Tag Archives: teaching

Life Together

Even now as I sit in my room writing this update, laughter is reverberating through the dorm that I live in. I’ve enjoyed every moment with these students that I have the privilege of living life together with.

What’s in this edition:

dorm life and teacher training

We have just finished our pilot year of our new teacher training program and are excited to welcome four new students this year. The vision is to take students from undereducated villages, educate, equip, train and disciple them to be teachers, and then send them back to their villages to teach their students in the same way. Last year we had 4 students come from K-island, and just last month we added 3 from P-island and 1 from J-island. This new teacher training program has become the focus of my ministry here. Please pray for us as we build the program, and that God would open doors and guide the program in the way He desires.

visit from Mom and Dad

A huge highlight from the last month was a visit from Mom and Dad! It was great to spend time with them, live life with them, and do ministry with them for ten days. They got to meet a lot of people I work with, and we made some time to do some volcano hiking and motorbike rides through villages. Make sure to check out the photo album.


I’m passionate about creativity, and I really see it as an important part of all ministry. (If you haven’t already, watch a video about my vision of creativity.) Beginning next week, I will have the joy of teaching creativity to our 8 teachers in our new training program. Please pray for inspiration, and that God would shape them into the creative beings He created them to be.

teaching English

For the last month or so I have been teaching English to my highschoolers. We were studying Helen Keller, and I had them do a project about the Paralympics. It was great to discuss disabilities, how God created us unique and beautiful, and the many ways God uses hard circumstances for His good.

prayer requests

Here are the major prayer requests, visit my prayer & praise page to read more:

  • Pray for the development of our teacher training program
  • Pray for guidance and inspiration as I teach and live with the students in the program
  • Pray for guidance and discernment as I look at shaping my ministry over the next several months
  • Pray for our team here and the many opportunities we have to be a part of God’s work in this country

Thank you so much for joining me in the work God is doing here!

Just Jump

Her eyes widened dramatically. “What??” she said. “Yes, plans have changed,” I replied.

We took 33 ninth graders up to a small village in the mountains on a short term m-trip. Just two weeks earlier we had broken them up into groups and told them, “You will teach 7th or 8th graders for 50 minutes. Create the most creative, imaginative lesson you can think of. See you in two weeks!” My students went to work. Resolved to create the best possible lesson they could conjure, they toiled and poured their hearts and souls into the assignment.

We made it up to the village school and the students prepared to give their lessons. “Are we teaching 7th or 8th grade?” one girl begged to know. But plans had changed, as they often do. “Eleventh grade,” I said to her. Her eyes widened dramatically. “What??” she said. “Yes, plans have changed,” I replied. These ninth graders had already taught me so much, so even though the eleventh graders would be older than them, I had no doubt they would do a great job.

“You can do it,” I said, “I know you can.” “Ok,” she said, “we’ll do it.” I stood back and watched my students excel. Their lessons were creative. The students they taught were captivated. And most of all, they loved. They loved each other, they loved their new friends. I was beaming with pride and humbled to be called their teacher.

I think my eyes frequently widen when God puts a seemingly impossible task in front of me. “What??” I say. But just as I took pleasure in the courage of my students, I think God finds that same pleasure in us when we fearlessly jump into the seemingly impossible tasks He gives us.

I was brought back to memories of my 18th birthday. My best friend and I jumped out of an airplane. It’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t make sense. And it’s pretty scary. But once I jumped out of that plane, all of my fears were released. Peace swept over me. I was exhilarated. Ironically, no one ever dies from jumping out of an airplane. People who die while skydiving do so when they hit the ground, not when they are suspended in mid air. Strange, then, that I felt relieved while I was still in mid air, despite the fact that possible danger was still to come. But I had completed the step of faith that was required of me. I was in the hands of God now.

“How did you feel teaching students who were older than you?” I asked my ninth graders. “It was scary at first,” they said, “but it was really great!” God honors our leaps of faith. He joys in our risk-taking and our courage to try something counterintuitive. And then He carries us. We just have to jump.

These past two months have provided many opportunities for new experiences. Read about recent developments in The Nit-Grit: Smiles and Sweat, check out new photos on the photos page, and be sure to read through the full list of prayer requests on my prayer & praise page. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

The Nit-Grit: Hitting the Ground Running

Last December I was challenged to “hit the ground running” in 2012. Sick with Dengue fever, tired, and overwhelmed, all I could think of was “hitting the ground”. However I find myself in the month of March having sprinted through the last 2 months, and I don’t dare look back! Read about some of the incredible things God is doing here. Seriously, you gotta read it. It’s nuts!

teacher training center

What’s the best way to create quality schools? Create quality teachers. Years of work previously done by the team here is culminating as ground was broken to build our new teacher training and early childhood development center. The program will be multifaceted, including training for teachers from all over the country as well as training teachers who will later go teach in one of our schools out in the villages. The need is pressing, the vision is great, and we step out in faith trusting that God will provide the funds needed for this center. (If you are interested in helping sponsor the building of this teacher training center, send me an email and I’ll get you in contact with the right people.)

old dorm new dorm

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in this dorm with local college students but am excited about my upcoming transition to living with and developing students in our teacher training center. We are still praying through the details of this, but my ministry will be making a transition into greater involvement with the residence life of those involved in our new teacher training program.


S-Village is a tiny village nested in the mountains of a remote region of this country. S-village has practiced a local religion for all of it’s existence, but as times change this village struggles for survival. To save themselves they beg for education. With the new generation thirsty for a new religion, will they be quenched by a government majority religion school, or will we be able to open a school there and teach them the ways of the kingdom? Pray for S-village and for our team as we search for ways to save the souls of this village.

language learning

I’M ALMOST DONE!!!! Well with formal classes that is. Language learning has been a test of perseverance for me. I’m not fluent yet but I am encouraged as I near the end of my formal language classes. I’ve appreciated the prayers, keep ‘em coming!


Despite all that is going on, I am still teaching grade 9. It has been a great semester so far as we just finished a section on Worldviews. We will be taking a short trip to a village school up near one of the volcanos later next month. I have also begun teaching CPR and first aid to four 11th grade students hungry to learn. It has been fun for all of us.


In case you didn’t hear….WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP! I’m so proud of my girls who came from a last placed ranking to winning the whole thing. Read the comeback story or check out the photo album.


prayer requests

Ok brace yourself–there’s lots:

  • for God to provide the funding for the new Teacher Training and Early Childhood Development Center
  • for God to continue to drive the vision of the teacher training program
  • for God to guide me personally as I transition to new ministry in teacher training residence life
  • for my move out of my old dorm, that relationships would remain positive and that I might still be a light to those I am leaving
  • for God to provide a teacher from our faith who can live in S-Village and start a school there
  • for God to knock on the hearts of the people living in S-Village and that they would respond
  • for my language learning, that it would not be a discouragement or hinderance to my ministry, and that my language would come quickly
  • for my grade 9 students as they prepare for national testing, and that they would continue to be receptive to what God might teach them this semester
  • for my CPR students, that they would be ready and willing to utilize the knowledge given to them
  • for the 9 teachers in town this month from all over the country participating in teacher training
  • for some of my friends who have to deal with extremely difficult circumstances due to their choice to follow our religion instead of the majority religion

Thank you for your prayers!

The Nit-Grit

I like to keep my email updates short, so here is a more nitty-gritty, in depth (and long!) update on all that’s been going on here. Thanks for being interested! I know it’s been a while since I sent an update, but the past month (or so) has been full and wonderful.

Here are the topics:


Teaching has come to a close for the semester as this week and next are final exams, and after that the students will go on Christmas break. My final project for the semester was a “Change the World” project. My students had to pick a cause or problem in their community that they care about, present on it, and come up with a creative and new approach to try to solve it. They then had to create some kind of advertisement to publicize their cause. Here they are with some of their advertisements. Some of my favorites include a creative video one student made to persuade people to not be so addicted to their Blackberrys, and a hand fan another student made to persuade people to use less energy. I was so proud of them!

language learning

I have been investing a LOT of my time and energy into language learning since I got here. I have really appreciated my language teacher as she pushes me hard and really motivates me to work hard and learn it well. We have also become quite close friends (here’s a funny photo of us)! I began Unit 4 a couple of weeks ago and well enter into Unit 5 after I return from Christmas break (usually there are a total of 6 units with an optional 3 more for further study). It has been so freeing to be able to speak more and more, I know many of you have prayed for this and I am so grateful! I am far from fluent but am making a lot of progress.

cultural learning

Wow there’s a lot to learn about this culture! Just when I feel I might have a handle on things, something will happen and I’ll realize, “Wow, I’ve got a long way to go!” Someone once told me, “If at the end of 2 years you have a pretty decent handle on the language and culture, I’d consider that a great success.” I think I underestimated how great the learning curve would be on this one, but I am in for the ride and enjoying every twist, turn and bump along the way.


If you’ve kept up with my blog you know I’ve started coaching high school girls basketball at the local International School. This has been a blast! Most of the girls are Korean, with a few Americans and one African. It has been wonderful to pour into them and disciple them, and furthermore I am able to do it in English, which is a nice break! We started out a little rough but had our first win last week, and I am so proud of the progress the girls have made. Sorry the photos are a little blurry, but be sure to check them out!


I had a most wonderful Thanksgiving with my team here. Although the actual day came and went without much notice, we celebrated the Saturday after. It truly felt like Thanksgiving; we cooked all morning, ate around 2pm, then played some soccer outside before eating Pumpkin Pie for dessert. Somehow rice made it on the table, but nobody ate it! When we went around and shared things we were thankful for, I was overflowing. Looking back on the past year, there is so much to be grateful for.

what God has been teaching me

Wait, wait, wait. That’s what God keeps saying. I’ve been so anxious to get this language and culture under my belt! But God has been faithful in teaching me what it means to wait on his timing, his good and perfect timing. You’d think I would have learned about trusting his timing with the whole visa process. The truth is, any kind of growth takes time. This will likely be a continual life lesson.

what’s next

December is a full month! We are having some national leaders get together for encouragement, worship, and training in a couple of weeks, so we are busily preparing. We will also have some short term guests associated with our organization from North America come. Additionally, I will be taking another trip to a different island to visit another school and site. And this is all before Christmas! I am looking forward to a month full of ministry, followed by some time to rest and celebrate the birth of our Lord.

prayer requests

Many of you all have been faithfully praying. Thank you! Here are some prayer requests for this month:

  • Health – I have been sick several times this month as have many of my teammates. Please pray for protection for germs and amoebas and all the other things that swim around here!
  • December events – please pray for all of the ministry anticipated this month (as described above).
  • Language – many of you have prayed for this, thank you! Please continue to pray for my language and culture learning.
  • My students – please pray they would implement some of the things they have learned this semester and that God would continue to work in and stir them.
  • My community – please pray for the people I interact with on a daily basis, that I would be able to minister to and encourage them.

Thank you! Much love sent to you from Asia.

Learning and Teaching

There weren’t even enough chairs in the room, but the excited middleschoolers crammed their way into the humble classroom, wondering, “Who are these strangers? Why are they here and what will they teach us?”
I glanced over at my three high school students. We had traveled together over the last few days to visit this school in a more remote region. They were nervous, and they looked at me and said, “My heart is going boom-boom boom-boom.”

TeachingBefore I could even offer a word of encouragement they were off, excitedly giving their all and imparting what knowledge they could to the thirsty middleschoolers.

Over the course of 5 days we would visit five schools and two orphanages, and each time my highschoolers stepped up and excitedly interacted with the students, giving English lessons, playing games, singing songs, and doing skits.

Excited LearningIn one remote village, I walked in to see that my students had turned the tables on their new students; they were excitedly taking notes as their new friends taught them about agriculture.

we are all learners–but we are all teachers

Cultural Visit

At the end of the trip, I posed the question, “What did you learn over these last several days?” After flushing squatty potties with redish-brown river water, eating bat (not my favorite), and sweating in scorching hot classrooms with no electricity or even a decent chalkboard, I expected a response such as, “I learned to be grateful for what I have.” Instead, one student said poignantly, “I learned that in life we can’t just know how to learn, we have to know how to teach.”

What a true statement I have found this to be since moving here. I came here with the expectation that the majority of what I would do here is learn–learn from people who live differently than I do. But it can’t stop there. I have been reminded recently that no one culture has it all figured out. We can all learn from each other, but we must also be willing to teach each other.

quick update

HikingThis past month has been packed with changes and adventures! I moved into a dorm with some national college students, hiked a volcano, and went on this trip to visit some of our schools in other parts of the country. I am so blessed to be here, every day I am reminded of the amazing things God is doing here, and I am so grateful to be a part of it all.

prayer requests

Here are some things you can pray for:

  • JoyTeaching: I am still teaching grade 9 Bible, and it has been quite challenging! Please pray for inspiration and guidance as I try to guide and teach these young people.
  • Discernment: Pray for clarity as I continue to discover all that God would have me do here.
  • Health: So far, I have been blessed by fantastic health, and I know it is largely in part to your prayers. Please keep them coming! I greatly appreciate it.
  • Boldness in relationships: Pray for my relationships with the college students I now live with, that friendships would grow and that I would have boldness to share with them.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. It’s making a difference.I’ve added some photos from my recent trip, and more photos will come over the next few days and weeks, so check back for more! Also, I periodically will post things I’m thinking about, need help with, as well as cultural stories etc., so even if you don’t receive an email, don’t forget to check back for updates!