Our pastor and his wife invited us (and the rest of the church) over for lunch after the service today. It is summer in the States, and most of the people in our church operate on the same school system as the US does, since the international schools here follow that schedule. So, since it's summer, most of the people in our church are visiting their families at home in their respective countries, much like we do each April/May on our summer break. All of that is to say that "the rest of our church" totals about 30 people at the moment. :)
Anyway, I was struck today by the realization that I don't know very many people at our church all that well. I've taken on a new role recently of nursery coordinator for our church, but very few people seem to know who I am...and I've been there for three years! The make up of people in our church does change quite a bit every year, since families move on average every three years. However, I still don't think that gives me much of an excuse.
The potluck served as an excellent push to get to know some of these people a little more. I was able to have several great conversations with people that I barely know, simply because we happen to be sticking around for the summer. It was refreshing and encouraging to find such intimate and fun fellowship with these people around me. I look forward to continuing to seek and build these relationships - these potlucks will be happening weekly through this month!
So - we're getting to know people in our church a little more, and we're also spending a whole lot of time getting to know our coworkers and students. This takes up a lot more of our time, but Michael and I have both found that the beginning of this year has started off quite well. We've got a routine down and are starting our fifth week of school (although, to be fair, only two of those weeks were full weeks). I'm finding myself continually challenged by my homeroom class - keeping them on task and engaged is a little more difficult with this group! Michael is likewise attempting some new strategies and activities to help his students learn and retain some knowledge about history.
We really could use a lot of prayer over the course of the next few weeks. The school year seems to have started off really well, but I must keep in mind that we are still right at the beginning, and there's a lot more to come. Pray that the teachers may be passionate about their teaching and about sharing their love for Christ (this is particularly difficult for the middle and high school teachers, as the students tend to be less receptive than the elementary students). We always hope to glorify God in our actions and words, that everything we do will point toward Him. Pray also for the students, that they might really seek the Truth, and that they will find it.
Also - and this is the really big part in my life right now - I'll be taking time off from teaching in order to take the next set of courses for a master's degree! The classes start next week, July 16th. Before that, though, I've got a lot of things I need to prepare for my substitute, my students, as well as do some pre-course work for the classes I'll be taking. My classes are from the 16th - 27th (Tuesday-Saturday, then Sunday/Monday off, then classes from Tuesday-Saturday again). Prayers for sanity and lower stress levels will also be appreciated!
Love and blessings to you all. We'd love to hear from you, so please send us an email or message if you're ever thinking of us.