Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Little, Big Things

As a CI teacher the past two weeks, I feel as if I learn more than what I am teaching. Born in Canada but of Taiwanese descent, using Chinese has no doubt been a challenge for me. Teaching CI and interacting with the kids in Taiwan has been both a humbling and challenging learning experience.

When I was teaching the kids on my Hsinchu CI team how to do a craft in Chinese, there was an item that I didn't know how to say in Chinese, so I just said, "zhe ge dong dong," which roughly translates to "this thing." The kids thought it was hilarious and told me "teacher, your Chinese pronounciation is not accurate!" Laughing and feeling amused with myself, I agreed.

On the first day of the Kaohsuing CI I was slightly nervous, so when I spoke in Chinese, the prononciation was a slightly off. I noticed a boy lean over to whisper something in his brother's ear. One of them turned back to me with a sly grin on his face and asked, "you're not from Taiwan, are you?"

I acknowledged that no, I was not from Taiwan. I proceded to inform them that I was born in a land far, far way and had to ride an airplane to get here. They then tried to guess where I was from. Japan? Korea? Australia? They theorized places from all over the world. When I promised I would tell them on the last day, they became even more curious. On the very last day, I finaly revealed that I was born and raised in Canada.

Being a detail oriented person, I tend to care about the details or the small things. This can be both a good and bad thing because this means I can sometimes forget to look at the big picture. However, I am grateful that our God is a God that knows the heart and thoughts of each and everyone of us as individuals. Knowing this, He has shown me His love and given me blessings in small (yet big) ways.

One example came in the form of a quiet little girl with short hair and big, soft, round eyes. One day, I felt a tiny head softly press and snuggle against my arm. When I glanced down, this little girl smiled softly and bashfully at me, giggled, and cuddled against my arm again. It was so precious. By the very last day, she was combing her hands through my hair, stretching out her tiny hand to point out the features of my face, and reaching up to press her tiny forehead againt mine and giggling when her gaze met my eyes.

I also recall chasing a very stubborn and insistent (yet adorably cute) little girl around when we were supposed to be sitting down in large group. The little sweetheart had just turned four and just wanted to go see her mommy instead of sitting down with the other kids. As I was attempting to stay calm, yet feeling slightly exasperated, I realized that all the children were singing Love Never Fails* in large group. It reminded me about what love is, as written in I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV):

"Love in 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 esily 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 preserveres."

Visiting Mao Kong on our off day
Most importantly God is Love. It is my hope and prayer that all of us CI teachers can continue to brightly reflect the love of God to the children this week in Taipei. Two CI's have been completed in Hsinchu and Kaohsiung, and I am looking forward to what God has in store with the Taipei CI.

*Love Never Fails is one of the songs that was taught in this year's CI

Elisha Liu

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