Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Whole New World

I'm back in Seoul! I've been here nearly three weeks and it's been good. My school keeps me very busy, but the kids are great. I work from 9:30am to 8pm Monday through Friday. By the end of the week I'm pretty much drained. Thankfully, the school is very structured and the students know what is expected of them and they know the consequences when they don't meet the expectations. It also makes my job much easier to have the administration involved in the students academic lives with the desire for them to learn. I feel more like a teacher than I ever have before. With the grading papers, lesson planning, and classroom management in full force, I am being stretched and matured as an educator. Through all the business and long hours, I really am enjoying it.

I arrived in Korea around 6pm on a Thursday. I was taken to a hotel where I stayed until Saturday. I observed classes on Friday and then moved into my apartment on Saturday afternoon. It's pretty much the standard studio apartment, similar to the set up I had last year. I'm especially excited about the covered balcony I have that I intend to make into a cozy space once the pay checks start rolling in. Anyway, after work on Friday I heard via Facebook about an event for the college group at church. It was a sort of open mic night at the coffee shop that our church runs. So naturally I went. As I was walking towards the building I was almost giddy with excitement to be back at Jubilee. Anxious to see the faces that I've missed for the past few months. Eager to hear their stories and catch up on their lives. When I walked through the door my heart felt at home. It is still strange to me how such a foreign country can have the warming, welcoming, safe feeling that only home can offer. The conclusion I have come to in order to explain this is, the people. It's always the people for me. Aesthetics are rarely important to me, it's the love that comes with having a common bond of Christ and common attraction to the brokenhearted, a common willingness to be vulnerable and intimate with a fellow brother or sister. This is why Jubilee is home. I always leave encouraged, uplifted and refreshed. I strive to pour myself into it and let my love for my Savior and His for me overflow into the lives around me. It is what I miss when I'm away and what I look forward to during the week. It sustains me in Korea. The community I've found here is truly the body of Christ.

Now all that being said. Atlanta will always be my home. It is where my fondest memories are and the people dearest on Earth to me reside. I sometimes feel a little guilty when I go on and on about Korea and Jubilee and the life I have here. I never want to give the impression that I have replaced the closeness that I share with my family with other meaningful relationships. I think the best way I've found to understand this is, when you have a child, you love it more than anything and can't imagine loving anything more, and then you have a second or third or fourth child. Your heart grows and there is room to love. This is how I have two homes. I miss them both when I am away and I cherish them both so deeply. I am so blessed to be in this situation of having two homes to love. I truly understand how the Lord keeps His promise to give us more we can ask or imagine.

How to pray:

1. For those that are teachers they know that the teacher's lounge or teacher's room can be a challenging place to be. All of the teacher's at my school have our desks in one room. Our planning periods, breaks, or any downtime are all spent together. This gives way for criticism of students, school operations and basically anything that we can all collectively complain about. It's difficult to be in the middle of this everyday and not fall into the temptation to agree or take part in the complaining. I really want to be a light and stand out. I want to be an encourager not a criticizer.

2. Children's Ministry! I just joined Children's Ministry at my church and so I will go to bimonthly meetings on Saturday mornings and I have to be at church at 9am. I'll teach the kids in Sunday School during first service then I will attend second service. After second service is Bible Study so I'll be at church from 9am until at least 5pm. I'm thrilled about this, but I don't want to spread myself too thin. I've needed a venue to serve in at church and this seems like a really good fit for me. I'm excited, I just need to keep my energy up so I can be as much use as possible.

3. Almost homesick. My work schedule is much different this time around. In previous year's I've not had to be at work until 2pm which enabled me to stay up late and talk to my family on skype during their day and then sleep until later. As it is now I have to be up in the mornings by 8 and so I can't stay up late. I can already tell that it's going to be difficult for me. I'm very close with my family and so I need to find time to maintain that closeness that we share.


Terri said...

I'm very glad you are back to blogging! I love reading your writings. I love and miss you very much. Oh, I just got a little teary. I just want you to know how very proud I am of who you are! Thank you for turning out to be such a wonderful person and for loving Jesus (not the devil)!!! Love You ~ Mom

Ashton said...

You are teaching Sunday school!?!?! I didn't know that. Shannon and I are teaching the 2 year olds at church too. We are all so cute teachin the youngins. I love you sister. I miss you, but I am glad you are back in a place you love.