Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Day Of Anticipation

Friday, January 18, 2008
Honestly, the day couldn’t have started out any better. I awoke Friday morning with excitement at such intensity I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle it all! I not only had successfully slept through all of the night, but I had managed to sleep past 5 am. The realization that I was over jet lag just about thrilled me to pieces. But good sleep wasn’t the only thing that started out the morning so wonderfully. ☺

After an eclectic breakfast in the hotel, we all met up to seek God as a team on the third floor. What an incredibly powerful time. We started out singing about God’s power and the beauty of what He did on the cross and went into a time of communion together. Tim, our leader, read an excerpt from an article about the physical elements of what Christ did on the cross. As we sat there, many of our eyes brimming with tears, and contemplated the power Christ’s sacrifice for each of us, our hearts where unified in the One who brought us together that morning. I think we all savored every minute of that hour.

In the early afternoon, we headed over to the church where the seminar was held over the weekend. Upon arrival we dove right into peanut butter and chocolate sandwiches for lunch and then into getting training for the week. But not to worry, they had peanut butter and jelly or tuna for the weaker ones of the group. ☺ The afternoon was definitely full of information and preparations, but with Kirsten being the wonderful teacher trainer that she is and the anticipation rising for the weekend ahead of us, everything went great. After training and our preparations for our first night of teaching were done, we enjoyed a box dinner of rice and the meat of our choice.

So there we were, everything prepared, and excited about what the night was going to hold. As the children started to arrive, I’d smile and excitedly say one thing I confidently knew how to say. Ni Hao! The fun began as we all jumped into the night ahead of us. My poor translator was forced to be in about five places at one time – and she did an amazing job at it! All the translators were incredible, we were all grateful. The night consisted of everything from gigantic bubbles on stage and pipe cleaner creations to falling in love with those precious smiles and getting to teach the children how precious they are to God.

I learned a lot Friday night. Not only did I learn that I have zero creativity when it comes to pipe cleaners (it’s a little embarrassing when the six year old on your team wipes out this amazing animal and you barely got by with calling your “creation” a flower). I learned a lot about God’s love on Friday. I realized in a new way on Friday how broad and how vast the love of the Father was for these precious children. God showed me that even in the midst of me not being able to speak their language, Father God’s love transcends any language. I found myself smiling at them more, and turning to them to laugh whenever the storyteller said something funny. I began to see God’s love being poured out through me onto these kids in new ways. Even though I felt so inadequate hardly being able to communicate, in the midst of that I realized God’s overwhelming adequacy to love these children through me. God loves them better then I ever could anyway! It was a simple lesson, but yet one that completely changed my perspective. I realized that night what my roll was with these children – and I became overwhelmingly excited to see in what ways God was going to show HIS love through this strange American teacher… ☺

Priscilla Chapman