We are in the midst of a serious event-laden section of the school year. From the beginning of September until the middle of October, there are a lot of things going on: overnight camp (which has already happened - see the pictures above!), the talent show, a music concert, a staff retreat to Pattaya, and a banquet for some of the high school students...followed closely by exams and the end of our first semester of school! Yikes! We've only got four or five more weeks to go, and so much to do!
Overnight camp was a little late this year - normally it is a July event, but it was put in September due to a rather unusually large number of other things happening in July (including, but not limited to, an administrator having a baby, three teachers being absent for two weeks for master's classes, and three other staff members being gone for several other days to a conference in Singapore!). Yes. So camp was late, but that's okay - Michael and I agree that this year's camp was probably our favorite, with the possible exception of our first year, when everything was totally new and way more awesome because we didn't know what to expect!
Anyway - the activities at the camp this year were much better than last year, contributing to our enjoyment of the three-day trip. I wandered around with another high school teacher and my homeroom class (12th grade), and Michael joined up with a couple of other teachers to do activities with the 8th grade class. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get my hands on any pictures of Michael and the 8th graders...so all of the pictures posted above are ones that were taken by me or by one of my 12th graders. At night, the teachers and students played some outdoor games together, which mostly meant the teachers got to hide from, chase, and scare the students in the dark for two hours. Anyone who is a teacher (or who interacts with teenagers on a regular basis) will understand how much fun this was for us! All in all, the three days served their purpose of building stronger relationships between students and teachers and allowing all of us the time and place to just have some fun together.
As for other things - I've already mentioned that the next four to five weeks are going to be pretty filled with school, special events, and end of the semester activities. There's a lot to look forward to, but also a lot that will require extra patience and effort on the part of us, the teachers. Prayers for those things for Michael, me, and the rest of the GES staff (and students) are appreciated! I would also appreciate prayers for my homeroom class in particular. This past week I led the high school chapel time, focusing on the prodigal son story, and ultimately making the point that God is faithful to us no matter how weak, tired, or messed up we are. Later, at the end of the school day during our 20 minutes of homeroom time, my class asked me if I could spend more homeroom classes telling them "more stories like the one you told in chapel today." --You bet I can and will! I'm thrilled with their interest and that the Spirit is so at work in the hearts of these students that they were brave enough to make such a request as a group (this is the first time in my 3.5 years here that a student/group of students has asked me such a question and shown such interest in the Bible). Please pray that God will continue to work in their hearts, that when they hear more stories they will find the Truth that is in them, and that when they think about the stories later and talk about them with their friends, they will keep seeking and asking questions. Pray also for me, that the words I speak will not be my own, but will always be guided by the Spirit, and that God would use those words and stories for his glory.
That about sums up things for the moment. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!