Being back in Thailand again has brought with it some familiar and comfortable experiences: the ever-obnoxious construction noise right outside our apartment; the sights and smells of fresh food being cooked along the street; the taxi drivers misunderstanding our directions and repeatedly asking us where we want to go; elephants walking along as traffic whizzes by - the list goes on.
Some new things are happening here, though, which I haven't quite been able to put into a comfortable category in my head. We have a lot of new teachers in our school, and while most of them seem to be adjusting pretty well, I haven't quite adjusted to the idea of having new people around. Over the course of time, I'll most likely be able to get to know some of them pretty well, but as of right now, that hasn't happened yet. It's kind of uncomfortable.
School started last Thursday for Michael and I (and all the elementary, middle, and high school teachers and students). I enjoy having a routine, but at the moment, teaching is definitely not a comfortable feeling. I don't feel ready for school (one of the first times in my life where I haven't been anticipating it very much!) Once again: in time, things will settle in and I'll find my rhythm, like I always do.
In the midst of this rather apathetic attitude I find myself having, I was encouraged to read from 1 Corinthians 11-13 this evening. If you're feeling like you aren't sure of yourself, read those chapters. They're all about community and being a body of Christ together. The body is made up of many parts, and each part has its own function. As we go about doing the things we do, though, we ought to be doing them in love, which binds everything together and is a uniting factor.
After reading those chapters, I felt encouraged. No, I don't feel like I'm ready to take on a new school year. Yes, sometimes I am intimidated by the faith, passion, and experiences of the people I meet (because they seem to surpass me in so many ways). BUT - I am a part of the body, and God is working through me, despite my shortcomings.
Be at peace, friends - your interactions with the people around you are just as important as the interactions I have with the people around me, which are just as important as the other things that other believers around the world are doing. We are working together, as one unit, for the glory of our King.
I have a few prayer requests that I would like to share with you:
1. Thanksgiving - I was able to meet both parents of one of my students last week. FYI - knowing both parents of a student is a big deal; most of the time, I don't get to meet the parents of most of my students. I'm excited to know that these parents care about their son so much to contact me and ask me to be in contact with them.
2. Request - I have 19 students in my homeroom this year, which is quite a jump in numbers compared to the 11 that I had last year. Please pray for these students, that they might be open and willing to listen, and for me, that I might take opportunities to talk with them, encourage them, and share the love of God with them.
3. Request - prayers for the leadership at our school, that throughout this year they would make wise decisions that benefit everyone involved - teachers, parents, students, the school itself, and that in their interactions with parents and families, that they might shine Christ's love in dark places.
Thank you for your support and prayers. Please keep in touch!