Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's like Christmas!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hand out 50 Bible to my students. I teach 6 Oral English classes. But every once in a while, I get to teach a "Bible and Christanity" class. It took some convincing, but I finally got my supervisor to give me the okay to let students BORROW Bibles IF I could find some place to purchase them. He wasn't convinced I could find a place that had that many or that I had the funds to buy them. But the Lord always provides... So, some friends helped me ordered them online. The students were excited for their new books. And I prayed that unkind eyes would be sheilded from what I was doing. So, when I handed them out, it felt like Christmas to me. Giving them a great gift.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ignorance is not bliss...

I bought a puppy yesterday. She is an English Bulldog. Her name is Edith. She's quiet fiesty. But I think that is the young puppy in her. I hope and have read on blogs and in books that puppies are all kind of rambuncious, but later calm down. Or at least some breeds. But that's not the point of this post. My friend Sarah went with me to the nearby city to buy her. I was telling her about the Cesar Millan "How to raise the perfect dog: from puppyhood and beyond." I told her about how the book tells people to have CALM-ASSERTIVE ENERGY. Dogs don't understand human language. So, when you say, "No," "Stop," or something to that effect, they just don't get it. A mother dog uses her attitude and energy to teach her young pups the do's and don'ts of life. So, we should to.
Several times in the book, he says you should NEVER hit a dog. He talked about how people's instinct or reaction is spanking a dog for bad behavior. But it's better to reward and praise good behavior. I told her about how I've seen people do most of the bad things Cesar says not to do in America. And I've seen people do them here in Asia. Sometimes, we just let the anger get the best of us. Or maybe the worst. I love Sarah so much. I can ask her any question and she doesn't tell me the cover-up answer to make her country look and sound better, but tells me the truth. And she's not offended when I make observations and helps me learn so much about how people think here. So, I asked her about hitting as discipline for children in Asia. She told me there is an old proverb about how if you don't hit your child, his faults are your responsibility. She explained that with boys especially this thought is strong. Don't get me wrong, if I ever become a parent, I think spanking will be on the list of disciplinary actions. BUT spanking is a scary possibility in the hands of broken people. There might be a language barrier, but the word Asians use to describe what their mother and father did when they were younger is "beat." Maybe there is no word for spanking. But it just breaks my heart to think of what happens behind closed doors. She told me it's very possible that most children in Asia are being beaten. In the West, I think we have come to understand spanking is not always the best option. There SHOULD be discipline, so I'm not saying let your kid run wild. But if that doesn't work, try something else. Sarah told me, that most Asian parents will just keep going with the same old thing because it's what they know. I don't care what you say or think, I truely believe that abuse will have an effect on who you are. Yes, I know you can make lemons into lemonade. But lemonade is sour and so tart sometimes...I wish they knew what kind of effect this has on their kids later in life. Sarah also told me about her friend who has a sister who is now a lesbian. The mother of these two girls beat them pretty badly when they were young. Sarah thought that the sister that chose the homosexual lifestyle chose it because she admired her father. Her father was a sweet, kind man. She desired to be like him. To be the protector in the relationship and she had no desire to be like her mother. I'm not saying this is true for every case. But I hope and pray, the people here will see that their actions have consequences...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18th

To me, today is like any other day...But for my Asian World, it's a day to remember... I'm not politically savvy. I tend to avoid the topic with my students and nationals here. However, the unavoidable topic is all around. Japan and China have never gotten along. Or at least not fot the past +50 years. Many students have expressed their hatred of Japan. Most of the time, I let them vent and express their opinions freely. I encourage them to forgive Japan and move on. This hate in their hearts is only hurting them. I think some of them are truly hurt by Japan's actions. Others have simply taken on the opinions of those around them. And VERY few have moved on and ask others to do so as well. The video is full of photos of peaceful protesters, posters on buildings, school property and cars. My limited reading ability lets me know that China loves its homeland and doesn't seem to have a positive attitude towards Japan. Quotes from Students
"We show anger to express our love for our homeland."
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"We should not beat someone if we are angry. But it is okay to talk badly about them. Japan can not here us. There are no Japanese here. We should not keep it in. We should let our anger out."
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:25-27
"We would forgive, if they just apologize."
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:3-5

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nana, the Turtle

I went to visit a friend in another city this past week. It was a lot of fun. She has a great big apartment. I was a little jealous. But that isn't what I want to write about. It was a really joyous time. I loved getting to hear about her heart and share my own with her. It was really great to hear about the lessons she's learned here and what she hopes to take back with her. I felt like we talked about EVERYTHING. Like every possible topic. And even though I'm an introvert, I process externally. She just inspired me and refreshed me. I felt so encouraged through our time together. We found out we both had done the same summer program. And I think she went to school with the brother of another friend here. We talked about boys, decisions and guidance about the future, doubts and new found trust, friends, family, going home, language study, teaching, people we meet with, peace, praises, culture things, and crazy Asian things. Things we love and things not at the top of the love list. I think it's really rare that you meet a person and connect so quickly with them. It will be really fun/great to see her again in May. She also introduced me to some local noodles which were out of this world. SO GOOD. We also stopped by her favorite coffee shop. I loved it. It was fun to be shown her city by her. I'm kind of a mug collector and she helped me find one. It was just a really good time. Around 5 it was time for me to head home. It was refreshing and fun to travel alone on the way home. Some people might be leary of it. But I kind of like it. And I just feel proud and comfortable that I knew exactly where I was going and how to get there. The video has photos of her apartment, mine, noodles, the coffee shop, a local toilet (just in case you've never seen one), the bus, and a prank that was pulled on me. My national friends have always tried to punk me and others before. But they don't really know how. One idea they had come up with was putting a bag over someone's head. I think they just didn't know what to do, or where to draw the line. I think they had a little help this time. I got home around 1030. My apartment was kind of a mess. So, I cleaned stuff up and unpacked. Then I was getting ready for bed and noticed a note and a funny bag with pellets. I skimmed the note and then held my breath. I thought they had put something terrible in my bed. I throw back the blankets and...nothing. I read the note again. "...share the bathroom." Oh no!!! I go to the bathroom and expect a fish in my toilet. Nope. A turtle in my shower. Hahahahaha! I couldn't believe it. I thought it was dead at first. But it was very much alive. So, I called my crazy friends and congratulated them on punking me. All in all, this past holiday break was good.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Depravity PART II

If you didn't read Part I, do so now.

Our Depravity PART I

As I stare out the window listening to the little grip scream, I faintly hear another voice. I listen more carefully. Sure enough it's Grandma calling for the little girl. Old people are harder to understand. They don't usually speak the most standard language. BUT I am sure she was telling the little girl to stop screaming and come towards her.

The little girl is finally tired from screaming and crying and looks like she is about to give up. In the moments that she is quiet, she hears her grandmother's voice. She quickly turns towards the voice. You can tell she is trying to find her with her eyes, but having no luck. The little girl calls out softly, partly panicked and partly relieved.

Grandma finally comes into view. But the little girl doesn't run to her. She doesn't scream or cry out in relief. She doesn't jump up and down with joy. She stands still and waits until Grandma has come up right in front of her. Grandma wipes her tears and fixes her jacket and backpack. But little girl seems completely uninterested in Grandma. She seems to be ignoring Grandma. Grandma starts to try to lead her away, but little girl lingers and drags her feet. Her attitude is the opposite of what it seemed to be before: desperation to indifference.

Is that what I do? Is that who I am? Is that how I respond? Yes. Sometimes. I panic. I cry out for deliverance. I search and search and search. I see Him. I'm indifferent because He's back in sight and I'm not desperate anymore. I don't die with joy and excitement because of His return. And when He tried to lead me, I don't want to go. When I don't have Him right next to me, I freak. When He's right next to me, I give Him the cold shoulder at times.

This is me sometimes. Not all the time. But I think this is us sometimes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


My sweet friend Kathy is kind of a heart breaker. To be honest, she's pretty cute and has quite a charming way about her. We've been meeting one-on-one for about a year and a half now. Her growth has been slow, but strong. Once her mind is made up, there's no changing it.

Her most recent dilemma is falling in love with someone who isn't a believer. This isn't the first time this has happened. She's spent a lot of one-on-one time with him and they talk pretty often. I warned her about this before because too much one-on-one time with a boy could lead to some confusing feelings for her and/or him.

She knew all the pros and cons of course. And most importantly, that she shouldn't date him because he wasn't a believer. We've discussed this topic of dating or not dating him for two weeks now.

Tonight, she told me the man was super persistent and she felt like she needed to either date him or cut all ties with him. I told her that was a good idea. I also told her I thought it would be a good idea to make a deadline. She said a week. So, I did a quick prayer for her while walking home.


She called to say she made her decision. I was a little worried about what she was about to say. BUT she told me that she made the decision to seperate herself for him! I was sooooooo excited! I know it's a hard decision to make when your feelings are all out of whack, but I was sooooo proud of her. I congratulated her and then she told me she felt like a "stone has been taken from my heart." She felt relaxed and happy about the decision.

Well done, Kathy, well done :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not My Dish

A student/friend came over to make some banana bread. She's so great! So funny and sarcastic. I just love her.

Anyways, we were just chatting away and of course the topic came around to boys. There is one boy in particular that seems to have a lot of girl friends. I just had to ask if she thought he was cute or if she liked him.

"He's not my dish," she said.


"He's not my dish. Do you know what I mean?"

"No. Do you mean, he's not your type, not your style?"

"Yes, it's what we say in our native language. I just translated it."

How funny is that to say, "he's not my dish" to describe a boy or girl that is not your type. Then I doubled checked with her the translation in the native language. It was even funnier.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our Depravity

The other day, I was trying to read my Bible. I was really sleepy, but knew I had no other time in my day to do it, so I really tried to buckle down. However, right outside my window (or so it would seem) there was a little girl screaming her head off. I'm not even kidding. There were moments of silence when she would take a deep breath and then wail her little heart and lungs out. My lack of rest contributed significantly to the fact that this was annoying the heck out of me. I took several deep breaths and prayed. For peace. For quiet. It came.


This time I wasn't reading my Bible, but looking over material for a study. A girl about 5 years old was screaming, "Grandma!" at the top of her little lungs. Over and over and over she shouted. Crying for help. As I looked out my bedroom window, I saw the little girl with her purple back pack running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth across the small patch of grass. Searching. Straining her eyes for something to tell her someone was coming for her. This time I wasn't annoyed. I felt sad and sorry for the little girl. I was upset that the grandmother wasn't anywhere in sight. She was so fearful.

I couldn't help but think about my relationship with God. Is that what I am? I feel like a child often with Him. Without experience, without knowlegde, without patience, without wisdom, without courage. Is that what I do...? Scream. Yell. Search for help. Panic when I think I'm alone.

Stay Tuned for Part II

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Long Time, No See

Well, I have been a quite a slacker in terms of my health. I haven't worked out in months and I haven't taken time to prepare food, but just eating junk lately. Part of the problem is busy-ness.

But this week, I made sure I went to the gym at least once. When I arrived people commented on my hair. I recently cut it and they seem to like it. I like it.

I and about 10 other people go pretty consistantly. We all smile and are friendly to one another. But it wasn't until about just before Christmas that some of the women warmed up to me. I think they thought I couldn't speak their language. But quite a few people comment about how I hadn't been in a long time. They emphasized long.

I was glad they welcomed me back with open arms. It's a nice little niche.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why don't they understand me?

I promised some language flubs. So, here they are.
Despite my ridiculous mistakes from time to time, my friends are so encouraging and helpful. Giving me great praise and challenging me. And my mistakes always seem suitable for a little laughter.

What I wanted to say: Can I tell you a secret?

What I said: Can I tell you a password?

What I wanted to say: At that place, I need to pick up my friend.

What I said: At that place, I need to grab my friend. (The word grab is only used as in grabbing with your hands, like grasping. My friends got a real kick out of that one.)

What I wanted to say: And you?!

What I said: Nila! (The words for "and you?/what about you?" sound really similar to my last name. My friends thought I was just shouting my name.)

What I wanted to say: When you were little, did you do that?

What I said: When you were grown up, did you do that? I'm never quite sure where to put the suffix to change something.

What I wanted to say: When you are scared, you can come to my house.

What I said: When you are scary, you can come to my house. I couldn't help but laughing at myself.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Heart Language

My language tutor is Annia. She is just a ball of fun. She teases me constantly when we study together. Or really she teaches me. She always askes,
"Are you sure?"
in such a doubtful way, I used to think I was always wrong. Now, I know she is just a punk and wants me to be confident when I speak. Or she'll say something like,
"How many times have I told you?"

Anyway, today in class we were comparing things. The grammar is more complicated, but she is really good about being patient with me and dumbing it down for me.

First Sentence:
This book compared with that book is more expensive.

Second Sentence:
Green peppers compared with red peppers are more spicy.

Third Sentence:
This bed compared with that bed is more soft.

She was really impressed that I remembered the measure word for bed. And the word for bed. AND the word soft. AND that I could put it all together.

This was her response after the third sentence:
Wow! Great job! That is so wonderful. You have so many words in your heart.

Learning language isn't just about being able to speak or communicate. It's about knowing the heart of the people. From any place, not just Asia. Language is in the heart. Not the mouth or mind. It was a good reminder and encouragement today. I learn to know and love these people.

Stay tuned for language flubs. I have a couple good stories to share.

Pinterest Completion

Spray Paint + Tin Cans = Nifty Hair and Jewelery Holders

Ribbon + Glue Gun = Headband Hanger

Cinnamon Sticks + Candle + Glue Gun = Rustic Candles

Spray Paint + "Mason Jars" = Vases