Monday, June 8, 2015

SU Students in East Asia

Our team is doing well and loving it here and no one is sick so far! We arrived on Sunday May 24 at 6am after a 14 hour train ride! It was an interesting experience to say the least. We spent the first week sitting in on English classes meeting students and helping them out with their English lesson. After class the students we met always took us to lunch or dinner. We made a lot of friends this way. Everyone is so friendly here to us. It's like we are famous-random people on the street take pictures of us everywhere we go. 

     Our time so far has consisted of a lot of shallow conversations and even more games of uno. This sometimes is draining, but we know that this what it takes to build relationships here and once we have relationships with the students they will be more open with us and more likely to want to know about the things that are important to us. 

    This rest of our time will look more like our second week. In the morning we are tutored by some students in their language-this is important because it shows them that we care about them and are interested in their culture which goes a long way in this country. It helps us learn how to communicate and find our way around better. Then we go out to lunch with the students. In afternoons we try to make plans with the students to get drinks, play cards, see their dorm or have them take us some place in the city. 

On Friday nights from 7-9 we help the foreign teachers with English Corner where students can come talk to us to work on their English. A lot of students have to come to this for class once or twice a semester. 

On Tuesdays from 3-5 we hang out at a certain place in the library and we have told some students that they can come there to talk with us or play card games. Word spread like wildfire that there are Americans in the library waiting to hang out. It was a hit this past week and I left with my favorite conversation I have had yet. 


     Nancy asked me if I felt pressure in high school. I told her a little because I want to work hard and do well but I know that that is not the most important thing in my life. She said that she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. She said that in this society people just work to make a high income and so they can live a happy life but they cannot live a happy life. I explained to them how we always have a goal we want to reach and how we think it will satisfy us but when we reach it, it never does and we are left wanting more. They agreed excitedly when I said that-like they understood exactly what I meant. Lucy said a sense of achievement and friends satisfies her but then the satisfaction goes away. Nancy said she couldn't think of anything that satisfies her. I told them I had found something that does satisfy me completely and is not temporary. 

    They asked me what it was. I was able to tell them I am a follower and that my relationship with the father is what satisfies me. I told them about the hope I have as a follower that this life is not what I live for. That there is life after this life where there is no pressure, no stress, no tears, only joy, and that is the life I am living for. Please lift up Nancy and Lucy with me. That they would realize their longing for this life and that the father would reveal Himself to them so they may come to know this hope to which He has called them.

    It's amazing how in America I get nervous to talk about the father with someone who is not a follower but here I long for that freedom. 

    Please continue lifting up our team unity, for the students we are meeting, and for patience for us during the seemingly shallow conversations and game playing and to believe those things are making an impact.

Sent in by Mary Prater