In just a few hours, I'll be getting on a flight bound for Beijing, P.R. China. The past six months in America have flown by, and yet I have grown and learned and changed so much. God is constantly faithful, and He has answered so many prayers, especially the prayers to know Him and love Him more. I'm pretty crazy about Him.
I'll be going back to Dandelion Middle School to teach English and American Culture as part of a grant program from the US Department of State - thanks America! I'll come home for a week in November and the month of February, but other than that it's China adventures until July!
As I've been preparing to leave, here are a few of the goals I've informally made for myself:
Learn Chinese. Actually, if the Holy Spirit would like to just give me fluent Chinese, that would be cool. But either way, I'm so excited to dig down deep into this language!
Learn some Tibetan. Who wouldn't?! We have some Tibetan students at the school, and if you take one glance at how beautiful their language is, you'd want to learn it too.
Become a tea person. Because being a coffee-lover in China is harder than being allergic to rice in China. I'm not so sure if this one is going to happen though...
Learn all my students' names. At this point, I'm rather unclear about how many students I have... but the goal applies either way. And obviously I want to learn WAY more about them than just their names.
Learn to live with less. Some things will be involuntary - no private showers, no cozy mattresses, no coffee, no laundry machines. But I want to gain even more from this than the unavoidable "sacrifices." Whether giving up snacking most days, saving money to give away, figuring out how to use my time more wisely, or any number of things I haven't thought of yet, I want this experience to teach me once again about what is truly important in life, and what is truly not.
Learn to see God at work. God is awesome. I mean, really crazy awesome. He has done so many things in my life already that I can see, and I can barely fathom all the things that are still in the process of being revealed. I'm excited for life just because I get to see what God is going to do with it. As you may know from talking with me or reading this blog, I've been learning so much about the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God in the last few months. And I am ready to see Him do big things. I know full well that God can work just as meaningfully in the small, everyday steps that lead up a mountain. But at the same time, the Spirit that I read of in the Bible is a Spirit of power. I believe that God wants to do powerful things in His people so that the earth may marvel (John 5:20). So whether He is going to do a great work in the depths of my heart, or a great work in all the people of China through me, I'm ready and totally amazed to even be a part of it. Thank You, Jesus. I'm so glad You're coming too.
These are my goals. But these are not just because I'm going to China. What are your goals? I would say that a few of these should probably be goals for all of us. Whether you're in a foreign country and people praise you more than they should, or whether you're at home doing the unnoticed, everyday tasks He has called you to fulfill, He is at work. As His child, God loves you so much. Resting in His love must be our first step. And from there, we will start to see the world differently. We will live constantly waiting to see the beautiful things our loving Father is doing in our lives, even if they might seem painful in the midst of it. He is faithful.
Thank you for your prayers regarding these goals (well, maybe you don't have to pray about the third one...). I can't wait to share what God does in the next year. It's all unknown at this point, and that's just how I like it. Come on, God. Let's go!