Thursday, February 25, 2016

Teacher, Me!

In the past, I was never a girl with “big dreams” until I heard that God might open the door for me to pack up and go halfway across the world to teach. I wanted this so badly. I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious and eager to seek after something before. Half of me was a “doubting Thomas” whereas the rest of me was anxious to fast, pray, and do whatever it took to wait for God’s direction. 

Long story long, I’m currently living the dream and want to share something with y’all that, Lord willing, can influence your day in a positive way. In the classroom my role is teacher, although that doesn’t mean I’m not learning valuable life lessons from my students. 

For example, I’ve noticed that during class when I ask for one person to volunteer and help me with a task but keep the next step a surprise, the children are very reluctant and hesitant to raise their hands. In contrast, if they know what to expect (depending on how intriguing my offer is) I will either hear a roar of “Teacher, me!” or I’ll get a crowd so silent that if we were in a cartoon you’d hear the crickets chirping in the background. In a similar situation, let’s say that I’m the child and God is the teacher.

The difference is that God’s role in my life is so much more than just “teacher.” I also call Him friend, King, Father, protector, creator, writer of the Word, and on and on and on. Now in the past, I’ve been quick to say, “Lord, where you lead I will follow.” But actually I admit that I’ve never taken many leaps of Faith because I am a selfish human being and I want to know what’s in it for me. If you are also somewhat of an independent person, you can relate to me when I express how real the struggle is to give up control to God and just trust. 

My life verse is Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” 

It’s all about perspective, so my goal is to change my priorities, because pride and pressure from the devil will drag me down like the burden it is. They say that everything happens for a reason, but this statement holds no weight or value to the one who underestimates God. In conclusion, I’m very thankful for the title “daughter of the King” and every new day on God’s green earth.

God bless and be sweet,

~Anslea Morris

Anslea Morris was born and raised in Georgia. She was homeschooled and has five siblings. She is currently serving with VOICE Missions in Taichung. She came to Taiwan because she felt called to, but also because she loves children and traveling. She spends most of her time outdoors doing things like running, kayaking, longboarding, Eno-ing, hiking, fishing, and doing water sports. She thinks the two most important things in life are time and relationships.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lucky Me Too!

Monday is probably the most disliked day of the week, but for me, it’s my favorite day of the week. On Mondays I get to work with my favorite crazy teacher, Flavia. I am truly lucky to have her as my English co-teacher because for the past two years she has been a homeroom teacher. She is also the same English teacher that my sister Elise had three years ago. “Lucky me too!” as Zack the wolf says in our Hello Kids book. She said that it is an act of God that we are teaching together this year and not a coincidence (she is not a Christian).

Anyways, she is so incredible because she puts one hundred percent into everything she does. Flavia is so passionate about student learning that she created small laminated vocabulary flashcards for every student and each unit in the book. The students use these flashcards to play bingo, review games, and to practice English with each other. She also bought service bells to ring for specific vocabulary when reading the stories in the Hello Kids curriculum. It can get pretty noisy! Even though Flavia puts so much extra time and money into her job, her co-workers just think she is crazy, because “she cares too much” or they blame it on her being OCD. It makes me sad that this school does not value such an amazing worker that goes above and beyond what is required of her.

“Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.” 
~Proverbs 22:29   

However, I treasure Flavia because she is constantly inspiring me to be a better teacher. When I realized that she is the one inspiring me, it triggered this question: whom do I inspire? There is a quote by James Keller that says:

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

I don’t lose anything, ANYTHING, if I inspire my students to learn English or to work diligently at school or to be respectful and kind. I also don’t lose anything, when I point someone towards Christ. I believe that Christ can do anything through me, as long as I keep my focus on serving those around me. Please keep Flavia in your prayers and pray that God will work through me to witness to her and lead her closer to Christ.

~Joanna Glenn

Joanna is an English teacher in Yuli, Taiwan. She studied at Taylor University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and she is a certified teacher in the state of Indiana. Teaching in Taiwan for the past two years has opened her eyes to see how big and awesome God’s grace is. She loves teaching and playing with her students.

Making An Impact

This year I have started teaching kindergarten every Wednesday afternoon. It is supposed to be an English class, but most of the time it ends up being a Chinglish class. When I was given this class, I wondered how I was going to be able to teach these kids when they can barely say my name in English. After my first week of teaching them, I questioned why I had volunteered to teach them. They were super naughty. Then it hit me....It must be really stressful for them to have to listen to someone speak a language that they don't understand. I know how it feels to have someone speaking Chinese, and me not understanding a word of what they are saying.

The second week I went back, and absolutely fell in love with the kids. I have been able to teach them that learning another language is fun. It has gotten to the point where it doesn't feel like I am teaching when I am with them. Last week I decided to teach them fruits and vegetables. After the lesson, I taught them the game "Hot Potato". We were all sitting in a big circle, and one of the students came in late. She walked through the middle of the circle and sat down right on my lap. This came as a huge surprise, because the children here never really do things like that. As soon as she sat down, she looked up at me and said, "老師,你是我的好朋友 (Teacher, you are my good friend)". It melted my heart. That comment confirmed that what I was doing was actually making an impact. 

I love the fact that they are learning English, but the most important part to me is that they feel loved. That sweet class of students has become the highlight of my week. Some days I can barely step foot into school before I hear them scream my name and tackle me with hugs. This has shown me that sometimes you don't realize when you are making an impact in someone’s life. Every moment of everyday is very important. You never know who is watching, or who will be touched by even just a smile.

~Crystal Rauszer

Crystal is from the state of Michigan. She has been serving in VOICE missions for three years. She has really enjoyed her time here in Taiwan. A few things she really enjoys doing are reading, writing, sports, horseback riding, camping, and spending time with
friends and family.