7 Months went by so fast for me [Jana] and Anderson and we have seen the changes in weather here in Okinawa.
We walked out of the house this morning with my hoodie on, and the sun kissing our face. It’s about 14 degrees Celsius outside, and I think Spring has come. We do not experience snow here in this beautiful island, but we have experienced lower temperatures up to 7 degrees Celsius in the last month and that’s very new for me, coming from the Philippines, and also for Anderson from Bogota, Colombia. He knows more about the cool weather than I do, living in the Andean mountains of Bogota, but he said the humidity and the wind certainly made winter here colder than his city.
I like the cold though. I think I was meant for this kind of weather. But I think it will be warm again soon!
We would also like to share with you some of the other things that happened over these few months.
First, while we are called teachers, we too are learning a lot about life, and our new ministry field. We have never taught in a high school before, and most of our students in our classroom experience in the past have been college students or older, so it has been a journey of learning for us how to deal with teenagers in a classroom setting.
I [Anderson] have been teaching a Bible class to seniors about finding God’s call for their lives, and was also asked to sub for Biology since last October.
A lot of challenges have come from these classes, but God is faithful in the things He has shown me. I really enjoy teaching my Biology class even though I’m just subbing for it.
I am also one of the chaplains of the school so one of our roles is to preach to students every week in chapel.
I also got the chance to speak during the middle school and high school camps and these have been great opportunities to share the gospel and God’s word, and also build relationships with the students.
I [Jana] on the other hand have been teaching Bible classes too; Old Testament Survey to Sophomores, and New Testament Survey to Freshmen. My classroom experience is also a challenging one since my students are composed of: those who have a lot of background with the Bible and those who believe in God; those who have heard about God and read the Bible only in the classroom; and those who do not know the Bible at all, and do not believe in God. So, with that in mind, it is like a journey in the desert, with people feeling we are either slow, or fast. I like showing new things to those who think they already know enough, and it has been a great journey so far especially when I see my students understand the lesson and grow deeper in their faith. I really enjoy teaching. I also join the schedule of the chaplains for chapel preaching and it is one of the highlights of my week.
One of the projects given me this year is our missions week. This is new for our school, and God has been so faithful in helping us come up with the different service projects for the students. If you remember me in your prayers please do include this week. We need God’s help in all of these.
Second, as we are living here in Japan, language study is really important. We got the chance to learn the language by sitting in on the students’ Japanese classes. Please continue to pray for us, so that we would advance in our language study and start communicating more to the Japanese people in their language, and start building relationships with them.
Third, we have been enjoying the chances we can get to know the brothers and sisters we have in our church. The Bible study for couples, the Keystone connection where we meet different families for lunch every month and the Bible study for women have been good avenues for us to share in community. Please continue to pray for us that we would be able to find an avenue to minister through these relationships.
This summarizes the last few months for us. We see the school as our mission field where God has placed us, so pray that our lives would be living testimonies of the grace God has given us in Christ Jesus.
We want to thank the Lord for the friends we are making in Okinawa. We have tried to play Wii, and spend time with our co-teachers in school and even attend some costume parties.
Anderson and I were blessed to be sent to an International Christian Educator’s Conference in Korea. It was a time of learning on how to be better teachers. 🙂
Hopefully we can share with you new things on our next update, so until then!
May the Lord fill your hearts with love, joy, and peace!