was shining and the air was clear since we had so much rain last week.  Suddenly we had a 20 minute HAIL storm of all things in the middle of the afternoon.  The size of the hail was like large marbles and it was so noisy we had to suspend class for a few minutes.  This is very unusual in Beijing and an hour later the sun was shining again!

Have a great day, we will write more later!

Monday, June 10, 2013

I have now been in Beijing for 10 days!  We have a wonderful group of students including one married couple, who are all eager to learn more about child development, pregnancy, childbirth, infant care, and toddler care.  The discussions have been very good and I am learning more about Chinese culture.  The married couple have their 6 month old and 7 year old daughters with them.  On more than one occasion the little one has been the perfect model for much of what I am teaching!

A couple of the English teachers at the school are Christians and have introduced me to the Beijing International Christian Fellowship; what a wonderful group of believers!  One must show a foreign ID to be allowed to attend the service, so I have attended the English speaking service the last two Sundays.  It is over an hour's drive from my hotel, but well with it!  Both weeks the music, the message, and the people have been so inspiring. 

One of my challenges in China is being able to eat the food--I have a severe sensitivity to anything that lives in water--fish, shellfish, sea weed, fish eating here is difficult.  I came prepared with instant oatmeal, fig newtons, and peanut butter crackers, but we have still had 3 meals at Pizza Hut and 2 meals at Subway, ha!

After church yesterday, James, Michelle, and I found the best little French bakery so we had to sample some sweets!  I love the French outfits the employees were wearing!

We appreciate your prayers while we are here, and will do our best to keep this blog updated!