Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Personal Perspective

Dear everyone,

Our amazing Taipei CI team

I just want to take a few minutes to tell you about how things are going for me here. This is my first time teaching in a Children's Institute.
When I heard about the opportunity to teach this week, I was so excited. I have been teaching English here in Taiwan for almost two and a half years, and this was one of my vacation weeks, so I was happy I could take the time to live for God instead of myself. I didn’t know what exactly went on during a CI, but I had a vague idea after listening to a friend who taught in Taichung last week. He said it was challenging but definitely a rewarding experience. I do best when I am given clear and concise instruction, and when I am shown step-by-step what exactly to do in every particular situation. I didn’t know what to expect as far as teaching, but I thought that they might have me helping out with a few crafts or doing a skit to entertain the kids.

Tim and Yvonne acting

When I arrived they told me that I was the lead teacher, that I would be working with a couple of translators that I had never met before, and I had an hour or two to prepare my first lesson.
In my mind I knew this was an opportunity to respond in a Christ-like manner and show the character quality of flexibility, but in my heart I just wanted to give up and go home. I am known for not working well with people when I am stressed. I didn't want to hurt others with a bad attitude or by giving up so I decided to give it a try, at least for the first night. However, I was already feeling my stress levels rising as I tried to imagine how I would teach the two principles for the first night, faith and design. I didn't know how many children I would be teaching and I didn't know how old they would be, so I began to worry that whatever I did plan was going to flop. But I decided to try and do my best, and with God’s help that is what I did.

Now, about two days later, I am looking back and thinking about how silly I was for stressing out with these thoughts. The first night went fine, thanks in no small part to my two wonderful interpreters. The Lord blessed our class with eight children and even though there was a big age gap between the kids, they all seemed to grasp what I was teaching. I felt the excitement of teaching and sharing with little kids come back to me once again as the first night flew by. The second night was much of the same, although we actually had time to get most of our crafts finished!
I know that there are still some challenges ahead as we will have less time to prepare and more to do, but I want you all to know that I am really enjoying working here to teach good character to these children and I am so glad to be a part of this group of Christians who are taking their free time to serve God this year at the Taiwan Children’s Institute.

Please continue to keep in prayer health for the whole team. There are several people who are feeling somewhat under the weather, and although no one is seriously sick, we would all appreciate prayers that everything stays that way, and no one gets any worse.

Tim Piotrowciz