Time for another update from Thailand – basically, things are starting to wind down. Brittani and Hannah left for America on the 18th the last interns to go besides me.
I’ve just finished my third week of the CELTA course. Class time runs from 11:30am to 8pm. For homework every week we have to write a 1,000 word or so paper, write lesson plans and prepare to teach two practice English classes. It is difficult but I’m enjoying it. The Thais who come to be taught by us every night are a lot of fun. So are my fellow student-teachers; there are twelve of us – 11 men and 1 woman! But there’s a good mix of nationalities – 1 Canadian, 1 Syrian, 1 Syrilankan, 3 British, and 6 Americans including me. Both the professors of the course are from the UK originally but have traveled widely and live in Thailand for now. I love seeing the different personalities and backgrounds come together with this group.
Comparatively, I have the least teaching experience in the whole class. Some people taking the course have been teaching for over six years. But I have so much gratitude to God for the course. I’m learning very valuable material on how to teach English effectively so students actually learn and enjoy the process. I also think it is helping me become better at teaching in general, skills I can transfer to teaching the Bible.
On the downside, all day yesterday and today I have had a bad headache, enough to make it hard to function. But God has unbelievably sustained me. It’s a joy to be in pain yet see God’s goodness through it all.
This weekend (besides homework) I will go to church, hang out Cynthia Edwards (who let the interns stay at her house) and with some people who just came to Chiang Mai from India, and visit the OMF missionary office.
Keep my health in prayer if you could. Also pray for those around me who need Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Okay, about time I put up another update. I’ve been bad at this; I intended to update every week! Oh well, here’s the scoop for the past few:
On June 28th I went to the Ma Oh Jo village again. Justin Giammalva or “JG” came to help design a new building with Go-win, an engineer working for ITDP, and help with the continued construction of the eating area. My main objective was to initiate the leaders to start cell groups for the church as a way to disciple believers and equip them for personal evangelism to unbelievers in the area.We had a few meetings. The first morning Mike Mann and I talked with Apichot, the embedded Evangelist and chaplain/teacher of the Ma Oh Jo school, and introduced the idea. We had another one introducing the idea to some of the leading villagers and the last night getting some details set with one of the volunteering pastors of the church in Ma Oh Jo. It is hard for me to gage how everything went, since I was working through translation and the carrying out of cell groups is up to them. But we set a goal of getting materials to them and beginning leader training by October. During the day I did a few different things. I spent considerable time on my pre-course task for my CELTA Teaching English Certification school for July, which was fairly difficult for me; I was supposed to have a grammar book on hand, but didn’t. I helped out a little with filtering sand to be used for the fine-grain cement to finish the columns. I also taught a few English language classes to the students in the Ma Oh Jo school. I had a theme of “Equipment/work” terms such as hoe, shovel, dirt, rock, machete, rebar, etc. that I taught to the 3rd and 4th grades. I would have posted pictures, but we didn’t bring a camera. 😦 When we got back I had one day to scramble and get ready for the CELTA course and enjoy some freedom before it began! We (Brit, JG, and I) went to a Fourth of July picnic put on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which was fun.
Hannah was in a Lahu village with another American team since July 1st and returned the 7th. My course started on the fifth and I’ve moved in to a house nearby with Go-win. I went to see Brit and Hannah on the weekend though and we had good times, like eating a banana pancake (among other things) at Lanna Cafe, the fairtrade coffee company that buys from the villagers.
I’m midway through my second week of the course. It is a very demanding process, but I’m so thankful to God for letting me do it. Pray for us as we finish our time here. Brittani had an earache and still cannot hear out of one ear, while trying to work on getting everything in line for her to be a US distributer for coffee from villagers. Hannah is trying to finish her reading for her internship requirements and helping out at the ITDP office. They leave the 18th, while I stay for two more weeks and finish this certificate… somehow.