Sunday, August 18, 2013


Time for another update! School and life continue on as they tend to do - lessons to be planned, taught, and learned; questions to be answered; people to interact with; and always, always there are conversations to be had! I have been particularly grateful, lately, for the community around me. Several times recently I've walked into the staff room during the middle of the school day, and someone asked me how my day was going. I've responded lately with "Eh, it's okay" or "Not particularly great at the moment, but hopefully it will get better." - and I've been pleasantly surprised recently by colleagues who have said to me, "Well, do you have a moment? I'd like to pray for you."

What an amazing and gracious way to respond to someone. My co-workers don't always know what is going on in my life or in my classroom, but the fact that they are so eager to pray over me is so encouraging. I recently took some time in my homeroom  to give my students each a piece of paper. I told them that although I know they don't all believe in God the same way I do, I would still like to be able to pray for them. I expected some questions, and some "Ok, let's write something down quick so we can move on to something else" attitudes, but was amazed at the response. My students were excited to know that I pray for them, and most of them were eager to share a few specific requests with me - some of them personal things that I wouldn't have expected them to share. I have since then decided to continue asking for requests every few weeks, and to see what God does from there!

So - prayer. It's awesome. It also encourages people, sometimes even if they don't really believe in it.

In other news, our school held a big fundraising event this past week: a carnival! It reminded me a lot of the Harvest Sale that my elementary school held every year (always one of the highlights of my year when I was a kid!). GES, however, was raising funds for another organization called HelpLive. HelpLive is a group that works with children at risk in Northern Thailand. Last year we held lots of small fundraisers and exceeded our goal of 100,000 baht by quite a bit! This year we're shooting a little smaller, but we're hoping to help HelpLive complete several smaller projects, including building a playground. The HelpLive website can be found by clicking here, if you want to check it out.

Anyway, I haven't found out how much we raised for HelpLive yet, but the carnival itself was certainly a lot of fun! Michael and I had a great time wandering around, checking things out, and taking some pictures:

Yeah, we were excited. There were a bunch of games set up on the soccer field, along with a few games and a whole lot of food in the cafeteria area! The whole campus was pretty much mass chaos for three hours on Friday afternoon, and everyone loved it!

 The cafeteria was the place to go for food - and people were way more excited than normal to be eating food from the cafeteria! (Popcorn, homemade cookies, and cotton candy are not the norm in the cafeteria, though)

And then there were the games! We had all sorts of things, made and run by various teachers as well as high school students:

 Balloon darts

Ring toss
Fishing (for stickers!)

Knock the cans - there's a lot of people who have very poor aim!
 11th grade girls acting as advertisers for more games and food

Buy your tickets here!

This game had the most people playing it all night - the center circle spun and tilted in different directions. The goal: STAY ON. It was a lot harder than it looks! Some of the middle/high school boys (pictured below) had a lot of fun running this game the whole evening.

 Popcorn and cotton candy sales!

 Coffee bean sales specifically provide meals for the at-risk children that HelpLive works with.

Some other randomness! Michael and the 11th grade boys were spontaneously forced to dance in public by people who paid tickets for that purpose. It was pretty hilarious.

 And, finally, a couple of fun shots of some of the 11th grade students with the music teacher and myself. I was sitting on the ground talking to two of the girls, and everyone else came out of nowhere and opted for a photo shoot. Pictures with my students? I'm always up for that!

Anyway, the carnival as a whole seemed to be quite successful, and it was definitely a whole lot of fun! We've got a few other big school events coming up in the next several weeks, including overnight camp (at the beginning of September) and the talent show (in the middle of September). Things just never stop - there's always stuff to look ahead to!

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