Saturday, July 21, 2012

Been a while!

I know I haven’t written in a while, but things have been quite busy here!

For those of you who don’t know already, I have the amazing opportunity to teach English at the place where M works.  I’m teaching two classes.  One is an intermediate class, where we’ll go over grammar and some conversation three times a week, and the other class is an advanced conversation class.  My students are from Afghanistan and Iran, all ages and types, and I’m excited to get to know them.  As far as I know, most of them are Muslims, and this is a very good platform to reach them on a different level.  As nervous as I am about teaching, I’m more looking forward to the fact that this will allow me a venue into the culture and lives of people in a way that I wouldn’t have before.
On the personal front, I’ve moved into an apartment in the school building, about a 15 minute walk from L&M’s house.  It’s small but contains everything I need, including a fridge and a washing machine. The only complaint I have about that is that I have to walk it in 115 degree weather, but I guess that comes with the territory!

Today I had cool moment.  I went with another worker here to visit a girl from Iran to have a Bible study.  This is a young college age girl who recently became a believer, and I discovered upon arriving to her house today that her mom is actually in one of my classes. Her mother is a Muslim, but contrary to culture, is okay with her daughter’s conversion.  She even sat with us as we discussed different topics. It was cool to see how this young girl growing and asking questions.

The coolest thing though, was the fact that she had recently bought a guitar and was learning how to use it.  Since I just started playing a couple months ago, I was able to use that to bond with her.  I taught her how to tune it and how to play a few chords.  I just thought it was neat that God knew that would happen, and prepared me for it.  He’s using me in ways that I never even imagined He would.
How much do you know about Ramadan?  It’s a Muslim holiday, and it starts today.  For one month, those who practice Islam fast during the day from about 4am till 8pm.  They don’t even drink water until sundown (and in 100+ degree weather, I would call that a sacrifice) and spend time in prayer.  It’s only at night that they allow themselves food and water.  I was asking some of my students about it during class the other day, and it seemed like something they were excited about, not dreading.  There are many reasons why they do it, and I’m still in the process of investigation and asking questions.  I’m hoping that it opens doors and allows me access into their personal lives.  Despite our differences in religious and cultural backgrounds, I love these people already.  They’re going to make this international half of my year totally worth it.

I still watch John from time to time, and will start doing more of it as L&M start up language school again.  Not living with them has led me to discover that I miss him when I don’t see him for more than a few hours.  He’s a sweet boy and I just love him. :)

Anyway, sorry for this rushed note, but I gotta run.  Thanks for your prayers and love! I love getting your messages and emails – they are so encouraging!