Growing up, I'd attended CI every year from the time I was 6 until I was 12. I've taught a handful of CI's in the States. I know all about the lessons and how they're supposed to go - at least that's what I'd thought last year. This is my second time teaching with CI in Taiwan. I was really excited to be able to participate this year, but I was also a bit nervous as my experience with CI last year was not exactly smooth sailing. Not only did I have a few uncooperative students, but I also had a heart attitude of "I know what I'm doing" when really, I didn't. Sure I knew all the stories, character qualities, definitions and everything, but I lacked a heart that was listening for what God would have me share. I was nervous that this year would be the same as last year - and I didn't want it to be. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time these past few weeks praying for this year's CI.
Yesterday was our first day of CI. I was both excited and apprehensive! During teacher meetings, we discussed what our idea of a "10" was. (At the end of the day, if you rate the day and 1 is really bad and 10 is really amazing, what would be a 10?) I feel I have an "invisible 10" and a "visible 10." My invisible 10 is if God is able to reach the kids in a way that sticks with them, then that is a 10. We may not necessarily see the fruit of it, it might be years from now, but if God uses something from the night to change a life, then I feel that is a 10. My visible 10 is if everything is on time, the children are well behaved, and there are no major issues by the end of the day. As I prepared to teach the first lesson, I realized I didn't know how I should present the material. I prayed for several minutes and God brought to mind examples and stories to use. The children arrived and were all quiet during the lessons. None of them seemed like the type to rebel or cause major distractions. The lesson went well, and the crafts were all done on time. My night was a 10.
At the end of the day, I sat down at the computer as it is my turn to write the blog post. I prayed "God, I don't know what to write! My team doesn't have any problem children that need extra prayers. There weren't any funny incidents that can give the folks back home a chuckle. It was just an ordinary, smooth evening." and He replied, "Then that's what you write about. You write about how when you did things in your own strength it didn't turn out so well as when you relied on Me for strength." God is my strength. When my heart trusts Him and listens for His leading, He helps me. Therefore, I am filled with joy and will praise Him. Praise the Lord for being faithful to help us accomplish that which He calls us to do. The road may not always be as easy as today, but He is always there to help me along the way. Please keep all the teachers and students in your prayers. Pray for God to open the hearts and minds of the children to hear what He would have them to hear. Pray that we would have the energy to teach and would maintain good health.