Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Jammed July

July has come and come and gone and passed us by. Finals have been completed, and students and teachers are enjoying vacation.

Finals went well. This was my first time to create and grade exams -- quite a challenge, but my time at Wheaton prepared me well and I was able to complete everything in time. Between proctoring other exams, and planning and grading my exams, finals week was packed!

The world's largest suspension bridge, which leads to Awaji Island!

After finals, the school summer camp was a welcome relief. The middle and high school students, along with most of the secondary teachers, went to Awaji Island. We stayed at a local youth camp, which had guidelines for everything, down to the folding of the sheets when we left! All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time, enjoying the beach, swimming, smashing a watermelon (a Japanese summer tradition) and relaxing after a long semester of classes.

Catching umi-hotaru (sea fireflies) with the middle school students at night.

Breaking a watermelon at the beach. (Yes, they ate it afterwards!)

What else has been happening?
  • A week after we returned from the summer camp, I led a camp to prepare students for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). I learned a lot more about the test as I helped prepare my students with strategies, advanced planning and lots of practice.
  • I rode the night bus up to Sendai, in the northern part of Japan to spend some vacation time with Caitlin and her family. We are staying in a cabin on a cliff next to the sea, in Takayama, where missionaries have stayed for over a hundred years!

Please pray for the following, both for myself and Japan:
  • Praise God that my first trimester teaching went well! I was able to keep up with new experiences in grading, planning and teaching to help my students progress in their English studies.
  • Praise God for protection during KIUA's summer camp as well as traveling to Takayama.
  • Please pray for wisdom and knowledge for my summer projects, including planning for classes this fall, researching new textbooks for my classes and writing up a new scope and sequence for my classes from the previous program.
  • Please continue to pray for the Japanese affected by the tsunami. While it has been a year since the disaster and much progress has been made, the scars remain. Pray for the people who have been affected and lost family members, pray for the environmental impact and above all, please pray for the healing work of the gospel to be furthered in Japan.

Thank you for your support of God's work in Japan!