Saturday, October 29, 2011

Busy, Busy Week.

We have been busy this week with basketball games, Sports Day, birthday party, and school. It has been a fun week. Cody is playing in our company basketball tournament. His team, comprised of foreign and Chinese teachers from our school, has won all of their games so far and are now heading into the semi-finals. It has been fun to watch and cheer them on. On Friday, we had Sports Day at school. It was a fun day. I've never seen anything like it. We had performances by the students for the opening ceremony which were absolutely incredible and super cute. I just love those little children. After the opening ceremony, they competed in different events throughout the day. It was fun to see them in a different light than just in class. Friday night, we celebrated one of our teammate's birthdays. She turned 12 years old! We had a wild party at the H's. There were around 20 children there. We had fun celebrating with them. Here's some pictures to tell of our week a little better.

Cody's Basketball Team

My sweet class lining up to begin the opening ceremony at Sports Day.

Let the Games Begin!

Striking a Pose! Too cute!
Another adorable performance by our students!


Getting ready to run! First competition of the day.

The Birthday Crew!



Happy Birthday, Madelyn!

The Father is Speaking.

I sat and held a precious kindergartener today. He was so upset because he had lost a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  It really wasn’t about the game, it was more the fact that he was worn out, and, to be honest, I was too. In that moment, there was absolutely nothing more I wanted to do than sit and hold this precious child.  I explained to him that sometimes we don’t always get what we want and we don’t always win the game.  I explained that when this happens we must choose what we want to do with it; we can choose to accept it and turn it into something for the good or we can choose to allow us to become sad and it will be used for the bad.  Of course, I said all of this in English and it did absolutely nothing to lift his spirits.  At that point, it was as if the Spirit took over me. I couldn’t help but sing J- Loves me.  In that moment, He took me back to the moments I spent in Maria’s, holding the babies and singing these same words over them.  I began to lift this sweet child up to Him, I asked that He would know Him someday, that He would experience His love and His peace. I begged for Him to move in this little one’s life.  What was amazing to me about this moment though was how clearly He was speaking to me through this child.  I’ve been thinking about how He speaks to us… He speaks to us in so many different ways, through sunsets, through songs, through words, through children, through people, through His Word, through however He needs to in order for us to know how He feels about us.   This moment with my student challenged me to look and find Him in everything that  I do... to search for Him in every circumstance, whether it’s on a crowded bus or sitting in my class holding tightly to an upset 5 year old. He is speaking to us, but are we listening?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Field Trip Fun #2

So, one of the exhaustions perks of being a teacher in the Kindergarten and Elementary school is that I get to go on both field trips.  Our Kindergarten trip was to a farm where we picked super yummy oranges off trees and dug sweet potatoes out of the ground. It was a lot of fun really.  I was exhausted, but fun was had. One of my students, Sara, did not want me to be anywhere out of her sight. It was so fun to hear her yelling, Teacher Brynn, the whole day, wanting me to pick oranges with her, walk with her, and do whatever she wanted me to do.  Here's a few pictures from the day.




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Field Trip Fun

So, last Friday, the elementary school took a field trip.  I was assigned to my crazy, wonderful first graders. We went to a place called Polar Ocean World. I would say it is China's version of Sea World.. sorta. .Anyways, we had the best time. It was such a fun day and  I am really hoping we can go back without being responsible for so many precious children's lives.  Here's some pictures of our fun day. 



My ever so active class... This is us! Never a dull moment.
 

Two of my sweethearts and our school music teacher


A penguin and a student!


Yep, there we are in action! Like I said, never a dull moment!


My sweet director and friend. We have been so blessed by her and her precious family.



Always styling and profiling..



A fish carousel


Riding a ride like the teapots, but somehow "oceany"

My lovely African student


We were all worn out on the way home.. myself included.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Glimpses of Him.

It's hard to find the words that I want to say.  They have all been twirling around in my head. So, I guess I'll just try and say what I can. As you already know, we had an incredible break from school and we were seriously dreading the 7 day work week that waited on us upon our return, but thankfully He showed up and we experienced Him in so many ways over the past week. It was said to me over the break, " It is not necesary to take initiative, simply wait and respond to His leading."  (in so many words) I thought this through over and over again. It hit me hard simply because all I have wanted since we have been here is to DO SOMETHING... ANYTHING! So, I took time to think about this and asked the question, "what does this mean for me?"  Over the last few months, I knew the only thing I could DO was "talk to Daddy."  We all know that this action is a powerful thing, but so many times we want to take things in our own hands and make something happen on our own power.  Me, especially.  I realized through my thinking  and some time in the Word, that I want absolutely nothing to happen without His power.  I realized that I am very weak, and in my weakness His power is revealed.  His grace is sufficient for me!  It is with this attitude that I entered this past week, expecting Him to do big things, on His timing and in His way.  I must say, "He has done immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine."  These things do not seem like BIG things, but they are small glimpses of Him at work- His mercy, His glory, His plan, and His purposes.  And these things are what will push us forward to continue in "the work that He has prepared for us in advance to do." 

One of these glimpses was a couple of breakthroughs with my students.  I have an autistic child in my grade one class, here it is a very big deal that our school would accept children with differences, but our principal is one with compassion, and allowed the student to be a part of our school.  Lee has had no desire to do any work in English class all year, and he is not expected to.  His parents want him in school mainly to get him out of the house for a while.  So, I have not forced him to do any work over the semester, but I always give him whatever it is we are doing.  He has never touched any thing I have given him unless it is to throw it on the floor.  Well, this week, we were cutting out some letters to make words, and Lee for the first time, picked up the scissors and began to cut out the letters. I was blown away.  A small action, but a big glimpse of Him. 

Another student I have, who is in my Kindergarten class, is Jason.  Jason has really not had much desire to spend any time with me.  He has pretty good English and quite an attitude for a 5 year old. One particular afternoon last week, he was in some kind of bad mood.  I sat with him trying to find out what was bothering him, and he only responded with throwing his head back and rolling his eyes.  Then, all of a sudden, he stood up, walked over to me, and climbed into my lap.  He placed his head on my shoulder and we sat that way until it was time for him to go.  A small action, but a big glimpse of Him.

I am so thankful for the way that He chooses to reveal Himself.  I am so thankful for the way He encourages His children. I am so thankful for His faithfulness and His goodness. I am so thankful.

And  I am joyful, for His joy has been and will continue to be my strength.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Holiday

I hate to say goodbye to our holiday. We have been out of school all week for our National Holiday. It has been lovely.  We have had adventures, lots of rest, and lots of shopping!  The way things work here is that we have school on Saturday and Sunday to make up for the days we had off this week.  This will make for an extremely long week coming up as we will be in school from Saturday-Friday.  I'm not so much looking forward to it, however, I do look forward to going back to school refreshed and getting back in somewhat of a routine. 

We were planning to go to Hong Kong for our break, but after continuing to be sick (after being sick for a whole month), we decided that it would be better for us to stick around home and explore our own city.  It was probably the best decision we could've made.  I'm still suffering from an awful cough, but I feel better than I have felt since we got here back in August. I am thankful for the time we have had to spend with one another.  I am thankful for the time that we have had to spend with teammates.  I am thankful for the time we have had to spend with our Father. And most importantly, I am thankful for the time we have had to shop! :) 

I'll tell the rest of the story of our break with pictures...


This picture is of Ellynore and me.
Beginning our adventure to Hanko- a really neat part of our city.
We spent the night there and enjoyed a lively night market, where we bought lots and bargained lots and had a grand time!




Sweet Silas! Isn't that smile so contagious!?

Cody was a constant jungle-gym and loved every minute of it.
I now know for sure that he truly is a kid at heart.  And quite the
trooper, he shopped with six girls for two days straight!


There's the pretty girls!  We shopped until we dropped!
  We literally shopped until midnight.
Cody and Graham enjoying an American lunch before our big shopping adventure! We had hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries!


Enjoying a beautiful day in Wuhan!

Yummy! Baskin Robbins ice cream!

After leaving an outdoor mall, we headed over to the pet market.  We saw all kinds of fun animals for sale, even some really cute puppies.  Also, at the pet market, there were plants and some art.  This lady is a Sister who is an artist.  She invited us to have tea with her. It was a really neat and special experience.  We actually bought three paintings from here that I absolutely fell in love with. You can see pictures of those at the end. Another neat thing about her is that another Chinese friend that was with us actually went to middle school with her and they haven't seen one another for 35 years! Pretty cool stuff! 

Enjoying some black tea! Each cup that you drink will do something else for your health.  If you drink four cups, you are as wise as you can be! I didn't make it to four cups...  I guess I haven't reached my highest potential yet!

We met the little girl in the middle as we were leaving the pet market. She was precious and really took up with us quickly.  She didn't want us to leave so she followed us with her grandfather all the way down the street.

So, right outside of our hotel, was a Brazilian Barbeque restaurant. Cody, of course, spotted it and recommended that we try it out. So, we did, and it was incredible! It was a buffet with all kinds of yummy food, and then people would come around and offer us different cuts of meat.  It was the first steak we have had in quite a long time. We really enjoyed our food and ate until we could eat no more!  Then it was time to hit the night market and work all that food off!


Our fun group outside of the Brazilian restaurant!
And the yummy food!


Here is our paintings!! I'm so in love! The two are acutally paintings of Wuhan... very special.